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Daniel R Scholes, Erika N Rasnick, Ken N Paige
Herbivory is a fundamental type of plant-animal interaction that presents substantial selection pressure on plants to replace lost tissues and to prevent subsequent losses in fitness. Apical herbivory, which entails removal or damage to the apical meristem, causes a change in plant architecture by disrupting the balance of hormones produced in part by the apical meristem. Therefore, for an annual semelparous plant, the ability to preserve reproductive success following damage (i.e., to tolerate damage) is largely dependent on the plant's pre-damage investment into fitness and its regrowth pattern following damage...
June 24, 2017: Oecologia
Xoaquín Moreira, Gaétan Glauser, Luis Abdala-Roberts
Plant ontogenetic stage and features of surrounding plant neighbourhoods can strongly influence herbivory and defences on focal plants. However, the effects of both factors have been assessed independently in previous studies. Here we tested for the independent and interactive effects of neighbourhood type (low vs. high frequency of our focal plant species in heterospecific stands) and ontogeny on leaf herbivory, physical traits and chemical defences of the English oak Quercus robur. We further tested whether plant traits were associated with neighbourhood and ontogenetic effects on herbivory...
June 22, 2017: Scientific Reports
Maren M Grüning, Judy Simon, Heinz Rennenberg, Anne L-M-Arnold
Biotic stress by mass outbreaks of defoliating pest insects does not only affect tree performance by reducing its photosynthetic capacity, but also changes N cycling in the soil of forest ecosystems. However, how insect induced defoliation affects soil N fluxes and, in turn, tree N nutrition is not well-studied. In the present study, we quantified N input and output fluxes via dry matter input, throughfall, and soil leachates. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of mass insect herbivory on tree N acquisition (i...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Kenneth F Kellner, Robert K Swihart
Early tree life history and demography are driven by interactions with the environment such as seed predation, herbivory, light availability, and drought. For oak (Quercus) in the eastern United States, these interactions may contribute to oak regeneration failure. Numerous studies have examined the impact of individual factors (like seed predation) on the oak regeneration process, but less information is available on the relative and combined impacts of multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors on early oak life history...
2017: PloS One
Ricardo A R Machado, Ian T Baldwin, Matthias Erb
Plants respond to herbivory by reconfiguring hormonal networks, increasing secondary metabolite production and decreasing growth. Furthermore, some plants display a decrease in leaf energy reserves in the form of soluble sugars and starch, leading to the hypothesis that herbivory-induced secondary metabolite production and growth reduction may be linked through a carbohydrate-based resource trade-off. In order to test the above hypothesis, we measured leaf carbohydrates and plant growth in seven genetically engineered Nicotiana attenuata genotypes that are deficient in one or several major herbivore-induced, jasmonate-dependent defensive secondary metabolites and proteins...
July 2017: New Phytologist
Matthew Durrant, Justin Boyer, Wenwu Zhou, Ian T Baldwin, Shuqing Xu
Herbivory-induced defenses are specific and activated in plants when elicitors, frequently found in the herbivores' oral secretions, are introduced into wounds during attack. While complex signaling cascades are known to be involved, it remains largely unclear how natural selection has shaped the evolution of these induced defenses. We analyzed herbivory-induced transcriptomic responses in wild tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, using a phylotranscriptomic approach that measures the origin and sequence divergence of herbivory-induced genes...
June 15, 2017: New Phytologist
Cecilia S Andreazzi, John N Thompson, Paulo R Guimarães
Ecological interactions shape and are shaped by the evolution of interacting species. Mathematical models and empirical work have explored the multiple ways coevolution could occur in small sets of species, revealing that the addition of even one species can change the coevolutionary dynamics of a pairwise interaction. As a consequence, one of the current challenges in evolutionary biology is to understand how species-rich assemblages evolve and coevolve as networks of interacting species. We combined an adaptive network framework, a trait evolutionary model, and data on network structure to study how network organization affects and is affected by selection in antagonistic interactions such as parasitism, predation, and herbivory...
