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Title: The evolution and ecology of oak gall wasp communities
Author: Hayward, Alex
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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Oak cynipids initiate the growth of highly complex galls on plants in the genus Quercus and related genera in the family Fagaceae. These galls support closed communities consisting of high diversities of gall inducers, inquilines and natural enemies. Key questions regarding the evolution and ecology of these communities remain unanswered. In particular, the role that phylogeography of component species plays remains unclear. Communities associated with different gall wasps vary in composition and structure, but little is known about the processes generating such variation. This thesis addresses the question of the ‘community phylogeography’ of the oak wasp system, using tree-based Bayesian analyses of mitochondrial sequence data. Work already done on the gall wasp hosts is extended to the next trophic level through examination of the European phylogeography of several chalcid parasitoids. The resulting patterns are examined for concordance between parasitoids and the gall wasps, and hypotheses regarding ancient and more recent range expansion are evaluated. The phylogeny of the oak gall wasp attacking Torymidae one of the major families of parasidoid attach oak cynipids, is estimated and hypotheses regarding the evolution of the group are considered. In addition, the use of cytochrome oxidase barcodes as a means of data collection from oak gall wasp communities is evaluated. Current methods are time consuming, labour intensive, and often error prone and an efficient standardised data collection procedure would be beneficial to further analyses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available