WorldWideScience

Sample records for herbivore luehdorfia puziloi

  1. Plant defense against insect herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren

    2013-01-01

    , defense compounds. These bioactive specialized plant defense compounds may repel or intoxicate insects, while defense proteins often interfere with their digestion. Volatiles are released upon herbivory to repel herbivores, attract predators or for communication between leaves or plants, and to induce......Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar...... defense responses. Plants also apply morphological features like waxes, trichomes and latices to make the feeding more difficult for the insects. Extrafloral nectar, food bodies and nesting or refuge sites are produced to accommodate and feed the predators of the herbivores. Meanwhile, herbivorous insects...

  2. Variation in plant defense suppresses herbivore performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearse, Ian; Paul, Ryan; Ode, Paul J.

    2018-01-01

    Defensive variability of crops and natural systems can alter herbivore communities and reduce herbivory. However, it is still unknown how defense variability translates into herbivore suppression. Nonlinear averaging and constraints in physiological tracking (also more generally called time-dependent effects) are the two mechanisms by which defense variability might impact herbivores. We conducted a set of experiments manipulating the mean and variability of a plant defense, showing that defense variability does suppress herbivore performance and that it does so through physiological tracking effects that cannot be explained by nonlinear averaging. While nonlinear averaging predicted higher or the same herbivore performance on a variable defense than on an invariable defense, we show that variability actually decreased herbivore performance and population growth rate. Defense variability reduces herbivore performance in a way that is more than the average of its parts. This is consistent with constraints in physiological matching of detoxification systems for herbivores experiencing variable toxin levels in their diet and represents a more generalizable way of understanding the impacts of variability on herbivory. Increasing defense variability in croplands at a scale encountered by individual herbivores can suppress herbivory, even if that is not anticipated by nonlinear averaging.

  3. Can alien plants support generalist insect herbivores?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas Tallamy; Meg Ballard; Vincent D' Amico

    2009-01-01

    Rearing experiments were conducted to address two questions relevant to understanding how generalist lepidopteran herbivores interact with alien plants. We reared 10 yellow-striped armyworms (Spodoptera ornithogalli),...

  4. Birds exploit herbivore-induced plant volatiles to locate herbivorous prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amo, L.; Jansen, J.J.; Dam, van N.M.; Dicke, M.; Visser, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    Arthropod herbivory induces plant volatiles that can be used by natural enemies of the herbivores to find their prey. This has been studied mainly for arthropods that prey upon or parasitise herbivorous arthropods but rarely for insectivorous birds, one of the main groups of predators of herbivorous

  5. Feeding niches of four large herbivores in the Hluhluwe Game ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Feeding niches of four large herbivores in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Natal. ... equus burchelli burchelli; feeding; grass; grasses; habitat; herbivores; hluhluwe game reserve; kwazulu-natal; large herbivores; ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  6. Early season herbivore differentially affects plant defence responses to subsequently colonizing herbivores and their abundance in the field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Broekgaarden, C.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.

    2008-01-01

    Induction of plant defences by early season herbivores can mediate interspecific herbivore competition. We have investigated plant-mediated competition between three herbivorous insects through studies at different levels of biological integration. We have addressed (i) gene expression; (ii) insect

  7. Asian Eden : large herbivore ecology in India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahrestani, F.S.

    2009-01-01

    The study of large mammalian herbivore ecology has a strong allometric tradition. The
    majority of studies that have helped better understand how body mass affects large herbivore
    ecology in the tropics, from a biological, functional, and ecological perspective, are from
    Africa.

  8. Fungal Endophytes: Beyond Herbivore Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bamisope S. Bamisile

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The incorporation of entomopathogenic fungi as biocontrol agents into Integrated Pest Management (IPM programs without doubt, has been highly effective. The ability of these fungal pathogens such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae to exist as endophytes in plants and protect their colonized host plants against the primary herbivore pests has widely been reported. Aside this sole role of pest management that has been traditionally ascribed to fungal endophytes, recent findings provided evidence of other possible functions as plant yield promoter, soil nutrient distributor, abiotic stress and drought tolerance enhancer in plants. However, reports on these additional important effects of fungal endophytes on the colonized plants remain scanty. In this review, we discussed the various beneficial effects of endophytic fungi on the host plants and their primary herbivore pests; as well as some negative effects that are relatively unknown. We also highlighted the prospects of our findings in further increasing the acceptance of fungal endophytes as an integral part of pest management programs for optimized crop production.

  9. Experimental infection of plants with an herbivore-associated bacterial endosymbiont influences herbivore host selection behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Seth Davis

    Full Text Available Although bacterial endosymbioses are common among phloeophagous herbivores, little is known regarding the effects of symbionts on herbivore host selection and population dynamics. We tested the hypothesis that plant selection and reproductive performance by a phloem-feeding herbivore (potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli is mediated by infection of plants with a bacterial endosymbiont. We controlled for the effects of herbivory and endosymbiont infection by exposing potato plants (Solanum tuberosum to psyllids infected with "Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" or to uninfected psyllids. We used these treatments as a basis to experimentally test plant volatile emissions, herbivore settling and oviposition preferences, and herbivore population growth. Three important findings emerged: (1 plant volatile profiles differed with respect to both herbivory and herbivory plus endosymbiont infection when compared to undamaged control plants; (2 herbivores initially settled on plants exposed to endosymbiont-infected psyllids but later defected and oviposited primarily on plants exposed only to uninfected psyllids; and (3 plant infection status had little effect on herbivore reproduction, though plant flowering was associated with a 39% reduction in herbivore density on average. Our experiments support the hypothesis that plant infection with endosymbionts alters plant volatile profiles, and infected plants initially recruited herbivores but later repelled them. Also, our findings suggest that the endosymbiont may not place negative selection pressure on its host herbivore in this system, but plant flowering phenology appears correlated with psyllid population performance.

  10. Mathematical models for plant-herbivore interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Zhilan; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2017-01-01

    Mathematical Models of Plant-Herbivore Interactions addresses mathematical models in the study of practical questions in ecology, particularly factors that affect herbivory, including plant defense, herbivore natural enemies, and adaptive herbivory, as well as the effects of these on plant community dynamics. The result of extensive research on the use of mathematical modeling to investigate the effects of plant defenses on plant-herbivore dynamics, this book describes a toxin-determined functional response model (TDFRM) that helps explains field observations of these interactions. This book is intended for graduate students and researchers interested in mathematical biology and ecology.

  11. Learning in Insect Pollinators and Herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Patricia L; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2017-01-31

    The relationship between plants and insects is influenced by insects' behavioral decisions during foraging and oviposition. In mutualistic pollinators and antagonistic herbivores, past experience (learning) affects such decisions, which ultimately can impact plant fitness. The higher levels of dietary generalism in pollinators than in herbivores may be an explanation for the differences in learning seen between these two groups. Generalist pollinators experience a high level of environmental variation, which we suggest favors associative learning. Larval herbivores employ habituation and sensitization-strategies useful in their less variable environments. Exceptions to these patterns based on habitats, mobility, and life history provide critical tests of current theory. Relevant plant traits should be under selection to be easily learned and remembered in pollinators and difficult to learn in herbivores. Insect learning thereby has the potential to have an important, yet largely unexplored, role in plant-insect coevolution.

  12. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivashuta, Sergey; Zhang, Yuanji; Wiggins, B Elizabeth; Ramaseshadri, Partha; Segers, Gerrit C; Johnson, Steven; Meyer, Steve E; Kerstetter, Randy A; McNulty, Brian C; Bolognesi, Renata; Heck, Gregory R

    2015-05-01

    Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism. © 2015 Ivashuta et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  13. Predators induce interspecific herbivore competition for food in refuge space

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pallini, A.; Janssen, A.; Sabelis, M.W.

    1998-01-01

    Resource competition among herbivorous arthropods has long been viewed as unimportant because herbivore populations are controlled by predators. Although recently resurrected as an organizing force in arthropod communities on plants, there is still general agreement that resource competition among

  14. Predators induce interspecific herbivore competition for food in refuge space

    OpenAIRE

    Pallini, A.; Janssen, A.; Sabelis, M.W.

    1998-01-01

    Resource competition among herbivorous arthropods has long been viewed as unimportant because herbivore populations are controlled by predators. Although recently resurrected as an organizing force in arthropod communities on plants, there is still general agreement that resource competition among herbivores is reduced by predators. Here we show the reverse: predators induce interspecific resource competi-tion among herbivores. We found that thrips larvae (Frankliniella occidentalis) use the ...

  15. Evaluating herbivore extinction probabilities in Addo Elephant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. Population extinction evaluations, based on the model developed by Dennis et al. (1991) that did not take density dependence into account and that were based on census data, suggest that many of the herbivore species in Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) are vulnerable to local extinction. As a result of low ...

  16. Natal Host Plants Can Alter Herbivore Competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Huipeng; Preisser, Evan L; Su, Qi; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    Interspecific competition between herbivores is widely recognized as an important determinant of community structure. Although researchers have identified a number of factors capable of altering competitive interactions, few studies have addressed the influence of neighboring plant species. If adaptation to/ epigenetic effects of an herbivore's natal host plant alter its performance on other host plants, then interspecific herbivore interactions may play out differently in heterogeneous and homogenous plant communities. We tested wether the natal host plant of a whitefly population affected interactions between the Middle-east Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) cryptic species of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci by rearing the offspring of a cabbage-derived MEAM1 population and a poinsettia-derived MED population together on three different host plants: cotton, poinsettia, and cabbage. We found that MED dominated on poinsettia and that MEAM1 dominated on cabbage, results consistent with previous research. MED also dominated when reared with MEAM1 on cotton, however, a result at odds with multiple otherwise-similar studies that reared both species on the same natal plant. Our work provides evidence that natal plants affect competitive interactions on another plant species, and highlights the potential importance of neighboring plant species on herbivore community composition in agricultral systems.

  17. A test of genotypic variation in specificity of herbivore-induced responses in Solidago altissima L. (Asteraceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uesugi, A.; Poelman, E.H.; Kessler, A.

    2013-01-01

    Plant-induced responses to multiple herbivores can mediate ecological interactions among herbivore species, thereby influencing herbivore community composition in nature. Several studies have indicated high specificity of induced responses to different herbivore species. In addition, there may be

  18. Insect herbivores should follow plants escaping their relatives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yguel, B.; Bailey, R.I.; Villemant, C.; Brault, A.; Jactel, H.; Prinzing, A.

    2014-01-01

    Neighboring plants within a local community may be separated by many millions of years of evolutionary history, potentially reducing enemy pressure by insect herbivores. However, it is not known how the evolutionary isolation of a plant affects the fitness of an insect herbivore living on such a

  19. Global environmental controls of diversity in large herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Han; Ritchie, Mark E.; Prins, Herbert H.T.

    2002-01-01

    Large mammalian herbivores occupy half of the earth's land surface and are important both ecologically and economically, but their diversity is threatened by human activities. We investigated how the diversity of large herbivores changes across gradients of global precipitation and soil fertility.

  20. The global distribution of diet breadth in insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forister, Matthew L; Novotny, Vojtech; Panorska, Anna K; Baje, Leontine; Basset, Yves; Butterill, Philip T; Cizek, Lukas; Coley, Phyllis D; Dem, Francesca; Diniz, Ivone R; Drozd, Pavel; Fox, Mark; Glassmire, Andrea E; Hazen, Rebecca; Hrcek, Jan; Jahner, Joshua P; Kaman, Ondrej; Kozubowski, Tomasz J; Kursar, Thomas A; Lewis, Owen T; Lill, John; Marquis, Robert J; Miller, Scott E; Morais, Helena C; Murakami, Masashi; Nickel, Herbert; Pardikes, Nicholas A; Ricklefs, Robert E; Singer, Michael S; Smilanich, Angela M; Stireman, John O; Villamarín-Cortez, Santiago; Vodka, Stepan; Volf, Martin; Wagner, David L; Walla, Thomas; Weiblen, George D; Dyer, Lee A

    2015-01-13

    Understanding variation in resource specialization is important for progress on issues that include coevolution, community assembly, ecosystem processes, and the latitudinal gradient of species richness. Herbivorous insects are useful models for studying resource specialization, and the interaction between plants and herbivorous insects is one of the most common and consequential ecological associations on the planet. However, uncertainty persists regarding fundamental features of herbivore diet breadth, including its relationship to latitude and plant species richness. Here, we use a global dataset to investigate host range for over 7,500 insect herbivore species covering a wide taxonomic breadth and interacting with more than 2,000 species of plants in 165 families. We ask whether relatively specialized and generalized herbivores represent a dichotomy rather than a continuum from few to many host families and species attacked and whether diet breadth changes with increasing plant species richness toward the tropics. Across geographic regions and taxonomic subsets of the data, we find that the distribution of diet breadth is fit well by a discrete, truncated Pareto power law characterized by the predominance of specialized herbivores and a long, thin tail of more generalized species. Both the taxonomic and phylogenetic distributions of diet breadth shift globally with latitude, consistent with a higher frequency of specialized insects in tropical regions. We also find that more diverse lineages of plants support assemblages of relatively more specialized herbivores and that the global distribution of plant diversity contributes to but does not fully explain the latitudinal gradient in insect herbivore specialization.

  1. Avoidance and tolerance to avian herbivores in aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hidding, A.

    2009-01-01

    Tolerance and avoidance are the two contrasting strategies that plants may adopt to cope with herbivores. Tolerance traits define the degree to which communities remain unaffected by herbivory. Trade-offs between herbivore avoidance and competitive strength and between avoidance and colonization

  2. Evaluating herbivore management outcomes and associated vegetation impacts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rina C.C. Grant

    2011-05-01

    Conservation implications: In rangeland, optimising herbivore numbers to achieve the management objectives without causing unacceptable or irreversible change in the vegetation is challenging. This manuscript explores different avenues to evaluate herbivore impact and the outcomes of management approaches that may affect vegetation.

  3. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, R.; van der Plas, F.; van Noordwijk, C. G. E. (Toos); WallisDeVries, M. F.; Olff, H.

    Both arthropods and large grazing herbivores are important components and drivers of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, but a synthesis of how arthropod diversity is affected by large herbivores has been largely missing. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature search, which yielded 141

  4. Response of different-sized herbivores to fire history

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagenah, N.; Cromsigt, J.P.G.M.; Olff, H.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2006-01-01

    Retrieve original file from: http://edepot.wur.nl/121801 High herbivore densities and re-occurring fires are natural phenomenons that determine the structure and functioning of African savannas. Traditional burning practices have been intensified over the past years due to increased herbivore

  5. Herbivore-induced plant responses in Brassica oleracea prevail over effects of constitutive resistance and result in enhanced herbivore attack

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dam, van N.M.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2010-01-01

    2. Here we studied the effect of early-season herbivory by caterpillars of Pieris rapae on the composition of the insect herbivore community on domesticated Brassica oleracea plants. We compared the effect of herbivory on two cultivars that differ in the degree of susceptibility to herbivores to

  6. Herbivore-induced plant responses in Brassica oleracea prevail over effects of constitutive resistance and result in enhanced herbivore attack

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; van Loon, J.J.A.; Van Dam, N.M.; Dicke, M.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2010-01-01

    1. Plant responses to herbivore attack may have community-wide effects on the composition of the plant-associated insect community. Thereby, plant responses to an early-season herbivore may have profound consequences for the amount and type of future attack. 2. Here we studied the effect of

  7. Lima bean leaves exposed to herbivore-induced conspecific plant volatiles attract herbivores in addition to carnivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horiuchi, J.I.; Arimura, G.I.; Ozawa, R.; Shimoda, T.; Dicke, M.; Takabayashi, J.; Nishioka, T.

    2003-01-01

    We tested the response of the herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae to uninfested lima bean leaves exposed to herbivore-induced conspecific plant volatiles by using a Y-tube olfactometer. First, we confirmed that exposed uninfested leaves next to infested leaves were more attractive to carnivorous

  8. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles accurately predict history of coexistence, diet breadth, and feeding mode of herbivores.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Danner, H.; Desurmont, G.A.; Cristescu, S.M.; Dam, N.M. van

    2017-01-01

    Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) serve as specific cues to higher trophic levels. Novel, exotic herbivores entering native foodwebs may disrupt the infochemical network as a result of changes in HIPV profiles. Here, we analysed HIPV blends of native Brassica rapa plants infested with one of

  9. Detecting changes in insect herbivore communities along a pollution gradient

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eatough Jones, Michele; Paine, Timothy D.

    2006-01-01

    The forests surrounding the urban areas of the Los Angeles basin are impacted by ozone and nitrogen pollutants arising from urban areas. We examined changes in the herbivore communities of three prominent plant species (ponderosa pine, California black oak and bracken fern) at six sites along an air pollution gradient. Insects were extracted from foliage samples collected in spring, as foliage reached full expansion. Community differences were evaluated using total herbivore abundance, richness, Shannon-Weiner diversity, and discriminant function analysis. Even without conspicuous changes in total numbers, diversity or richness of herbivores, herbivore groups showed patterns of change that followed the air pollution gradient that were apparent through discriminant function analysis. For bracken fern and oak, chewing insects were more dominant at high pollution sites. Oak herbivore communities showed the strongest effect. These changes in herbivore communities may affect nutrient cycling in forest systems. - Differences in insect herbivore communities were associated with an ambient air pollution gradient in the mixed conifer forest outside the Los Angeles area

  10. Detecting changes in insect herbivore communities along a pollution gradient

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eatough Jones, Michele [Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States)]. E-mail: michele.eatough@ucr.edu; Paine, Timothy D. [Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States)]. E-mail: timothy.paine@ucr.edu

    2006-10-15

    The forests surrounding the urban areas of the Los Angeles basin are impacted by ozone and nitrogen pollutants arising from urban areas. We examined changes in the herbivore communities of three prominent plant species (ponderosa pine, California black oak and bracken fern) at six sites along an air pollution gradient. Insects were extracted from foliage samples collected in spring, as foliage reached full expansion. Community differences were evaluated using total herbivore abundance, richness, Shannon-Weiner diversity, and discriminant function analysis. Even without conspicuous changes in total numbers, diversity or richness of herbivores, herbivore groups showed patterns of change that followed the air pollution gradient that were apparent through discriminant function analysis. For bracken fern and oak, chewing insects were more dominant at high pollution sites. Oak herbivore communities showed the strongest effect. These changes in herbivore communities may affect nutrient cycling in forest systems. - Differences in insect herbivore communities were associated with an ambient air pollution gradient in the mixed conifer forest outside the Los Angeles area.

  11. Impact of herbivores on nitrogen cycling : contrasting effects of small and large species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, ES; Olff, H; Boekhoff, M; Gleichman, JM; Berendse, F

    Herbivores are reported to slow down as well as enhance nutrient cycling in grasslands. These conflicting results may be explained by differences in herbivore type. In this study we focus on herbivore body size as a factor that causes differences in herbivore effects on N cycling. We used an

  12. Impact of herbivores on nitrogen cycling: contrasting effects of small and large species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, E.S.; Olff, H.; Boekhoff, M.; Gleichman, J.M.; Berendse, F.

    2004-01-01

    Herbivores are reported to slow down as well as enhance nutrient cycling in grasslands. These conflicting results may be explained by differences in herbivore type. In this study we focus on herbivore body size as a factor that causes differences in herbivore effects on N cycling. We used an

  13. Interactions between aboveground herbivores and the mycorrhizal mutualists of plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, C A; Whitham, T G

    1994-07-01

    Plant growth, reproduction and survival can be affected both by mycorrhizal fungi and aboveground herbivores, but few studies have examined the interactive effects of these factors on plants. Most of the available data suggest that severe herbivory reduces root colonization by vesicular-arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal fungi. However, the reverse interaction has also been documented - mycorrhizal fungi deter herbivores and interact with fungal endophytes to influence herbivory. Although consistent patterns and mechanistic explanations are yet to emerge, it is likely that aboveground herbivore-mycorrhiza interactions have important implications for plant populations and communities. Copyright © 1994. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Phytohormone mediation of interactions between herbivores and plant pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lazebnik, J.; Frago, E.; Dicke, M.; Loon, van J.J.A.

    2014-01-01

    Induced plant defenses against either pathogens or herbivore attackers are regulated by phytohormones. These phytohormones are increasingly recognized as important mediators of interactions between organisms associated with plants. In this review, we discuss the role of plant defense hormones in

  15. Biomass and Abundance of Herbivorous Fishes on Coral Reefs off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    effects of fishing intensity, reef geomorphology and benthic cover. Distance from the .... on herbivorous fish communities relevant to the proposed ... fragments, nearshore coastal fringing reefs ..... Over-fishing and coral bleaching pose the most ...

  16. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M.; Alder, Peter B.; Alberti, Juan; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori; Blumenthal, Dana; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Crawley, Michael J.; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Firn, Jennifer; Hautier, Yann; Heckman, Robert W.; Hector, Andy; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Iribarne, Oscar; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Orrock, John L.; Pascual, Jesús; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Williams, Ryan J.; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are affecting global biodiversity dramatically. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

  17. assimilation efficiency in two herbivores, oreochromis niloticus and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Preferred Customer

    ABSTRACT: The abilities of two herbivorous animals (Oreochromis niloticus and the larva ... improved lyses of algal cells. ... Thus, more studies to understand how these and other factors affect ... as plant cells are surrounded by cell wall, and.

  18. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing large African herbivore movements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Venter, J.A.; Prins, H.H.T.; Mashanova, A.; Boer, de W.F.; Slotow, R.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding environmental as well as anthropogenic factors that influence large herbivore ecological patterns and processes should underpin their conservation and management. We assessed the influence of intrinsic, extrinsic environmental and extrinsic anthropogenic factors on movement behaviour

  19. A conserved pattern in plant-mediated interactions between herbivores

    OpenAIRE

    Lu Jing; Robert Christelle A. M.; Lou Yonggen; Erb Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Plant?mediated interactions between herbivores are important determinants of community structure and plant performance in natural and agricultural systems. Current research suggests that the outcome of the interactions is determined by herbivore and plant identity, which may result in stochastic patterns that impede adaptive evolution and agricultural exploitation. However, few studies have systemically investigated specificity versus general patterns in a given plant system by varyi...

  20. Herbivore-induced blueberry volatiles and intra-plant signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar R

    2011-12-18

    Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are commonly emitted from plants after herbivore attack. These HIPVs are mainly regulated by the defensive plant hormone jasmonic acid (JA) and its volatile derivative methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Over the past 3 decades researchers have documented that HIPVs can repel or attract herbivores, attract the natural enemies of herbivores, and in some cases they can induce or prime plant defenses prior to herbivore attack. In a recent paper, I reported that feeding by gypsy moth caterpillars, exogenous MeJA application, and mechanical damage induce the emissions of volatiles from blueberry plants, albeit differently. In addition, blueberry branches respond to HIPVs emitted from neighboring branches of the same plant by increasing the levels of JA and resistance to herbivores (i.e., direct plant defenses), and by priming volatile emissions (i.e., indirect plant defenses). Similar findings have been reported recently for sagebrush, poplar, and lima beans. Here, I describe a push-pull method for collecting blueberry volatiles induced by herbivore (gypsy moth) feeding, exogenous MeJA application, and mechanical damage. The volatile collection unit consists of a 4 L volatile collection chamber, a 2-piece guillotine, an air delivery system that purifies incoming air, and a vacuum system connected to a trap filled with Super-Q adsorbent to collect volatiles. Volatiles collected in Super-Q traps are eluted with dichloromethane and then separated and quantified using Gas Chromatography (GC). This volatile collection method was used in my study to investigate the volatile response of undamaged branches to exposure to volatiles from herbivore-damaged branches within blueberry plants. These methods are described here. Briefly, undamaged blueberry branches are exposed to HIPVs from neighboring branches within the same plant. Using the same techniques described above, volatiles emitted from branches after exposure to HIPVs are collected and

  1. A rule of thumb in mammalian herbivores?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augner; Provenza; Villalba

    1998-08-01

    In two experiments on appetitive learning we conditioned lambs, Ovis aries, to particular concentrations of a flavour by mixing the flavour with an energy-rich food that complemented their energy-poor diet. The lambs were subsequently offered energy-rich food with five different concentrations of the flavour (the concentration to which they were conditioned, two higher concentrations, and two lower concentrations). At these tests, the lambs consistently preferred the weaker flavours. This finding stands in contrast to earlier results on generalization gradients. In a third experiment, similarly designed to the other two, we tested for effects of a strong flavour on the behaviour of lambs when they were offered a novel nutritious food. Half of the lambs were offered unadulterated wheat, and the others strongly flavoured wheat. We found that the flavour in itself was initially aversive. We propose that the lambs' avoidance of foods with strong flavours may be an expression of a rule of thumb of the type 'given a choice, avoid food with strong flavours'. Such a rule could be part of a risk-averse foraging strategy displayed by mammalian herbivores, and which could be of particular importance when they encounter unfamiliar foods. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

  2. Macroevolution of plant defenses against herbivores in the evening primroses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T J; Ives, Anthony R; Ahern, Jeffrey; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2014-07-01

    Plant species vary greatly in defenses against herbivores, but existing theory has struggled to explain this variation. Here, we test how phylogenetic relatedness, tradeoffs, trait syndromes, and sexual reproduction affect the macroevolution of defense. To examine the macroevolution of defenses, we studied 26 Oenothera (Onagraceae) species, combining chemistry, comparative phylogenetics and experimental assays of resistance against generalist and specialist herbivores. We detected dozens of phenolic metabolites within leaves, including ellagitannins (ETs), flavonoids, and caffeic acid derivatives (CAs). The concentration and composition of phenolics exhibited low to moderate phylogenetic signal. There were clear negative correlations between multiple traits, supporting the prediction of allocation tradeoffs. There were also positively covarying suites of traits, but these suites did not strongly predict resistance to herbivores and thus did not act as defensive syndromes. By contrast, specific metabolites did correlate with the performance of generalist and specialist herbivores. Finally, that repeated losses of sex in Oenothera was associated with the evolution of increased flavonoid diversity and altered phenolic composition. These results show that secondary chemistry has evolved rapidly during the diversification of Oenothera. This evolution has been marked by allocation tradeoffs between traits, some of which are related to herbivore performance. The repeated loss of sex appears also to have constrained the evolution of plant secondary chemistry, which may help to explain variation in defense among plants. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  3. High-Arctic Plant-Herbivore Interactions under Climate Influence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Thomas B.; Schmidt, Niels M.; Høye, Toke Thomas

    This chapter focuses on a 10-year data series from Zackenberg on the trophic interactions between two characteristic arctic plant species, arctic willow Salix arctica and mountain avens Dryas octopetala, and three herbivore species covering the very scale of size present at Zackenberg, namely......, the moth Sympistis zetterstedtii, the collared lemming Dicrostonyx groenlandicus and the musk ox Ovibos moschatus. Data from Zackenberg show that timing of snowmelt, the length of the growing season and summer temperature are the basic variables that determine the phenology of flowering and primary...... production upon which the herbivores depend, and snow may be the most important climatic factor affecting the different trophic levels and the interactions between them. Hence, the spatio-temporal distribution of snow, as well as thawing events during winter, may have considerable effects on the herbivores...

  4. Combined effects of arthropod herbivores and phytopathogens on plant performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauser, Thure Pavlo; Christensen, Stina; Heimes, Christine

    2013-01-01

    1. Many plants are simultaneously attacked by arthropod herbivores and phytopathogens. These may affect each other directly and indirectly, enhancing or reducing the amount of plant resources they each consume. Ultimately, this may reduce or enhance plant performance relative to what should...... be expected from the added impacts of herbivore and pathogen when they attack alone. 2. Previous studies have suggested synergistic and antagonistic impacts on plant performance from certain combinations of arthropods and pathogens, for example, synergistic impacts from necrotrophic pathogens together...... with wounding arthropods because of facilitated infection and antagonistic impacts from induction of pathogen resistance by sucking herbivores. 3. We compiled published studies on the impact of plant–herbivore–pathogen interactions on plant performance and used meta-analysis to search for consistent patterns...

  5. Multi-factor climate change effects on insect herbivore performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scherber, Christoph; Gladbach, David J; Stevnbak, Karen

    2013-01-01

    The impact of climate change on herbivorous insects can have far-reaching consequences for ecosystem processes. However, experiments investigating the combined effects of multiple climate change drivers on herbivorous insects are scarce. We independently manipulated three climate change drivers (CO...... suturalis Thomson), an important herbivore on heather, to ambient versus elevated drought, temperature, and CO2 (plus all combinations) for 5 weeks. Larval weight and survival were highest under ambient conditions and decreased significantly with the number of climate change drivers. Weight was lowest under...... the drought treatment, and there was a three-way interaction between time, CO2, and drought. Survival was lowest when drought, warming, and elevated CO2 were combined. Effects of climate change drivers depended on other co-acting factors and were mediated by changes in plant secondary compounds, nitrogen...

  6. Distance and sex determine host plant choice by herbivorous beetles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Ballhorn

    Full Text Available Plants respond to herbivore damage with the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs. This indirect defense can cause ecological costs when herbivores themselves use VOCs as cues to localize suitable host plants. Can VOCs reliably indicate food plant quality to herbivores?We determined the choice behavior of herbivorous beetles (Chrysomelidae: Gynandrobrotica guerreroensis and Cerotoma ruficornis when facing lima bean plants (Fabaceae: Phaseolus lunatus with different cyanogenic potential, which is an important constitutive direct defense. Expression of inducible indirect defenses was experimentally manipulated by jasmonic acid treatment at different concentrations. The long-distance responses of male and female beetles to the resulting induced plant volatiles were investigated in olfactometer and free-flight experiments and compared to the short-distance decisions of the same beetles in feeding trials.Female beetles of both species were repelled by VOCs released from all induced plants independent of the level of induction. In contrast, male beetles were repelled by strongly induced plants, showed no significant differences in choice behavior towards moderately induced plants, but responded positively to VOCs released from little induced plants. Thus, beetle sex and plant VOCs had a significant effect on host searching behavior. By contrast, feeding behavior of both sexes was strongly determined by the cyanogenic potential of leaves, although females again responded more sensitively than males. Apparently, VOCs mainly provide information to these beetles that are not directly related to food quality. Being induced by herbivory and involved in indirect plant defense, such VOCs might indicate the presence of competitors and predators to herbivores. We conclude that plant quality as a food source and finding a potentially enemy-free space is more important for female than for male insect herbivores, whereas the presence of a slightly damaged

  7. Do herbivores eavesdrop on ant chemical communication to avoid predation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Gonthier

    Full Text Available Strong effects of predator chemical cues on prey are common in aquatic and marine ecosystems, but are thought to be rare in terrestrial systems and specifically for arthropods. For ants, herbivores are hypothesized to eavesdrop on ant chemical communication and thereby avoid predation or confrontation. Here I tested the effect of ant chemical cues on herbivore choice and herbivory. Using Margaridisa sp. flea beetles and leaves from the host tree (Conostegia xalapensis, I performed paired-leaf choice feeding experiments. Coating leaves with crushed ant liquids (Azteca instabilis, exposing leaves to ant patrolling prior to choice tests (A. instabilis and Camponotus textor and comparing leaves from trees with and without A. instabilis nests resulted in more herbivores and herbivory on control (no ant-treatment relative to ant-treatment leaves. In contrast to A. instabilis and C. textor, leaves previously patrolled by Solenopsis geminata had no difference in beetle number and damage compared to control leaves. Altering the time A. instabilis patrolled treatment leaves prior to choice tests (0-, 5-, 30-, 90-, 180-min. revealed treatment effects were only statistically significant after 90- and 180-min. of prior leaf exposure. This study suggests, for two ecologically important and taxonomically diverse genera (Azteca and Camponotus, ant chemical cues have important effects on herbivores and that these effects may be widespread across the ant family. It suggests that the effect of chemical cues on herbivores may only appear after substantial previous ant activity has occurred on plant tissues. Furthermore, it supports the hypothesis that herbivores use ant chemical communication to avoid predation or confrontation with ants.

