Bangert RK, Whitham TG. 2007 - Genetic assembly rules and community phenotypes

Bangert RK, Whitham TG. 2007. Genetic assembly rules and community phenotypes. Evolutionary Ecology 21:549–560. [ResearchGate]


We present a conceptual construct for a genetic based community assembly rule where the genetic composition of a host plant, or resource, affects the structure of the dependent community. This is related to a genetic similarity rule that states that host plants with similar genetic compositions are hosts to similar arthropod communities. We present preliminary data from the Populus system to support this concept. We review the recent literature to evaluate the current state of the assembly rule concept and interpret a set of previous studies in the context of a genetic assembly rule. We suggest that by incorporating this concept into community ecology we can begin to bring an evolutionary perspective to this discipline.