Herbivory on the pedunculate oak along an urbanization gradient in Europe: Effects of impervious surface, local tree cover, and insect feeding guild

Elena Valdés‐Correcher, Anna Popova, Andrea Galmán, Andreas Prinzing, Andrey V. Selikhovkin, Andy G. Howe, Anna Mrazova, Anne‐Maïmiti Dulaurent, Arndt Hampe, Ayco Jerome Michel Tack, Christophe Bouget, Daniela Lupaștean, Deborah Harvey, Dmitry L. Musolin, Gábor L. Lövei, Giada Centenaro, Inge Van Halder, Jonas Hagge, Jovan Dobrosavljević, Juha‐Matti PitkänenJulia Koricheva, Katerina Sam, Luc Barbaro, Manuela Branco, Marco Ferrante, Maria Faticov, Markéta Tahadlová, Martin Gossner, Maxime Cauchoix, Michał Bogdziewicz, Mihai‐Leonard Duduman, Mikhail V. Kozlov, Mona C. Bjoern, Nikita A. Mamaev, Pilar Fernandez‐Conradi, Rebecca L. Thomas, Ross Wetherbee, Samantha Green, Slobodan Milanović, Xoaquín Moreira, Yannick Mellerin, Yasmine Kadiri, Bastien Castagneyrol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Urbanization is an important driver of the diversity and abundance of tree-associated insect herbivores, but its consequences for insect herbivory are poorly understood. A likely source of variability among studies is the insufficient consideration of intra-urban variability in forest cover. With the help of citizen scientists, we investigated the independent and interactive effects of local canopy cover and percentage of impervious surface on insect herbivory in the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) throughout most of its geographic range in Europe. We found that the damage caused by chewing insect herbivores as well as the incidence of leaf-mining and gall-inducing herbivores consistently decreased with increasing impervious surface around focal oaks. Herbivory by chewing herbivores increased with increasing forest cover, regardless of impervious surface. In contrast, an increase in local canopy cover buffered the negative effect of impervious surface on leaf miners and strengthened its effect on gall inducers. These results show that—just like in non-urban areas—plant–herbivore interactions in cities are structured by a complex set of interacting factors. This highlights that local habitat characteristics within cities have the potential to attenuate or modify the effect of impervious surfaces on biotic interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8709
Number of pages13
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number3
Early online date14 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Funding Information: This study was carried out with financial support from the French National Research Agency (ANR) in the frame of the Investments for the Future Programme, within the Cluster of Excellence COTE (Continental To coastal Ecosystems: evolution, adaptability, and governance) (ANR‐10‐LABX‐45) and was further funded by the BNP Paribas Foundation as part of its Climate & Biodiversity Initiative the citizen science project Tree Bodyguards.


  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • insect herbivory
  • Quercus robur
  • impervious surface
  • citizen science
  • local canopy cover
  • leaf miners
  • leaf gallers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology


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