  8. Combined effects of patch size and plant nutritional quality on local densities of insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bukovinszky, T.; Gols, R.; Kamp, A.; De Oliveira-Domingues, F.; Hambäck, P.A.; Jongema, Y.; Bezemer, T.M.; Dicke, M.; Van Dam, N.M.; Harvey, J.A.

    2010-01-01

    Plant–insect interactions occur in spatially heterogeneous habitats. Understanding how such interactions shape density distributions of herbivores requires knowledge on how variation in plant traits (e.g. nutritional quality) affects herbivore abundance through, for example, affecting movement rates

  9. Fish, Benthic and Urchin Survey Data from Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (HFMA), Maui since 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2009, the state of Hawaii established the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West Maui. Fishing for herbivores (parrotfishes, surgeonfishes,...

  10. Herbaceous forage and selection patterns by ungulates across varying herbivore assemblages in a South African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treydte, A.C.; Baumgartner, S.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Grant, C.C.; Getz, W.M.

    2013-01-01

    Herbivores generally have strong structural and compositional effects on vegetation, which in turn determines the plant forage species available. We investigated how selected large mammalian herbivore assemblages use and alter herbaceous vegetation structure and composition in a southern African

  11. Selenium hyperaccumulation offers protection from cell disruptor herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quinn Colin F

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hyperaccumulation, the rare capacity of certain plant species to accumulate toxic trace elements to levels several orders of magnitude higher than other species growing on the same site, is thought to be an elemental defense mechanism against herbivores and pathogens. Previous research has shown that selenium (Se hyperaccumulation protects plants from a variety of herbivores and pathogens. Selenium hyperaccumulating plants sequester Se in discrete locations in the leaf periphery, making them potentially more susceptible to some herbivore feeding modes than others. In this study we investigate the protective function of Se in the Se hyperaccumulators Stanleya pinnata and Astragalus bisulcatus against two cell disrupting herbivores, the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis and the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae. Results Astragalus bisulcatus and S. pinnata with high Se concentrations (greater than 650 mg Se kg-1 were less subject to thrips herbivory than plants with low Se levels (less than 150 mg Se kg-1. Furthermore, in plants containing elevated Se levels, leaves with higher concentrations of Se suffered less herbivory than leaves with less Se. Spider mites also preferred to feed on low-Se A. bisulcatus and S. pinnata plants rather than high-Se plants. Spider mite populations on A. bisulcatus decreased after plants were given a higher concentration of Se. Interestingly, spider mites could colonize A. bisulcatus plants containing up to 200 mg Se kg-1 dry weight, concentrations which are toxic to many other herbivores. Selenium distribution and speciation studies using micro-focused X-ray fluorescence (μXRF mapping and Se K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy revealed that the spider mites accumulated primarily methylselenocysteine, the relatively non-toxic form of Se that is also the predominant form of Se in hyperaccumulators. Conclusions This is the first reported study investigating the

  12. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Klink, R; van der Plas, F; van Noordwijk, C G E Toos; WallisDeVries, M F; Olff, H

    2015-05-01

    Both arthropods and large grazing herbivores are important components and drivers of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, but a synthesis of how arthropod diversity is affected by large herbivores has been largely missing. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature search, which yielded 141 studies on this topic of which 24 simultaneously investigated plant and arthropod diversity. Using the data from these 24 studies, we compared the responses of plant and arthropod diversity to an increase in grazing intensity. This quantitative assessment showed no overall significant effect of increasing grazing intensity on plant diversity, while arthropod diversity was generally negatively affected. To understand these negative effects, we explored the mechanisms by which large herbivores affect arthropod communities: direct effects, changes in vegetation structure, changes in plant community composition, changes in soil conditions, and cascading effects within the arthropod interaction web. We identify three main factors determining the effects of large herbivores on arthropod diversity: (i) unintentional predation and increased disturbance, (ii) decreases in total resource abundance for arthropods (biomass) and (iii) changes in plant diversity, vegetation structure and abiotic conditions. In general, heterogeneity in vegetation structure and abiotic conditions increases at intermediate grazing intensity, but declines at both low and high grazing intensity. We conclude that large herbivores can only increase arthropod diversity if they cause an increase in (a)biotic heterogeneity, and then only if this increase is large enough to compensate for the loss of total resource abundance and the increased mortality rate. This is expected to occur only at low herbivore densities or with spatio-temporal variation in herbivore densities. As we demonstrate that arthropod diversity is often more negatively affected by grazing than plant diversity, we strongly recommend considering the

  13. New evidence for a multi-functional role of herbivore-induced plant volatiles in defense against herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar R; Frost, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    A diverse, often species-specific, array of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are commonly emitted from plants after herbivore attack. Although research in the last 3 decades indicates a multi-functional role of these HIPVs, the evolutionary rationale underpinning HIPV emissions remains an open question. Many studies have documented that HIPVs can attract natural enemies, and some studies indicate that neighboring plants may eavesdrop their undamaged neighbors and induce or prime their own defenses prior to herbivore attack. Both of these ecological roles for HIPVs are risky strategies for the emitting plant. In a recent paper, we reported that most branches within a blueberry bush share limited vascular connectivity, which restricts the systemic movement of internal signals. Blueberry branches circumvent this limitation by responding to HIPVs emitted from neighboring branches of the same plant: exposure to HIPVs increases levels of defensive signaling hormones, changes their defensive status, and makes undamaged branches more resistant to herbivores. Similar findings have been reported recently for sagebrush, poplar and lima beans, where intra-plant communication played a role in activating or priming defenses against herbivores. Thus, there is increasing evidence that intra-plant communication occurs in a wide range of taxonomically unrelated plant species. While the degree to which this phenomenon increases a plant's fitness remains to be determined in most cases, we here argue that within-plant signaling provides more adaptive benefit for HIPV emissions than does between-plant signaling or attraction of predators. That is, the emission of HIPVs might have evolved primarily to protect undamaged parts of the plant against potential enemies, and neighboring plants and predators of herbivores later co-opted such HIPV signals for their own benefit.

  14. Herbivore benefits from vectoring plant virus through reduction of period of vulnerability to predation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belliure, B.; Janssen, A.; Sabelis, M.W.

    2008-01-01

    Herbivores can profit from vectoring plant pathogens because the induced defence of plants against pathogens sometimes interferes with the induced defence of plants against herbivores. Plants can also defend themselves indirectly by the action of the natural enemies of the herbivores. It is unknown

  15. Coevolutionary arms race versus host defense chase in a tropical herbivore-plant system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endara, María-José; Coley, Phyllis D; Ghabash, Gabrielle; Nicholls, James A; Dexter, Kyle G; Donoso, David A; Stone, Graham N; Pennington, R Toby; Kursar, Thomas A

    2017-09-05

    Coevolutionary models suggest that herbivores drive diversification and community composition in plants. For herbivores, many questions remain regarding how plant defenses shape host choice and community structure. We addressed these questions using the tree genus Inga and its lepidopteran herbivores in the Amazon. We constructed phylogenies for both plants and insects and quantified host associations and plant defenses. We found that similarity in herbivore assemblages between Inga species was correlated with similarity in defenses. There was no correlation with phylogeny, a result consistent with our observations that the expression of defenses in Inga is independent of phylogeny. Furthermore, host defensive traits explained 40% of herbivore community similarity. Analyses at finer taxonomic scales showed that different lepidopteran clades select hosts based on different defenses, suggesting taxon-specific histories of herbivore-host plant interactions. Finally, we compared the phylogeny and defenses of Inga to phylogenies for the major lepidopteran clades. We found that closely related herbivores fed on Inga with similar defenses rather than on closely related plants. Together, these results suggest that plant defenses might be more evolutionarily labile than the herbivore traits related to host association. Hence, there is an apparent asymmetry in the evolutionary interactions between Inga and its herbivores. Although plants may evolve under selection by herbivores, we hypothesize that herbivores may not show coevolutionary adaptations, but instead "chase" hosts based on the herbivore's own traits at the time that they encounter a new host, a pattern more consistent with resource tracking than with the arms race model of coevolution.

  16. Large herbivores as a driving force of woodland-grassland cycles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, Perry

    2017-01-01

    This thesis examines the mutual interactions between the population dynamics of large herbivores and wood-pasture cycles in eutrophic wetlands. Therefore, habitat use and population dynamics of large herbivores, the effects of large herbivores on vegetation development, and the mutual

  17. Large herbivores that strive mightily but eat and drink as friends

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.; Prins, H.H.T.

    1990-01-01

    Grazing in patches of Cynodon dactylon and of Sporobolus spicatus by four large herbivores, and the interaction between these sedentary herbivores was studied in Lake Manyara National Park, northern Tanzania. The herbivores were the African buffalo, Syncerus caffer; the African elephan, Loxodonta

  18. The importance of phenology in studies of plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fei, Minghui

    2016-01-01

    Thesis title: The importance of phenology in studies of plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions Author: Minghui Fei Abstract As food resources of herbivorous insects, the quality and quantity of plants can directly affect the performance of herbivorous insects and indirectly affect

  19. Herbivore-induced resistance against microbial pathogens in Arabidopsis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, de M.; Zaanen, van W.; Koornneef, A.; Korzelius, J.P.; Dicke, M.; Loon, van L.C.; Pieterse, C.M.J.

    2006-01-01

    Caterpillars of the herbivore Pieris rapae stimulate the production of jasmonic acid (JA) and ethylene (ET) in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and trigger a defense response that affects insect performance on systemic tissues. To investigate the spectrum of effectiveness of P. rapae-induced

  20. Herbivore-induced resistance against microbial pathogens in Arabidopsis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, M. de; Zaanen, W. van; Koornneef, A.; Korzelius, J.P.; Dicke, M.; Loon, L.C. van; Pieterse, C.M.J.

    2006-01-01

    Caterpillars of the herbivore Pieris rapae stimulate the production of jasmonic acid (JA) and ethylene (ET) in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and trigger a defense response that affects insect performance on systemic tissues. To investigate the sspectrum of effectiveness of P. rapae-induced

  1. Aquatic herbivores facilitate the emission of methane from wetlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dingemans, B.J.J.; Bakker, E.S.; Bodelier, P.L.E.

    2011-01-01

    Wetlands are significant sources of atmospheric methane. Methane produced by microbes enters roots and escapes to the atmosphere through the shoots of emergent wetland plants. Herbivorous birds graze on helophytes, but their effect on methane emission remains unknown. We hypothesized that grazing on

  2. Experimental evidence for herbivore limitation of the treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speed, James D M; Austrheim, Gunnar; Hester, Alison J; Mysterud, Atle

    2010-11-01

    The treeline ecotone divides forest from open alpine or arctic vegetation states. Treelines are generally perceived to be temperature limited. The role of herbivores in limiting the treeline is more controversial, as experimental evidence from relevant large scales is lacking. Here we quantify the impact of different experimentally controlled herbivore densities on the recruitment and survival of birch Betula pubescens tortuosa along an altitudinal gradient in the mountains of southern Norway. After eight years of summer grazing in large-scale enclosures at densities of 0, 25, and 80 sheep/km2, birch recruited within the whole altitudinal range of ungrazed enclosures, but recruitment was rarer in enclosures with low-density sheep and was largely limited to within the treeline in enclosures with high-density sheep. In contrast, the distribution of saplings (birch older than the experiment) did not differ between grazing treatments, suggesting that grazing sheep primarily limit the establishment of new tree recruits rather than decrease the survival of existing individuals. This study provides direct experimental evidence that herbivores can limit the treeline below its potential at the landscape scale and even at low herbivore densities in this climatic zone. Land use changes should thus be considered in addition to climatic changes as potential drivers of ecotone shifts.

  3. Resilience in plant-herbivore networks during secondary succession.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith Villa-Galaviz

    Full Text Available Extensive land-use change in the tropics has produced a mosaic of successional forests within an agricultural and cattle-pasture matrix. Post-disturbance biodiversity assessments have found that regeneration speed depends upon propagule availability and the intensity and duration of disturbance. However, reestablishment of species interactions is still poorly understood and this limits our understanding of the anthropogenic impacts upon ecosystem resilience. This is the first investigation that evaluates plant-herbivore interaction networks during secondary succession. In particular we investigated succession in a Mexican tropical dry forest using data of caterpillar associations with plants during 2007-2010. Plant-herbivore networks showed high resilience. We found no differences in most network descriptors between secondary and mature forest and only recently abandoned fields were found to be different. No significant nestedness or modularity network structure was found. Plant-herbivore network properties appear to quickly reestablish after perturbation, despite differences in species richness and composition. This study provides some valuable guidelines for the implement of restoration efforts that can enhance ecological processes such as the interaction between plants and their herbivores.

  4. Immune defence strategies of generalist and specialist insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barthel, A.; Kopka, I.; Vogel, H.; Zipfel, P.; Heckel, D.G.; Groot, A.T.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological immunology examines the adaptive responses of animals to pathogens in relation to other environmental factors and explores the consequences of trade-offs between investment in immune function and other life-history traits. Among species of herbivorous insects, diet breadth may vary

  5. Asymmetric impacts of two herbivore ecotypes on similar host plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecotypes may arise following allopatric separation from source populations. The simultaneous transfer of an exotic plant to a novel environment, along with its stenophagous herbivore, may complicate more traditional patterns of divergence from the plant and insect source populations. We evaluated ...

  6. Dietary patterns of two herbivorous rodents: and Parotomys brantsii ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Frequency of occurrence of plant species in the diets were compared with availability of the plants in the rodents' habitats. Both rodents are generalist herbivores, eating plants species in proportion to the availability in their habitats. Dietary patterns, diversity of diet and degree of overlap between rodent's diets are a function ...

  7. The relation between herbivore density and relative resource ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relation between kudu density and the relative density of habitat patches in each landscape was significant, with exponential models producing more significant statistics than linear models. Regressions of resource density against animal density are useful to understand 'carrying capacity' for wild herbivores, and ...

  8. Ecology of Arabidopsis thaliana : local adaptation and interaction with herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mosleh Arany, A.

    2006-01-01

    As first step the impact of herbivory and abiotic factors on population dynamics of Arabidopsis thaliana were studied. Ceutorhynchus atomus and C. contractus were identified as the major insect herbivores on A. thaliana population, reducing seed production by more than 40%. Mortality from February

  9. Resource partitioning between large herbivores in Hustai National Park, Mongolia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sietses, D.J.; Faupin, G.; Boer, de W.F.; Jong, de C.B.; Henkens, R.J.H.G.; Usukhjargal, D.; Batbaatar, T.

    2009-01-01

    Re-introduced Przewalski horses in Hustai National Park, Mongolia could suffer from food competition with other herbivore species through food resource depletion. Diet composition of the Przewalski horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and four livestock species (sheep, goat,

  10. Are exotic herbivores better competitors? A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radville, Laura; Gonda-King, Liahna; Gómez, Sara; Kaplan, Ian; Preisser, Evan L

    2014-01-01

    Competition plays an important role in structuring the community dynamics of phytophagous insects. As the number and impact of biological invasions increase, it has become increasingly important to determine whether competitive differences exist between native and exotic insects. We conducted a meta-analysis to test the hypothesis that native/ exotic status affects the outcome of herbivore competition. Specifically, we used data from 160 published studies to assess plant-mediated competition in phytophagous insects. For each pair of competing herbivores, we determined the native range and coevolutionary history of each herbivore and host plant. Plant-mediated competition occurred frequently, but neither native nor exotic insects were consistently better competitors. Spatial separation reduced competition in native insects but showed little effect on exotics. Temporal separation negatively impacted native insects but did not affect competition in exotics. Insects that coevolved with their host plant were more affected by interspecific competition than herbivores that lacked a coevolutionary history. Insects that have not coevolved with their host plant may be at a competitive advantage if they overcome plant defenses. As native/exotic status does not consistently predict outcomes of competitive interactions, plant-insect coevolutionary history should be considered in studies of competition.

  11. ASSESSING OF HERBIVOROUS AND BENEFICIAL INSECTS ON SWITCHGRASS IN UKRAINE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanovska, T; Kucherovska, S; Pisdlisnyuk, V

    2014-01-01

    A perennial switchgrass, (Panicum virgatum L.), (C4) that is native to North America has good potential for biomass production because of its wide geographic distribution and adaptability to diverse environmental conditions. Insects can significantly impact the yield and quality of biofuel crops. If switchgrass are to be grown on marginally arable land or in monoculture, it are likely to be plagued with herbivore pests and plant diseases at a rate that exceeds what would be expected if the plants were not stressed in this manner. This biofuel crop has been under evaluation for commercial growing in Ukraine for eight years. However, insect diversity and the potential impact of pests on biomass production of this feedstock have not been accessed yet. The objective of our study, started in 2011, is a survey of switch grass insects by trophic groups and determine species that have pest status at two sites in the Central part of Ukraine (Kiev and Poltava regions). In Poltava site we investigated the effect of nine varieties of switchgrass (lowland and upland) to insects' diversity. We assessed changes over time in the densities of major insects' trophic groups, identifying potential pests and natural enemies. Obtained results indicates that different life stages of herbivorous insects from Hymenoptera, Homoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera orders were present on switchgrass during the growing season. Our study results suggests that choice of variety has an impact on trophic groups' structure and number of insects from different orders on swicthgrass. Herbivores and beneficial insects were the only groups that showed significant differences across sampling dates. The highest population of herbivores insects we recorded on 'Alamo' variety for studied years, although herbivore diversity tended to increase on 'Shelter', 'Alamo' and 'Cave-in-Rock' during 2012 and 2013. 'Dacotah', 'Nebraska', 'Sunburst', 'Forestburg' and 'Carthage' showed the highest level of beneficial insects

  12. Positive interactions between large herbivores and grasshoppers, and their consequences for grassland plant diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Zhiwei; Wang, Deli; Zhu, Hui; Wang, Ling; Feng, Chao; Wang, Zhongnan

    2014-04-01

    Although the influence of positive interactions on plant and sessile communities has been well documented, surprisingly little is known about their role in structuring terrestrial animal communities. We evaluated beneficial interactions between two distantly related herbivore taxa, large vertebrate grazers (sheep) and smaller insect grazers (grasshoppers), using a set of field experiments in eastern Eurasian steppe of China. Grazing by large herbivores caused significantly higher grasshopper density, and this pattern persisted until the end of the experiment. Grasshoppers, in turn, increased the foraging time of larger herbivores, but such response occurred only during the peak of growing season (August). These reciprocal interactions were driven by differential herbivore foraging preferences for plant resources; namely, large herbivores preferred Artemisia forbs, whereas grasshoppers preferred Leymus grass. The enhancement of grasshopper density in areas grazed by large herbivores likely resulted from the selective consumption of Artemisia forbs by vertebrate grazers, which may potentially improve the host finding of grasshoppers. Likewise, grasshoppers appeared to benefit large herbivores by decreasing the cover and density of the dominant grass Leymus chinensis, which hampers large herbivores' access to palatable forbs. Moreover, we found that large herbivores grazing alone may significantly decrease plant diversity, yet grasshoppers appeared to mediate such negative effects when they grazed with large herbivores. Our results suggest that the positive, reciprocal interactions in terrestrial herbivore communities may be more prevalent and complex than previously thought.

  13. Responses of Herbivorous Fishes and Benthos to 6 Years of Protection at the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area, Maui.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivor D Williams

    Full Text Available In response to concerns about declining coral cover and recurring macroalgal blooms, in 2009 the State of Hawaii established the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA. Within the KHFMA, herbivorous fishes and sea urchins are protected, but other fishing is allowed. As part of a multi-agency monitoring effort, we conducted surveys at KHFMA and comparison sites around Maui starting 19 months before closure, and over the six years since implementation of herbivore protection. Mean parrotfish and surgeonfish biomass both increased within the KHFMA (by 139% [95%QR (quantile range: 98-181%] and 28% [95%QR: 3-52%] respectively. Most of those gains were of small-to-medium sized species, whereas large-bodied species have not recovered, likely due to low levels of poaching on what are preferred fishery targets in Hawaii. Nevertheless, coincident with greater biomass of herbivores within the KHFMA, cover of crustose coralline algae (CCA has increased from ~2% before closure to ~ 15% in 2015, and macroalgal cover has remained low throughout the monitoring period. Strong evidence that changes in the KHFMA were a consequence of herbivore management are that (i there were no changes in biomass of unprotected fish families within the KHFMA; and that (ii there were no similar changes in parrotfish or CCA at comparison sites around Maui. It is not yet clear how effective herbivore protection might eventually be for the KHFMA's ultimate goal of coral recovery. Coral cover declined over the first few years of surveys-from 39.6% (SE 1.4% in 2008, to 32.9% (SE 0.8% in 2012, with almost all of that loss occurring by 2010 (1 year after closure, i.e. before meaningful herbivore recovery had occurred. Coral cover subsequently stabilized and may have slightly increased from 2012 through early 2015. However, a region-wide bleaching event in 2015 had already led to some coral mortality by the time surveys were conducted in late 2015, at which time cover had

  14. Insect herbivores change the outcome of plant competition through both inter- and intraspecific processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tania N; Underwood, Nora; Inouye, Brian D

    2013-08-01

    Insect herbivores can affect plant abundance and community composition, and theory suggests that herbivores influence plant communities by altering interspecific interactions among plants. Because the outcome of interspecific interactions is influenced by the per capita competitive ability of plants, density dependence, and intrinsic rates of increase, measuring herbivore effects on all these processes is necessary to understand the mechanisms by which herbivores influence plant communities. We fit alternative competition models to data from a response surface experiment conducted over four years to examine how herbivores affected the outcome of competition between two perennial plants, Solidago altissima and Solanum carolinense. Within a growing season, herbivores reduced S. carolinense plant size but did not affect the size of S. altissima, which exhibited compensatory growth. Across seasons, herbivores did not affect S. carolinense density or biomass but reduced both the density and population growth of S. altissima. The best-fit models indicated that the effects of herbivores varied with year. In some years, herbivores increased the per capita competitive effect of S. altissima on S. carolinense; in other years, herbivores influenced the intrinsic rate of increase of S. altissima. We examined possible herbivore effects on the longer-term outcome of competition (over the time scale of a typical old-field habitat), using simulations based on the best-fit models. In the absence of herbivores, plant coexistence was observed. In the presence of herbivores, S. carolinense was excluded by S. altissima in 72.3% of the simulations. We demonstrate that herbivores can influence the outcome of competition through changes in both per capita competitive effects and intrinsic rates of increase. We discuss the implications of these results for ecological succession and biocontrol.

  15. Mycorrhizae Alter Toxin Sequestration and Performance of Two Specialist Herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda R. Meier

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Multitrophic species interactions are shaped by both top-down and bottom-up factors. Belowground symbionts of plants, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, can alter the strength of these forces by altering plant phenotype. For example, AMF-mediated changes in foliar toxin and nutrient concentrations may influence herbivore growth and fecundity. In addition, many specialist herbivores sequester toxins from their host plants to resist natural enemies, and the extent of sequestration varies with host plant secondary chemistry. Therefore, by altering plant phenotype, AMF may affect both herbivore performance and their resistance to natural enemies. We examined how inoculation of plants with AMF influences toxin sequestration and performance of two specialist herbivores feeding upon four milkweed species (Asclepias incarnata, A. curassavica, A. latifolia, A. syriaca. We raised aphids (Aphis nerii and caterpillars (Danaus plexippus on plants for 6 days in a fully factorial manipulation of milkweed species and level of AMF inoculation (zero, medium, and high. We then assessed aphid and caterpillar sequestration of toxins (cardenolides and performance, and measured defensive and nutritive traits of control plants. Aphids and caterpillars sequestered higher concentrations of cardenolides from plants inoculated with AMF across all milkweed species. Aphid per capita growth rates and aphid body mass varied non-linearly with increasing AMF inoculum availability; across all milkweed species, aphids had the lowest performance under medium levels of AMF availability and highest performance under high AMF availability. In contrast, caterpillar survival varied strongly with AMF availability in a plant species-specific manner, and caterpillar growth was unaffected by AMF. Inoculation with AMF increased foliar cardenolide concentrations consistently among milkweed species, but altered aboveground biomasses and foliar phosphorous concentrations in a plant

  16. Global climate change and above- belowground insect herbivore interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Wesley McKenzie

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Predicted changes to the Earth’s climate are likely to affect above-belowground interactions. Our understanding is limited, however, by past focus on two-species aboveground interactions mostly ignoring belowground influences. Despite their importance to ecosystem processes, there remains a dearth of empirical evidence showing how climate change will affect above-belowground interactions. The responses of above- and belowground organisms to climate change are likely to differ given the fundamentally different niches they inhabit. Yet there are few studies that address the biological and ecological reactions of belowground herbivores to environmental conditions in current and future climates. Even fewer studies investigate the consequences of climate change for above-belowground interactions between herbivores and other organisms; those that do provide no evidence of a directed response. This paper highlights the importance of considering the belowground fauna when making predictions on the effects of climate change on plant-mediated interspecific interactions.

  17. High-Arctic Plant-Herbivore Interactions under Climate Influence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Thomas B.; Schmidt, Niels M.; Høye, Toke Thomas

    production upon which the herbivores depend, and snow may be the most important climatic factor affecting the different trophic levels and the interactions between them. Hence, the spatio-temporal distribution of snow, as well as thawing events during winter, may have considerable effects on the herbivores...... by both the timing of onset and the duration of winter snow-cover. Musk oxen significantly reduced the productivity of arctic willow, while high densities of collared lemmings during winter reduced the production of mountain averts flowers in the following summer. Under a deep snow-layer scenario, climate...... and the previous year's density of musk oxen had a negative effect on the present year's production of arctic willow. Previous year's primary production of arctic willow, in turn, significantly affected the present year's density of musk oxen positively. Climatic factors that affect primary production of plants...

  18. Distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs track algal resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tootell, Jesse S; Steele, Mark A

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore distribution can impact community structure and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, herbivores are thought to play an important role in promoting coral dominance, but how they are distributed relative to algae is not well known. Here, we evaluated whether the distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes correlated with algal resource availability at six sites in the back reef environment of Moorea, French Polynesia. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that increased algal turf availability would coincide with (1) increased biomass, (2) altered foraging behavior, and (3) increased energy reserves of herbivorous fishes. Fish biomass and algal cover were visually estimated along underwater transects; behavior of herbivorous fishes was quantified by observations of focal individuals; fish were collected to assess their condition; and algal turf production rates were measured on standardized tiles. The best predictor of herbivorous fish biomass was algal turf production, with fish biomass increasing with algal production. Biomass of herbivorous fishes was also negatively related to sea urchin density, suggesting competition for limited resources. Regression models including both algal turf production and urchin density explained 94 % of the variation in herbivorous fish biomass among sites spread over ~20 km. Behavioral observations of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus revealed that foraging area increased as algal turf cover decreased. Additionally, energy reserves increased with algal turf production, but declined with herbivorous fish density, implying that algal turf is a limited resource for this species. Our findings support the hypothesis that herbivorous fishes can spatially track algal resources on coral reefs.

  19. Contrasting effects of specialist and generalist herbivores on resistance evolution in invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhijie; Pan, Xiaoyun; Blumenthal, Dana; van Kleunen, Mark; Liu, Mu; Li, Bo

    2018-04-01

    Invasive alien plants are likely to be released from specialist herbivores and at the same time encounter biotic resistance from resident generalist herbivores in their new ranges. The Shifting Defense hypothesis predicts that this will result in evolution of decreased defense against specialist herbivores and increased defense against generalist herbivores. To test this, we performed a comprehensive meta-analysis of 61 common garden studies that provide data on resistance and/or tolerance for both introduced and native populations of 32 invasive plant species. We demonstrate that introduced populations, relative to native populations, decreased their resistance against specialists, and increased their resistance against generalists. These differences were significant when resistance was measured in terms of damage caused by the herbivore, but not in terms of performance of the herbivore. Furthermore, we found the first evidence that the magnitude of resistance differences between introduced and native populations depended significantly on herbivore origin (i.e., whether the test herbivore was collected from the native or non-native range of the invasive plant). Finally, tolerance to generalists was found to be higher in introduced populations, while neither tolerance to specialists nor that to simulated herbivory differed between introduced and native plant populations. We conclude that enemy release from specialist herbivores and biotic resistance from generalist herbivores have contrasting effects on resistance evolution in invasive plants. Our results thus provide strong support for the Shifting Defense hypothesis. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. Community-Weighted Mean Plant Traits Predict Small Scale Distribution of Insect Root Herbivore Abundance.

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    Ilja Sonnemann

    Full Text Available Small scale distribution of insect root herbivores may promote plant species diversity by creating patches of different herbivore pressure. However, determinants of small scale distribution of insect root herbivores, and impact of land use intensity on their small scale distribution are largely unknown. We sampled insect root herbivores and measured vegetation parameters and soil water content along transects in grasslands of different management intensity in three regions in Germany. We calculated community-weighted mean plant traits to test whether the functional plant community composition determines the small scale distribution of insect root herbivores. To analyze spatial patterns in plant species and trait composition and insect root herbivore abundance we computed Mantel correlograms. Insect root herbivores mainly comprised click beetle (Coleoptera, Elateridae larvae (43% in the investigated grasslands. Total insect root herbivore numbers were positively related to community-weighted mean traits indicating high plant growth rates and biomass (specific leaf area, reproductive- and vegetative plant height, and negatively related to plant traits indicating poor tissue quality (leaf C/N ratio. Generalist Elaterid larvae, when analyzed independently, were also positively related to high plant growth rates and furthermore to root dry mass, but were not related to tissue quality. Insect root herbivore numbers were not related to plant cover, plant species richness and soil water content. Plant species composition and to a lesser extent plant trait composition displayed spatial autocorrelation, which was not influenced by land use intensity. Insect root herbivore abundance was not spatially autocorrelated. We conclude that in semi-natural grasslands with a high share of generalist insect root herbivores, insect root herbivores affiliate with large, fast growing plants, presumably because of availability of high quantities of food. Affiliation of

  1. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meret Huber

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg. decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha, and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground.

  2. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Meret; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, Christian; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Köllner, Tobias G; Vogel, Heiko; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A M; Verhoeven, Koen; Preite, Veronica; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground.

  3. A latex metabolite benefits plant fitness under root herbivore attack

    OpenAIRE

    Huber, M.; Epping, J.; Gronover, C.S.; Fricke, J.; Aziz, Z.; Brillatz, T.; Swyers, M.; Köllner, T.G.; Vogel, H.; Hammerbacher, A.; Triebwasser-Freese, D.; Robert, C.A.M.; Verhoeven, K.; Preite, V.; Gershenzon, J.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major n...