July 2017: American Naturalist
Ricardo A R Machado, Wenwu Zhou, Abigail P Ferrieri, Carla C M Arce, Ian T Baldwin, Shuqing Xu, Matthias Erb
Induced changes in root carbohydrate pools are commonly assumed to determine plant defoliation tolerance to herbivores. However, the regulation and species specificity of these two traits are not well understood. We determined herbivory-induced changes in root carbohydrates and defoliation tolerance in seven different solanaceous plant species and correlated the induced changes in root carbohydrates and defoliation tolerance with jasmonate inducibility. Across species, we observed strong species-specific variation for all measured traits...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Elizabeth Rowen, Michael Gutensohn, Natalia Dudareva, Ian Kaplan
Synthetic plant volatile lures attract natural enemies, but may have non-target effects due to the multifunctional nature of volatile signals. For example, methyl salicylate (MeSA) is used to attract predators, yet also serves as a signaling hormone involved in plant pathogen defense. We investigated the consequences of deploying MeSA lures to attract predators for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defense against herbivores. To understand the spatial distribution of the lure's effect, we exposed tomatoes in the field to MeSA along a linear distance gradient and induced defenses by simulating feeding by hornworm caterpillars in a fully crossed factorial design (+/- MeSA, +/- herbivory)...
June 9, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Marshall S McMunn
Many plants respond to herbivory by increasing expression of defensive traits. The defensive response of plants can vary depending on plant condition, seasonality, and time of day. Due to a lack of field-based studies, it is unclear how temporal variability in defensive response may alter future rates of herbivory within ecological communities. In a series of simulated herbivory experiments, I quantified how the timing of leaf damage in mountain sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana) affects future herbivory...
June 9, 2017: Ecology
Alyssa M Demko, Charles D Amsler, Mark E Hay, Jeremy D Long, James B McClintock, Valerie J Paul, Erik E Sotka
Long-standing theory predicts that the intensity of consumer-prey interactions declines with increasing latitude, yet for plant-herbivore interactions, latitudinal changes in herbivory rates and plant palatability have received variable support. The topic is of growing interest given that lower-latitude species are moving poleward at an accelerating rate due to climate change, and predicting local interactions will depend partly on whether latitudinal gradients occur in these critical biotic interactions. Here, we assayed the palatability of 50 seaweeds collected from polar (Antarctica), temperate (northeastern Pacific; California), and tropical (central Pacific; Fiji) locations to two herbivores native to the tropical and subtropical Atlantic, the generalist crab Mithraculus sculptus and sea urchin Echinometra lucunter...
June 7, 2017: Ecology
Ruth Kihika, Lucy K Murungi, Danny Coyne, Margaret Ng'ang'a, Ahmed Hassanali, Peter E A Teal, Baldwyn Torto
Plant volatile signatures are often used as cues by herbivores to locate their preferred hosts. Here, we report on the volatile organic compounds used by the subterranean root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita for host location. We compared responses of infective second stage juveniles (J2s) to root volatiles of three cultivars and one accession of the solanaceous plant, Capsicum annum against moist sand in dual choice assays. J2s were more attracted to the three cultivars than to the accession, relative to controls...
June 6, 2017: Scientific Reports
Robert S Steneck, David R Bellwood, Mark E Hay
Herbivory occurs when animals consume plants; but the term hides two fundamentally different processes. One relates to the animal's nutrition, the other to the plant's survival and abundance. Both are central to the ecological process called herbivory. Evolutionary innovations in herbivore function have shaped shallow marine ecosystems from kelp forests to coral reefs.
June 5, 2017: Current Biology: CB
M P Zalucki, J M Zalucki, L E Perkins, K Schramm, D G Vassão, J Gershenzon, D G Heckel
Plants of the Brassicaceae are defended from feeding by generalist insects by constitutively-expressed and herbivory-induced glucosinolates (GS). We induced Arabidopsis plants 1, 16 and 24 h prior to allowing neonate larvae of the generalist Helicoverpa armigera to feed on whole plants for 72 h. These plants were subsequently retested with another group of neonates for a further 72 h. We used wild-type A. thaliana Col-0, and mutant lines lacking indolic GS, aliphatic GS or all GS. We hypothesized that larvae would not grow well on defended plants (WT) compared to those lacking GS, and would not grow well if plants had been primed or fed on for longer, due to the expected induced GS...
