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Chuanwei Yang, Lin Li
At high vegetation density, shade-intolerant plants sense a reduction in the red (660 nm) to far-red (730 nm) light ratio (R/FR) in addition to a general reduction in light intensity. These light signals trigger a spectrum of morphological changes manifested by growth of stem-like tissue (hypocotyl, petiole, etc.) instead of harvestable organs (leaves, fruits, seeds, etc.)-namely, shade avoidance syndrome (SAS). Common phenotypical changes related to SAS are changes in leaf hyponasty, an increase in hypocotyl and internode elongation and extended petioles...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Tom J de Jong, Karla Escobedo Quevedo, Karin C A M van der Veen-van Wijk, Mahmoud Moshgani
Crossings between the diploid wild Brassica rapa (AA, 2n=20) and the tetraploid cultivar B. napus (AACC, 2n=38) can readily be made. Backcrosses to the wild B. rapa (BC1 ) produce aneuploids with variable chromosome numbers between 20 and 29. How does survival and performance relate to DNA content of plants? Growth of the BC1 plants was measured in the lab. One plant in the F1 self-pollinated spontaneously and produced abundant F2 seeds that were also examined. The number of C-chromosomes was estimated from DNA-values obtained with flow cytometry...
September 16, 2017: Plant Biology
Estefanía Suárez-Vidal, Xosé López-Goldar, Luis Sampedro, Rafael Zas
Light is a major environmental factor that may determine the interaction between plants and herbivores in several ways, including top-down effects through changes in herbivore behavior and bottom-up effects mediated by alterations of plant physiology. Here we explored the relative contribution of these two regulation processes to the outcome of the interaction of pine trees with a major forest pest, the pine weevil (Hylobius abietis). We studied to what extent light availability influence insect feeding behavior and/or the ability of pines to produce induced defenses in response to herbivory...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Kristen E Sauby, John Kilmer, Mary C Christman, Robert D Holt, Travis D Marsico
Herbivory has long been recognized as a significant driver of plant population dynamics, yet its effects along environmental gradients are unclear. Understanding how weather modulates plant-insect interactions can be particularly important for predicting the consequences of exotic insect invasions, and an explicit consideration of weather may help explain why the impact can vary greatly across space and time. We surveyed two native prickly pear cactus species (genus Opuntia) in the Florida panhandle, USA, and their specialist insect herbivores (the invasive South American cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, and three native insect species) for five years across six sites...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Adit R Kothari, Nicholas P Burnett
In nature, plants regularly interact with herbivores and with wind. Herbivores can wound and alter the structure of plants, whereas wind can exert aerodynamic forces that cause the plants to flutter or sway. While herbivory has many negative consequences for plants, fluttering in wind can be beneficial for plants by facilitating gas exchange and loss of excess heat. Little is known about how herbivores affect plant motion in wind. We tested how the mass of an herbivore resting on a broad leaf of the tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera, and the damage caused by herbivores, affected the motion of the leaf in wind...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Pierre-Jean G Malé, Kyle M Turner, Manjima Doha, Ina Anreiter, Aaron M Allen, Marla B Sokolowski, Megan E Frederickson
In plant-animal mutualisms, how an animal forages often determines how much benefit its plant partner receives. In many animals, foraging behaviour changes in response to foraging gene expression or activation of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) that foraging encodes. Here, we show that this highly conserved molecular mechanism affects the outcome of a plant-animal mutualism. We studied the two PKG genes of Allomerus octoarticulatus, an Amazonian ant that defends the ant-plant Cordia nodosa against herbivores...
September 13, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Samridhi Chaturvedi, Alexandre Rego, Lauren K Lucas, Zachariah Gompert
Microbes can mediate insect-plant interactions and have been implicated in major evolutionary transitions to herbivory. Whether microbes also play a role in more modest host shifts or expansions in herbivorous insects is less clear. Here we evaluate the potential for gut microbial communities to constrain or facilitate host plant use in the Melissa blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa). We conducted a larval rearing experiment where caterpillars from two populations were fed plant tissue from two hosts. We used 16S rRNA sequencing to quantify the relative effects of sample type (frass versus whole caterpillar), diet (plant species), butterfly population and development (caterpillar age) on the composition and diversity of the caterpillar gut microbial communities, and secondly, to test for a relationship between microbial community and larval performance...