  4. Lateral diffusion of nutrients by mammalian herbivores in terrestrial ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Wolf

    Full Text Available Animals translocate nutrients by consuming nutrients at one point and excreting them or dying at another location. Such lateral fluxes may be an important mechanism of nutrient supply in many ecosystems, but lack quantification and a systematic theoretical framework for their evaluation. This paper presents a mathematical framework for quantifying such fluxes in the context of mammalian herbivores. We develop an expression for lateral diffusion of a nutrient, where the diffusivity is a biologically determined parameter depending on the characteristics of mammals occupying the domain, including size-dependent phenomena such as day range, metabolic demand, food passage time, and population size. Three findings stand out: (a Scaling law-derived estimates of diffusion parameters are comparable to estimates calculated from estimates of each coefficient gathered from primary literature. (b The diffusion term due to transport of nutrients in dung is orders of magnitude large than the coefficient representing nutrients in bodymass. (c The scaling coefficients show that large herbivores make a disproportionate contribution to lateral nutrient transfer. We apply the diffusion equation to a case study of Kruger National Park to estimate the conditions under which mammal-driven nutrient transport is comparable in magnitude to other (abiotic nutrient fluxes (inputs and losses. Finally, a global analysis of mammalian herbivore transport is presented, using a comprehensive database of contemporary animal distributions. We show that continents vary greatly in terms of the importance of animal-driven nutrient fluxes, and also that perturbations to nutrient cycles are potentially quite large if threatened large herbivores are driven to extinction.

  5. Quantitative effects of cyanogenesis on an adapted herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballhorn, D J; Heil, M; Pietrowski, A; Lieberei, R

    2007-12-01

    Plant cyanogenesis means the release of gaseous hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in response to cell damage and is considered as an effective defense against generalist herbivores. In contrast, specialists are generally believed not to be affected negatively by this trait. However, quantitative data on long-term effects of cyanogenesis on specialists are rare. In this study, we used lima bean accessions (Fabaceae: Phaseolus lunatus L.) with high quantitative variability of cyanogenic features comprising cyanogenic potential (HCNp; concentration of cyanogenic precursors) and cyanogenic capacities (HCNc; release of gaseous HCN per unit time). In feeding trials, we analyzed performance of herbivorous Mexican bean beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Epilachna varivestis Mulsant) on selected lines characterized by high (HC-plants) and low HCNp (LC-plants). Larval and adult stages of this herbivore feed on a narrow range of legumes and prefer cyanogenic lima bean as host plant. Nevertheless, we found that performance of beetles (larval weight gain per time and body mass of adult beetles) was significantly affected by lima bean HCNp: Body weight decreased and developmental period of larvae and pupae increased on HC-plants during the first generation of beetles and then remained constant for four consecutive generations. In addition, we found continuously decreasing numbers of eggs and larval hatching as inter-generational effects on HC-plants. In contrast to HC-plants, constantly high performance was observed among four generations on LC-plants. Our results demonstrate that Mexican bean beetle, although preferentially feeding on lima bean, is quantitatively affected by the HCNp of its host plant. Effects can only be detected when considering more than one generation. Thus, cyanide-containing precursors can have negative effects even on herbivores adapted to feed on cyanogenic plants.

  6. Distribution of herbivorous fish is frozen by low temperature

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vejříková, Ivana; Vejřík, Lukáš; Syväranta, J.; Kiljunen, M.; Čech, Martin; Blabolil, Petr; Vašek, Mojmír; Sajdlová, Zuzana; Chung, S.H.T.; Šmejkal, Marek; Frouzová, Jaroslava; Peterka, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, December (2016), č. článku 39600. ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.20.0204; GA MŠk(CZ) 7F14316 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : herbivorous ectotherms * latitudinal gradient * macrophytes * Scardinius erythrophthalmus * global warming Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.259, year: 2016

  7. Migratory herbivorous waterfowl track satellite-derived green wave index.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitra Shariatinajafabadi

    Full Text Available Many migrating herbivores rely on plant biomass to fuel their life cycles and have adapted to following changes in plant quality through time. The green wave hypothesis predicts that herbivorous waterfowl will follow the wave of food availability and quality during their spring migration. However, testing this hypothesis is hampered by the large geographical range these birds cover. The satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI time series is an ideal proxy indicator for the development of plant biomass and quality across a broad spatial area. A derived index, the green wave index (GWI, has been successfully used to link altitudinal and latitudinal migration of mammals to spatio-temporal variations in food quality and quantity. To date, this index has not been used to test the green wave hypothesis for individual avian herbivores. Here, we use the satellite-derived GWI to examine the green wave hypothesis with respect to GPS-tracked individual barnacle geese from three flyway populations (Russian n = 12, Svalbard n = 8, and Greenland n = 7. Data were collected over three years (2008-2010. Our results showed that the Russian and Svalbard barnacle geese followed the middle stage of the green wave (GWI 40-60%, while the Greenland geese followed an earlier stage (GWI 20-40%. Despite these differences among geese populations, the phase of vegetation greenness encountered by the GPS-tracked geese was close to the 50% GWI (i.e. the assumed date of peak nitrogen concentration, thereby implying that barnacle geese track high quality food during their spring migration. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the migration of individual avian herbivores has been successfully studied with respect to vegetation phenology using the satellite-derived GWI. Our results offer further support for the green wave hypothesis applying to long-distance migrants on a larger scale.

  8. Latitudinal Gradients in Induced and Constitutive Resistance against Herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anstett, Daniel N; Chen, Wen; Johnson, Marc T J

    2016-08-01

    Plants are hypothesized to evolve increased defense against herbivores at lower latitudes, but an increasing number of studies report evidence that contradicts this hypothesis. Few studies have examined the evolution of constitutive and induced resistance along latitudinal gradients. When induction is not considered, underlying patterns of latitudinal clines in resistance can be obscured because plant resistance represents a combination of induced and constitutive resistance, which may show contrasting patterns with latitude. Here, we asked if there are latitudinal gradients in constitutive versus induced resistance by using genotypes of Oenothera biennis (Onagraceae) sampled along an 18° latitudinal gradient. We conducted two bioassay experiments to compare the resistance of plant genotypes against one generalist (Spodoptera exigua) and one specialist (Acanthoscelidius acephalus) herbivore. These insects were assayed on: i) undamaged control plants, ii) plants that had been induced with jasmonic acid, and iii) plants induced with herbivore damage. Additionally, we examined latitudinal gradients of constitutive and induced chemical resistance by measuring the concentrations of total phenolics, the concentration of oxidized phenolics, and the percentage of phenolics that were oxidized. Spodoptera exigua showed lower performance on plants from lower latitudes, whereas A. acephalus showed no latitudinal pattern. Constitutive total phenolics were greater in plants from lower latitudes, but induced plants showed higher total phenolics at higher latitudes. Oxidative activity was greatest at higher latitudes regardless of induction. Overall, both latitude and induction have an impact on different metrics of plant resistance to herbivory. Further studies should consider the effect of induction and herbivore specialization more explicitly, which may help to resolve the controversy in latitudinal gradients in herbivory and defense.

  9. Herbivorous ecomorphology and specialization patterns in theropod dinosaur evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanno, Lindsay E; Makovicky, Peter J

    2011-01-04

    Interpreting key ecological parameters, such as diet, of extinct organisms without the benefit of direct observation or explicit fossil evidence poses a formidable challenge for paleobiological studies. To date, dietary categorizations of extinct taxa are largely generated by means of modern analogs; however, for many species the method is subject to considerable ambiguity. Here we present a refined approach for assessing trophic habits in fossil taxa and apply the method to coelurosaurian dinosaurs--a clade for which diet is particularly controversial. Our findings detect 21 morphological features that exhibit statistically significant correlations with extrinsic fossil evidence of coelurosaurian herbivory, such as stomach contents and a gastric mill. These traits represent quantitative, extrinsically founded proxies for identifying herbivorous ecomorphology in fossils and are robust despite uncertainty in phylogenetic relationships among major coelurosaurian subclades. The distribution of these features suggests that herbivory was widespread among coelurosaurians, with six major subclades displaying morphological evidence of the diet, and that contrary to previous thought, hypercarnivory was relatively rare and potentially secondarily derived. Given the potential for repeated, independent evolution of herbivory in Coelurosauria, we also test for repetitive patterns in the appearance of herbivorous traits within sublineages using rank concordance analysis. We find evidence for a common succession of increasing specialization to herbivory in the subclades Ornithomimosauria and Oviraptorosauria, perhaps underlain by intrinsic functional and/or developmental constraints, as well as evidence indicating that the early evolution of a beak in coelurosaurians correlates with an herbivorous diet.

  10. Large herbivores surf waves of green-up during spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkle, Jerod A.; Monteith, Kevin L.; Aikens, Ellen O.; Hayes, Matthew M.; Hersey, Kent R.; Middleton, Arthur D.; Oates, Brendan A.; Sawyer, Hall; Scurlock, Brandon M.; Kauffman, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    The green wave hypothesis (GWH) states that migrating animals should track or ‘surf’ high-quality forage at the leading edge of spring green-up. To index such high-quality forage, recent work proposed the instantaneous rate of green-up (IRG), i.e. rate of change in the normalized difference vegetation index over time. Despite this important advancement, no study has tested the assumption that herbivores select habitat patches at peak IRG. We evaluated this assumption using step selection functions parametrized with movement data during the green-up period from two populations each of bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, moose and bison, totalling 463 individuals monitored 1–3 years from 2004 to 2014. Accounting for variables that typically influence habitat selection for each species, we found seven of 10 populations selected patches exhibiting high IRG—supporting the GWH. Nonetheless, large herbivores selected for the leading edge, trailing edge and crest of the IRG wave, indicating that other mechanisms (e.g. ruminant physiology) or measurement error inherent with satellite data affect selection for IRG. Our evaluation indicates that IRG is a useful tool for linking herbivore movement with plant phenology, paving the way for significant advancements in understanding how animals track resource quality that varies both spatially and temporally.

  11. Herbivore preference for native vs. exotic plants: generalist herbivores from multiple continents prefer exotic plants that are evolutionarily naïve.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy E Morrison

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Enemy release and biotic resistance are competing, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses addressing the success or failure of non-native plants entering a new region. Enemy release predicts that exotic plants become invasive by escaping their co-adapted herbivores and by being unrecognized or unpalatable to native herbivores that have not been selected to consume them. In contrast, biotic resistance predicts that native generalist herbivores will suppress exotic plants that will not have been selected to deter these herbivores. We tested these hypotheses using five generalist herbivores from North or South America and nine confamilial pairs of native and exotic aquatic plants. Four of five herbivores showed 2.4-17.3 fold preferences for exotic over native plants. Three species of South American apple snails (Pomacea sp. preferred North American over South American macrophytes, while a North American crayfish Procambarus spiculifer preferred South American, Asian, and Australian macrophytes over North American relatives. Apple snails have their center of diversity in South America, but a single species (Pomacea paludosa occurs in North America. This species, with a South American lineage but a North American distribution, did not differentiate between South American and North American plants. Its preferences correlated with preferences of its South American relatives rather than with preferences of the North American crayfish, consistent with evolutionary inertia due to its South American lineage. Tests of plant traits indicated that the crayfish responded primarily to plant structure, the apple snails primarily to plant chemistry, and that plant protein concentration played no detectable role. Generalist herbivores preferred non-native plants, suggesting that intact guilds of native, generalist herbivores may provide biotic resistance to plant invasions. Past invasions may have been facilitated by removal of native herbivores, introduction of

  12. Termites, vertebrate herbivores, and the fruiting success of Acacia drepanolobium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brody, Alison K; Palmer, Todd M; Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Doak, Dan F

    2010-02-01

    In African savannas, vertebrate herbivores are often identified as key determinants of plant growth, survivorship, and reproduction. However, plant reproduction is likely to be the product of responses to a suite of abiotic and biotic factors, including nutrient availability and interactions with antagonists and mutualists. In a relatively simple system, we examined the role of termites (which act as ecosystem engineers--modifying physical habitat and creating islands of high soil fertility), vertebrate herbivores, and symbiotic ants, on the fruiting success of a dominant plant, Acacia drepanolobium, in East African savannas. Using observational data, large-scale experimental manipulations, and analysis of foliar N, we found that Acacia drepanolobium trees growing at the edge of termite mounds were more likely to reproduce than those growing farther away, in off-mound soils. Although vertebrate herbivores preferentially used termite mounds as demonstrated by dung deposits, long-term exclusion of mammalian grazers did not significantly reduce A. drepanolobium fruit production. Leaf N was significantly greater in trees growing next to mounds than in those growing farther away, and this pattern was unaffected by exclusion of vertebrates. Thus, soil enrichment by termites, rather than through dung and urine deposition by large herbivores, is of primary importance to fruit production near mounds. Across all mound-herbivore treatment combinations, trees that harbored Crematogaster sjostedti were more likely to fruit than those that harbored one of the other three ant species. Although C. sjostedti is less aggressive than the other ants, it tends to inhabit large, old trees near termite mounds which are more likely to fruit than smaller ones. Termites play a key role in generating patches of nutrient-rich habitat important to the reproductive success of A. drepanolobium in East African savannas. Enhanced nutrient acquisition from termite mounds appears to allow plants to

  13. Intraspecific chemical diversity among neighbouring plants correlates positively with plant size and herbivore load but negatively with herbivore damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustos-Segura, Carlos; Poelman, Erik H; Reichelt, Michael; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Gols, Rieta

    2017-01-01

    Intraspecific plant diversity can modify the properties of associated arthropod communities and plant fitness. However, it is not well understood which plant traits determine these ecological effects. We explored the effect of intraspecific chemical diversity among neighbouring plants on the associated invertebrate community and plant traits. In a common garden experiment, intraspecific diversity among neighbouring plants was manipulated using three plant populations of wild cabbage that differ in foliar glucosinolates. Plants were larger, harboured more herbivores, but were less damaged when plant diversity was increased. Glucosinolate concentration differentially correlated with generalist and specialist herbivore abundance. Glucosinolate composition correlated with plant damage, while in polycultures, variation in glucosinolate concentrations among neighbouring plants correlated positively with herbivore diversity and negatively with plant damage levels. The results suggest that intraspecific variation in secondary chemistry among neighbouring plants is important in determining the structure of the associated insect community and positively affects plant performance. © 2016 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

  15. The Stoichiometry of Nutrient Release by Terrestrial Herbivores and Its Ecosystem Consequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Sitters

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available It is widely recognized that the release of nutrients by herbivores via their waste products strongly impacts nutrient availability for autotrophs. The ratios of nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P recycled through herbivore release (i.e., waste N:P are mainly determined by the stoichiometric composition of the herbivore's food (food N:P and its body nutrient content (body N:P. Waste N:P can in turn impact autotroph nutrient limitation and productivity. Herbivore-driven nutrient recycling based on stoichiometric principles is dominated by theoretical and experimental research in freshwater systems, in particular interactions between algae and invertebrate herbivores. In terrestrial ecosystems, the impact of herbivores on nutrient cycling and availability is often limited to studying carbon (C:N and C:P ratios, while the role of terrestrial herbivores in mediating N:P ratios is also likely to influence herbivore-driven nutrient recycling. In this review, we use rules and predictions on the stoichiometry of nutrient release originating from algal-based aquatic systems to identify the factors that determine the stoichiometry of nutrient release by herbivores. We then explore how these rules can be used to understand the stoichiometry of nutrient release by terrestrial herbivores, ranging from invertebrates to mammals, and its impact on plant nutrient limitation and productivity. Future studies should focus on measuring both N and P when investigating herbivore-driven nutrient recycling in terrestrial ecosystems, while also taking the form of waste product (urine or feces and other pathways by which herbivores change nutrients into account, to be able to quantify the impact of waste stoichiometry on plant communities.

  16. Herbivore grazing—or trampling? Trampling effects by a large ungulate in cold high- latitude ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Heggenes, Jan; Odland, Arvid; Chevalier, Tomas; Ahlberg, Jörgen; Berg, Amanda; Larsson, Håkan; Bjerketvedt, Dag Kjartan

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian herbivores have important top-down effects on ecological processes and landscapes by generating vegetation changes through grazing and trampling. For free-ranging herbivores on large landscapes, trampling is an important ecological factor. However, whereas grazing is widely studied, low-intensity trampling is rarely studied and quantified. The cold-adapted northern tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) is a wide-ranging keystone herbivore in large open alpine and Arctic ecosystems. Re...

  17. The impact of plant chemical diversity on plant-herbivore interactions at the community level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Diego; Jaramillo, Alejandra; Marquis, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the role of diversity in ecosystem processes and species interactions is a central goal of ecology. For plant-herbivore interactions, it has been hypothesized that when plant species diversity is reduced, loss of plant biomass to herbivores increases. Although long-standing, this hypothesis has received mixed support. Increasing plant chemical diversity with increasing plant taxonomic diversity is likely to be important for plant-herbivore interactions at the community level, but the role of chemical diversity is unexplored. Here we assess the effect of volatile chemical diversity on patterns of herbivore damage in naturally occurring patches of Piper (Piperaceae) shrubs in a Costa Rican lowland wet forest. Volatile chemical diversity negatively affected total, specialist, and generalist herbivore damage. Furthermore, there were differences between the effects of high-volatility and low-volatility chemical diversity on herbivore damage. High-volatility diversity reduced specialist herbivory, while low-volatility diversity reduced generalist herbivory. Our data suggest that, although increased plant diversity is expected to reduce average herbivore damage, this pattern is likely mediated by the diversity of defensive compounds and general classes of anti-herbivore traits, as well as the degree of specialization of the herbivores attacking those plants.

  18. Elucidating the interaction between light competition and herbivore feeding patterns using functional–structural plant modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Jorad; Poelman, Erik H; Anten, Niels; Evers, Jochem B

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background and Aims Plants usually compete with neighbouring plants for resources such as light as well as defend themselves against herbivorous insects. This requires investment of limiting resources, resulting in optimal resource distribution patterns and trade-offs between growth- and defence-related traits. A plant’s competitive success is determined by the spatial distribution of its resources in the canopy. The spatial distribution of herbivory in the canopy in turn differs between herbivore species as the level of herbivore specialization determines their response to the distribution of resources and defences in the canopy. Here, we investigated to what extent competition for light affects plant susceptibility to herbivores with different feeding preferences. Methods To quantify interactions between herbivory and competition, we developed and evaluated a 3-D spatially explicit functional–structural plant model for Brassica nigra that mechanistically simulates competition in a dynamic light environment, and also explicitly models leaf area removal by herbivores with different feeding preferences. With this novel approach, we can quantitatively explore the extent to which herbivore feeding location and light competition interact in their effect on plant performance. Key Results Our results indicate that there is indeed a strong interaction between levels of plant–plant competition and herbivore feeding preference. When plants did not compete, herbivory had relatively small effects irrespective of feeding preference. Conversely, when plants competed, herbivores with a preference for young leaves had a strong negative effect on the competitiveness and subsequent performance of the plant, whereas herbivores with a preference for old leaves did not. Conclusions Our study predicts how plant susceptibility to herbivory depends on the composition of the herbivore community and the level of plant competition, and highlights the importance of considering

  19. Elucidating the interaction between light competition and herbivore feeding patterns using functional-structural plant modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Jorad; Poelman, Erik H; Anten, Niels; Evers, Jochem B

    2018-01-24

    Plants usually compete with neighbouring plants for resources such as light as well as defend themselves against herbivorous insects. This requires investment of limiting resources, resulting in optimal resource distribution patterns and trade-offs between growth- and defence-related traits. A plant's competitive success is determined by the spatial distribution of its resources in the canopy. The spatial distribution of herbivory in the canopy in turn differs between herbivore species as the level of herbivore specialization determines their response to the distribution of resources and defences in the canopy. Here, we investigated to what extent competition for light affects plant susceptibility to herbivores with different feeding preferences. To quantify interactions between herbivory and competition, we developed and evaluated a 3-D spatially explicit functional-structural plant model for Brassica nigra that mechanistically simulates competition in a dynamic light environment, and also explicitly models leaf area removal by herbivores with different feeding preferences. With this novel approach, we can quantitatively explore the extent to which herbivore feeding location and light competition interact in their effect on plant performance. Our results indicate that there is indeed a strong interaction between levels of plant-plant competition and herbivore feeding preference. When plants did not compete, herbivory had relatively small effects irrespective of feeding preference. Conversely, when plants competed, herbivores with a preference for young leaves had a strong negative effect on the competitiveness and subsequent performance of the plant, whereas herbivores with a preference for old leaves did not. Our study predicts how plant susceptibility to herbivory depends on the composition of the herbivore community and the level of plant competition, and highlights the importance of considering the full range of dynamics in plant-plant-herbivore interactions

  20. Review - Host specificity of insect herbivores in tropical forests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novotný, Vojtěch; Basset, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 272, č. 1568 (2005), s. 1083-1090 ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6007106; GA ČR(CZ) GD206/03/H034; GA ČR(CZ) GA206/04/0725; GA MŠk(CZ) ME 646 Grant - others:US Nationals Science Foundation(US) DEB-02-11591; Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species(US) 162/10/030 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : food web * herbivore guild * host plant range Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.510, year: 2005

  1. Coral Reef Ecosystem Data from the 2010-2011 Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area, West Maui, Herbivore Enhancement as a Tool for Reef Restoration Project (NODC Accession 0082869)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This research targets the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative (HCRI) Priority Area A: Kahekili, Maui: Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA). The project goal was to...

  2. The distribution of large herbivore hotspots in relation to environmental and anthropogenic correlates in the Mara region of Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bhola, Nina; Ogutu, Joseph O.; Said, Mohamed Y.; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Olff, Han; Fryxell, John

    2012-01-01

    1. The distributions of large herbivores in protected areas and their surroundings are becoming increasingly restricted by changing land use, with adverse consequences for wildlife populations. 2. We analyse changes in distributions of herbivore hotspots to understand their environmental and

  3. Does plant trait diversity reduce the ability of herbivores to defend against predators? The plant variability-gut acclimation hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetzel, William C; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2016-04-01

    Variability in plant chemistry has long been believed to suppress populations of insect herbivores by constraining herbivore resource selection behavior in ways that make herbivores more vulnerable to predation. The focus on behavior, however, overlooks the pervasive physiological effects of plant variability on herbivores. Here we propose the plant variability-gut acclimation hypothesis, which posits that plant chemical variability constrains herbivore anti-predator defenses by frequently requiring herbivores to acclimate their guts to changing plant defenses and nutrients. Gut acclimation, including changes to morphology and detoxification enzymes, requires time and nutrients, and we argue these costs will constrain how and when herbivores can mount anti-predator defenses. A consequence of this hypothesis is stronger top-down control of herbivores in heterogeneous plant populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Getting prepared for future attack : induction of plant defences by herbivore egg deposition and consequences for the insect community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pashalidou, F.G.

    2015-01-01

    Plants have evolved intriguing defences against insect herbivores. Compared to constitutive Plants have evolved intriguing defences against insect herbivores. Compared to constitutive defences that are always present, plants can respond with inducible defences when they are attacked. Insect

  5. Contrasting patterns of herbivore and predator pressure on invasive and native plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelkes, T.; Wouters, B.; Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive non-nativeplant species often harbor fewer herbivorous insects than related nativeplant species. However, little is known about how herbivorous insects on non-nativeplants are exposed to carnivorous insects, and even less is known on plants that have recently expanded their ranges within

  6. Contrasting patterns of herbivore and predator pressure on invasive and native plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelkes, T.; Wouters, B.; Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive non-native plant species often harbor fewer herbivorous insects than related native plant species. However, little is known about how herbivorous insects on non-native plants are exposed to carnivorous insects, and even less is known on plants that have recently expanded their ranges within

  7. Plant-herbivore interactions along elevational gradient: Comparison of field and common garden data

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Dostálek, T.; Münzbergová, Z.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 77, nov (2016), s. 168-175 ISSN 1146-609X Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Anti-herbivore defence * Altitude * Herbivore damage * Himalayan region * Lamiaceae Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.652, year: 2016

  8. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles and tritrophic interactions across spatial scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aartsma, Y.S.Y.; Bianchi, F.J.J.A.; Werf, van der W.; Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2017-01-01

    Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are an important cue used in herbivore location by carnivorous arthropods such as parasitoids. The effects of plant volatiles on parasitoids have been well characterised at small spatial scales, but little research has been done on their effects at larger

  9. Plant defenses against parasitic plants show similarities to those induced by herbivores and pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justin B. Runyon; Mark C. Mescher; Consuelo M. De Moraes

    2010-01-01

    Herbivores and pathogens come quickly to mind when one thinks of the biotic challenges faced by plants. Important but less appreciated enemies are parasitic plants, which can have important consequences for the fitness and survival of their hosts. Our knowledge of plant perception, signaling and response to herbivores and pathogens has expanded rapidly in recent years...

  10. Integrating Studies on Plant-Pollinator and Plant-Herbivore Interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucas-Barbosa, Dani

    2016-01-01

    Research on herbivore-induced plant defence and research on pollination ecology have had a long history of separation. Plant reproduction of most angiosperm species is mediated by pollinators, and the effects of herbivore-induced plant defences on pollinator behaviour have been largely neglected.

  11. Plant traits and plant biogeography control the biotic resistance provided by generalist herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, B.M.C.; Roijendijk, Yvonne; Verberk, W.C.E.P.; Bakker, E.S.

    2017-01-01

    1.Globalization and climate change trigger species invasions and range shifts, which reshuffle communities at an exceptional rate and expose plant migrants to unfamiliar herbivores. Dominant hypotheses to predict plant success are based on evolutionary novelty: either herbivores are maladapted to

  12. Native herbivore exerts contrasting effects on fire regime and vegetation structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jose L. Hierro; Kenneth L. Clark; Lyn C. Branch; Diego Villarreal

    2011-01-01

    Although native herbivores can alter fire regimes by consuming herbaceous vegetation that serves as fine fuel and, less commonly, accumulating fuel as nest material and other structures, simultaneous considerations of contrasting effects of herbivores on fire have scarcely been addressed. We proposed that a colonial rodent, vizcacha (Lagostomus maximus...

  13. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kant, M.R.; Jonckheere, W.; Knegt, B.; Lemos, F.; Liu, J.; Schimmel, B.C.J.; Villarroel, C.A.; Ataide, L.M.S.; Dermauw, W.; Glas, J.J.; Egas, M.; Janssen, A.; Van Leeuwen, T.; Schuurink, R.C.; Sabelis, M.W.; Alba, J.M.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Plants are hotbeds for parasites such as arthropod herbivores, which acquire nutrients and energy from their hosts in order to grow and reproduce. Hence plants are selected to evolve resistance, which in turn selects for herbivores that can cope with this resistance. To preserve their

  14. Plant genotypes affect aboveground and belowground herbivore interactions by changing chemical defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoqiong; Guo, Wenfeng; Siemann, Evan; Wen, Yuanguang; Huang, Wei; Ding, Jianqing

    2016-12-01

    Spatially separated aboveground (AG) and belowground (BG) herbivores are closely linked through shared host plants, and both patterns of AG-BG interactions and plant responses may vary among plant genotypes. We subjected invasive (USA) and native (China) genotypes of tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) to herbivory by the AG specialist leaf-rolling weevil Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis and/or the root-feeding larvae of flea beetle Bikasha collaris. We measured leaf damage and leaves rolled by weevils, quantified beetle survival, and analyzed flavonoid and tannin concentrations in leaves and roots. AG and BG herbivores formed negative feedbacks on both native and invasive genotypes. Leaf damage by weevils and the number of beetle larvae emerging as adults were higher on invasive genotypes. Beetles reduced weevil damage and weevils reduced beetle larval emergence more strongly for invasive genotypes. Invasive genotypes had lower leaf and root tannins than native genotypes. BG beetles decreased leaf tannins of native genotypes but increased root tannins of invasive genotypes. AG herbivory increased root flavonoids of invasive genotypes while BG herbivory decreased leaf flavonoids. Invasive genotypes had lower AG and BG herbivore resistance, and negative AG-BG herbivore feedbacks were much stronger for invasive genotypes. Lower tannin concentrations explained overall better AG and BG herbivore performances on invasive genotypes. However, changes in tannins and flavonoids affected AG and BG herbivores differently. These results suggest that divergent selection on chemical production in invasive plants may be critical in regulating herbivore performances and novel AG and BG herbivore communities in new environments.

  15. Herbivore species and density affect vegetation-structure patchiness in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolte, Stefanie; Esselink, Peter; Smit, Christian; Bakker, Jan P.

    2014-01-01

    The importance of spatial patterns for ecosystem functioning and biodiversity has long been recognized in ecology. Grazing by herbivores is an important mechanism leading to spatial patterns in the vegetation structure. How different herbivore species and their densities affect vegetation-structure

  16. Jasmonate-deficient plants have reduced direct and indirect defences against herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thaler, J.S.; Farag, M.A.; Paré, P.W.; Dicke, M.

    2002-01-01

    Plants employ a variety of defence mechanisms, some of which act directly by having a negative effect on herbivores and others that act indirectly by attracting natural enemies of herbivores. In this study we asked if a common jasmonate-signalling pathway links the regulation of direct and indirect

  17. Troublesome toxins: time to re-think plant-herbivore interactions in vertebrate ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zhilan

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Earlier models of plant-herbivore interactions relied on forms of functional response that related rates of ingestion by herbivores to mechanical or physical attributes such as bite size and rate. These models fail to predict a growing number of findings that implicate chemical toxins as important determinants of plant-herbivore dynamics. Specifically, considerable evidence suggests that toxins set upper limits on food intake for many species of herbivorous vertebrates. Herbivores feeding on toxin-containing plants must avoid saturating their detoxification systems, which often occurs before ingestion rates are limited by mechanical handling of food items. In light of the importance of plant toxins, a new approach is needed to link herbivores to their food base. We discuss necessary features of such an approach, note recent advances in herbivore functional response models that incorporate effects of plant toxins, and mention predictions that are consistent with observations in natural systems. Future ecological studies will need to address explicitly the importance of plant toxins in shaping plant and herbivore communities.

  18. Troublesome toxins: Time to re-think plant-herbivore interactions in vertebrate ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swihart, R.K.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Feng, Z.; Bryant, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    Earlier models of plant-herbivore interactions relied on forms of functional response that related rates of ingestion by herbivores to mechanical or physical attributes such as bite size and rate. These models fail to predict a growing number of findings that implicate chemical toxins as important determinants of plant-herbivore dynamics. Specifically, considerable evidence suggests that toxins set upper limits on food intake for many species of herbivorous vertebrates. Herbivores feeding on toxin-containing plants must avoid saturating their detoxification systems, which often occurs before ingestion rates are limited by mechanical handling of food items. In light of the importance of plant toxins, a new approach is needed to link herbivores to their food base. We discuss necessary features of such an approach, note recent advances in herbivore functional response models that incorporate effects of plant toxins, and mention predictions that are consistent with observations in natural systems. Future ecological studies will need to address explicitly the importance of plant toxins in shaping plant and herbivore communities.

  19. Aboveground vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore impacts on net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anita C. Risch; Martin Schutz; Martijn L. Vandegehuchte; Wim H. van der Putten; Henk Duyts; Ursina Raschein; Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz; Matt D. Busse; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Stephan Zimmerman

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground herbivores have strong effects on grassland nitrogen (N) cycling. They can accelerate or slow down soil net N mineralization depending on ecosystem productivity and grazing intensity. Yet, most studies only consider either ungulates or invertebrate herbivores, but not the combined effect of several functionally different vertebrate and invertebrate...