June 6, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Tanya Sabharwal, Kanagasabapathi Sathasivan, Mona C Mehdy
Diatoms rapidly release extracellular oxylipins (oxygenated lipids) including polyunsaturated aldehydes in response to herbivory and other stresses. Oxylipins have several defense-related activities including inhibition of reproduction in herbivores and signaling to distant diatoms. Physiological changes in diatoms exposed to varying levels of oxylipins are only beginning to be understood. In this study, Phaeodactylum tricornutum cultures were treated with sublethal concentrations of the polyunsaturated aldehyde trans,trans-2,4-decadienal (DD) to assess effects on lipid composition and membrane permeability...
2017: PloS One
M V Kozlov, V Zverev, E L Zvereva
Both pollution and climate affect insect-plant interactions, but the combined effects of these two abiotic drivers of global change on insect herbivory remain almost unexplored. From 1991 to 2016, we monitored the population densities of 25 species or species groups of insects feeding on mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) in 29 sites and recorded leaf damage by insects in 21 sites in subarctic forests around the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk, north-western Russia. The leaf-eating insects demonstrated variable, and sometimes opposite, responses to pollution-induced forest disturbance and to climate variations...
June 1, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
Anne Muola, Daniela Weber, Lisa E Malm, Paul A Egan, Robert Glinwood, Amy L Parachnowitsch, Johan A Stenberg
The global decline in pollinators has partly been blamed on pesticides, leading some to propose pesticide-free farming as an option to improve pollination. However, herbivores are likely to be more prevalent in pesticide-free environments, requiring knowledge of their effects on pollinators, and alternative crop protection strategies to mitigate any potential pollination reduction. Strawberry leaf beetles (SLB) Galerucella spp. are important strawberry pests in Northern Europe and Russia. Given that SLB attack both leaf and flower tissue, we hypothesized pollinators would discriminate against SLB-damaged strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca, cultivar 'Rügen'), leading to lower pollination success and yield...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
J Alberti, J Cebrian, F Alvarez, M Escapa, K S Esquius, E Fanjul, E L Sparks, B Mortazavi, O Iribarne
Altered nutrient cycles and consumer populations are among the top anthropogenic influences on ecosystems. However, studies on the simultaneous impacts of human-driven environmental alterations on ecosystem functions, and the overall change in system multifunctionality are scarce. We used estuarine tidal flats to study the effects of changes in herbivore density and nutrient availability on benthic microalgae (diversity, abundance and biomass) and ecosystem functions (N2-fixation, denitrification, extracellular polymeric substances -EPS- as a proxy for sediment cohesiveness, sediment water content as a proxy of water retention capacity and sediment organic matter)...
June 1, 2017: Scientific Reports
Katie Dobkowski
The Northern kelp crab (Pugettia producta) and the graceful kelp crab (Pugettia gracilis) are common primary consumers in bull kelp beds near the San Juan Islands (Salish Sea, NE Pacific). In this system, urchins (often considered the most voracious herbivores exerting top-down control on kelp beds) tend to remain sedentary because of the high availability of detrital macroalgae, but the extent to which kelp crabs consume kelp (and other food options) is largely unknown. I conducted four types of laboratory feeding experiments to evaluate kelp crab feeding patterns: (1) feeding electivity between bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) and seven species of co-occurring local macroalgae; (2) feeding electivity on aged vs...
2017: PeerJ
Lizet Solis-Gabriel, Wendy Mendoza-Arroyo, Karina Boege, Ek Del-Val
Tropical dry forests (TDFs) have been widely transformed by human activities worldwide and the ecosystem services they provide are diminishing. There has been an urgent call for conservation and restoration of the degraded lands previously occupied by TDFs. Restoration experiences aim to recover species diversity and ecological functions. Different restoration strategies have been used to maximize plant performance including weeding, planting or using artificial mulching. In this investigation, we evaluated whether different restoration practices influence animal arrival and the reestablishment of biotic interactions...
2017: PeerJ
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