September 12, 2017: Scientific Reports
Bernd Blossey, Andrea Dávalos, Victoria Nuzzo
Management of ungulates is contested ground that lacks stakeholder agreement on desirable population sizes and management approaches. Unfortunately, we often miss information about extent of local impacts, for example on plant communities, to guide management decisions. Typical vegetation impact assessments like the woody browse index do not assess herbaceous plants, and differences in browse severity can be a function of deer density, deer legacy effects, localized deer feeding preferences and/or differences in plant community composition...
September 2017: AoB Plants
Vincent Boulanger, Jean-Luc Dupouey, Frédéric Archaux, Vincent Badeau, Christophe Baltzinger, Richard Chevalier, Emmanuel Corcket, Yann Dumas, Françoise Forgeard, Anders Mårell, Pierre Montpied, Yoan Paillet, Jean-François Picard, Sonia Saïd, Erwin Ulrich
Large wild ungulates are a major biotic factor shaping plant communities. They influence species abundance and occurrence directly by herbivory and plant dispersal, or indirectly by modifying plant-plant interactions and through soil disturbance. In forest ecosystems, researchers' attention has been mainly focused on deer overabundance. Far less is known about the effects on understory plant dynamics and diversity of wild ungulates where their abundance is maintained at lower levels to mitigate impacts on tree regeneration...
September 11, 2017: Global Change Biology
Elizabeth G Pringle, Ian Ableson, Jennifer Kerber, Rachel L Vannette, Leiling Tao
Predictable effects of resource availability on plant growth-defense strategies provide a unifying theme in theories of direct anti-herbivore defense, but it is less clear how resource availability modulates plant indirect defense. Ant-plant-hemipteran interactions produce mutualistic trophic cascades when hemipteran-tending ants reduce total herbivory, and these interactions are a key component of plant indirect defense in most terrestrial ecosystems. Here we conducted an experiment to test how ant-plant-hemipteran interactions depend on nitrogen (N) availability by manipulating the presence of ants and aphids under different N fertilization treatments...
September 9, 2017: Ecology
Tiffanny R Sharp Bowman, Brock R McMillan, Samuel B St Clair
Ecosystems are transformed by changes in disturbance regimes including wildfire and herbivory. Rodent consumers can have strong top-down effects on plant community assembly through seed predation, but their impacts on post-germination seedling establishment via seedling herbivory need better characterization, particularly in deserts. To test the legacy effects of fire history, and native rodent consumers on seedling establishment, we evaluated factorial combinations of experimental exclusion of rodents and fire history (burned vs...
September 8, 2017: Oecologia
Andreas Schuldt, Felix Fornoff, Helge Bruelheide, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Michael Staab
Interactions across trophic levels influence plant diversity effects on ecosystem functions, but the complexity of these interactions remains poorly explored. For example, the interplay between different interactions (e.g. mutualism, predation) might be an important moderator of biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships. We tested for relationships between trophobioses (facultative ant-hemipteran mutualism) and leaf chewer herbivory in a subtropical forest biodiversity experiment. We analysed trophobiosis and herbivory data of more than 10 000 trees along a tree species richness gradient...
September 13, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Todd M Palmer, Corinna Riginos, Rachel E Damiani, Natalya Morgan, John S Lemboi, James Lengingiro, Juan Carlos Ruiz-Guajardo, Robert M Pringle
Ant-plant protection symbioses, in which plants provide food and/or shelter for ants in exchange for protection from herbivory, are model systems for understanding the ecology of mutualism. While interactions between ants, host plants, and herbivores have been intensively studied, we know little about how plant-plant interactions influence the dynamics of these mutualisms-despite strong evidence that plants compete for resources, that hosting ants can be costly, and that host-plant provisioning to ants can therefore be constrained by resource availability...