  20. Distributional congruence of mammalian herbivores in the Trans-Himalayan Mountains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Namgail, T.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale distribution and diversity patterns of mammalian herbivores, especially less charismatic species in alpine environments remain little understood. We studied distributional congruence of mammalian herbivores in the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh to see if the distributions of less

  1. Challenges in the nutrition and management of herbivores in the temperate zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vuuren, van A.M.; Chilibroste, P.

    2013-01-01

    The expected higher global demand for animal proteins and the competition for starch and sugars between food, fuel and feed seem to favour herbivores that convert solar energy captured in fibrous plants into animal products. However, the required higher production level of herbivores questions the

  2. The importance of herbivore interactions for the dynamics of African savanna woodlands : an hypothesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Koppel, J; Prins, HHT

    Current hypotheses to explain dynamic transitions between savanna grasslands and woodlands in Africa focus on grazing by elephant or the influence of fire. Using a simple mathematical model, this paper argues that interactions between small herbivores such as impala or buffalo and large herbivores

  3. Herbivore effects on productivity vary by guild: cattle increase mean productivity while wildlife reduce variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, Grace K; Porensky, Lauren M; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P

    2017-01-01

    Wild herbivores and livestock share the majority of rangelands worldwide, yet few controlled experiments have addressed their individual, additive, and interactive impacts on ecosystem function. While ungulate herbivores generally reduce standing biomass, their effects on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) can vary by spatial and temporal context, intensity of herbivory, and herbivore identity and species richness. Some evidence indicates that moderate levels of herbivory can stimulate aboveground productivity, but few studies have explicitly tested the relationships among herbivore identity, grazing intensity, and ANPP. We used a long-term exclosure experiment to examine the effects of three groups of wild and domestic ungulate herbivores (megaherbivores, mesoherbivore wildlife, and cattle) on herbaceous productivity in an African savanna. Using both field measurements (productivity cages) and satellite imagery, we measured the effects of different herbivore guilds, separately and in different combinations, on herbaceous productivity across both space and time. Results from both productivity cage measurements and satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) demonstrated a positive relationship between mean productivity and total ungulate herbivore pressure, driven in particular by the presence of cattle. In contrast, we found that variation in herbaceous productivity across space and time was driven by the presence of wild herbivores (primarily mesoherbivore wildlife), which significantly reduced heterogeneity in ANPP and NDVI across both space and time. Our results indicate that replacing wildlife with cattle (at moderate densities) could lead to similarly productive but more heterogeneous herbaceous plant communities in rangelands. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Aboveground and belowground mammalian herbivores regulate the demography of deciduous woody species in conifer forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan A. Endress; Bridgett J. Naylor; Burak K. Pekin; Michael J. Wisdom

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian herbivory can have profound impacts on plant population and community dynamics. However, our understanding of specific herbivore effects remains limited, even in regions with high densities of domestic and wild herbivores, such as the semiarid conifer forests of western North America. We conducted a seven-year manipulative experiment to evaluate the effects...

  5. Mechanisms and ecological implications of plant-mediated interactions between belowground and aboveground insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papadopoulou, G.V.; Dam, N.M. van

    2017-01-01

    Plant-mediated interactions between belowground (BG) and aboveground (AG) herbivores have received increasing interest recently. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ecological consequences of BG–AG interactions are not fully clear yet. Herbivore-induced plant defenses are complex and

  6. Copper Contamination Impairs Herbivore Initiation of Seaweed Inducible Defenses and Decreases Their Effectiveness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandria M Warneke

    Full Text Available Seaweed-herbivore interactions are often mediated by environmental conditions, yet the roles of emerging anthropogenic stressors on these interactions are poorly understood. For example, chemical contaminants have unknown consequences on seaweed inducible resistance and herbivore response to these defenses despite known deleterious effects of contaminants on animal inducible defenses. Here, we investigated the effect of copper contamination on the interactions between a snail herbivore and a brown seaweed that displays inducible resistance to grazing. We examined seaweed inducible resistance and its effectiveness for organisms exposed to copper at two time points, either during induction or after herbivores had already induced seaweed defenses. Under ambient conditions, non-grazed tissues were more palatable than grazed tissues. However, copper additions negated the preference for non-grazed tissues regardless of the timing of copper exposure, suggesting that copper decreased both how herbivores initiated these inducible defenses and their subsequent effectiveness. Copper decreased stimulation of defenses, at least in part, by suppressing snail grazing pressure-the cue that turns inducible defenses on. Copper decreased effectiveness of defenses by preventing snails from preferentially consuming non-grazed seaweed. Thus, contaminants can potentially stress communities by changing seaweed-herbivore interactions mediated via inducible defenses. Given the ubiquity of seaweed inducible resistance and their potential influence on herbivores, we hypothesize that copper contamination may change the impact of these resistant traits on herbivores.

  7. Leaf Colour as a Signal of Chemical Defence to Insect Herbivores in Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan P Green

    Full Text Available Leaf colour has been proposed to signal levels of host defence to insect herbivores, but we lack data on herbivory, leaf colour and levels of defence for wild host populations necessary to test this hypothesis. Such a test requires measurements of leaf spectra as they would be sensed by herbivore visual systems, as well as simultaneous measurements of chemical defences and herbivore responses to leaf colour in natural host-herbivore populations. In a large-scale field survey of wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea populations, we show that variation in leaf colour and brightness, measured according to herbivore spectral sensitivities, predicts both levels of chemical defences (glucosinolates and abundance of specialist lepidopteran (Pieris rapae and hemipteran (Brevicoryne brassicae herbivores. In subsequent experiments, P. rapae larvae achieved faster growth and greater pupal mass when feeding on plants with bluer leaves, which contained lower levels of aliphatic glucosinolates. Glucosinolate-mediated effects on larval performance may thus contribute to the association between P. rapae herbivory and leaf colour observed in the field. However, preference tests found no evidence that adult butterflies selected host plants based on leaf coloration. In the field, B. brassicae abundance varied with leaf brightness but greenhouse experiments were unable to identify any effects of brightness on aphid preference or performance. Our findings suggest that although leaf colour reflects both levels of host defences and herbivore abundance in the field, the ability of herbivores to respond to colour signals may be limited, even in species where performance is correlated with leaf colour.

  8. Landscape-scale analyses suggest both nutrient and antipredator advantages to Serengeti herbivore hotspots

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anderson, T. Michael; Hopcraft, J. Grant C.; Eby, Stephanie; Ritchie, Mark; Grace, James B.; Olff, Han; Young, T.P.

    Mechanistic explanations of herbivore spatial distribution have focused largely on either resource-related (bottom-up) or predation-related (top-down) factors. We studied direct and indirect influences on the spatial distributions of Serengeti herbivore hotspots, defined as temporally stable areas

  9. Plant protein and secondary metabolites influence diet selection in a mammalian specialist herbivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amy C. Ulappa; Rick G. Kelsey; Graham G. Frye; Janet L. Rachlow; LIsa A. Shipley; Laura Bond; Xinzhu Pu; Jennifer Sorensen. Forbey

    2014-01-01

    For herbivores, nutrient intake is limited by the relatively low nutritional quality of plants and high concentrations of potentially toxic defensive compounds (plant secondary metabolites [PSMs]) produced by many plants. In response to phytochemical challenges, some herbivores selectively forage on plants with higher nutrient and lower PSM concentrations relative to...

  10. Direct and indirect plant defenses are not suppressed by endosymbionts of a specialist root herbivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insect endosymbionts influence many important metabolic and developmental processes of their host. It has been speculated that they may also help to manipulate and suppress plant defenses to the benefit of herbivores. Recently, endosymbionts of the root herbivore Diabrotica virgifera virgifera have ...

  11. Do multiple herbivores maintain chemical diversity of Scots pine monoterpenes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iason, Glenn R.; O'Reilly-Wapstra, Julianne M.; Brewer, Mark J.; Summers, Ron W.; Moore, Ben D.

    2011-01-01

    A central issue in our understanding of the evolution of the diversity of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) is whether or not compounds are functional, conferring an advantage to the plant, or non-functional. We examine the hypothesis that the diversity of monoterpene PSMs within a plant species (Scots pine Pinus sylvestris) may be explained by different compounds acting as defences against high-impact herbivores operating at different life stages. We also hypothesize that pairwise coevolution, with uncorrelated interactions, is more likely to result in greater PSM diversity, than diffuse coevolution. We tested whether up to 13 different monoterpenes in Scots pine were inhibitory to herbivory by slugs (Arion ater), bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), each of which attack trees at a different life stage. Plants containing more α-pinene were avoided by both slugs and capercaillie, which may act as reinforcing selective agents for this dominant defensive compound. Herbivory by red deer and capercaillie were, respectively, weakly negatively associated with δ3-carene, and strongly negatively correlated with the minor compound β-ocimene. Three of the four herbivores are probably contributory selective agents on some of the terpenes, and thus maintain some, but by no means all, of the phytochemical diversity in the species. The correlated defensive function of α-pinene against slugs and capercaillie is consistent with diffuse coevolutionary processes. PMID:21444308

  12. Adaptive divergence in resistance to herbivores in Datura stramonium

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    Guillermo Castillo

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Defensive traits exhibited by plants vary widely across populations. Heritable phenotypic differentiation is likely to be produced by genetic drift and spatially restricted gene flow between populations. However, spatially variable selection exerted by herbivores may also give rise to differences among populations. To explore to what extent these factors promote the among-population differentiation of plant resistance of 13 populations of Datura stramonium, we compared the degree of phenotypic differentiation (PST of leaf resistance traits (trichome density, atropine and scopolamine concentration against neutral genetic differentiation (FST at microsatellite loci. Results showed that phenotypic differentiation in defensive traits among-population is not consistent with divergence promoted by genetic drift and restricted gene flow alone. Phenotypic differentiation in scopolamine concentration was significantly higher than FST across the range of trait heritability values. In contrast, genetic differentiation in trichome density was different from FST only when heritability was very low. On the other hand, differentiation in atropine concentration differed from the neutral expectation when heritability was less than or equal to 0.3. In addition, we did not find a significant correlation between pair-wise neutral genetic distances and distances of phenotypic resistance traits. Our findings reinforce previous evidence that divergent natural selection exerted by herbivores has promoted the among-population phenotypic differentiation of defensive traits in D. stramonium.

  13. Informed herbivore movement and interplant communication determine the effects of induced resistance in an individual-based model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Ilan N; Ellner, Stephen P; Kessler, André; Morrell, Kimberly A

    2015-09-01

    1. Plant induced resistance to herbivory affects the spatial distribution of herbivores, as well as their performance. In recent years, theories regarding the benefit to plants of induced resistance have shifted from ideas of optimal resource allocation towards a more eclectic set of theories that consider spatial and temporal plant variability and the spatial distribution of herbivores among plants. However, consensus is lacking on whether induced resistance causes increased herbivore aggregation or increased evenness, as both trends have been experimentally documented. 2. We created a spatial individual-based model that can describe many plant-herbivore systems with induced resistance, in order to analyse how different aspects of induced resistance might affect herbivore distribution, and the total damage to a plant population, during a growing season. 3. We analyse the specific effects on herbivore aggregation of informed herbivore movement (preferential movement to less-damaged plants) and of information transfer between plants about herbivore attacks, in order to identify mechanisms driving both aggregation and evenness. We also investigate how the resulting herbivore distributions affect the total damage to plants and aggregation of damage. 4. Even, random and aggregated herbivore distributions can all occur in our model with induced resistance. Highest levels of aggregation occurred in the models with informed herbivore movement, and the most even distributions occurred when the average number of herbivores per plant was low. With constitutive resistance, only random distributions occur. Damage to plants was spatially correlated, unless plants recover very quickly from damage; herbivore spatial autocorrelation was always weak. 5. Our model and results provide a simple explanation for the apparent conflict between experimental results, indicating that both increased aggregation and increased evenness of herbivores can result from induced resistance. We

  14. Anomalous dependence of population growth on the birth rate in the plant-herbivore system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cui, Xue M.; Han, Seung K.; Chung, Jean S.

    2010-01-01

    We performed a simulation of the two-species plant-herbivore system by using the agent-based NetLogo program and constructed a dynamic model of populations consistent with the simulation results. The dynamic model is a three-dimensional system including the mean energy of the herbivore in addition to two variables denoting the populations of plants and herbivores. A steady-state analysis of the dynamic model shows that the dependence of the herbivore population on the birth and the death rates observed from the agent model is consistent with the prediction of the dynamic model. Especially, the anomalous dependence of the herbivore population on the birth rate, where the population decreases with the birth rate for small death rate, is consistently explained by a phase plane analysis of the dynamic model.

  15. Recent advances in plant-herbivore interactions [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deron E. Burkepile

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant-herbivore interactions shape community dynamics across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats. From amphipods to elephants and from algae to trees, plant-herbivore relationships are the crucial link generating animal biomass (and human societies from mere sunlight. These interactions are, thus, pivotal to understanding the ecology and evolution of virtually any ecosystem. Here, we briefly highlight recent advances in four areas of plant-herbivore interactions: (1 plant defense theory, (2 herbivore diversity and ecosystem function, (3 predation risk aversion and herbivory, and (4 how a changing climate impacts plant-herbivore interactions. Recent advances in plant defense theory, for example, highlight how plant life history and defense traits affect and are affected by multiple drivers, including enemy pressure, resource availability, and the local plant neighborhood, resulting in trait-mediated feedback loops linking trophic interactions with ecosystem nutrient dynamics. Similarly, although the positive effect of consumer diversity on ecosystem function has long been recognized, recent advances using DNA barcoding to elucidate diet, and Global Positioning System/remote sensing to determine habitat selection and impact, have shown that herbivore communities are probably even more functionally diverse than currently realized. Moreover, although most diversity-function studies continue to emphasize plant diversity, herbivore diversity may have even stronger impacts on ecosystem multifunctionality. Recent studies also highlight the role of risk in plant-herbivore interactions, and risk-driven trophic cascades have emerged as landscape-scale patterns in a variety of ecosystems. Perhaps not surprisingly, many plant-herbivore interactions are currently being altered by climate change, which affects plant growth rates and resource allocation, expression of chemical defenses, plant phenology, and herbivore metabolism and behavior. Finally

  16. Identification of volatiles that are used in discrimination between plants infested with prey or nonprey herbivores by a predatory mite

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de J.G.; Posthumus, M.A.; Dicke, M.

    2004-01-01

    Carnivorous arthropods can use herbivore-induced plant volatiles to locate their herbivorous prey. In the field, carnivores are confronted with information from plants infested with herbivores that may differ in their suitability as prey. Discrimination by the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis

  17. Information use by the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae), a specialised natural enemy of herbivorous spider mites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de J.G.; Dicke, M.

    2005-01-01

    Plants can respond to infestation by herbivores with the emission of specific herbivore-induced plant volatiles. Many carnivorous arthropods that feed on herbivorous prey use these volatiles to locate their prey. Despite the growing amount of research papers on the interactions in tritrophic

  18. Aspects of a two-pasture — herbivore model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Åge Riseth

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Pastures for reindeer can be divided into green pastures (mainly herbs and grasses of summer time and more or less snow-covered lichen pastures of winter. Fall and spring pastures have a composition in-between these extremes, but for model purposes bisection is sufficient. For the animals the green-pasture season is an anabolic phase with a physiological building-up of protein reserves, while winter is a catabolic phase where food-intake is reduced and the animals to a considerable extent survive on the accumulated reserves from summer. While protein reserves are stored from summer to winter, lichen pastures are stored from year to year. Grasses and herbs not being grazed are wilting by the end of the growing season, while lichens not grazed can live for many years. This corresponds with fundamental differences in both growth pattern and resilience. The implications of the different features, and their interconnections, are not easy to survey without formal modeling. The point of departure is a simple pasture-herbivore model, well known from the literature building on a set of differential equations. A new two-pasture-herbivore model is developed. The model includes as basic elements the Klein (1968 hypothesis and that a residual lichen biomass is kept ungrazed due to snow-cover protection. Further the annual cycle is divided into four stylized seasons with herd rates of winter survival, spring calving, summer physiological growth and fall slaughtering. Isoclines are derived for summer pasture, winter pasture and herbivores. Stability properties are discussed in relation to various situations of seasonal pasture balance. Empirical examples, particularly that of changes in pasture balance and vegetation cover in Western Finnmark, Norway, are discussed. The article finds that the two-pasture model provides important features of reality, such as the stability aspects of pasture balance, which cannot be displayed by a one-pasture model. It is

  19. Large herbivores maintain termite-caused differences in herbaceous species diversity patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okullo, Paul; Moe, Stein R

    2012-09-01

    Termites and large herbivores affect African savanna plant communities. Both functional groups are also important for nutrient redistribution across the landscape. We conducted an experiment to study how termites and large herbivores, alone and in combination, affect herbaceous species diversity patterns in an African savanna. Herbaceous vegetation on large vegetated Macrotermes mounds (with and without large herbivores) and on adjacent savanna areas (with and without large herbivores) was monitored over three years in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. We found substantial differences in species richness, alpha diversity, evenness, and stability between termite mound herbaceous vegetation and adjacent savanna vegetation. Within months of fencing, levels of species richness, evenness, and stability were no longer significantly different between savanna and mounds. However, fencing reduced the cumulative number of species, particularly for forbs, of which 48% of the species were lost. Fencing increased the beta diversity (dissimilarity among plots) on the resource-poor (in terms of both nutrients and soil moisture) savanna areas, while it did not significantly affect beta diversity on the resource-rich termite mounds. While termites cause substantial heterogeneity in savanna vegetation, large herbivores further amplify these differences by reducing beta diversity on the savanna areas. Large herbivores are, however, responsible for the maintenance of a large number of forbs at the landscape level. These findings suggest that the mechanisms underlying the effects of termites and large herbivores on savanna plant communities scale up to shape community structure and dynamics at a landscape level.

  20. Genetics-based interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores define arthropod community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Posy E; Lamit, Louis J; Keith, Arthur R; Newcombe, George; Gehring, Catherine A; Whitham, Thomas G; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-07-01

    Plant resistance to pathogens or insect herbivores is common, but its potential for indirectly influencing plant-associated communities is poorly known. Here, we test whether pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and herbivory depend on plant resistance to pathogens and/or herbivores, and address the overarching interacting foundation species hypothesis that genetics-based interactions among a few highly interactive species can structure a much larger community. In a manipulative field experiment using replicated genotypes of two Populus species and their interspecific hybrids, we found that genetic variation in plant resistance to both pathogens and insect herbivores modulated the strength of pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and insect herbivory. First, due in part to the pathogens' differential impacts on leaf biomass among the two Populus species and the hybrids, the pathogen most strongly impacted arthropod community composition, richness, and abundance on the pathogen-susceptible tree species. Second, we found similar patterns comparing pathogen-susceptible and pathogen-resistant genotypes within species. Third, within a plant species, pathogens caused a fivefold greater reduction in herbivory on insect-herbivore-susceptible plant genotypes than on herbivore-resistant genotypes, demonstrating that the pathogen-herbivore interaction is genotype dependent. We conclude that interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores can structure multitrophic communities, supporting the interacting foundation species hypothesis. Because these interactions are genetically based, evolutionary changes in genetic resistance could result in ecological changes in associated communities, which may in turn feed back to affect plant fitness.

  1. Botanical insecticides inspired by plant-herbivore chemical interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miresmailli, Saber; Isman, Murray B

    2014-01-01

    Plants have evolved a plethora of secondary chemicals to protect themselves against herbivores and pathogens, some of which have been used historically for pest management. The extraction methods used by industry render many phytochemicals ineffective as insecticides despite their bioactivity in the natural context. In this review, we examine how plants use their secondary chemicals in nature and compare this with how they are used as insecticides to understand why the efficacy of botanical insecticides can be so variable. If the commercial production of botanical insecticides is to become a viable pest management option, factors such as production cost, resource availability, and extraction and formulation techniques need be considered alongside innovative application technologies to ensure consistent efficacy of botanical insecticides. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Urban warming trumps natural enemy regulation of herbivorous pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Adam G; Frank, Steven D

    Trees provide ecosystem services that counter negative effects of urban habitats on human and environmental health. Unfortunately, herbivorous arthropod pests are often more abundant on urban than rural trees, reducing tree growth, survival, and ecosystem services. Previous research where vegetation complexity was reduced has attributed elevated urban pest abundance to decreased regulation by natural enemies. However, reducing vegetation complexity, particularly the density of overstory trees, also makes cities hotter than natural habitats. We ask how urban habitat characteristics influence an abiotic factor, temperature, and a biotic factor, natural enemy abundance, in regulating the abundance of an urban forest pest, the gloomy scale, (Melanaspis tenebricosa). We used a map of surface temperature to select red maple trees (Acer rubrum) at warmer and cooler sites in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. We quantified habitat complexity by measuring impervious surface cover, local vegetation structural complexity, and landscape scale vegetation cover around each tree. Using path analysis, we determined that impervious surface (the most important habitat variable) increased scale insect abundance by increasing tree canopy temperature, rather than by reducing natural enemy abundance or percent parasitism. As a mechanism for this response, we found that increasing temperature significantly increases scale insect fecundity and contributes to greater population increase. Specifically, adult female M. tenebricosa egg sets increased by approximately 14 eggs for every 1°C increase in temperature. Climate change models predict that the global climate will increase by 2–3°C in the next 50–100 years, which we found would increase scale insect abundance by three orders of magnitude. This result supports predictions that urban and natural forests will face greater herbivory in the future, and suggests that a primary cause could be direct, positive effects of warming on herbivore

  3. Impact of two specialist insect herbivores on reproduction of horse nettle, Solanum carolinense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Michael J; Sacchi, Christopher F

    1996-10-01

    The frequency of coevolution as a process of strong mutual interaction between a single plant and herbivore species has been questioned in light of more commonly observed, complex relationships between a plant and a suite of herbivore species. Despite recognition of the possibility of diffuse coevolution, relatively few studies have examined ecological responses of plants to herbivores in complex associations. We studied the impact of two specialist herbivores, the horse nettle beetle, Leptinotarsa juncta, and the eggplant flea beetle, Epitrix fuscula, on reproduction of their host, Solanum carolinense. Our study involved field and controlled-environment experimental tests of the impact on sexual and potential asexual reproduction of attack by individuals of the two herbivore species, individually and in combination. Field tests demonstrated that under normal levels of phytophagous insect attack, horse nettle plants experienced a reduction in fruit production of more than 75% compared with plants from which insects were excluded. In controlled-environment experiments using enclosure-exclosure cages, the horse nettle's two principal herbivores, the flea beetle and the horse nettle beetle, caused decreases in sexual reproduction similar to those observed in the field, and a reduction in potential asexual reproduction, represented by root biomass. Attack by each herbivore reduced the numbers of fruits produced, and root growth, when feeding in isolation. When both species were feeding together, fruit production, but not root growth, was lower than when either beetle species fed alone. Ecological interactions between horse nettle and its two primary herbivores necessary for diffuse coevolution to occur were evident from an overall analysis of the statistical interactions between the two herbivores for combined assessment of fruit and vegetative traits. For either of these traits alone, the interactions necessary to promote diffuse coevolution apparently were lacking.

  4. Describing a multitrophic plant-herbivore-parasitoid system at four spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuautle, M.; Parra-Tabla, V.

    2014-02-01

    Herbivore-parasitoid interactions must be studied using a multitrophic and multispecies approach. The strength and direction of multiple effects through trophic levels may change across spatial scales. In this work, we use the herbaceous plant Ruellia nudiflora, its moth herbivore Tripudia quadrifera, and several parasitoid morphospecies that feed on the herbivore to answer the following questions: Do herbivore and parasitoid attack levels vary depending on the spatial scale considered? With which plant characteristics are the parasitoid and the herbivore associated? Do parasitoid morphospecies vary in the magnitude of their positive indirect effect on plant reproduction? We evaluated three approximations of herbivore and parasitoid abundance (raw numbers, ratios, and attack rates) at four spatial scales: regional (three different regions which differ in terms of abiotic and biotic characteristics); population (i.e. four populations within each region); patch (four 1 m2 plots in each population); and plant level (using a number of plant characteristics). Finally, we determined whether parasitoids have a positive indirect effect on plant reproductive success (seed number). Herbivore and parasitoid numbers differed at three of the spatial scales considered. However, herbivore/fruit ratio and attack rates did not differ at the population level. Parasitoid/host ratio and attack rates did not differ at any scale, although there was a tendency of a higher attack in one region. At the plant level, herbivore and parasitoid abundances were related to different plant traits, varying the importance and the direction (positive or negative) of those traits. In addition, only one parasitoid species (Bracon sp.) had a positive effect on plant fitness saving up to 20% of the seeds in a fruit. These results underline the importance of knowing the scales that are relevant to organisms at different trophic levels and distinguish between the specific effects of species.

  5. Interactions among predators and plant specificity protect herbivores from top predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosc, Christopher; Pauw, Anton; Roets, Francois; Hui, Cang

    2018-05-04

    The worldwide loss of top predators from natural and agricultural systems has heightened the need to understand how important they are in controlling herbivore abundance. The effect of top predators on herbivore species is likely to depend on 1) the importance of the consumption of intermediate predators by top predators (intra-guild predation; IGP), but also on 2) plant specificity by herbivores, because specialists may defend themselves better (enemy-free space; EFS). Insectivorous birds, as top predators, are generally known to effectively control herbivorous insects, despite also consuming intermediate predators such as spiders, but how this effect varies among herbivore species in relation to the cascading effects of IGP and EFS is not known. To explore this, we excluded birds from natural fynbos vegetation in South Africa using large netted cages and recorded changes in abundance relative to control plots for 199 plant-dwelling intermediate predator and 341 herbivore morpho-species that varied in their estimated plant specificity. We found a strong negative effect of birds on the total abundance of all intermediate predators, with especially clear effects on spiders (strong IGP). In contrast with previous studies, which document a negative effect of birds on herbivores, we found an overall neutral effect of birds on herbivore abundance, but the effect varied among species: some species were negatively affected by birds, suggesting that they were mainly consumed by birds, whereas others, likely released from spiders by IGP, were positively affected. Some species were also effectively neutrally affected by birds. These tended to be more specialized to plants compared to the other species, which may imply that some plant specialists benefited from protection provided by EFS from both birds and spiders. These results suggest that the response of herbivore species to top predators may depend on cascading effects of interactions among predators and on their degree

  6. Herbivore-specific, density-dependent induction of plant volatiles: honest or "cry wolf" signals?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaori Shiojiri

    Full Text Available Plants release volatile chemicals upon attack by herbivorous arthropods. They do so commonly in a dose-dependent manner: the more herbivores, the more volatiles released. The volatiles attract predatory arthropods and the amount determines the probability of predator response. We show that seedlings of a cabbage variety (Brassica oleracea var. capitata, cv Shikidori also show such a response to the density of cabbage white (Pieris rapae larvae and attract more (naive parasitoids (Cotesia glomerata when there are more herbivores on the plant. However, when attacked by diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella larvae, seedlings of the same variety (cv Shikidori release volatiles, the total amount of which is high and constant and thus independent of caterpillar density, and naive parasitoids (Cotesia vestalis of diamondback moth larvae fail to discriminate herbivore-rich from herbivore-poor plants. In contrast, seedlings of another cabbage variety of B. oleracea (var. acephala: kale respond in a dose-dependent manner to the density of diamondback moth larvae and attract more parasitoids when there are more herbivores. Assuming these responses of the cabbage cultivars reflect behaviour of at least some genotypes of wild plants, we provide arguments why the behaviour of kale (B. oleracea var acephala is best interpreted as an honest signaling strategy and that of cabbage cv Shikidori (B. oleracea var capitata as a "cry wolf" signaling strategy, implying a conflict of interest between the plant and the enemies of its herbivores: the plant profits from being visited by the herbivore's enemies, but the latter would be better off by visiting other plants with more herbivores. If so, evolutionary theory on alarm signaling predicts consequences of major interest to students of plant protection, tritrophic systems and communication alike.

  7. Indirect effects of domestic and wild herbivores on butterflies in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkerson, Marit L; Roche, Leslie M; Young, Truman P

    2013-10-01

    Indirect interactions driven by livestock and wild herbivores are increasingly recognized as important aspects of community dynamics in savannas and rangelands. Large ungulate herbivores can both directly and indirectly impact the reproductive structures of plants, which in turn can affect the pollinators of those plants. We examined how wild herbivores and cattle each indirectly affect the abundance of a common pollinator butterfly taxon, Colotis spp., at a set of long-term, large herbivore exclosure plots in a semiarid savanna in central Kenya. We also examined effects of herbivore exclusion on the main food plant of Colotis spp., which was also the most common flowering species in our plots: the shrub Cadaba farinosa. The study was conducted in four types of experimental plots: cattle-only, wildlife-only, cattle and wildlife (all large herbivores), and no large herbivores. Across all plots, Colotis spp. abundances were positively correlated with both Cadaba flower numbers (adult food resources) and total Cadaba canopy area (larval food resources). Structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed that floral resources drove the abundance of Colotis butterflies. Excluding browsing wildlife increased the abundances of both Cadaba flowers and Colotis butterflies. However, flower numbers and Colotis spp. abundances were greater in plots with cattle herbivory than in plots that excluded all large herbivores. Our results suggest that wild browsing herbivores can suppress pollinator species whereas well-managed cattle use may benefit important pollinators and the plants that depend on them. This study documents a novel set of ecological interactions that demonstrate how both conservation and livelihood goals can be met in a working landscape with abundant wildlife and livestock.

  8. Investigating functional redundancy versus complementarity in Hawaiian herbivorous coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Emily L A; Eynaud, Yoan; Clements, Samantha M; Gleason, Molly; Sparks, Russell T; Williams, Ivor D; Smith, Jennifer E

    2016-12-01

    Patterns of species resource use provide insight into the functional roles of species and thus their ecological significance within a community. The functional role of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs has been defined through a variety of methods, but from a grazing perspective, less is known about the species-specific preferences of herbivores on different groups of reef algae and the extent of dietary overlap across an herbivore community. Here, we quantified patterns of redundancy and complementarity in a highly diverse community of herbivores at a reef on Maui, Hawaii, USA. First, we tracked fish foraging behavior in situ to record bite rate and type of substrate bitten. Second, we examined gut contents of select herbivorous fishes to determine consumption at a finer scale. Finally, we placed foraging behavior in the context of resource availability to determine how fish selected substrate type. All species predominantly (73-100 %) foraged on turf algae, though there were differences among the types of macroalgae and other substrates bitten. Increased resolution via gut content analysis showed the composition of turf algae consumed by fishes differed across herbivore species. Consideration of foraging behavior by substrate availability revealed 50 % of herbivores selected for turf as opposed to other substrate types, but overall, there were variable foraging portfolios across all species. Through these three methods of investigation, we found higher complementarity among herbivorous fishes than would be revealed using a single metric. These results suggest differences across species in the herbivore "rain of bites" that graze and shape benthic community composition.

