Insect species richness for each plant species and insect-plant interactions from the Database of Insects and their Food Plants [DBIF] version 2
This is the most recent version of this dataset
(other versions )
This dataset consists of 4,397 insect species associated with 679 native plant species, 120 archaeophytes, and 234 neophytes from the Database of Insects and their Food Plants (DBIF). The DBIF details approximately 60,000 interactions between phytophagous insect (and mite) species and plants recorded in Great Britain over the last century, based on a wide variety of sources, including entomological journals and field guides. The data here represents a reduced subset of the full DBIF (13,277 interactions), only including interactions resolved to the species level (insect species x associated with host plant species y), records that have been expertly verified as reliable and included in previous large-scale analyses (Ward 1988; Ward & Spalding 1993; Ward et al. 1995; Ward et al. 2003), and records that are certain to have occurred in Great Britain. Any records originating from captive breeding studies are excluded. Finally, only plants with associated phylogenetic data and native status are included. Host plant distribution size is also included, in addition to a quantification of the distinctiveness of the insect communities found on a subset of the non-native plants.
This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council award number NE/R016429/1 as part of the UK-SCAPE programme delivering National Capability.
Publication date: 2020-07-02
Provenance & quality
For a full description of all processes involved in data collection/generation see the supporting documentationsupplied with this data.
In summary, the following processes were applied to the full DBIF dataset in order to generate this dataset:
- Only data on ‘higher’ plants (seed plants and ferns) were included, using only insect-plant records that were expertly verified as reliable and included in previous large-scale analyses (Ward 1988; Ward & Spalding 1993; Ward et al. 1995; Ward et al. 2003)
- Only records that were certain to have occurred in Great Britain were included, and any records originating from captive breeding studies were excluded
- All records not at a species level were removed, and all sub-species/cultivar/variety information were ‘upgraded’ to the species level
- Several sources were used to group together plant and insect species listed under different synonyms
- Native status and introduction dates (for neophytes) were assigned to plants from several data sources, with plants classified as neophyte (non-native, arrived post-1500), archaeophyte (non-native, arrived pre-1500), or native (primarily Holocene colonists)
- Distribution size was quantified as the number of hectads (10 x 10 km grid squares) that a plant was recorded in between 1987-1999 (within Great Britain including the Isle of Man – vice counties 1-112)
- Phylogenetic relationships between plants were trimmed from a recently published global phylogeny of vascular plants, producing a custom phylogeny
- Four phylogenetic isolation measures were calculated
- Insect community distinctiveness was defined as the Chao-Sorensen abundance-based dissimilarity between the insect community on a given non-native host, and the insect pool found on native plants within the DBIF
- Only plants that had been sufficiently sampled (hosted an insect richness ≥ 10) were included in dissimilarity calculations
- All DBIF data sources were trimmed down to the article level by removing page number information
A collation of published interactions between Great Britain 's invertebrate herbivores (insects and mites) and their host plants.
Other useful information regarding this dataset:
Ward, L. K. (1988) The validity and interpretation of insect foodplant records. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History, 1, 153-162.
Ward, L. K. & Spalding, D. F. (1993) Phytophagous British insects and mites and their food-plant families: total numbers and polyphagy. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 49, 257-276.
Ward, L. K., Hackshaw, A., & Clarke, R. T. (1995) Food-plant families of British insects and mites: the influence of life form and plant family. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 55(2), 109-127.
Ward, L. K., Hackshaw, A., & Clarke, R. T. (2003) Do food-plant preferences of modern families of phytophagous insects and mites reflect past evolution with plants? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 78(1), 51-83.
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/R016429/1
Spatial representation type
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
25 January 2021 12:36