September 6, 2017: Ecology
Elina Kaarlejärvi, Anu Eskelinen, Johan Olofsson
Climate warming is altering the diversity of plant communities but it remains unknown which species will be lost or gained under warming, especially considering interactions with other factors such as herbivory and nutrient availability. Here, we experimentally test effects of warming, mammalian herbivory and fertilization on tundra species richness and investigate how plant functional traits affect losses and gains. We show that herbivory reverses the impact of warming on diversity: in the presence of herbivores warming increases species richness through higher species gains and lower losses, while in the absence of herbivores warming causes higher species losses and thus decreases species richness...
September 4, 2017: Nature Communications
Islam S Sobhy, Atsushi Miyake, Tomonori Shinya, Ivan Galis
Plants synthesize variable mixtures of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) as part of their evolutionary conserved defense. To elucidate the impact of chewing herbivores with different level of adaptation on HIPV profiles in rice, we measured HIPVs released from rice seedlings challenged by either the generalist herbivore Mythimna loreyi (MYL) or the specialist Parnara guttata (PAG). Both herbivores markedly elicited the emission of HIPVs, mainly on the second and third days after attack compared to control plants...
August 31, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Bruno Di Giusto, Edmond Dounias, Doyle B McKey
Plants with simple architecture and strong constraints on their growth may offer critical insights into how growth strategies affect the tolerance of plants to herbivory. Although Dioscorea praehensilis, a wild yam of African forests, is perennial, both aerial apparatus and tuber are annually renewed. Each year, the tuber produces a single stem that climbs from the ground to the forest canopy. This stem bears no leaves and no branches until it reaches optimal light conditions. Once in the canopy, the plant's production fuels the filling of a new tuber before the plant dies back to the ground...
August 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Zhicheng Chen, Lin Wang, Yongxin Dai, Xianchong Wan, Shirong Liu
Two broadleaf evergreen canopy species (Schima superba and Engelhardia roxburghiana) with different phenologies in a subtropical region of southern China were used to determine the influence of leaf phenology on the impact of an insect pest attack. S. superba regenerates its leaves in February, while E. roxburghiana regenerates its leaves in May. The moth Thalassodes quadraria attacked the two broadleaf evergreen species in March to April, and the newly produced leaves were removed for S. superba but not for E...
August 31, 2017: Scientific Reports
Cristina Rioja, Vladimir Zhurov, Kristie Bruinsma, Miodrag Grbic, Vojislava Grbic
Plant-herbivore interactions evolved over long periods of time resulting in an elaborate arms race between interacting species. While specialist herbivores evolved specific strategies to cope with the defenses of a limited number of hosts, our understanding of how generalist herbivores deal with the defenses of a plethora of diverse host plants is largely unknown. Understanding the interaction between a plant host and a generalist herbivore requires an understanding of the plant's mechanisms aimed at defending itself and the herbivore's mechanisms intended to counteract diverse defenses...
August 31, 2017: Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions: MPMI
Nicole Kfoury, Eric Scott, Colin Orians, Albert Robbat
Plants produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with diverse structures and functions, which change in response to environmental stimuli and have important consequences for interactions with other organisms. To understand these changes, in situ sampling is necessary. In contrast to dynamic headspace (DHS), which is the most often employed method, direct contact sampling employing a magnetic stir bar held in place by a magnet eliminates artifacts produced by enclosing plant materials in glass or plastic chambers...
September 15, 2017: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Randall W Long, Susan E Bush, Kevin C Grady, David S Smith, Daniel L Potts, Carla M D'Antonio, Tom L Dudley, Shannon D Fehlberg, John F Gaskin, Edward P Glenn, Kevin R Hultine
Patterns of woody-plant mortality have been linked to global-scale environmental changes, such as extreme drought, heat stress, more frequent and intense fires, and episodic outbreaks of insects and pathogens. Although many studies have focussed on survival and mortality in response to specific physiological stresses, little attention has been paid to the role of genetic heritability of traits and local adaptation in influencing patterns of plant mortality, especially in non-native species. Tamarix spp. is a dominant, non-native riparian tree in western North America that is experiencing dieback in some areas of its range due to episodic herbivory by the recently introduced northern tamarisk leaf beetle (Diorhabda carinulata)...
2017: Conservation Physiology
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