  9. Habitat Heterogeneity Variably Influences Habitat Selection by Wild Herbivores in a Semi-Arid Tropical Savanna Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor K Muposhi

    Full Text Available An understanding of the habitat selection patterns by wild herbivores is critical for adaptive management, particularly towards ecosystem management and wildlife conservation in semi arid savanna ecosystems. We tested the following predictions: (i surface water availability, habitat quality and human presence have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of wild herbivores in the dry season, (ii habitat suitability for large herbivores would be higher compared to medium-sized herbivores in the dry season, and (iii spatial extent of suitable habitats for wild herbivores will be different between years, i.e., 2006 and 2010, in Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe. MaxEnt modeling was done to determine the habitat suitability of large herbivores and medium-sized herbivores. MaxEnt modeling of habitat suitability for large herbivores using the environmental variables was successful for the selected species in 2006 and 2010, except for elephant (Loxodonta africana for the year 2010. Overall, large herbivores probability of occurrence was mostly influenced by distance from rivers. Distance from roads influenced much of the variability in the probability of occurrence of medium-sized herbivores. The overall predicted area for large and medium-sized herbivores was not different. Large herbivores may not necessarily utilize larger habitat patches over medium-sized herbivores due to the habitat homogenizing effect of water provisioning. Effect of surface water availability, proximity to riverine ecosystems and roads on habitat suitability of large and medium-sized herbivores in the dry season was highly variable thus could change from one year to another. We recommend adaptive management initiatives aimed at ensuring dynamic water supply in protected areas through temporal closure and or opening of water points to promote heterogeneity of wildlife habitats.

  10. Varying Herbivore Population Structure Correlates with Lack of Local Adaptation in a Geographic Variable Plant-Herbivore Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogni, Rodrigo; Trigo, José R.; Futuyma, Douglas J.

    2011-01-01

    Local adaptation of parasites to their hosts due to coevolution is a central prediction of many theories in evolutionary biology. However, empirical studies looking for parasite local adaptation show great variation in outcomes, and the reasons for such variation are largely unknown. In a previous study, we showed adaptive differentiation in the arctiid moth Utetheisa ornatrix to its host plant, the pyrrolizidine alkaloid-bearing legume Crotalaria pallida, at the continental scale, but found no differentiation at the regional scale. In the present study, we sampled the same sites to investigate factors that may contribute to the lack of differentiation at the regional scale. We performed field observations that show that specialist and non-specialist polyphagous herbivore incidence varies among populations at both scales. With a series of common-garden experiments we show that some plant traits that may affect herbivory (pyrrolizidine alkaloids and extrafloral nectaries) vary at the regional scale, while other traits (trichomes and nitrogen content) just vary at the continental scale. These results, combined with our previous evidence for plant population differentiation based on larval performance on fresh fruits, suggest that U. ornatrix is subjected to divergent selection even at the regional scale. Finally, with a microsatellite study we investigated population structure of U. ornatrix. We found that population structure is not stable over time: we found population differentiation at the regional scale in the first year of sampling, but not in the second year. Unstable population structure of the herbivore is the most likely cause of the lack of regional adaptation. PMID:22220208

  11. Varying herbivore population structure correlates with lack of local adaptation in a geographic variable plant-herbivore interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Cogni

    Full Text Available Local adaptation of parasites to their hosts due to coevolution is a central prediction of many theories in evolutionary biology. However, empirical studies looking for parasite local adaptation show great variation in outcomes, and the reasons for such variation are largely unknown. In a previous study, we showed adaptive differentiation in the arctiid moth Utetheisa ornatrix to its host plant, the pyrrolizidine alkaloid-bearing legume Crotalaria pallida, at the continental scale, but found no differentiation at the regional scale. In the present study, we sampled the same sites to investigate factors that may contribute to the lack of differentiation at the regional scale. We performed field observations that show that specialist and non-specialist polyphagous herbivore incidence varies among populations at both scales. With a series of common-garden experiments we show that some plant traits that may affect herbivory (pyrrolizidine alkaloids and extrafloral nectaries vary at the regional scale, while other traits (trichomes and nitrogen content just vary at the continental scale. These results, combined with our previous evidence for plant population differentiation based on larval performance on fresh fruits, suggest that U. ornatrix is subjected to divergent selection even at the regional scale. Finally, with a microsatellite study we investigated population structure of U. ornatrix. We found that population structure is not stable over time: we found population differentiation at the regional scale in the first year of sampling, but not in the second year. Unstable population structure of the herbivore is the most likely cause of the lack of regional adaptation.

  12. The effects of large herbivores on the landscape dynamics of a perennial herb

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hemrová, Lucie; Červenková, Z.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 110, č. 7 (2012), s. 1411-1421 ISSN 0305-7364 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : herbivores * Scorzonera hispanica * landscape Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.449, year: 2012

  13. Forage patch use by grazing herbivores in a South African grazing ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Venter, J.A.; Nabe-Nielsen, J.; Prins, H.H.T.; Slotow, R.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how different herbivores make forage patch use choices explains how they maintain an adequate nutritional status, which is important for effective conservation management of grazing ecosystems. Using telemetry data, we investigated nonruminant zebra (Equus burchelli) and ruminant red

  14. Effects of herbivore exclosures on variation in quality and quantity of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effects of herbivore exclosures on variation in quality and quantity of plants among ... commercial and game) and among habitat types (open savanna, rocky and pan) in a semiarid savanna in South Africa. ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  15. Seasonal grazing and food preference of herbivores in a Posidonia oceanica meadow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Peirano

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Seasonal grazing of the fish Sarpa salpa (L., the urchin Paracentrotus lividus Lamarck and the isopods Idotea spp. was compared with the C/N ratio of adult and intermediate leaves and epiphytes of Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile, collected at three different depths. Despite seasonal differences in grazing, herbivores showed preferences throughout the year for adult leaves with more epiphyte and higher N contents. The maximum grazing on adult and intermediate leaves was observed in September and in June for fish and in March for urchins, whereas it was irregular for isopods. Grazing by the three herbivores was not related to their preference for leaves or epiphytes, notwithstanding the seasonal differences in their C and N contents. We concluded that herbivores show no preference for food type throughout the year and that seasonal consumption of P. oceanica is related mainly to herbivore behaviour.

  16. Core fecal microbiota of domesticated herbivorous ruminant, hindgut fermenters, and monogastric animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O' Donnell, Michelle M; Harris, Hugh M B; Ross, R Paul; O'Toole, Paul W

    2017-10-01

    In this pilot study, we determined the core fecal microbiota composition and overall microbiota diversity of domesticated herbivorous animals of three digestion types: hindgut fermenters, ruminants, and monogastrics. The 42 animals representing 10 animal species were housed on a single farm in Ireland and all the large herbivores consumed similar feed, harmonizing two of the environmental factors that influence the microbiota. Similar to other mammals, the fecal microbiota of all these animals was dominated by the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla. The fecal microbiota spanning all digestion types comprised 42% of the genera identified. Host phylogeny and, to a lesser extent, digestion type determined the microbiota diversity in these domesticated herbivores. This pilot study forms a platform for future studies into the microbiota of nonbovine and nonequine domesticated herbivorous animals. © 2017 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Potential Use of Native and Naturalized Insect Herbivores and Fungal Pathogens of Aquatic and Wetland Plants

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Freedman, Jan E; Grodowitz, Michael J; Swindle, Robin; Nachtrieb, Julie G

    2007-01-01

    ...) scientists to identify naturalized and/or native herbivores of aquatic plants in an effort to develop alternative management strategies through an understanding of the agents' biology and ecology...

  18. A below-ground herbivore shapes root defensive chemistry in natural plant populations

    OpenAIRE

    Huber, Meret; Bont, Zoe; Fricke, Julia; Brillatz, Th?o; Aziz, Zohra; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants display extensive intraspecific variation in secondary metabolites. However, the selective forces shaping this diversity remain often unknown, especially below ground. Using Taraxacum officinale and its major native insect root herbivore Melolontha melolontha, we tested whether below-ground herbivores drive intraspecific variation in root secondary metabolites. We found that high M. melolontha infestation levels over recent decades are associated with high concentrations of major root ...

  19. Intra- and interspecific differences in diet quality and composition in a large herbivore community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Redjadj

    Full Text Available Species diversity in large herbivore communities is often explained by niche segregation allowed by differences in body mass and digestive morphophysiological features. Based on large number of gut samples in fall and winter, we analysed the temporal dynamics of diet composition, quality and interspecific overlap of 4 coexisting mountain herbivores. We tested whether the relative consumption of grass and browse differed among species of different rumen types (moose-type and intermediate-type, whether diet was of lower quality for the largest species, whether we could identify plant species which determined diet quality, and whether these plants, which could be "key-food-resources" were similar for all herbivores. Our analyses revealed that (1 body mass and rumen types were overall poor predictors of diet composition and quality, although the roe deer, a species with a moose-type rumen was confirmed as an "obligatory non grazer", while red deer, the largest species, had the most lignified diet; (2 diet overlap among herbivores was well predicted by rumen type (high among species of intermediate types only, when measured over broad plant groups, (3 the relationship between diet composition and quality differed among herbivore species, and the actual plant species used during winter which determined the diet quality, was herbivore species-specific. Even if diets overlapped to a great extent, the species-specific relationships between diet composition and quality suggest that herbivores may select different plant species within similar plant group types, or different plant parts and that this, along with other behavioural mechanisms of ecological niche segregation, may contribute to the coexistence of large herbivores of relatively similar body mass, as observed in mountain ecosystems.

  20. Prioritizing plant defence over growth through WRKY regulation facilitates infestation by non-target herbivores

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Ran; Zhang, Jin; Li, Jiancai; Zhou, Guoxin; Wang, Qi; Bian, Wenbo; Erb, Matthias; Lou, Yonggen

    2015-01-01

    eLife digest Many different animals feed on plants, including almost half of all known insect species. Some herbivores?like caterpillars for example?feed by chewing. Others, such as aphids and planthoppers, use syringe-like mouthparts to pierce plants and then feed on the fluids within. To minimize the damage caused by these herbivores, plants activate specific defenses upon attack, including proteins that can inhibit the insect's digestive enzymes. The inhibitors are effective against chewin...

  1. Non-Host Plant Volatiles Disrupt Sex Pheromone Communication in a Specialist Herbivore

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Fumin; Deng, Jianyu; Schal, Coby; Lou, Yonggen; Zhou, Guoxin; Ye, Bingbing; Yin, Xiaohui; Xu, Zhihong; Shen, Lize

    2016-01-01

    The ecological effects of plant volatiles on herbivores are manifold. Little is known, however, about the impacts of non-host plant volatiles on intersexual pheromonal communication in specialist herbivores. We tested the effects of several prominent constitutive terpenoids released by conifers and Eucalyptus trees on electrophysiological and behavioral responses of an oligophagous species, Plutella xylostella, which feeds on Brassicaceae. The non-host plant volatile terpenoids adversely affe...

  2. Indirect effects of predators control herbivore richness and abundance in a benthic eelgrass (Zostera marina) mesograzer community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S; O'Connor, Mary I

    2015-07-01

    Herbivore communities can be sensitive to changes in predator pressure (top-down effects) and resource availability (bottom-up effects) in a wide range of systems. However, it remains unclear whether such top-down and bottom-up effects reflect direct impacts of predators and/or resources on herbivores, or are indirect, reflecting altered interactions among herbivore species. We quantified direct and indirect effects of bottom-up and top-down processes on an eelgrass (Zostera marina) herbivore assemblage. In a field experiment, we factorially manipulated water column nutrients (with Osmocote(™) slow-release fertilizer) and predation pressure (with predator exclusion cages) and measured the effects on herbivore abundance, richness and beta diversity. We examined likely mechanisms of community responses by statistically exploring the response of individual herbivore species to trophic manipulations. Predators increased herbivore richness and total abundance, in both cases through indirect shifts in community composition. Increases in richness occurred through predator suppression of common gammarid amphipod species (Monocorophium acherusicum and Photis brevipes), permitting the inclusion of rarer gammarid species (Aoroides columbiae and Pontogeneia rostrata). Increased total herbivore abundance reflected increased abundance of a caprellid amphipod species (Caprella sp.), concurrent with declines in the abundance of other common species. Furthermore, predators decreased beta diversity by decreasing variability in Caprella sp. abundance among habitat patches. Osmocote(™) fertilization increased nutrient concentrations locally, but nutrients dissipated to background levels within 3 m of the fertilizer. Nutrient addition weakly affected the herbivore assemblage, not affecting richness and increasing total abundance by increasing one herbivore species (Caprella sp.). Nutrient addition did not affect beta diversity. We demonstrated that assemblage-level effects of

  3. Effects of local tree diversity on herbivore communities diminish with increasing forest fragmentation on the landscape scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Peter

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation and plant diversity have been shown to play a crucial role for herbivorous insects (herbivores, hereafter. In turn, herbivory-induced leaf area loss is known to have direct implications for plant growth and reproduction as well as long-term consequences for ecosystem functioning and forest regeneration. So far, previous studies determined diverging responses of herbivores to forest fragmentation and plant diversity. Those inconsistent results may be owed to complex interactive effects of both co-occurring environmental factors albeit they act on different spatial scales. In this study, we investigated whether forest fragmentation on the landscape scale and tree diversity on the local habitat scale show interactive effects on the herbivore community and leaf area loss in subtropical forests in South Africa. We applied standardized beating samples and a community-based approach to estimate changes in herbivore community composition, herbivore abundance, and the effective number of herbivore species on the tree species-level. We further monitored leaf area loss to link changes in the herbivore community to the associated process of herbivory. Forest fragmentation and tree diversity interactively affected the herbivore community composition, mainly by a species turnover within the family of Curculionidae. Furthermore, herbivore abundance increased and the number of herbivore species decreased with increasing tree diversity in slightly fragmented forests whereas the effects diminished with increasing forest fragmentation. Surprisingly, leaf area loss was neither affected by forest fragmentation or tree diversity, nor by changes in the herbivore community. Our study highlights the need to consider interactive effects of environmental changes across spatial scales in order to draw reliable conclusions for community and interaction patterns. Moreover, forest fragmentation seems to alter the effect of tree diversity on the herbivore

  4. Evolutionary dynamics of interactions between plants and their enemies: comparison of herbivorous insects and pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wininger, Kerry; Rank, Nathan

    2017-11-01

    Plants colonized land over 400 million years ago. Shortly thereafter, organisms began to consume terrestrial plant tissue as a nutritional resource. Most plant enemies are plant pathogens or herbivores, and they impose natural selection for plants to evolve defenses. These traits generate selection pressures on enemies. Coevolution between terrestrial plants and their enemies is an important element of the evolutionary history of both groups. However, coevolutionary studies of plant-pathogen interactions have tended to focus on different research topics than plant-herbivore interactions. Specifically, studies of plant-pathogen interactions often adopt a "gene-for-gene" conceptual framework. In contrast, studies of plants and herbivores often investigate escalation or elaboration of plant defense and herbivore adaptations to overcome it. The main exceptions to the general pattern are studies that focus on small, sessile herbivores that share many features with plant pathogens, studies that incorporate both herbivores and pathogens into a single investigation, and studies that test aspects of Thompson's geographic mosaic theory for coevolution. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  5. A pharm-ecological perspective of terrestrial and aquatic plant-herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen; Dearing, M Denise; Gross, Elisabeth M; Orians, Colin M; Sotka, Erik E; Foley, William J

    2013-04-01

    We describe some recent themes in the nutritional and chemical ecology of herbivores and the importance of a broad pharmacological view of plant nutrients and chemical defenses that we integrate as "Pharm-ecology". The central role that dose, concentration, and response to plant components (nutrients and secondary metabolites) play in herbivore foraging behavior argues for broader application of approaches derived from pharmacology to both terrestrial and aquatic plant-herbivore systems. We describe how concepts of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are used to better understand the foraging phenotype of herbivores relative to nutrient and secondary metabolites in food. Implementing these concepts into the field remains a challenge, but new modeling approaches that emphasize tradeoffs and the properties of individual animals show promise. Throughout, we highlight similarities and differences between the historic and future applications of pharm-ecological concepts in understanding the ecology and evolution of terrestrial and aquatic interactions between herbivores and plants. We offer several pharm-ecology related questions and hypotheses that could strengthen our understanding of the nutritional and chemical factors that modulate foraging behavior of herbivores across terrestrial and aquatic systems.

  6. Inter-varietal interactions among plants in genotypically diverse mixtures tend to decrease herbivore performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grettenberger, Ian M; Tooker, John F

    2016-09-01

    Much research has explored the effects of plant species diversity on herbivore populations, but far less has considered effects of plant genotypic diversity, or how abiotic stressors, like drought, can modify effects. Mechanisms by which plant genotypic diversity affects herbivore populations remain largely unresolved. We used greenhouse studies with a model system of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) to determine whether the genotypic diversity of a plant's neighborhood influences performance and fitness of herbivores on a focal plant and if drought changes the influence of neighborhood diversity. Taken across all varieties we tested, plant-plant interactions in diverse neighborhoods reduced aphid performance and generated associational resistance, although effects on aphids depended on variety identity. In diverse mixtures, drought stress greatly diminished the genotypic diversity-driven reduction in aphid performance. Neighborhood diversity influenced mother aphid size, and appeared to partially explain how plant-plant interactions reduced the number of offspring produced in mixtures. Plant size did not mediate effects on aphid performance, although neighborhood diversity reduced plant mass across varieties and watering treatments. Our results suggest inter-varietal interactions in genotypic mixtures can affect herbivore performance in the absence of herbivore movement and that abiotic stress may diminish any effects. Accounting for how neighborhood diversity influences resistance of an individual plant to herbivores will help aid development of mixtures of varieties for managing insect pests and clarify the role of plant genotypic diversity in ecosystems.

  7. Rapidly increasing macroalgal cover not related to herbivorous fishes on Mesoamerican reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Suchley

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Long-term phase shifts from coral to macroalgal dominated reef systems are well documented in the Caribbean. Although the impact of coral diseases, climate change and other factors is acknowledged, major herbivore loss through disease and overfishing is often assigned a primary role. However, direct evidence for the link between herbivore abundance, macroalgal and coral cover is sparse, particularly over broad spatial scales. In this study we use a database of coral reef surveys performed at 85 sites along the Mesoamerican Reef of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, to examine potential ecological links by tracking site trajectories over the period 2005–2014. Despite the long-term reduction of herbivory capacity reported across the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Reef region displayed relatively low macroalgal cover at the onset of the study. Subsequently, increasing fleshy macroalgal cover was pervasive. Herbivorous fish populations were not responsible for this trend as fleshy macroalgal cover change was not correlated with initial herbivorous fish biomass or change, and the majority of sites experienced increases in macroalgae browser biomass. This contrasts the coral reef top-down herbivore control paradigm and suggests the role of external factors in making environmental conditions more favourable for algae. Increasing macroalgal cover typically suppresses ecosystem services and leads to degraded reef systems. Consequently, policy makers and local coral reef managers should reassess the focus on herbivorous fish protection and consider complementary measures such as watershed management in order to arrest this trend.

  8. Utility of stable isotope analysis in studying foraging ecology of herbivores: Examples from moose and caribou

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-David, Merav; Shochat, Einav; Adams, Layne G.

    2001-01-01

    Recently, researchers emphasized that patterns of stable isotope ratios observed at the individual level are a result of an interaction between ecological, physiological, and biochemical processes. Isotopic models for herbivores provide additional complications because those mammals consume foods that have high variability in nitrogen concentrations. In addition, distribution of amino acids in plants may differ greatly from that required by a herbivore. At northern latitudes, where the growing season of vegetation is short, isotope ratios in herbivore tissues are expected to differ between seasons. Summer ratios likely reflect diet composition, whereas winter ratios would reflect diet and nutrient recycling by the animals. We tested this hypothesis using data collected from blood samples of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces) in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA. Stable isotope ratios of moose and caribou were significantly different from each other in late summer-autumn and winter. Also, late summer-autumn and winter ratios differed significantly between seasons in both species. Nonetheless, we were unable to evaluate whether differences in seasonal isotopic ratios were a result of diet selection or a response to nutrient recycling. We believe that additional studies on plant isotopic ratios as related to ecological factors in conjunction with investigations of diet selection by the herbivores will enhance our understanding of those interactions. Also, controlled studies investigating the relation between diet and physiological responses in herbivores will increase the utility of isotopic analysis in studying foraging ecology of herbivores.

  9. Herbivore specificity and the chemical basis of plant-plant communication in Baccharis salicifolia (Asteraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Nell, Colleen S; Katsanis, Angelos; Rasmann, Sergio; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-09-06

    It is well known that plant damage by leaf-chewing herbivores can induce resistance in neighbouring plants. It is unknown whether such communication occurs in response to sap-feeding herbivores, whether communication is specific to herbivore identity, and the chemical basis of communication, including specificity. We carried out glasshouse experiments using the California-native shrub Baccharis salicifolia and two ecologically distinct aphid species (one a dietary generalist and the other a specialist) to test for specificity of plant-plant communication and to document the underlying volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We show specificity of plant-plant communication to herbivore identity, as each aphid-damaged plant only induced resistance in neighbours against the same aphid species. The amount and composition of induced VOCs were markedly different between plants attacked by the two aphid species, providing a putative chemical mechanism for this specificity. Furthermore, a synthetic blend of the five major aphid-induced VOCs (ethanone, limonene, methyl salicylate, myrcene, ocimene) triggered resistance in receiving plants of comparable magnitude to aphid damage of neighbours, and the effects of the blend exceeded those of individual compounds. This study significantly advances our understanding of plant-plant communication by demonstrating the importance of sap-feeding herbivores and herbivore identity, as well as the chemical basis for such effects. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Induced and constitutive responses of digestive enzymes to plant toxins in an herbivorous mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Dearing, M Denise

    2011-12-15

    Many plants produce plant secondary compounds (PSCs) that bind and inhibit the digestive enzymes of herbivores, thus limiting digestibility for the herbivore. Herbivorous insects employ several physiological responses to overcome the anti-nutritive effects of PSCs. However, studies in vertebrates have not shown such responses, perhaps stemming from the fact that previously studied vertebrates were not herbivorous. The responses of the digestive system to dietary PSCs in populations of Bryant's woodrat (Neotoma bryanti) that vary in their ecological and evolutionary experience with the PSCs in creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) were compared. Individuals from naïve and experienced populations were fed diets with and without added creosote resin. Animals fed diets with creosote resin had higher activities of pancreatic amylase, as well as luminal amylase and chymotrypsin, regardless of prior experience with creosote. The experienced population showed constitutively higher activities of intestinal maltase and sucrase. Additionally, the naïve population produced an aminopeptidase-N enzyme that was less inhibited by creosote resin when feeding on the creosote resin diet, whereas the experienced population constitutively expressed this form of aminopeptidase-N. Thus, the digestive system of an herbivorous vertebrate responds significantly to dietary PSCs, which may be important for allowing herbivorous vertebrates to feed on PSC-rich diets.

  11. The silent mass extinction of insect herbivores in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto

    2009-12-01

    Habitat loss is silently leading numerous insects to extinction. Conservation efforts, however, have not been designed specifically to protect these organisms, despite their ecological and evolutionary significance. On the basis of species-host area equations, parameterized with data from the literature and interviews with botanical experts, I estimated the number of specialized plant-feeding insects (i.e., monophages) that live in 34 biodiversity hotspots and the number committed to extinction because of habitat loss. I estimated that 795,971-1,602,423 monophagous insect species live in biodiversity hotspots on 150,371 endemic plant species, which is 5.3-10.6 monophages per plant species. I calculated that 213,830-547,500 monophagous species are committed to extinction in biodiversity hotspots because of reduction of the geographic range size of their endemic hosts. I provided rankings of biodiversity hotspots on the basis of estimated richness of monophagous insects and on estimated number of extinctions of monophagous species. Extinction rates were predicted to be higher in biodiversity hotspots located along strong environmental gradients and on archipelagos, where high spatial turnover of monophagous species along the geographic distribution of their endemic plants is likely. The results strongly support the overall strategy of selecting priority conservation areas worldwide primarily on the basis of richness of endemic plants. To face the global decline of insect herbivores, one must expand the coverage of the network of protected areas and improve the richness of native plants on private lands.

  12. Decoupled form and function in disparate herbivorous dinosaur clades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan; Brassey, Charlotte A.; Button, David J.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2016-05-01

    Convergent evolution, the acquisition of morphologically similar traits in unrelated taxa due to similar functional demands or environmental factors, is a common phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Consequently, the occurrence of similar form is used routinely to address fundamental questions in morphofunctional research and to infer function in fossils. However, such qualitative assessments can be misleading and it is essential to test form/function relationships quantitatively. The parallel occurrence of a suite of morphologically convergent craniodental characteristics in three herbivorous, phylogenetically disparate dinosaur clades (Sauropodomorpha, Ornithischia, Theropoda) provides an ideal test case. A combination of computational biomechanical models (Finite Element Analysis, Multibody Dynamics Analysis) demonstrate that despite a high degree of morphological similarity between representative taxa (Plateosaurus engelhardti, Stegosaurus stenops, Erlikosaurus andrewsi) from these clades, their biomechanical behaviours are notably different and difficult to predict on the basis of form alone. These functional differences likely reflect dietary specialisations, demonstrating the value of quantitative biomechanical approaches when evaluating form/function relationships in extinct taxa.

  13. Decoupled form and function in disparate herbivorous dinosaur clades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan; Brassey, Charlotte A; Button, David J; Barrett, Paul M

    2016-05-20

    Convergent evolution, the acquisition of morphologically similar traits in unrelated taxa due to similar functional demands or environmental factors, is a common phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Consequently, the occurrence of similar form is used routinely to address fundamental questions in morphofunctional research and to infer function in fossils. However, such qualitative assessments can be misleading and it is essential to test form/function relationships quantitatively. The parallel occurrence of a suite of morphologically convergent craniodental characteristics in three herbivorous, phylogenetically disparate dinosaur clades (Sauropodomorpha, Ornithischia, Theropoda) provides an ideal test case. A combination of computational biomechanical models (Finite Element Analysis, Multibody Dynamics Analysis) demonstrate that despite a high degree of morphological similarity between representative taxa (Plateosaurus engelhardti, Stegosaurus stenops, Erlikosaurus andrewsi) from these clades, their biomechanical behaviours are notably different and difficult to predict on the basis of form alone. These functional differences likely reflect dietary specialisations, demonstrating the value of quantitative biomechanical approaches when evaluating form/function relationships in extinct taxa.

  14. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M R; Jonckheere, W; Knegt, B; Lemos, F; Liu, J; Schimmel, B C J; Villarroel, C A; Ataide, L M S; Dermauw, W; Glas, J J; Egas, M; Janssen, A; Van Leeuwen, T; Schuurink, R C; Sabelis, M W; Alba, J M

    2015-06-01

    Plants are hotbeds for parasites such as arthropod herbivores, which acquire nutrients and energy from their hosts in order to grow and reproduce. Hence plants are selected to evolve resistance, which in turn selects for herbivores that can cope with this resistance. To preserve their fitness when attacked by herbivores, plants can employ complex strategies that include reallocation of resources and the production of defensive metabolites and structures. Plant defences can be either prefabricated or be produced only upon attack. Those that are ready-made are referred to as constitutive defences. Some constitutive defences are operational at any time while others require activation. Defences produced only when herbivores are present are referred to as induced defences. These can be established via de novo biosynthesis of defensive substances or via modifications of prefabricated substances and consequently these are active only when needed. Inducibility of defence may serve to save energy and to prevent self-intoxication but also implies that there is a delay in these defences becoming operational. Induced defences can be characterized by alterations in plant morphology and molecular chemistry and are associated with a decrease in herbivore performance. These alterations are set in motion by signals generated by herbivores. Finally, a subset of induced metabolites are released into the air as volatiles and function as a beacon for foraging natural enemies searching for prey, and this is referred to as induced indirect defence. The objective of this review is to evaluate (1) which strategies plants have evolved to cope with herbivores and (2) which traits herbivores have evolved that enable them to counter these defences. The primary focus is on the induction and suppression of plant defences and the review outlines how the palette of traits that determine induction/suppression of, and resistance/susceptibility of herbivores to, plant defences can give rise to

  15. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M. R.; Jonckheere, W.; Knegt, B.; Lemos, F.; Liu, J.; Schimmel, B. C. J.; Villarroel, C. A.; Ataide, L. M. S.; Dermauw, W.; Glas, J. J.; Egas, M.; Janssen, A.; Van Leeuwen, T.; Schuurink, R. C.; Sabelis, M. W.; Alba, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Plants are hotbeds for parasites such as arthropod herbivores, which acquire nutrients and energy from their hosts in order to grow and reproduce. Hence plants are selected to evolve resistance, which in turn selects for herbivores that can cope with this resistance. To preserve their fitness when attacked by herbivores, plants can employ complex strategies that include reallocation of resources and the production of defensive metabolites and structures. Plant defences can be either prefabricated or be produced only upon attack. Those that are ready-made are referred to as constitutive defences. Some constitutive defences are operational at any time while others require activation. Defences produced only when herbivores are present are referred to as induced defences. These can be established via de novo biosynthesis of defensive substances or via modifications of prefabricated substances and consequently these are active only when needed. Inducibility of defence may serve to save energy and to prevent self-intoxication but also implies that there is a delay in these defences becoming operational. Induced defences can be characterized by alterations in plant morphology and molecular chemistry and are associated with a decrease in herbivore performance. These alterations are set in motion by signals generated by herbivores. Finally, a subset of induced metabolites are released into the air as volatiles and function as a beacon for foraging natural enemies searching for prey, and this is referred to as induced indirect defence. Scope The objective of this review is to evaluate (1) which strategies plants have evolved to cope with herbivores and (2) which traits herbivores have evolved that enable them to counter these defences. The primary focus is on the induction and suppression of plant defences and the review outlines how the palette of traits that determine induction/suppression of, and resistance/susceptibility of herbivores to, plant defences can

  16. Herbivore grazing?or trampling? Trampling effects by a large ungulate in cold high?latitude ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Heggenes, Jan; Odland, Arvid; Chevalier, Tomas; Ahlberg, J?rgen; Berg, Amanda; Larsson, H?kan; Bjerketvedt, Dag K.

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian herbivores have important top-down effects on ecological processes and landscapes by generating vegetation changes through grazing and trampling. For free-ranging herbivores on large landscapes, trampling is an important ecological factor. However, whereas grazing is widely studied, low-intensity trampling is rarely studied and quantified. The cold-adapted northern tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) is a wide-ranging keystone herbivore in large open alpine and Arctic ecosystems. Re...

