Research area: Plant-Insect Interactions, Biogeography, Conservation Biology, Community Ecology, Statistical Ecology
Office location: FH 253
Laboratory Location: FH 255-257
Email Address: email@example.com
Office Phone: 575-646-2501
Lab Webpage: http://mathbio.nmsu.edu/boecklen
My primary research interests are in ecological and evolutionary aspects of insect-plant interactions. In particular, I am interested in patterns of herbivory in dioecious plants and in the effects of host plant hybridization on the structure and dynamics of herbivore communities.
Sex-biased herbivory has been largely overlooked in the development of contemporary theories of insect-plant interactions. I have demonstrated previously that plant sex is a significant source of variation in densities of sawflies that attack arroyo willow (Salix lasiolepis). Male willows typically support higher densities of sawflies than do female plants. Currently, I am examining sex-biased herbivory in the desert shrub, Ephedra trifurca. These data will contribute to a general theory of herbivory in dioecious plants by relating intersexual variation in insect attack to sexual dimorphism of host plants in habitat utilization and resource allocation.
Evolutionary biologists have long recognized that hybrid zones can provide unparalleled insights into evolutionary processes, yet plant-insect ecologists have been slow to use plant hybrid zones to investigate evolutionary mechanisms thought to underlie plant-parasite interactions. I am investigating patterns of density and species diversity of gall-forming wasps (Hymenoptera:Cynipidae) and leaf-mining moths (lepidoptera:Gracilariidae and Nepticulidae) in oak hybrid zones. I am testing the null hypothesis of no differences among host taxa against three mutually exclusive and evolutionarily consistent alternative hypotheses: 1) hybrid oaks support greater numbers of individuals and species than do parental oak; 2) hybrids support fewer parasite species and individuals; and 3) hybrids are intermediate to parental hosts.
- Aguilar, J.M. and W.J. Boecklen (1992) Patterns of herbivory in the Quercus grisea x Quercus gambelii species complex. Oikos 64: 498-504.
- McClellan, Y. and W.J. Boecklen (1993) Plant mediation of ant-herbivore associations: the role of sticky rings formed by Boerhavia spicata. Coenoses 8: 15-20.
- Boecklen, W.J. and M.T. Hoffman (1993) Sex-biased herbivory in Ephedra trifurca: the importance of sex-by-environment interactions. Oecologia 96:49-55.
- Boecklen, W.J. and G.J. Niemi (1994) Multivariate association of graph-theoretic variables and physicochemical properties. SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research 2:79-87.
- Boecklen, W.J. and K.C. Larson (1994) Gall-forming wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) in an oak hybrid zone: testing hypotheses about hybrid susceptibility to herbivores. In: P.W. Price, W.D. Mattson, and Y.N. Baranchikov (eds.), The ecology and evolution of gall-forming insects, General Technical Report NC-174, Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, pp. 110-120.
- Boecklen, W.J., S. Mopper, and P.W. Price (1994) Sex-biased
herbivory in arroyo willow: are there general patterns among
herbivores? Oikos 71: 267-272.
- Preszler, R.W. and W.J. Boecklen (1994) A three-trophic-level
analysis of the effects of plant hybridization on a leaf-mining
moth. Oecologia 100: 66-73.
- Preszler, R.W. and W.J. Boecklen (1996) The influence of
elevation on tri-trophic interactions: opposing gradients of
top-down and bottom-up effects on a leaf-mining moth. Ecoscience 3:
- Skaggs, R. and W.J. Boecklen (1996) Extinctions of montane
mammals reconsidered: putting a global-warming scenario on ice.
Biodiversity and Conservation 5: 759-778.
- Gaylord, E.S., R.W. Preszler, and W.J. Boecklen (1996)
Interactions between host plants, endophytic fungi, and a phytophagous
insect in an oak (Quercus grisea x Quercus gambelii) hybrid zone.
Oecologia 105: 336-342.
- Preszler, R.W., E.S. Gaylord, and W.J. Boecklen (1996) Reduced
parasitism of a leaf-mining moth on trees with high infection
frequencies of an endophytic fungus. Oecologia 108: 159-166.
- Boecklen, W.J. (1997) Nestedness, biogeographic theory, and
the design of nature reserves. Oecologia 112: 123-142.
- Howard, D.J., R.W. Preszler, J. Williams, S. Fenchel, and W.J.
Boecklen (1997) How discrete are oak species? Insights from a hybrid
zone between Quercus grisea and Q. gambelii. Evolution 51:
- Boecklen, W.J. and D.J. Howard (1997) Genetic analysis of hybrid
zones: numbers of markers and power of resolution. Ecology: (in press).
- Boecklen, W.J. and S. Mopper (1997) Local adaptation in
monophagous herbivores: theory and evidence. In: S. Mopper and S.
Strauss (eds.), Genetic Structure in Natural Insect Populations:
Effects of Host Plants and Life History, Chapman & Hall (in press).
- Boecklen, W.J. and R. Spellenberg (1997) Tests of hypotheses
regarding hybrid resistance in the Quercus coccolifolia x Q. viminea
species complex. In: G. Csoka, P.W. Price, and W.D. Mattson (eds.),
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North
Central Forest Experiment Station. (in press).