  17. Bubble Curtains: Herbivore Exclusion Devices for Ecology and Restoration of Marine Ecosystems?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Bennett

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Herbivorous fishes play a critical role in maintaining or disrupting the ecological resilience of many kelp forests, coral reefs and seagrass ecosystems, worldwide. The increasing rate and scale of benthic habitat loss under global change has magnified the importance of herbivores and highlights the need to study marine herbivory at ecologically relevant scales. Currently, underwater herbivore exclusions (or inclusions have been restricted to small scale experimental plots, in large part due to the challenges of designing structures that can withstand the physical forces of waves and currents, without drastically altering the physical environment inside the exclusion area. We tested the ability of bubble curtains to deter herbivorous fishes from feeding on seaweeds as an alternative to the use of rigid exclusion cages. Kelps (Ecklonia radiata were transplanted onto reefs with high browsing herbivore pressure into either unprotected plots, exclusion cages or plots protected by bubble curtains of 0.785 m2 and 3.14 m2. Remote underwater video was used to compare the behavioral response of fishes to kelps protected and unprotected by bubble curtains. Kelp biomass loss was significantly lower inside the bubble curtains compared to unprotected kelps and did not differ from kelp loss rates in traditional exclusion cages. Consistent with this finding, no herbivorous fishes were observed entering into the bubble curtain at any point during the experiment. In contrast, fish bite rates on unprotected kelps were 1,621 ± 702 bites h−1 (mean ± SE. Our study provides initial evidence that bubble curtains can exclude herbivorous fishes, paving the way for future studies to examine their application at larger spatial and temporal scales, beyond what has been previously feasible using traditional exclusion cages.

  18. Sesquiterpene lactone stereochemistry influences herbivore resistance and plant fitness in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahern, Jeffrey R; Whitney, Kenneth D

    2014-03-01

    Stereochemical variation is widely known to influence the bioactivity of compounds in the context of pharmacology and pesticide science, but our understanding of its importance in mediating plant-herbivore interactions is limited, particularly in field settings. Similarly, sesquiterpene lactones are a broadly distributed class of putative defensive compounds, but little is known about their activities in the field. Natural variation in sesquiterpene lactones of the common cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium (Asteraceae), was used in conjunction with a series of common garden experiments to examine relationships between stereochemical variation, herbivore damage and plant fitness. The stereochemistry of sesquiterpene lactone ring junctions helped to explain variation in plant herbivore resistance. Plants producing cis-fused sesquiterpene lactones experienced significantly higher damage than plants producing trans-fused sesquiterpene lactones. Experiments manipulating herbivore damage above and below ambient levels found that herbivore damage was negatively correlated with plant fitness. This pattern translated into significant fitness differences between chemotypes under ambient levels of herbivore attack, but not when attack was experimentally reduced via pesticide. To our knowledge, this work represents only the second study to examine sesquiterpene lactones as defensive compounds in the field, the first to document herbivore-mediated natural selection on sesquiterpene lactone variation and the first to investigate the ecological significance of the stereochemistry of the lactone ring junction. The results indicate that subtle differences in stereochemistry may be a major determinant of the protective role of secondary metabolites and thus of plant fitness. As stereochemical variation is widespread in many groups of secondary metabolites, these findings suggest the possibility of dynamic evolutionary histories within the Asteraceae and other plant families showing

  19. Induced Jasmonate Signaling Leads to Contrasting Effects on Root Damage and Herbivore Performance1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jing; Robert, Christelle Aurélie Maud; Riemann, Michael; Cosme, Marco; Mène-Saffrané, Laurent; Massana, Josep; Stout, Michael Joseph; Lou, Yonggen; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Induced defenses play a key role in plant resistance against leaf feeders. However, very little is known about the signals that are involved in defending plants against root feeders and how they are influenced by abiotic factors. We investigated these aspects for the interaction between rice (Oryza sativa) and two root-feeding insects: the generalist cucumber beetle (Diabrotica balteata) and the more specialized rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus). Rice plants responded to root attack by increasing the production of jasmonic acid (JA) and abscisic acid, whereas in contrast to in herbivore-attacked leaves, salicylic acid and ethylene levels remained unchanged. The JA response was decoupled from flooding and remained constant over different soil moisture levels. Exogenous application of methyl JA to the roots markedly decreased the performance of both root herbivores, whereas abscisic acid and the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid did not have any effect. JA-deficient antisense 13-lipoxygenase (asLOX) and mutant allene oxide cyclase hebiba plants lost more root biomass under attack from both root herbivores. Surprisingly, herbivore weight gain was decreased markedly in asLOX but not hebiba mutant plants, despite the higher root biomass removal. This effect was correlated with a herbivore-induced reduction of sucrose pools in asLOX roots. Taken together, our experiments show that jasmonates are induced signals that protect rice roots from herbivores under varying abiotic conditions and that boosting jasmonate responses can strongly enhance rice resistance against root pests. Furthermore, we show that a rice 13-lipoxygenase regulates root primary metabolites and specifically improves root herbivore growth. PMID:25627217

  20. Trophic Interactions during Primary Succession: Herbivores Slow a Plant Reinvasion at Mount St. Helens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagan, William F; Bishop, John G

    2000-02-01

    Lupines (Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii), the earliest plant colonists of primary successional habitats at Mount St. Helens, were expected to strongly affect successional trajectories through facilitative effects. However, their effects remain localized because initially high rates of reinvasive spread were short lived, despite widespread habitat availability. We experimentally tested whether insect herbivores, by reducing plant growth and fecundity at the edge of the expanding lupine population, could curtail the rate of reinvasion and whether those herbivores had comparable impacts in the older, more successionally advanced core region. We found that removing insect herbivores increased both the areal growth of individual lupine plants and the production of new plants in the edge region, thereby accelerating the lupine's intrinsic rate of increase at the front of the lupine reinvasion. We found no such impacts of herbivory in the core region, where low plant quality or a complex of recently arrived natural enemies may hold herbivores in check. In the context of invasion theory, herbivore-mediated decreases in lupine population growth rate in the edge region translate into decreased rates of lupine spread, which we quantify here using diffusion models. In the Mount St. Helens system, decreased rate of lupine reinvasion will result in reductions in rates of soil formation, nitrogen input, and entrapment of seeds and detritus that are likely to postpone or alter trajectories of primary succession. If the type of spatial subtleties in herbivore effects we found here are common, with herbivory focused on the edge of an expanding plant population and suppressed or ineffective in the larger, denser central region (where the plants might be more readily noticed and studied), then insect herbivores may have stronger impacts on the dynamics of primary succession and plant invasions than previously recognized.

  1. Structural breakdown of specialized plant-herbivore interaction networks in tropical forest edges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Ximenes Pinho

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Plant-herbivore relationships are essential for ecosystem functioning, typically forming an ecological network with a compartmentalized (i.e. modular structure characterized by highly specialized interactions. Human disturbances can favor habitat generalist species and thus cause the collapse of this modular structure, but its effects are rarely assessed using a network-based approach. We investigate how edge proximity alters plant-insect herbivore networks by comparing forest edge and interior in a large remnant (3.500 ha of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. Given the typical dominance of pioneer plants and generalist herbivores in edge-affected habitats, we test the hypothesis that the specialized structure of plant-herbivore networks collapse in forest edges, resulting in lower modularity and herbivore specialization. Despite no differences in the number of species and interactions, the network structure presented marked differences between forest edges and interior. Herbivore specialization, modularity and number of modules were significantly higher in forest interior than edge-affected habitats. When compared to a random null model, two (22.2% and eight (88.8% networks were significantly modular in forest edge and interior, respectively. The loss of specificity and modularity in plant-herbivore networks in forest edges may be related to the loss of important functions, such as density-dependent control of superior plant competitors, which is ultimately responsible for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Our results support previous warnings that focusing on traditional community measures only (e.g. species diversity may overlook important modifications in species interactions and ecosystem functioning.

  2. Predation-related odours reduce oviposition in a herbivorous mite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choh, Yasuyuki; Uefune, Masayoshi; Takabayashi, Junji

    2010-01-01

    When adult females of the herbivorous mite, Tetranychus urticae, were exposed to the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus persimilis, they laid fewer eggs than females that had not been exposed to P. persimilis when transferred onto a new leaf patch. However, when T. urticae females were exposed to either products of P. persimilis or artificially damaged conspecific eggs on a leaf patch, the number of T. urticae eggs on a new leaf patch did not differ significantly from the control. The reduced oviposition was neither due to the feeding activity on the leaf patch with P. persimilis nor to that on the new leaf patch. There was also no significant difference between the number of T. urticae eggs produced on a new leaf patch following exposure to the odours of a neighbouring leaf patch where there had previously been either P. persimilis or T. urticae adults. However, female T. urticae that had been exposed to odours from neighbouring leaf patches on which both T. urticae and P. persimilis had been placed produced significantly fewer eggs on a new leaf patch than those that had not been exposed to such odours. Neither odours from neighbouring intact leaf patches on which T. urticae eggs were preyed on by P. persimilis, nor odours from a neighbouring Parafilm patch on which T. urticae was preyed on by P. persimilis affected the oviposition of T. urticae. These data suggest that the presence of T. urticae, P. persimilis and a leaf patch are needed for the emission of odours to reduce oviposition in T. urticae.

  3. Strategies to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions from herbivore production systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schils, R L M; Eriksen, J; Ledgard, S F; Vellinga, Th V; Kuikman, P J; Luo, J; Petersen, S O; Velthof, G L

    2013-03-01

    Herbivores are a significant source of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions. They account for a large share of manure-related N(2)O emissions, as well as soil-related N(2)O emissions through the use of grazing land, and land for feed and forage production. It is widely acknowledged that mitigation measures are necessary to avoid an increase in N(2)O emissions while meeting the growing global food demand. The production and emissions of N(2)O are closely linked to the efficiency of nitrogen (N) transfer between the major components of a livestock system, that is, animal, manure, soil and crop. Therefore, mitigation options in this paper have been structured along these N pathways. Mitigation technologies involving diet-based intervention include lowering the CP content or increasing the condensed tannin content of the diet. Animal-related mitigation options also include breeding for improved N conversion and high animal productivity. The main soil-based mitigation measures include efficient use of fertilizer and manure, including the use of nitrification inhibitors. In pasture-based systems with animal housing facilities, reducing grazing time is an effective option to reduce N(2)O losses. Crop-based options comprise breeding efforts for increased N-use efficiency and the use of pastures with N(2)-fixing clover. It is important to recognize that all N(2)O mitigation options affect the N and carbon cycles of livestock systems. Therefore, care should be taken that reductions in N(2)O emissions are not offset by unwanted increases in ammonia, methane or carbon dioxide emissions. Despite the abundant availability of mitigation options, implementation in practice is still lagging. Actual implementation will only follow after increased awareness among farmers and greenhouse gases targeted policies. So far, reductions in N(2)O emissions that have been achieved are mostly a positive side effect of other N-targeted policies.

  4. Climate alters response of an endemic island plant to removal of invasive herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn, Mceachern A.; Thomson, D.M.; Chess, K.A.

    2009-01-01

    Islands experience higher rates of species extinction than mainland ecosystems, with biological invasions among the leading causes; they also serve as important model systems for testing ideas in basic and applied ecology. Invasive removal programs on islands are conservation efforts that can also be viewed as powerful manipulative experiments, but few data are available to evaluate their effects. We collected demographic and herbivore damage data for Castilleja mollis Pennell, an endangered plant endemic to Santa Rosa Island, California, over a 12-year period before, during, and after the implementation of control for introduced cattle, deer, and elk. We used these long-term data to explore mechanisms underlying herbivore effects, assess the results of herbivore reduction at the scales of both individual plants and populations, and determine how temporal variability in herbivory and plant demography influenced responses to herbivore removals. For individual plants, herbivore effects mediated by disturbance were greater than those of grazing. Deer and elk scraping of the ground substantially increased plant mortality and dormancy and reduced flowering and growth. Stem damage from browsing did not affect survivorship but significantly reduced plant growth and flower production. Herbivore control successfully lowered damage rates, which declined steeply between 1997 and 2000 and have remained relatively low. Castilleja mollis abundances rose sharply after 1997, suggesting a positive effect of herbivore control, but then began to decline steadily again after 2003. The recent decline appears to be driven by higher mean growing season temperatures; interestingly, not only reductions in scraping damage but a period of cooler conditions were significant in explaining increases in C. mollis populations between 1997 and 2002. Our results demonstrate strong effects of introduced herbivores on both plant demography and population dynamics and show that climate

  5. Climate alters response of an endemic island plant to removal of invasive herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEachern, A Kathryn; Thomson, Diane M; Chess, Katherine A

    2009-09-01

    Islands experience higher rates of species extinction than mainland ecosystems, with biological invasions among the leading causes; they also serve as important model systems for testing ideas in basic and applied ecology. Invasive removal programs on islands are conservation efforts that can also be viewed as powerful manipulative experiments, but few data are available to evaluate their effects. We collected demographic and herbivore damage data for Castilleja mollis Pennell, an endangered plant endemic to Santa Rosa Island, California, over a 12-year period before, during, and after the implementation of control for introduced cattle, deer, and elk. We used these long-term data to explore mechanisms underlying herbivore effects, assess the results of herbivore reduction at the scales of both individual plants and populations, and determine how temporal variability in herbivory and plant demography influenced responses to herbivore removals. For individual plants, herbivore effects mediated by disturbance were greater than those of grazing. Deer and elk scraping of the ground substantially increased plant mortality and dormancy and reduced flowering and growth. Stem damage from browsing did not affect survivorship but significantly reduced plant growth and flower production. Herbivore control successfully lowered damage rates, which declined steeply between 1997 and 2000 and have remained relatively low. Castilleja mollis abundances rose sharply after 1997, suggesting a positive effect of herbivore control, but then began to decline steadily again after 2003. The recent decline appears to be driven by higher mean growing season temperatures; interestingly, not only reductions in scraping damage but a period of cooler conditions were significant in explaining increases in C. mollis populations between 1997 and 2002. Our results demonstrate strong effects of introduced herbivores on both plant demography and population dynamics and show that climate

  6. Salicylic acid, a plant defense hormone, is specifically secreted by a molluscan herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kästner, Julia; von Knorre, Dietrich; Himanshu, Himanshu; Erb, Matthias; Baldwin, Ian T; Meldau, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Slugs and snails are important herbivores in many ecosystems. They differ from other herbivores by their characteristic mucus trail. As the mucus is secreted at the interface between the plants and the herbivores, its chemical composition may play an essential role in plant responses to slug and snail attack. Based on our current knowledge about host-manipulation strategies employed by pathogens and insects, we hypothesized that mollusks may excrete phytohormone-like substances into their mucus. We therefore screened locomotion mucus from thirteen molluscan herbivores for the presence of the plant defense hormones jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA) and abscisic acid (ABA). We found that the locomotion mucus of one slug, Deroceras reticulatum, contained significant amounts of SA, a plant hormone that is known to induce resistance to pathogens and to suppress plant immunity against herbivores. None of the other slugs and snails contained SA or any other hormone in their locomotion mucus. When the mucus of D. reticulatum was applied to wounded leaves of A. thaliana, the promotor of the SA-responsive gene pathogenesis related 1 (PR1) was activated, demonstrating the potential of the mucus to regulate plant defenses. We discuss the potential ecological, agricultural and medical implications of this finding.

  7. Salicylic acid, a plant defense hormone, is specifically secreted by a molluscan herbivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Kästner

    Full Text Available Slugs and snails are important herbivores in many ecosystems. They differ from other herbivores by their characteristic mucus trail. As the mucus is secreted at the interface between the plants and the herbivores, its chemical composition may play an essential role in plant responses to slug and snail attack. Based on our current knowledge about host-manipulation strategies employed by pathogens and insects, we hypothesized that mollusks may excrete phytohormone-like substances into their mucus. We therefore screened locomotion mucus from thirteen molluscan herbivores for the presence of the plant defense hormones jasmonic acid (JA, salicylic acid (SA and abscisic acid (ABA. We found that the locomotion mucus of one slug, Deroceras reticulatum, contained significant amounts of SA, a plant hormone that is known to induce resistance to pathogens and to suppress plant immunity against herbivores. None of the other slugs and snails contained SA or any other hormone in their locomotion mucus. When the mucus of D. reticulatum was applied to wounded leaves of A. thaliana, the promotor of the SA-responsive gene pathogenesis related 1 (PR1 was activated, demonstrating the potential of the mucus to regulate plant defenses. We discuss the potential ecological, agricultural and medical implications of this finding.

  8. Herbivores modify selection on plant functional traits in a temperate rainforest understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2012-08-01

    There is limited evidence regarding the adaptive value of plant functional traits in contrasting light environments. It has been suggested that changes in these traits in response to light availability can increase herbivore susceptibility. We tested the adaptive value of plant functional traits linked with carbon gain in contrasting light environments and also evaluated whether herbivores can modify selection on these traits in each light environment. In a temperate rainforest, we examined phenotypic selection on functional traits in seedlings of the pioneer tree Aristotelia chilensis growing in sun (canopy gap) and shade (forest understory) and subjected to either natural herbivory or herbivore exclusion. We found differential selection on functional traits depending on light environment. In sun, there was positive directional selection on photosynthetic rate and relative growth rate (RGR), indicating that selection favors competitive ability in a high-resource environment. Seedlings with high specific leaf area (SLA) and intermediate RGR were selected in shade, suggesting that light capture and conservative resource use are favored in the understory. Herbivores reduced the strength of positive directional selection acting on SLA in shade. We provide the first demonstration that natural herbivory rates can change the strength of selection on plant ecophysiological traits, that is, attributes whose main function is resource uptake. Research addressing the evolution of shade tolerance should incorporate the selective role of herbivores.

  9. Impact of conservation areas on trophic interactions between apex predators and herbivores on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzari, Justin R; Bergseth, Brock J; Frisch, Ashley J

    2015-04-01

    Apex predators are declining at alarming rates due to exploitation by humans, but we have yet to fully discern the impacts of apex predator loss on ecosystem function. In a management context, it is critically important to clarify the role apex predators play in structuring populations of lower trophic levels. Thus, we examined the top-down influence of reef sharks (an apex predator on coral reefs) and mesopredators on large-bodied herbivores. We measured the abundance, size structure, and biomass of apex predators, mesopredators, and herbivores across fished, no-take, and no-entry management zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia. Shark abundance and mesopredator size and biomass were higher in no-entry zones than in fished and no-take zones, which indicates the viability of strictly enforced human exclusion areas as tools for the conservation of predator communities. Changes in predator populations due to protection in no-entry zones did not have a discernible influence on the density, size, or biomass of different functional groups of herbivorous fishes. The lack of a relationship between predators and herbivores suggests that top-down forces may not play a strong role in regulating large-bodied herbivorous coral reef fish populations. Given this inconsistency with traditional ecological theories of trophic cascades, trophic structures on coral reefs may need to be reassessed to enable the establishment of appropriate and effective management regimes. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Herbivores rescue diversity in warming tundra by modulating trait-dependent species losses and gains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Eskelinen, Anu; Olofsson, Johan

    2017-09-04

    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. Herbivores promote gains of short-statured species under warming, while herbivore removal and fertilization increase losses of short-statured and resource-conservative species through light limitation. Our results demonstrate that both rarity and traits forecast species losses and gains, and mammalian herbivores are essential for preventing trait-dependent extinctions and mitigate diversity loss under warming and eutrophication.Warming can reduce plant diversity but it is unclear which species will be lost or gained under interacting global changes. Kaarlejärvi et al. manipulate temperature, herbivory and nutrients in a tundra system and find that herbivory maintains diversity under warming by reducing species losses and promoting gains.

  11. Effect of Phytoplankton Richness on Phytoplankton Biomass Is Weak Where the Distribution of Herbivores is Patchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weis, Jerome J

    2016-01-01

    Positive effects of competitor species richness on competitor productivity can be more pronounced at a scale that includes heterogeneity in 'bottom-up' environmental factors, such as the supply of limiting nutrients. The effect of species richness is not well understood in landscapes where variation in 'top-down' factors, such as the abundance of predators or herbivores, has a strong influence competitor communities. I asked how phytoplankton species richness directly influenced standing phytoplankton biomass in replicate microcosm regions where one patch had a population of herbivores (Daphnia pulicaria) and one patch did not have herbivores. The effect of phytoplankton richness on standing phytoplankton biomass was positive but weak and not statistically significant at this regional scale. Among no-Daphnia patches, there was a significant positive effect of phytoplankton richness that resulted from positive selection effects for two dominant and productive species in polycultures. Among with-Daphnia patches there was not a significant effect of phytoplankton richness. The same two species dominated species-rich polycultures in no- and with-Daphnia patches but both species were relatively vulnerable to consumption by Daphnia. Consistent with previous studies, this experiment shows a measurable positive influence of primary producer richness on biomass when herbivores were absent. It also shows that given the patchy distribution of herbivores at a regional scale, a regional positive effect was not detected.

  12. Large herbivores that strive mightily but eat and drink as friends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, W F; Prins, H H T

    1990-02-01

    Grazing in patches of Cynodon dactylon and of Sporobolus spicatus by four large herbivores, and the interaction between these sedentary herbivores was studied in Lake Manyara National Park, northern Tanzania. The herbivores were the African buffalo, Syncerus caffer; the African elephan, Loxodonta africana; the Burchell's zebra, Equus burchelli; and the wildebeest, Connochaetus taurinus. Four different hypotheses of the interactions between the herbivores were tested, viz., increased predator detection/protection through association of species, facilitation of the food intake through the influence of other species, use by other species of the food manipulation strategy of buffalo, and interspecific competition for food. On the level of a single day, zebra and wildebeest were symbiotic, which could have been caused by an increased chance of predator detection. A similar association between buffalo and wildebeest or zebra was also detected on C. dactylon grasslands. There was no indication of facilitation between any of the herbivores. Buffalo had a despotic relationship with elephant, that is the elephant's consumption was lowered when buffalo had visited a patch prior to their arrival. When elephant and buffalo arrived at the same time there appeared to be scramble competition between them.Habitat overlap was calculated for four pairs of species. In conjunction with the analyses of the patch visits, it was concluded that a small overlap was associated with interspecific competition and a large habitat overlap was associated with symbiosis.

  13. Adaptive evolution of threonine deaminase in plant defense against insect herbivores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzales-Vigil, Eliana; Bianchetti, Christopher M.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Howe, Gregg A. (MSU); (UW)

    2011-11-07

    Gene duplication is a major source of plant chemical diversity that mediates plant-herbivore interactions. There is little direct evidence, however, that novel chemical traits arising from gene duplication reduce herbivory. Higher plants use threonine deaminase (TD) to catalyze the dehydration of threonine (Thr) to {alpha}-ketobutyrate and ammonia as the committed step in the biosynthesis of isoleucine (Ile). Cultivated tomato and related Solanum species contain a duplicated TD paralog (TD2) that is coexpressed with a suite of genes involved in herbivore resistance. Analysis of TD2-deficient tomato lines showed that TD2 has a defensive function related to Thr catabolism in the gut of lepidopteran herbivores. During herbivory, the regulatory domain of TD2 is removed by proteolysis to generate a truncated protein (pTD2) that efficiently degrades Thr without being inhibited by Ile. We show that this proteolytic activation step occurs in the gut of lepidopteran but not coleopteran herbivores, and is catalyzed by a chymotrypsin-like protease of insect origin. Analysis of purified recombinant enzymes showed that TD2 is remarkably more resistant to proteolysis and high temperature than the ancestral TD1 isoform. The crystal structure of pTD2 provided evidence that electrostatic interactions constitute a stabilizing feature associated with adaptation of TD2 to the extreme environment of the lepidopteran gut. These findings demonstrate a role for gene duplication in the evolution of a plant defense that targets and co-opts herbivore digestive physiology.

  14. Suppression of Plant Defenses by Herbivorous Mites Is Not Associated with Adaptation to Host Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jéssica T. Paulo

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Some herbivores suppress plant defenses, which may be viewed as a result of the coevolutionary arms race between plants and herbivores. However, this ability is usually studied in a one-herbivore-one-plant system, which hampers comparative studies that could corroborate this hypothesis. Here, we extend this paradigm and ask whether the herbivorous spider-mite Tetranychus evansi, which suppresses the jasmonic-acid pathway in tomato plants, is also able to suppress defenses in other host plants at different phylogenetic distances from tomatoes. We test this using different plants from the Solanales order, namely tomato, jimsonweed, tobacco, and morning glory (three Solanaceae and one Convolvulaceae, and bean plants (Fabales. First, we compare the performance of T. evansi to that of the other two most-commonly found species of the same genus, T. urticae and T. ludeni, on several plants. We found that the performance of T. evansi is higher than that of the other species only on tomato plants. We then showed, by measuring trypsin inhibitor activity and life history traits of conspecific mites on either clean or pre-infested plants, that T. evansi can suppress plant defenses on all plants except tobacco. This study suggests that the suppression of plant defenses may occur on host plants other than those to which herbivores are adapted.

  15. Non-Host Plant Volatiles Disrupt Sex Pheromone Communication in a Specialist Herbivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fumin; Deng, Jianyu; Schal, Coby; Lou, Yonggen; Zhou, Guoxin; Ye, Bingbing; Yin, Xiaohui; Xu, Zhihong; Shen, Lize

    2016-01-01

    The ecological effects of plant volatiles on herbivores are manifold. Little is known, however, about the impacts of non-host plant volatiles on intersexual pheromonal communication in specialist herbivores. We tested the effects of several prominent constitutive terpenoids released by conifers and Eucalyptus trees on electrophysiological and behavioral responses of an oligophagous species, Plutella xylostella, which feeds on Brassicaceae. The non-host plant volatile terpenoids adversely affected the calling behavior (pheromone emission) of adult females, and the orientation responses of adult males to sex pheromone were also significantly inhibited by these terpenoids in a wind tunnel and in the field. We suggest that disruption of both pheromone emission and orientation to sex pheromone may explain, at least in part, an observed reduction in herbivore attack in polyculture compared with monoculture plantings. We also propose that mating disruption of both male and female moths with non-host plant volatiles may be a promising alternative pest management strategy. PMID:27585907

  16. Effect of Nitrogen Fertilizer on Herbivores and Its Stimulation to Major Insect Pests in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhong-xian LU

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogen is one of the most important factors in development of herbivore populations. The application of nitrogen fertilizer in plants can normally increase herbivore feeding preference, food consumption, survival, growth, reproduction, and population density, except few examples that nitrogen fertilizer reduces the herbivore performances. In most of the rice growing areas in Asia, the great increases in populations of major insect pests of rice, including planthoppers (Nilaparvata lugens and Sogatella furcifera, leaffolder (Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, and stem borers (Scirpophaga incertulas, Chilo suppressalis, S. innotata, C. polychrysus and Sesamia inferens were closely related to the long-term excessive application of nitrogen fertilizers. The optimal regime of nitrogen fertilizer in irrigated paddy fields is proposed to improve the fertilizer-nitrogen use efficiency and reduce the environmental pollution.

  17. Non-Host Plant Volatiles Disrupt Sex Pheromone Communication in a Specialist Herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fumin; Deng, Jianyu; Schal, Coby; Lou, Yonggen; Zhou, Guoxin; Ye, Bingbing; Yin, Xiaohui; Xu, Zhihong; Shen, Lize

    2016-09-02

    The ecological effects of plant volatiles on herbivores are manifold. Little is known, however, about the impacts of non-host plant volatiles on intersexual pheromonal communication in specialist herbivores. We tested the effects of several prominent constitutive terpenoids released by conifers and Eucalyptus trees on electrophysiological and behavioral responses of an oligophagous species, Plutella xylostella, which feeds on Brassicaceae. The non-host plant volatile terpenoids adversely affected the calling behavior (pheromone emission) of adult females, and the orientation responses of adult males to sex pheromone were also significantly inhibited by these terpenoids in a wind tunnel and in the field. We suggest that disruption of both pheromone emission and orientation to sex pheromone may explain, at least in part, an observed reduction in herbivore attack in polyculture compared with monoculture plantings. We also propose that mating disruption of both male and female moths with non-host plant volatiles may be a promising alternative pest management strategy.

  18. Tritrophic Interactions Mediated by Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles: Mechanisms, Ecological Relevance, and Application Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turlings, Ted C J; Erb, Matthias

    2018-01-07

    Tritrophic interactions between plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies are an integral part of all terrestrial ecosystems. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) play a key role in these interactions, as they can attract predators and parasitoids to herbivore-attacked plants. Thirty years after this discovery, the ecological importance of the phenomena is widely recognized. However, the primary function of HIPVs is still subject to much debate, as is the possibility of using these plant-produced cues in crop protection. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of HIPVs in tritrophic interactions from an ecological as well as a mechanistic perspective. This overview focuses on the main gaps in our knowledge of tritrophic interactions, and we argue that filling these gaps will greatly facilitate efforts to exploit HIPVs for pest control.

  19. Sequestration of plant secondary metabolites by insect herbivores: molecular mechanisms and ecological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle Am

    2016-04-01

    Numerous insect herbivores can take up and store plant toxins as self-defense against their own natural enemies. Plant toxin sequestration is tightly linked with tolerance strategies that keep the toxins functional. Specific transporters have been identified that likely allow the herbivore to control the spatiotemporal dynamics of toxin accumulation. Certain herbivores furthermore possess specific enzymes to boost the bioactivity of the sequestered toxins. Ecologists have studied plant toxin sequestration for decades. The recently uncovered molecular mechanisms in combination with transient, non-transgenic systems to manipulate insect gene expression will help to understand the importance of toxin sequestration for food-web dynamics in nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Density-dependent reduction and induction of milkweed cardenolides by a sucking insect herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, John W; Malcolm, Stephen B

    2004-03-01

    The effect of aphid population size on host-plant chemical defense expression and the effect of plant defense on aphid population dynamics were investigated in a milkweed-specialist herbivore system. Density effects of the aposematic oleander aphid, Aphis nerii, on cardenolide expression were measured in two milkweed species, Asclepias curassavica and A. incarnata. These plants vary in constitutive chemical investment with high mean cardenolide concentration in A. curassavica and low to zero in A. incarnata. The second objective was to determine whether cardenolide expression in these two host plants impacts mean A. nerii colony biomass (mg) and density. Cardenolide concentration (microgram/g) of A. curassavica in both aphid-treated leaves and opposite, herbivore-free leaves decreased initially in comparison with aphid-free controls, and then increased significantly with A. nerii density. Thus, A. curassavica responds to aphid herbivory initially with density-dependent phytochemical reduction, followed by induction of cardenolides to concentrations above aphid-free controls. In addition, mean cardenolide concentration of aphid-treated leaves was significantly higher than that of opposite, herbivore-free leaves. Therefore, A. curassavica induction is strongest in herbivore-damage tissue. Conversely, A. incarnata exhibited no such chemical response to aphid herbivory. Furthermore, neither host plant responded chemically to herbivore feeding duration time (days) or to the interaction between herbivore initial density and feeding duration time. There were also no significant differences in mean colony biomass or population density of A. nerii reared on high cardenolide (A. curassavica) and low cardenolide (A. incarnata) hosts.

  1. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Within-population isotopic niche variability in savanna mammals: disparity between carnivores and herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Large mammal ecosystems have relatively simple food webs, usually comprising three – and sometimes only two – trophic links. Since many syntopic species from the same trophic level therefore share resources, dietary niche partitioning features prominently within these systems. In African and other subtropical savannas, stable carbon isotopes readily distinguish between herbivore species for which foliage and other parts of dicot plants (13C-depleted C3 vegetation are the primary resource (browsers and those for which grasses (13C-enriched C4 vegetation are staples (grazers. Similarly, carbon isotopes distinguish between carnivore diets that may be richer in either browser, grazer, or intermediate-feeding prey. Here, we investigate levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopic niche variation and niche partitioning within populations (or species of carnivores and herbivores from South African savannas. We emphasize predictable differences in within-population trends across trophic levels: we expect that herbivore populations, which require more foraging effort due to higher intake requirements, are far less likely to display within-population resource partitioning than carnivore populations. Our results reveal generally narrower isotopic niche breadths in herbivore than carnivore populations, but more importantly we find lower levels of isotopic differentiation across individuals within herbivore species. While these results offer some support for our general hypothesis, the current paucity of isotopic data for African carnivores limits our ability to test the complete set of predictions arising from our hypothesis. Nevertheless, given the different ecological and ecophysiological constraints to foraging behaviour within each trophic level, comparisons across carnivores and herbivores, which are possible within such simplified foodwebs, make these systems ideal for developing a process-based understanding of conditions underlying the evolution of

  3. Are Tree Species Diversity and Genotypic Diversity Effects on Insect Herbivores Mediated by Ants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María José Campos-Navarrete

    Full Text Available Plant diversity can influence predators and omnivores and such effects may in turn influence herbivores and plants. However, evidence for these ecological feedbacks is rare. We evaluated if the effects of tree species (SD and genotypic diversity (GD on the abundance of different guilds of insect herbivores associated with big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla were contingent upon the protective effects of ants tending extra-floral nectaries of this species. This study was conducted within a larger experiment consisting of mahogany monocultures and species polycultures of four species and -within each of these two plot types- mahogany was represented by either one or four maternal families. We selected 24 plots spanning these treatment combinations, 10 mahogany plants/plot, and within each plot experimentally reduced ant abundance on half of the selected plants, and surveyed ant and herbivore abundance. There were positive effects of SD on generalist leaf-chewers and sap-feeders, but for the latter group this effect depended on the ant reduction treatment: SD positively influenced sap-feeders under ambient ant abundance but had no effect when ant abundance was reduced; at the same time, ants had negative effects on sap feeders in monoculture but no effect in polyculture. In contrast, SD did not influence specialist stem-borers or leaf-miners and this effect was not contingent upon ant reduction. Finally, GD did not influence any of the herbivore guilds studied, and such effects did not depend on the ant treatment. Overall, we show that tree species diversity influenced interactions between a focal plant species (mahogany and ants, and that such effects in turn mediated plant diversity effects on some (sap-feeders but not all the herbivores guilds studied. Our results suggest that the observed patterns are dependent on the combined effects of herbivore identity, diet breadth, and the source of plant diversity.

  4. Responses of tree and insect herbivores to elevated nitrogen inputs: A meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Furong; Dudley, Tom L.; Chen, Baoming; Chang, Xiaoyu; Liang, Liyin; Peng, Shaolin

    2016-11-01

    Increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) inputs have the potential to alter terrestrial ecosystem function through impacts on plant-herbivore interactions. The goal of our study is to search for a general pattern in responses of tree characteristics important for herbivores and insect herbivorous performance to elevated N inputs. We conducted a meta-analysis based on 109 papers describing impacts of nitrogen inputs on tree characteristics and 16 papers on insect performance. The differences in plant characteristics and insect performance between broadleaves and conifers were also explored. Tree aboveground biomass, leaf biomass and leaf N concentration significantly increased under elevated N inputs. Elevated N inputs had no significantly overall effect on concentrations of phenolic compounds and lignin but adversely affected tannin, as defensive chemicals for insect herbivores. Additionally, the overall effect of insect herbivore performance (including development time, insect biomass, relative growth rate, and so on) was significantly increased by elevated N inputs. According to the inconsistent responses between broadleaves and conifers, broadleaves would be more likely to increase growth by light interception and photosynthesis rather than producing more defensive chemicals to elevated N inputs by comparison with conifers. Moreover, the overall carbohydrate concentration was significantly reduced by 13.12% in broadleaves while increased slightly in conifers. The overall tannin concentration decreased significantly by 39.21% in broadleaves but a 5.8% decrease in conifers was not significant. The results of the analysis indicated that elevated N inputs would provide more food sources and ameliorate tree palatability for insects, while the resistance of trees against their insect herbivores was weakened, especially for broadleaves. Thus, global forest insect pest problems would be aggravated by elevated N inputs. As N inputs continue to rise in the future, forest

  5. Interactive effects of fire and large herbivores on web-building spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, C N; Barton, P S; Wood, J T; Lindenmayer, D B

    2015-09-01

    Altered disturbance regimes are a major driver of biodiversity loss worldwide. Maintaining or re-creating natural disturbance regimes is therefore the focus of many conservation programmes. A key challenge, however, is to understand how co-occurring disturbances interact to affect biodiversity. We experimentally tested for the interactive effects of prescribed fire and large macropod herbivores on the web-building spider assemblage of a eucalypt forest understorey and investigated the role of vegetation in mediating these effects using path analysis. Fire had strong negative effects on the density of web-building spiders, which were partly mediated by effects on vegetation structure, while negative effects of large herbivores on web density were not related to changes in vegetation. Fire amplified the effects of large herbivores on spiders, both via vegetation-mediated pathways and by increasing herbivore activity. The importance of vegetation-mediated pathways and fire-herbivore interactions differed for web density and richness and also differed between web types. Our results demonstrate that for some groups of web-building spiders, the effects of co-occurring disturbance drivers may be mostly additive, whereas for other groups, interactions between drivers can amplify disturbance effects. In our study system, the use of prescribed fire in the presence of high densities of herbivores could lead to reduced densities and altered composition of web-building spiders, with potential cascading effects through the arthropod food web. Our study highlights the importance of considering both the independent and interactive effects of disturbances, as well as the mechanisms driving their effects, in the management of disturbance regimes.

  6. Impact of herbivore identity on algal succession and coral growth on a Caribbean reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deron E Burkepile

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an important top-down force on coral reefs that regulates macroalgal abundance, mediates competitive interactions between macroalgae and corals, and provides resilience following disturbances such as hurricanes and coral bleaching. However, reductions in herbivore diversity and abundance via disease or over-fishing may harm corals directly and may indirectly increase coral susceptibility to other disturbances.In two experiments over two years, we enclosed equivalent densities and masses of either single-species or mixed-species of herbivorous fishes in replicate, 4 m(2 cages at a depth of 17 m on a reef in the Florida Keys, USA to evaluate the effects of herbivore identity and species richness on colonization and development of macroalgal communities and the cascading effects of algae on coral growth. In Year 1, we used the redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum and the ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus; in Year 2, we used the redband parrotfish and the princess parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus. On new substrates, rapid grazing by ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish kept communities in an early successional stage dominated by short, filamentous algae and crustose coralline algae that did not suppress coral growth. In contrast, feeding by redband parrotfish allowed an accumulation of tall filaments and later successional macroalgae that suppressed coral growth. These patterns contrast with patterns from established communities not undergoing primary succession; on established substrates redband parrotfish significantly reduced upright macroalgal cover while ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish allowed significant increases in late successional macroalgae.This study further highlights the importance of biodiversity in affecting ecosystem function in that different species of herbivorous fishes had very different impacts on reef communities depending on the developmental stage of the community. The species

  7. Herbivore-induced volatile production by Arabidopsis thaliana leads to attraction of the parasitoid Cotesia rubecula: chemical, behavioral, and gene-expression analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poecke, R.M.P.; Posthumus, M.A.; Dicke, M.

    2001-01-01

    Many plant species defend themselves against herbivorous insects indirectly by producing volatiles in response to herbivory. These volatiles attract carnivorous enemies of the herbivores. Research on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. has contributed considerably to the unraveling of

  8. The effect of nitrogen additions on bracken fern and its insect herbivores at sites with high and low atmospheric pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.E. Jones; M.E. Fenn; T.D. Paine

    2011-01-01

    The impact of atmospheric pollution, including nitrogen deposition, on bracken fern herbivores has never been studied. Bracken fern is globally distributed and has a high potential to accumulate nitrogen in plant tissue. We examined the response of bracken fern and its herbivores to N fertilization at a high and low pollution site in forests downwind of Los Angeles,...

  9. Satellite- versus temperature-derived green wave indices for predicting the timing of spring migration of avian herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shariati Najafabadi, M.; Najafabadi, M.S.; Darvishzadeh, R.; Skidmore, A.K.; Kölzsch, Andrea; Vrieling, A.; Nolet, Bart A.; Exo, Klaus-Michael; Meratnia, Nirvana; Havinga, Paul J.M.; Stahl, Julia; Toxopeus, A.G.

    2015-01-01

    According to the green wave hypothesis, herbivores follow the flush of spring growth of forage plants during their spring migration to northern breeding grounds. In this study we compared two green wave indices for predicting the timing of the spring migration of avian herbivores: the

  10. Early herbivore alert matters: plant-mediated effects of egg deposition on higher trophic levels benefit plant fitness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pashalidou, F.G.; Frago, E.; Griese, E.; Poelman, E.H.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.; Fatouros, N.E.

    2015-01-01

    Induction of plant defences, specifically in response to herbivore attack, can save costs that would otherwise be needed to maintain defences even in the absence of herbivores. However, plants may suffer considerable damage during the time required to mount these defences against an attacker. This

  11. Assessing the role of large herbivores in the structuring and functioning of freshwater and marine angiosperm ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Pagès, Jordi F.; Arthur, Rohan; Alcoverro, Teresa

    2016-01-01

    While large herbivores can have strong impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, much less is known of their role in aquatic systems. We reviewed the literature to determine: (1) which large herbivores (>10 kg) have a (semi-)aquatic lifestyle and are important consumers of submerged vascular plants, (2)

  12. Diversity and impact of herbivorous insects on Brazilian peppertree in Florida prior to release of exotic biological control agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    The impact of insect herbivores on the performance of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi (Anacardiaceae), was evaluated at two locations in Florida using an insecticide exclusion method. Although several species of insect herbivores were collected on the invasive tree, there was no...

  13. Quantification of population sizes of large herbivores and their long-term functional role in ecosystems using dung fungal spores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baker, Ambroise G.; Cornelissen, Perry; Bhagwat, Shonil A.; Vera, Frans M.W.; Willis, Katherine J.

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between large herbivore numbers and landscape cover over time is poorly understood. There are two schools of thought: one views large herbivores as relatively passive elements upon the landscape and the other as ecosystem engineers driving vegetation succession. The latter

  14. Effects of dietary nicotine on the development of an insect herbivore, its parasitoid and secondary hyperparasitoid over four trophic levels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Dam, van N.M.; Witjes, L.M.A.; Soler, R.; Gols, R.

    2007-01-01

    1. Allelochemicals in herbivore diet are known to affect the development of higher trophic levels, such as parasitoids and predators. 2. This study examines how differing levels of nicotine affects the development of a herbivore, its parasitoid and secondary hyperparasitoid over four trophic levels.

  15. Diet and habitat-niche relationships within an assemblage of large herbivores in a seasonal tropical forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahrestani, F.S.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    There is little understanding of how large mammalian herbivores in Asia partition habitat and forage resources, and vary their diet and habitat selection seasonally in order to coexist. We studied an assemblage of four large herbivores, chital (Axis axis), sambar (Cervus unicolor), gaur (Bos gaurus)

  16. Experience with methyl salicylate affects behavioural responses of a predatory mite to blends of herbivore-induced plant volatiles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de J.G.; Dicke, M.

    2004-01-01

    Many natural enemies of herbivorous arthropods use herbivore-induced plant volatiles to locate their prey. These foraging cues consist of mixtures of compounds that show a considerable variation within and among plantherbivore combinations, a situation that favours a flexible approach in the

  17. A specialist root herbivore reduces plant resistance and uses an induced plant volatile to aggregate in a density dependent manner

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Leaf-herbivore attack often triggers induced resistance in plants. However, certain specialist herbivores can also take advantage of the induced metabolic changes. In some cases, they even manipulate plant resistance, leading to a phenomenon called induced susceptibility. Compared to above-ground...

  18. Assessing the consequences of global change for forest disturbance from herbivores and pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayres, M P; Lombardero, M J

    2000-11-15

    Herbivores and pathogens impact the species composition, ecosystem function, and socioeconomic value of forests. Herbivores and pathogens are an integral part of forests, but sometimes produce undesirable effects and a degradation of forest resources. In the United States, a few species of forest pests routinely have significant impacts on up to 20 million ha of forest with economic costs that probably exceed $1 billion/year. Climatic change could alter patterns of disturbance from herbivores and pathogens through: (1) direct effects on the development and survival of herbivores and pathogens; (2) physiological changes in tree defenses; and (3) indirect effects from changes in the abundance of natural enemies (e.g. parasitoids of insect herbivores), mutualists (e.g. insect vectors of tree pathogens), and competitors. Because of their short life cycles, mobility, reproductive potential, and physiological sensitivity to temperature, even modest climate change will have rapid impacts on the distribution and abundance of many forest insects and pathogens. We identify 32 syndromes of biotic disturbance in North American forests that should be carefully evaluated for their responses to climate change: 15 insect herbivores, browsing mammals; 12 pathogens; 1 plant parasite; and 3 undiagnosed patterns of forest decline. It is probable that climatic effects on some herbivores and pathogens will impact on biodiversity, recreation, property value, forest industry, and even water quality. Some scenarios are beneficial (e.g. decreased snow cover may increase winter mortality of some insect pests), but many are detrimental (e.g. warming tends to accelerate insect development rate and facilitate range expansions of pests and climate change tends to produce a mismatch between mature trees and their environment, which can increase vulnerability to herbivores and pathogens). Changes in forest disturbance can produce feedback to climate through affects on water and carbon flux in

  19. Toxicity of a furanocoumarin to armyworms: a case of biosynthetic escape from insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenbaum, M

    1978-08-11

    When the linear furanocoumarin xanthotoxin, found in many plants of the families Rutaceae and Umbelliferae, was administered to larvae of Spodoptera eridania, a generalist insect herbivore, it displayed toxic properties lacking in its biosynthetic precursor umbelliferone. Reduced toxicity observed in the absence of ultraviolet light is consistent with the known mechanism of photoinactivation of DNA by furanocoumarins through ultraviolet-catalyzed cross-linkage of strands. Thus, the ability of a plant to convert umbelliferone to linear furanocoumarins appears to confer broader protection against insect herbivores.

  20. Plants are not sitting ducks waiting for herbivores to eat them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2016-05-03

    There is a common attitude toward plants, accordingly, plants are waiting around to be found and eaten by herbivores. This common approach toward plants is a great underestimation of the huge and variable arsenal of defensive plant strategies. Plants do everything evolution has allowed them to do in order not to be eaten. Therefore, plants are not sitting ducks and many plants outsmart and even exploit many invertebrate and vertebrate herbivores and carnivores for pollination and for seed dispersal, and even carnivores and parasitoids for defense.

  1. OsWRKY53, a versatile switch in regulating herbivore-induced defense responses in rice

    OpenAIRE

    Hu, Lingfei; Ye, Meng; Li, Ran; Lou, Yonggen

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT WRKY proteins, which belong to a large family of plant-specific transcription factors, play important roles in plant defenses against pathogens and herbivores by regulating defense-related signaling pathways. Recently, a rice WRKY transcription factor OsWRKY53 has been reported to function as a negative feedback modulator of OsMPK3/OsMPK6 and thereby to control the size of the investment a rice plant makes to defend against a chewing herbivore, the striped stem borer Chilo suppressal...

  2. Suppression of soil decomposers and promotion of long-lived, root herbivorous nematodes by climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevnbak, Karen; Maraldo, Kristine; Georgieva, Slavka

    2012-01-01

    to climate change predictions for the coming decades. Removing precipitation for two summer months reduced all decomposer organisms assessed, i.e., microbial biomass, protozoa, bacteri- and fungivorous nematodes and enchytraeids, probably with negative effects on soil decomposition. Increasing temperature...... by about 1 °C reduced all nematodes including the dominant trophic group, the root herbivores, by almost 50% in the upper layer. The remaining assemblage of root herbivorous nematodes, however, shifted towards species with longer generation times, possibly because of an earlier start of plant growth...

  3. Herbivores sculpt leaf traits differently in grasslands depending on life form and land-use histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firn, Jennifer; Schütz, Martin; Nguyen, Huong; Risch, Anita C

    2017-01-01

    Vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores alter plant communities directly by selectively consuming plant species; and indirectly by inducing morphological and physiological changes to plant traits that provide competitive or survivorship advantages to some life forms over others. Progressively excluding aboveground herbivore communities (ungulates, medium and small sized mammals, invertebrates) over five growing seasons, we explored how leaf morphology (specific leaf area or SLA) and nutrition (nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and calcium) of different plant life forms (forbs, legumes, grasses, sedges) correlated with their dominance. We experimented in two subalpine grassland types with different land-use histories: (1) heavily grazed, nutrient-rich, short-grass vegetation and (2) lightly grazed, lower nutrient tall-grass vegetation. We found differences in leaf traits between treatments where either all herbivores were excluded or all herbivores were present, showing the importance of considering the impacts of both vertebrates and invertebrates on the leaf traits of plant species. Life forms responses to the progressive exclusion of herbivores were captured by six possible combinations: (1) increased leaf size and resource use efficiency (leaf area/nutrients) where lower nutrient levels are invested in leaf construction, but a reduction in the number of leaves, for example, forbs in both vegetation types, (2) increased leaf size and resource use efficiency, for example, legumes in short grass, (3) increased leaf size but a reduction in the number of leaves, for example, legumes in the tall grass, (4) increased number of leaves produced and increased resource use efficiency, for example, grasses in the short grass, (5) increased resource use efficiency of leaves only, for example, grasses and sedges in the tall grass, and (6) no response in terms of leaf construction or dominance, for example, sedges in the short grass. Although we found multiple

  4. The tri-trophic interactions hypothesis: interactive effects of host plant quality, diet breadth and natural enemies on herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kailen A Mooney

    Full Text Available Several influential hypotheses in plant-herbivore and herbivore-predator interactions consider the interactive effects of plant quality, herbivore diet breadth, and predation on herbivore performance. Yet individually and collectively, these hypotheses fail to address the simultaneous influence of all three factors. Here we review existing hypotheses, and propose the tri-trophic interactions (TTI hypothesis to consolidate and integrate their predictions. The TTI hypothesis predicts that dietary specialist herbivores (as compared to generalists should escape predators and be competitively dominant due to faster growth rates, and that such differences should be greater on low quality (as compared to high quality host plants. To provide a preliminary test of these predictions, we conducted an empirical study comparing the effects of plant (Baccharis salicifolia quality and predators between a specialist (Uroleucon macolai and a generalist (Aphis gossypii aphid herbivore. Consistent with predictions, these three factors interactively determine herbivore performance in ways not addressed by existing hypotheses. Compared to the specialist, the generalist was less fecund, competitively inferior, and more sensitive to low plant quality. Correspondingly, predator effects were contingent upon plant quality only for the generalist. Contrary to predictions, predator effects were weaker for the generalist and on low-quality plants, likely due to density-dependent benefits provided to the generalist by mutualist ants. Because the TTI hypothesis predicts the superior performance of specialists, mutualist ants may be critical to A. gossypii persistence under competition from U. macolai. In summary, the integrative nature of the TTI hypothesis offers novel insight into the determinants of plant-herbivore and herbivore-predator interactions and the coexistence of specialist and generalist herbivores.

  5. Predatory Mite Attraction to Herbivore-induced Plant Odors is not a Consequence of Attraction to Individual Herbivore-induced Plant Volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Bruijn, Paulien J. A.; Sabelis, Maurice W.

    2008-01-01

    Predatory mites locate herbivorous mites, their prey, by the aid of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV). These HIPV differ with plant and/or herbivore species, and it is not well understood how predators cope with this variation. We hypothesized that predators are attracted to specific compounds in HIPV, and that they can identify these compounds in odor mixtures not previously experienced. To test this, we assessed the olfactory response of Phytoseiulus persimilis, a predatory mite that preys on the highly polyphagous herbivore Tetranychus urticae. The responses of the predatory mite to a dilution series of each of 30 structurally different compounds were tested. They mites responded to most of these compounds, but usually in an aversive way. Individual HIPV were no more attractive (or less repellent) than out-group compounds, i.e., volatiles not induced in plants fed upon by spider-mites. Only three samples were significantly attractive to the mites: octan-1-ol, not involved in indirect defense, and cis-3-hexen-1-ol and methyl salicylate, which are both induced by herbivory, but not specific for the herbivore that infests the plant. Attraction to individual compounds was low compared to the full HIPV blend from Lima bean. These results indicate that individual HIPV have no a priori meaning to the mites. Hence, there is no reason why they could profit from an ability to identify individual compounds in odor mixtures. Subsequent experiments confirmed that naive predatory mites do not prefer tomato HIPV, which included the attractive compound methyl salicylate, over the odor of an uninfested bean. However, upon associating each of these odors with food over a period of 15 min, both are preferred. The memory to this association wanes within 24 hr. We conclude that P. persimilis possesses a limited ability to identify individual spider mite-induced plant volatiles in odor mixtures. We suggest that predatory mites instead learn to respond to prey

  6. Satisfying giant appetites : mechanisms of small scale foraging by large African herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pretorius, Y.

    2009-01-01

    Variation in body mass allows for resource partitioning and co-existence of different species. Body mass is also seen as the main factor governing nutrient requirements in herbivores as metabolic rate and requirements have often been found to scale to ¾ power of body mass. Although the consequences

  7. Complex Odor from Plants under Attack: Herbivore's Enemies React to the Whole, Not Its Parts

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijk, Michiel; de Bruijn, Paulien J. A.; Sabelis, Maurice W.

    2011-01-01

    Background Insect herbivory induces plant odors that attract herbivores' natural enemies. Assuming this attraction emerges from individual compounds, genetic control over odor emission of crops may provide a rationale for manipulating the distribution of predators used for pest control. However, studies on odor perception in vertebrates and invertebrates suggest that olfactory information processing of mixtures results in odor percepts that are a synthetic whole and not a set of components that could function as recognizable individual attractants. Here, we ask if predators respond to herbivore-induced attractants in odor mixtures or to odor mixture as a whole. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied a system consisting of Lima bean, the herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. We found that four herbivore-induced bean volatiles are not attractive in pure form while a fifth, methyl salicylate (MeSA), is. Several reduced mixtures deficient in one component compared to the full spider-mite induced blend were not attractive despite the presence of MeSA indicating that the predators cannot detect this component in these odor mixtures. A mixture of all five HIPV is most attractive, when offered together with the non-induced odor of Lima bean. Odors that elicit no response in their pure form were essential components of the attractive mixture. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that the predatory mites perceive odors as a synthetic whole and that the hypothesis that predatory mites recognize attractive HIPV in odor mixtures is unsupported. PMID:21765908

  8. Innate responses of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis to a herbivore-induced plant volatile

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sznajder, B.; Sabelis, M.W.; Egas, M.

    2011-01-01

    The responses of the predatory mite P. persimilis to herbivore-induced plant volatiles are at least partly genetically determined. Thus, there is potential for the evolution of this behaviour by natural selection. We tested whether distinct predator genotypes with contrasting responses to a specific

  9. Complex odor from plants under attack: herbivore's enemies react to the whole, not its parts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michiel van Wijk

    Full Text Available Insect herbivory induces plant odors that attract herbivores' natural enemies. Assuming this attraction emerges from individual compounds, genetic control over odor emission of crops may provide a rationale for manipulating the distribution of predators used for pest control. However, studies on odor perception in vertebrates and invertebrates suggest that olfactory information processing of mixtures results in odor percepts that are a synthetic whole and not a set of components that could function as recognizable individual attractants. Here, we ask if predators respond to herbivore-induced attractants in odor mixtures or to odor mixture as a whole.We studied a system consisting of Lima bean, the herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. We found that four herbivore-induced bean volatiles are not attractive in pure form while a fifth, methyl salicylate (MeSA, is. Several reduced mixtures deficient in one component compared to the full spider-mite induced blend were not attractive despite the presence of MeSA indicating that the predators cannot detect this component in these odor mixtures. A mixture of all five HIPV is most attractive, when offered together with the non-induced odor of Lima bean. Odors that elicit no response in their pure form were essential components of the attractive mixture.We conclude that the predatory mites perceive odors as a synthetic whole and that the hypothesis that predatory mites recognize attractive HIPV in odor mixtures is unsupported.

  10. Behavioral adjustments of African herbivores to predation risk by lions: spatiotemporal variations influence habitat use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valeix, M; Loveridge, A J; Chamaillé-Jammes, S; Davidson, Z; Murindagomo, F; Fritz, H; Macdonald, D W

    2009-01-01

    Predators may influence their prey populations not only through direct lethal effects, but also through indirect behavioral changes. Here, we combined spatiotemporal fine-scale data from GPS radio collars on lions with habitat use information on 11 African herbivores in Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe) to test whether the risk of predation by lions influenced the distribution of herbivores in the landscape. Effects of long-term risk of predation (likelihood of lion presence calculated over four months) and short-term risk of predation (actual presence of lions in the vicinity in the preceding 24 hours) were contrasted. The long-term risk of predation by lions appeared to influence the distributions of all browsers across the landscape, but not of grazers. This result strongly suggests that browsers and grazers, which face different ecological constraints, are influenced at different spatial and temporal scales in the variation of the risk of predation by lions. The results also show that all herbivores tend to use more open habitats preferentially when lions are in their vicinity, probably an effective anti-predator behavior against such an ambush predator. Behaviorally induced effects of lions may therefore contribute significantly to structuring African herbivore communities, and hence possibly their effects on savanna ecosystems.

  11. Plant defenses against parasitic plants show similarities to those induced by herbivores and pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B; Mescher, Mark C

    2010-01-01

    Herbivores and pathogens come quickly to mind when one thinks of the biotic challenges faced by plants. Important but less appreciated enemies are parasitic plants, which can have important consequences for the fitness and survival of their hosts. Our knowledge of plant perception, signaling and response to herbivores and pathogens has expanded rapidly in recent years, but information is generally lacking for parasitic species. In a recent paper we reported that some of the same defense responses induced by herbivores and pathogens—notably increases in jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), and a hypersensitive-like response (HLR)—also occur in tomato plants upon attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona (field dodder). Parasitism induced a distinct pattern of JA and SA accumulation, and growth trials using genetically-altered tomato hosts suggested that both JA and SA govern effective defenses against the parasite, though the extent of the response varied with host plant age. Here we discuss similarities between the induced responses we observed in response to Cuscuta parasitism to those previously described for herbivores and pathogens and present new data showing that trichomes should be added to the list of plant defenses that act against multiple enemies and across kingdoms. PMID:20495380

  12. Moisture and nutrients determine the distribution and richness of India's large herbivore species assemblage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahrestani, F.S.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Langevelde, van F.; Vaidyanathan, S.; Madhusudan, M.D.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to test whether body-mass based foraging principles, guided by plant available moisture (PAM) and plant available nutrients (PAN), could explain large mammalian herbivore species distribution and richness in India. We tested (1) whether the occurrence of larger-bodied

  13. Plant-herbivore interactions along elevational gradient: Comparison of field and common garden data

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Dostálek, Tomáš; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 77, November 2016 (2016), s. 168-175 ISSN 1146-609X R&D Projects: GA ČR GP13-10850P Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : anti-herbivore defense * altitude * Himalayan region Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.652, year: 2016

  14. Large herbivore population performance and climate in a South African semi-arid savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armin H. Seydack

    2012-02-01

    Interpretation according to a climate–vegetation response model suggested that acclimation of forage plants to increasing temperature had resulted in temperature-enhanced plant productivity, initially increasing food availability and supporting transient synchronous increases in population abundance of both blue wildebeest and zebra, and selective grazers. As acclimation of plants to concurrently rising minimum (nocturnal temperature (Tmin took effect, adjustments in metabolic functionality occurred involving accelerated growth activity at the cost of storage-based metabolism. Growth-linked nitrogen dilution and reduced carbon-nutrient quality of forage then resulted in phases of subsequently declining herbivore populations. Over the long term (1910–2010, progressive plant functionality shifts towards accelerated metabolic growth rather than storage priority occurred in response to Tmin rising faster than maximum temperature (Tmax, thereby cumulatively compromising the carbon-nutrient quality of forage, a key resource for selective grazers. The results of analyses thus revealed consistency between herbivore population trends and levels of forage quantity and quality congruent with expected plant metabolic responses to climate effects. Thus, according to the climate-vegetation response model, climate effects were implicated as the ultimate cause of large herbivore population performance in space and over time. Conservation implications: In its broadest sense, the objective of this study was to contribute towards the enhanced understanding of landscape-scale functioning of savanna systems with regard to the interplay between climate, vegetation and herbivore population dynamics.

  15. Differential effects of land use on ant and herbivore insect communities associated with Caryocar brasiliense (Caryocaraceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico S. Neves

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Simplification of natural habitats leads to a modification of the community associated with a host plant. Pequi trees (Caryocar brasiliense are common to find in central Brazil, especially in the middle of monocultures, such as soy, corn, pasturelands or Eucalyptus plantations. On this scenario we hypothesized that habitat modification differentially affects the diversity of ants and herbivore insects associated with this species. The aim of the work was to test if C. brasiliense trees located in human modified habitats, support a lower species richness and abundance of ants, and a greater species richness and abundance of insect herbivores, compared to preserved cerrado habitats. The study was conducted in a Cerrado area located in Northern Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Ants and herbivore insects were collected monthly during 2005 using beating technique. The results showed that ant species richness was higher in pequi trees located in preserved Cerrado, followed by trees in pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation, respectively. The ant abundance was lower in the Eucalyptus plantation but no difference in ant abundance was observed between trees in pastureland and the preserved Cerrado. Moreover, herbivore insects exhibited lower number of species and individuals in trees located in the preserved Cerrado than in the pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation. We concluded that habitats simplified by human activities may result in diversity loss and may change species interactions.

  16. Tropical herbivorous phasmids, but not litter snails, alter decomposition rates by modifying litter bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelse M. Prather; Gary E. Belovsky; Sharon A. Cantrell; Grizelle González

    2018-01-01

    Consumers can alter decomposition rates through both feces and selective feeding in many ecosystems, but these combined effects have seldom been examined in tropical ecosystems. Members of the detrital food web (litter-feeders or microbivores) should presumably have greater effects on decomposition than herbivores, members of the green food web. Using litterbag...

  17. Cytokinin levels and signaling respond to wounding and the perception of herbivore elicitors in Nicotiana attenuata

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Schäfer, M.; Meza-Canales, I.D.; Navarro-Quezada, A.; Brütting, C.; Vaňková, Radomíra; Baldwin, I.T.; Meldau, S.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 2 (2015), s. 198-212 ISSN 1672-9072 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/2062 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Arabidopsis thaliana * cytokinin * herbivore-associated molecular patterns Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 3.670, year: 2015

  18. Time-scale effects in the interaction between a large and a small herbivore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijper, D. P. J.; Beek, P.; van Wieren, S.E.; Bakker, J. P.

    2008-01-01

    In the short term, grazing will mainly affect plant biomass and forage quality. However, grazing can affect plant species composition by accelerating or retarding succession at longer time-scales. Few studies concerning interactions among herbivores have taken the change in plant species composition

  19. Effects of large herbivores on wood pasture dynamics in a European wetland system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, P.; Bokdam, J.; Sykora, K.V.; Berendse, F.

    2014-01-01

    Whether self-regulating large herbivores play a key role in the development of wood-pasture landscapes remains a crucial unanswered question for both ecological theory and nature conservation. We describe and analyse how a ‘partly self-regulating’ population of cattle, horses and red deer affected

  20. Prioritizing plant defence over growth through WRKY regulation facilitates infestation by non-target herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ran; Zhang, Jin; Li, Jiancai; Zhou, Guoxin; Wang, Qi; Bian, Wenbo; Erb, Matthias; Lou, Yonggen

    2015-01-01

    Plants generally respond to herbivore attack by increasing resistance and decreasing growth. This prioritization is achieved through the regulation of phytohormonal signaling networks. However, it remains unknown how this prioritization affects resistance against non-target herbivores. In this study, we identify WRKY70 as a specific herbivore-induced, mitogen-activated protein kinase-regulated rice transcription factor that physically interacts with W-box motifs and prioritizes defence over growth by positively regulating jasmonic acid (JA) and negatively regulating gibberellin (GA) biosynthesis upon attack by the chewing herbivore Chilo suppressalis. WRKY70-dependent JA biosynthesis is required for proteinase inhibitor activation and resistance against C. suppressalis. In contrast, WRKY70 induction increases plant susceptibility against the rice brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens. Experiments with GA-deficient rice lines identify WRKY70-dependent GA signaling as the causal factor in N. lugens susceptibility. Our study shows that prioritizing defence over growth leads to a significant resistance trade-off with important implications for the evolution and agricultural exploitation of plant immunity. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04805.001 PMID:26083713

  1. OsWRKY53, a versatile switch in regulating herbivore-induced defense responses in rice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Lingfei; Ye, Meng; Li, Ran; Lou, Yonggen

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT WRKY proteins, which belong to a large family of plant-specific transcription factors, play important roles in plant defenses against pathogens and herbivores by regulating defense-related signaling pathways. Recently, a rice WRKY transcription factor OsWRKY53 has been reported to function as a negative feedback modulator of OsMPK3/OsMPK6 and thereby to control the size of the investment a rice plant makes to defend against a chewing herbivore, the striped stem borer Chilo suppressalis. We investigated the performance of a piecing-sucking herbivore, the brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens, on transgenic plants that silence or overexpress OsWRKY53, and found that OsWRKY53 activates rice defenses against BPH by activating an H2O2 burst and suppressing ethylene biosynthesis. These findings suggest that OsWRKY53 functions not only as a regulator of plants' investment in specific defenses, but also as a switch to initiate new defenses against other stresses, highlighting the versatility and importance of OsWRKY53 in herbivore-induced plant defenses. PMID:27031005

  2. Burrowing herbivores alter soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in a semi-arid ecosystem, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth L. Clark; Lyn C. Branch; Jose L. Hierro; Diego Villarreal

    2016-01-01

    Activities of burrowing herbivores, including movement of soil and litter and deposition of waste material, can alter the distribution of labile carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in soil, affecting spatial patterning of nutrient dynamics in ecosystems where they are abundant. Their role in ecosystem processes in surface soil has been studied extensively, but effects of...

  3. Limited dietary overlap amongst resident Arctic herbivores in winter: complementary insights from complementary methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Niels M; Mosbacher, Jesper B; Vesterinen, Eero J; Roslin, Tomas; Michelsen, Anders

    2018-04-26

    Snow may prevent Arctic herbivores from accessing their forage in winter, forcing them to aggregate in the few patches with limited snow. In High Arctic Greenland, Arctic hare and rock ptarmigan often forage in muskox feeding craters. We therefore hypothesized that due to limited availability of forage, the dietary niches of these resident herbivores overlap considerably, and that the overlap increases as winter progresses. To test this, we analyzed fecal samples collected in early and late winter. We used molecular analysis to identify the plant taxa consumed, and stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen to quantify the dietary niche breadth and dietary overlap. The plant taxa found indicated only limited dietary differentiation between the herbivores. As expected, dietary niches exhibited a strong contraction from early to late winter, especially for rock ptarmigan. This may indicate increasing reliance on particular plant resources as winter progresses. In early winter, the diet of rock ptarmigan overlapped slightly with that of muskox and Arctic hare. Contrary to our expectations, no inter-specific dietary niche overlap was observed in late winter. This overall pattern was specifically revealed by combined analysis of molecular data and stable isotope contents. Hence, despite foraging in the same areas and generally feeding on the same plant taxa, the quantitative dietary overlap between the three herbivores was limited. This may be attributable to species-specific consumption rates of plant taxa. Yet, Arctic hare and rock ptarmigan may benefit from muskox opening up the snow pack, thereby allowing them to access the plants.

  4. Interactions Between a Belowground Herbivore and Primary and Secondary Root Metabolites in Wild Cabbage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Geem, Moniek; Harvey, J.A.; Cortesero, A.M.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Gols, R.

    2015-01-01

    Plants are attacked by both above- and belowground herbivores. Toxic secondary compounds are part of the chemical defense arsenal of plants against a range of antagonists, and are subject to genetic variation. Plants also produce primary metabolites (amino acids, nutrients, sugars) that function as

  5. Status of babesiosis among domestic herbivores in Iran: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghi, Mousa Motavalli; Etemadifar, Fariborz; Fakhar, Mahdi; Teshnizi, Saeed Hosseini; Soosaraei, Masoud; Shokri, Azar; Hajihasani, Atta; Mashhadi, Hamed

    2017-04-01

    Babesiosis is a protozoal disease caused by Babesia spp. in mammals and humans worldwide. It is one of the most important tick-borne diseases, which affects livestock productions, reproductions, and accordingly failing economy. In this, systematic review and meta-analysis, study, the prevalence of babesiosis among domestic herbivores in Iran, between 1998 and 2015, was methodically reviewed. Nine databases including five English and four Persian databases were explored. A total of 49 articles, as regards the examination of 13,547 sheep, 1920 goats, 7167 cattle, and 940 horses, corresponding to prevalence of babesiosis from different regions of Iran were gathered for our qualifying criteria. The overall prevalence of babesiosis was expected to be 14% (95% CI 12%, 16%) in domestic herbivores. Our results showed the highest prevalence in Khorasan Razavi (18.6%) and West Azarbaijan (15.2%) and the lowest in Mazandaran (8.8%) and Isfahan provinces (9.6%), respectively. The high prevalence of Babesia infection in herbivores (mostly sheep and goats) confirms the established enzootic situation of babesiosis in Iran, particularly in western and northeastern regions of the country. Our data offered important and updated information on the epidemiology of babesiosis, for the first time, in domestic herbivores in Iran, and will likely be contributing to the expansion of the screening and control strategies to reduce health and economic impacts among farm animals.

  6. Plant-Mediated Systemic Interactions Between Pathogens, Parasitic Nematodes, and Herbivores Above- and Belowground

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biere, A.; Goverse, A.

    2016-01-01

    Plants are important mediators of interactions between aboveground (AG) and belowground (BG) pathogens, arthropod herbivores, and nematodes (phytophages). We highlight recent progress in our understanding of within- and cross-compartment plant responses to these groups of phytophages in terms of

  7. Plant-mediated systemic interactions between pathogens, parasitic nematodes, and herbivores above- and belowground

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biere, A.; Goverse, Aska

    2016-01-01

    Plants are important mediators of interactions between aboveground (AG) and belowground (BG) pathogens, arthropod herbivores, and nematodes (phytophages). We highlight recent progress in our understanding of within and cross-compartment plant responses to these groups of phytophages in terms of

  8. Effects of herbivore grazing on the physiognomy of the coralline alga ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effects of herbivore grazing on the physiognomy of the coralline alga Spongites yendoi and on associated competitive interactions. ... overlapping distributions between strongly interacting species along a broad geographical gradient is not just a significant feature of the ecology of terrestrial, but also of marine ecosystems.

  9. Endozoochory by free-ranging, large herbivores : Ecological correlates and perspectives for restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mouissie, Albert; Vos, P; Verhagen, HMC; Bakker, JP

    2005-01-01

    Seed dispersal via ingestion and defecation by large herbivores provides a possible aid for ecological restoration of plant communities, by connecting source communities of target species with habitat restoration sites. It is also a possible threat due to invasion of weeds, grasses or exotic

  10. Nectar and pollen feeding by insect herbivores and implications for multitrophic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wäckers, F.L.; Romeis, J.; van Rijn, P.

    2007-01-01

    Among herbivorous insects with a complete metamorphosis the larval and adult stages usually differ considerably in their nutritional requirements and food ecology. Often, feeding on plant structural tissue is restricted to the larval stage, whereas the adult stage feeds primarily or exclusively on

  11. Herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction shape the life history of an iteroparous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X; Tenhumberg, Brigitte; Louda, Svata M

    2008-02-01

    Plant reproduction yields immediate fitness benefits but can be costly in terms of survival, growth, and future fecundity. Life-history theory posits that reproductive strategies are shaped by trade-offs between current and future fitness that result from these direct costs of reproduction. Plant reproduction may also incur indirect ecological costs if it increases susceptibility to herbivores. Yet ecological costs of reproduction have received little empirical attention and remain poorly integrated into life-history theory. Here, we provide evidence for herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction, and we develop theory to examine how these costs influence plant life-history strategies. Field experiments with an iteroparous cactus (Opuntia imbricata) indicated that greater reproductive effort (proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction) led to greater attack by a cactus-feeding insect (Narnia pallidicornis) and that damage by this herbivore reduced reproductive success. A dynamic programming model predicted strongly divergent optimal reproductive strategies when ecological costs were included, compared with when these costs were ignored. Meristem allocation by cacti in the field matched the optimal strategy expected under ecological costs of reproduction. The results indicate that plant reproductive allocation can strongly influence the intensity of interactions with herbivores and that associated ecological costs can play an important selective role in the evolution of plant life histories.

  12. Plant reproductive allocation predicts herbivore dynamics across spatial and temporal scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X; Tyre, Andrew J; Louda, Svata M

    2006-11-01

    Life-history theory suggests that iteroparous plants should be flexible in their allocation of resources toward growth and reproduction. Such plasticity could have consequences for herbivores that prefer or specialize on vegetative versus reproductive structures. To test this prediction, we studied the response of the cactus bug (Narnia pallidicornis) to meristem allocation by tree cholla cactus (Opuntia imbricata). We evaluated the explanatory power of demographic models that incorporated variation in cactus relative reproductive effort (RRE; the proportion of meristems allocated toward reproduction). Field data provided strong support for a single model that defined herbivore fecundity as a time-varying, increasing function of host RRE. High-RRE plants were predicted to support larger insect populations, and this effect was strongest late in the season. Independent field data provided strong support for these qualitative predictions and suggested that plant allocation effects extend across temporal and spatial scales. Specifically, late-season insect abundance was positively associated with interannual changes in cactus RRE over 3 years. Spatial variation in insect abundance was correlated with variation in RRE among five cactus populations across New Mexico. We conclude that plant allocation can be a critical component of resource quality for insect herbivores and, thus, an important mechanism underlying variation in herbivore abundance across time and space.

  13. Landscape and host plant effects on reproduction by a mobile, polyphagous, multivoltine arthropod herbivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landscape factors can significantly influence arthropod natural enemy and herbivore pest populations. The economically important brown stink bug, Euschistus servus, is a native mobile, polyphagous and multivoltine pest of many crops in southeastern USA and understanding the relative influence of loc...

  14. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilthuizen, Menno; Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G P; van Duijn, Pieter T; Meulblok, Marjolein M; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more

  15. Bottom-up vs. top-down effects on terrestrial insect herbivores: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Mayra C; Murphy, Shannon M

    2018-01-01

    Primary consumers are under strong selection from resource ('bottom-up') and consumer ('top-down') controls, but the relative importance of these selective forces is unknown. We performed a meta-analysis to compare the strength of top-down and bottom-up forces on consumer fitness, considering multiple predictors that can modulate these effects: diet breadth, feeding guild, habitat/environment, type of bottom-up effects, type of top-down effects and how consumer fitness effects are measured. We focused our analyses on the most diverse group of primary consumers, herbivorous insects, and found that in general top-down forces were stronger than bottom-up forces. Notably, chewing, sucking and gall-making herbivores were more affected by top-down than bottom-up forces, top-down forces were stronger than bottom-up in both natural and controlled (cultivated) environments, and parasitoids and predators had equally strong top-down effects on insect herbivores. Future studies should broaden the scope of focal consumers, particularly in understudied terrestrial systems, guilds, taxonomic groups and top-down controls (e.g. pathogens), and test for more complex indirect community interactions. Our results demonstrate the surprising strength of forces exerted by natural enemies on herbivorous insects, and thus the necessity of using a tri-trophic approach when studying insect-plant interactions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  16. Interaction between a fungal endophyte and root herbivores of Ammophila arenaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hol, W.H.G.; de la Peña, E.; Moens, M.; Cook, R.

    2007-01-01

    The effect of an endophytic fungus (Acremonium strictum) on plant-growth related parameters of marram grass (Ammophila arenaria), and its potential as a protective agent against root herbivores (Pratylenchus dunensis and Pratylenchus penetrans, root-lesion nematodes) was investigated in two

  17. Potential for biotic resistance from herbivores to tropical and subtropical plant invasions in aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petruzella, A.; Grutters, B.M.C.; Thomaz, S.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2017-01-01

    Invasions of tropical and subtropical aquatic plants threaten biodiversity and cause ecological and economic impacts worldwide. An urgent question is whether native herbivores are able to inhibit the spread of these alien species thus providing biotic resistance. The potential for biotic resistance

  18. Virus infection decreases the attractiveness of white clover plants for a non-vectoring herbivore

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Mölken, Tamara; Caluwe, Hannie de; Hordijk, Cornelis A.

    2012-01-01

    Plant pathogens and insect herbivores are prone to share hosts under natural conditions. Consequently, pathogen-induced changes in the host plant can affect herbivory, and vice versa. Even though plant viruses are ubiquitous in the field, little is known about plant-mediated interactions between ...

  19. The impact of herbivores on nitrogen mineralization rate : consequences for salt-marsh succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wijnen, HJ; van der Wal, R; Bakker, JP

    Soil net N-mineralization rate was measured along a successional gradient in salt-marsh sites that were grazed by vertebrate herbivores, and in 5-year-old exclosures from which the animals were excluded. Mineralization rate was significantly higher at ungrazed than at grazed sites. In the absence of

  20. The herbivore-induced plant volatile methyl salicylate negatively affects attraction of the parasitoid Diadegma semiclausum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snoeren, T.A.L.; Mumm, R.; Poelman, E.H.; Yang, Y.; Pichersky, E.; Dicke, M.

    2010-01-01

    The indirect defense mechanisms of plants comprise the production of herbivore-induced plant volatiles that can attract natural enemies of plant attackers. One of the often emitted compounds after herbivory is methyl salicylate (MeSA). Here, we studied the importance of this caterpillar-induced

  1. Aboveground vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore impact on net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risch, Anita C; Schotz, Martin; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Van Der Putten, Wim H; Duyts, Henk; Raschein, Ursina; Gwiazdowicz, Dariusz J; Busse, Matt D; Page-dumroese, Deborah S; Zimmermann, Stephan

    2015-12-01

    Aboveground herbivores have strong effects on grassland nitrogen (N) cycling. They can accelerate or slow down soil net N mineralization depending on ecosystem productivity and grazing intensity. Yet, most studies only consider either ungulates or invertebrate herbivores, but not the combined effect of several functionally different vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore species or guilds. We assessed how a diverse herbivore community affects net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands. By using size-selective fences, we progressively excluded large, medium, and small mammals, as well as invertebrates from two vegetation types, and assessed how the exclosure types (ET) affected net N mineralization. The two vegetation types differed in long-term management (centuries), forage quality, and grazing history and intensity. To gain a more mechanistic understanding of how herbivores affect net N mineralization, we linked mineralization to soil abiotic (temperature; moisture; NO3-, NH4+, and total inorganic N concentrations/pools; C, N, P concentrations; pH; bulk density), soil biotic (microbial biomass; abundance of collembolans, mites, and nematodes) and plant (shoot and root biomass; consumption; plant C, N, and fiber content; plant N pool) properties. Net N mineralization differed between ET, but not between vegetation types. Thus, short-term changes in herbivore community composition and, therefore, in grazing intensity had a stronger effect on net N mineralization than long-term management and grazing history. We found highest N mineralization values when only invertebrates were present, suggesting that mammals had a negative effect on net N mineralization. Of the variables included in our analyses, only mite abundance and aboveground plant biomass explained variation in net N mineralization among ET. Abundances of both mites and leaf-sucking invertebrates were positively correlated with aboveground plant biomass, and biomass increased with progressive exclusion

  2. Monoterpenes as inhibitors of digestive enzymes and counter-adaptations in a specialist avian herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Pitman, Elizabeth; Robb, Brecken C; Connelly, John W; Dearing, M Denise; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen

    2015-05-01

    Many plants produce plant secondary metabolites (PSM) that inhibit digestive enzymes of herbivores, thus limiting nutrient availability. In response, some specialist herbivores have evolved digestive enzymes that are resistant to inhibition. Monoterpenes, a class of PSMs, have not been investigated with respect to the interference of specific digestive enzymes, nor have such interactions been studied in avian herbivores. We investigated this interaction in the Greater Sage-Grouse (Phasianidae: Centrocercus urophasianus), which specializes on monoterpene-rich sagebrush species (Artemisia spp.). We first measured the monoterpene concentrations in gut contents of free-ranging sage-grouse. Next, we compared the ability of seven individual monoterpenes present in sagebrush to inhibit a protein-digesting enzyme, aminopeptidase-N. We also measured the inhibitory effects of PSM extracts from two sagebrush species. Inhibition of aminopeptidase-N in sage-grouse was compared to inhibition in chickens (Gallus gallus). We predicted that sage-grouse enzymes would retain higher activity when incubated with isolated monoterpenes or sagebrush extracts than chicken enzymes. We detected unchanged monoterpenes in the gut contents of free-ranging sage-grouse. We found that three isolated oxygenated monoterpenes (borneol, camphor, and 1,8-cineole) inhibited digestive enzymes of both bird species. Camphor and 1,8-cineole inhibited enzymes from chickens more than from sage-grouse. Extracts from both species of sagebrush had similar inhibition of chicken enzymes, but did not inhibit sage-grouse enzymes. These results suggest that specific monoterpenes may limit the protein digestibility of plant material by avian herbivores. Further, this work presents additional evidence that adaptations of digestive enzymes to plant defensive compounds may be a trait of specialist herbivores.

  3. Effects of herbivore exclusion and nutrient enrichment on coral reef macroalgae and cyanobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thacker, R.; Ginsburg, D.; Paul, V.

    2001-05-01

    Although phase shifts on coral reefs from coral-dominated to algal-dominated communities have been attributed to the effects of increased nutrient availability due to eutrophication and reduced herbivore abundance due to overfishing and disease, these factors have rarely been manipulated simultaneously. In addition, few studies have considered the effects of these factors on benthic, filamentous cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) as well as macroalgae. We used a combination of herbivore-exclusion cages and nutrient enrichment to manipulate herbivore abundance and nutrient availability, and measured the impacts of these treatments on macroalgal and cyanobacterial community structure. In the absence of cages, surface cover of the cyanobacterium Tolypothrix sp. decreased, while surface cover of the cyanobacteria Oscillatoria spp. increased. Cyanobacterial cover decreased in partial cages, and Tolypothrix sp. cover decreased further in full cages. Lower cyanobacterial cover and biomass were correlated with higher macroalgal cover and biomass. Dictyota bartayresiana dominated the partial cages, while Padina tenuis and Tolypiocladia glomerulata recruited into the full cages. Palatability assays demonstrated that herbivore-exclusion shifted macroalgal species composition from relatively unpalatable to relatively palatable species. Nutrient enrichment interacted with herbivore exclusion to increase the change in cover of D. bartayresiana in the uncaged and fully caged plots, but did not affect the final biomass of D. bartayresiana among treatments. Nutrient enrichment did not significantly affect the cover or biomass of any other taxa. These results stress the critical role of herbivory in determining coral reef community structure and suggest that the relative palatabilities of dominant algae, as well as algal growth responses to nutrient enrichment, will determine the potential for phase shifts to algal-dominated communities.

  4. Termites and large herbivores influence seed removal rates in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acanakwo, Erik Francis; Sheil, Douglas; Moe, Stein R

    2017-12-01

    Seed removal can influence plant community dynamics, composition, and resulting vegetation characteristics. In the African savanna, termites and large herbivores influence vegetation in various ways, likely including indirect effects on seed predators and secondary dispersers. However, the intensity and variation of seed removal rates in African savannas has seldom been studied. We experimentally investigated whether termites and large herbivores were important factors in the mechanisms contributing to observed patterns in tree species composition on and off mounds, in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. Within fenced (excluding large herbivores) and unfenced termite mound and adjacent savanna plots, we placed seeds of nine native tree species within small open "cages," accessed by all animals, roofed cages that only allowed access to small vertebrates and invertebrates, and closed cages that permitted access by smaller invertebrates only (5 mm wire mesh). We found that mean seed removal rate was high (up to 87.3% per 3 d). Mound habitats experienced significantly higher removal rates than off-mound habitats. The mean removal rate of native seeds from closed cages was 11.1% per 3 d compared with 19.4% and 23.3% removed per 3 d in the roofed and open cages, respectively. Smaller seeds experienced higher removal rates than larger seeds. Large herbivore exclusion on mounds reduced native seed removal rates by a mean of 8.8% in the open cages, but increased removal rates by 1.7% in the open cages when off-mound habitats were fenced. While removal rates from open cages were higher on active mounds (30.9%) than on inactive mounds (26.7%), the removal rates from closed cages were lower on active vs. inactive mounds (6.1% vs. 11.6%, respectively). Thus, we conclude that large herbivores and Macrotermes mounds influence seed removal rates, though these effects appear indirect. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. Cardenolides, induced responses, and interactions between above- and belowground herbivores of milkweed (Asclepias spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmann, Sergio; Agrawal, Anurag A; Cook, Susan C; Erwin, Alexis C

    2009-09-01

    Theory has long predicted allocation patterns for plant defense against herbivory, but only recently have both above- and belowground plant defenses been considered simultaneously. Milkweeds in the genus Asclepias are a classic chemically defended clade of plants with toxic cardenolides (cardiac glycosides) and pressurized latex employed as anti-herbivore weapons. Here we combine a comparative approach to investigate broadscale patterns in allocation to root vs. shoot defenses across species with a species-specific experimental approach to identify the consequences of defense allocational shifts on a specialist herbivore. Our results show phylogenetic conservatism for inducibility of shoot cardenolides by an aboveground herbivore, with only four closely related tropical species showing significant induction; the eight temperate species examined were not inducible. Allocation to root and shoot cardenolides was positively correlated across species, and this relationship was maintained after accounting for phylogenetic nonindependence. In contrast to long-standing theoretical predictions, we found no evidence for a trade-off between constitutive and induced cardenolides; indeed the two were positively correlated across species in both roots and shoots. Finally, specialist root and shoot herbivores of common milkweed (A. syriaca) had opposing effects on latex production, and these effects had consequences for caterpillar growth consistent with latex providing resistance. Although cardenolides were not affected by our treatments, A. syriaca allocated 40% more cardenolides to shoots over roots. We conclude that constitutive and inducible defenses are not trading off across plant species, and shoots of Asclepias are more inducible than roots. Phylogenetic conservatism cannot explain the observed patterns of cardenolide levels across species, but inducibility per se was conserved in a tropical clade. Finally, given that above- and belowground herbivores can systemically

  6. Organismal responses to habitat change: herbivore performance, climate and leaf traits in regenerating tropical dry forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agosta, Salvatore J; Hulshof, Catherine M; Staats, Ethan G

    2017-05-01

    The ecological effects of large-scale climate change have received much attention, but the effects of the more acute form of climate change that results from local habitat alteration have been less explored. When forest is fragmented, cut, thinned, cleared or otherwise altered in structure, local climates and microclimates change. Such changes can affect herbivores both directly (e.g. through changes in body temperature) and indirectly (e.g. through changes in host plant traits). We advance an eco-physiological framework to understand the effects of changing forests on herbivorous insects. We hypothesize that if tropical forest caterpillars are climate and resource specialists, then they should have reduced performance outside of mature forest conditions. We tested this hypothesis with a field experiment contrasting the performance of Rothschildia lebeau (Saturniidae) caterpillars feeding on the host plant Casearia nitida (Salicaceae) in two different aged and structured tropical dry forests in Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Compared to more mature closed-canopy forest, in younger secondary forest we found that: (1) ambient conditions were hotter, drier and more variable; (2) caterpillar growth and development were reduced; and (3) leaves were tougher, thicker and drier. Furthermore, caterpillar growth and survival were negatively correlated with these leaf traits, suggesting indirect host-mediated effects of climate on herbivores. Based on the available evidence, and relative to mature forest, we conclude that reduced herbivore performance in young secondary forest could have been driven by changes in climate, leaf traits (which were likely climate induced) or both. However, additional studies will be needed to provide more direct evidence of cause-and-effect and to disentangle the relative influence of these factors on herbivore performance in this system. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  7. Increased resistance to a generalist herbivore in a salinity-stressed non-halophytic plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renault, Sylvie; Wolfe, Scott; Markham, John; Avila-Sakar, Germán

    2016-01-01

    Plants often grow under the combined stress of several factors. Salinity and herbivory, separately, can severely hinder plant growth and reproduction, but the combined effects of both factors are still not clearly understood. Salinity is known to reduce plant tissue nitrogen content and growth rates. Since herbivores prefer tissues with high N content, and biochemical pathways leading to resistance are commonly elicited by salt-stress, we hypothesized that plants growing in saline conditions would have enhanced resistance against herbivores. The non-halophyte, Brassica juncea, and the generalist herbivore Trichoplusia ni were used to test the prediction that plants subjected to salinity stress would be both more resistant and more tolerant to herbivory than those growing without salt stress. Plants were grown under different NaCl levels, and either exposed to herbivores and followed by removal of half of their leaves, or left intact. Plants were left to grow and reproduce until senescence. Tissue quality was assessed, seeds were counted and biomass of different organs measured. Plants exposed to salinity grew less, had reduced tissue nitrogen, protein and chlorophyll content, although proline levels increased. Specific leaf area, leaf water content, transpiration and root:shoot ratio remained unaffected. Plants growing under saline condition had greater constitutive resistance than unstressed plants. However, induced resistance and tolerance were not affected by salinity. These results support the hypothesis that plants growing under salt-stress are better defended against herbivores, although in B. juncea this may be mostly through resistance, and less through tolerance. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  8. Comparative Genomics of the Herbivore Gut Symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri Reveals Genetic Diversity and Lifestyle Adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Yu

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Lactobacillus reuteri is a catalase-negative, Gram-positive, non-motile, obligately heterofermentative bacterial species that has been used as a model to describe the ecology and evolution of vertebrate gut symbionts. However, the genetic features and evolutionary strategies of L. reuteri from the gastrointestinal tract of herbivores remain unknown. Therefore, 16 L. reuteri strains isolated from goat, sheep, cow, and horse in Inner Mongolia, China were sequenced in this study. A comparative genomic approach was used to assess genetic diversity and gain insight into the distinguishing features related to the different hosts based on 21 published genomic sequences. Genome size, G + C content, and average nucleotide identity values of the L. reuteri strains from different hosts indicated that the strains have broad genetic diversity. The pan-genome of 37 L. reuteri strains contained 8,680 gene families, and the core genome contained 726 gene families. A total of 92,270 nucleotide mutation sites were discovered among 37 L. reuteri strains, and all core genes displayed a Ka/Ks ratio much lower than 1, suggesting strong purifying selective pressure (negative selection. A highly robust maximum likelihood tree based on the core genes shown in the herbivore isolates were divided into three clades; clades A and B contained most of the herbivore isolates and were more closely related to human isolates and vastly distinct from clade C. Some functional genes may be attributable to host-specific of the herbivore, omnivore, and sourdough groups. Moreover, the numbers of genes encoding cell surface proteins and active carbohydrate enzymes were host-specific. This study provides new insight into the adaptation of L. reuteri to the intestinal habitat of herbivores, suggesting that the genomic diversity of L. reuteri from different ecological origins is closely associated with their living environment.

  9. Remote Sensing Forage Quality for Browsing Herbivores: A Case Study of Cutting Edge Koala Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngentob, K. N.; Au, J.; Held, A. A.; Foley, W. J.; Possingham, H. P.

    2014-12-01

    Managing landscapes for conservation requires a capacity to measure habitat quality. Although multiple factors are often responsible for the distribution and abundance of herbivores, spatial variations in the quality and quantity of plant forage are known to be important for many species. While we cannot see the chemical complexity of landscapes with our naked-eye, advances in imaging spectroscopy are making it possible to assess the quality of forage on a landscape-scale. Much research in this area has focused on the ability to estimate foliar nitrogen (N), because N is believed to be a limiting nutrient for many leaf eating animals. However, the total quantity of foliar N does not necessarily reflect the amount of N that can be utilized by herbivores. Available nitrogen (AvailN) is an invitro measure of forage quality that integrates the influence of tannins and fibre on the amount of foliar N that is available for digestion by herbivores. This may be a more meaningful measure of forage quality than total N for the many herbivorous species that are sensitive to the effects of tannins. Our previous research has demonstrated that it is possible to estimate this integrated measure of foliar nutritional quality at an individual tree crown level across multiple tree species using imaging spectroscopy (HyMap). Here we present a case study of how this remote sensing data is being used to help inform landscape management and conservation decisions for an iconic Australian species, the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). We review the methods involved in developing maps of integrated measures of foliar nutritional quality for browsing herbivores with airborne imaging spectroscopy data and discuss their applications for wildlife management.

  10. Herbivore Impact on Tundra Plant Community Dynamics Using Long-term Remote Sensing Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Q.; Engstrom, R.; Shiklomanov, N. I.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic tundra biome is now experiencing dramatic environmental changes accentuated by summer sea-ice decline, permafrost thaw, and shrub expansion. Multi-decadal time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a spectral metric of vegetation productivity) shows an overall "greening" trend across the Arctic tundra biome. Regional trends in climate plausibly explain large-scale patterns of increasing plant productivity, as diminished summer sea-ice extent warms the adjacent land causing tundra vegetation to respond positively (increased photosynthetic aboveground biomass). However, at more local scales, there is a great deal of spatial variability in NDVI trends that likely reflects differences in hydrology and soil conditions, disturbance history, and use by wildlife and humans. Particularly, habitat use by large herbivores, such as reindeer and caribou, has large impacts on vegetation dynamics at local and regional scales, but the role of herbivores in modulating the response of vegetation to warming climate has received little attention. This study investigates regional tundra plant community dynamics within inhabits of different sizes of wild caribou/reindeer herds across the Arctic using GIMMS NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) 3g data product. The Taimyr herd in Russia is one of the largest herds in the world with a population increase from 450,000 in 1975 to about 1 million animals in 2000. The population of the porcupine caribou herd has fluctuated in the past three decades between 100,000 and 180,000. Time-series of the maximum NDVI within the inhabit area of the Taimyr herd has increased about 2% per decade over the past three decades, while within the inhabit area of the Porcupine herd the maximum NDVI has increased about 5% per decade. Our results indicate that the impact of large herbivores can be detected from space and further analyses on seasonal dynamics of vegetation indices and herbivore behavior may provide more

  11. Effects of phylogeny, leaf traits, and the altitudinal distribution of host plants on herbivore assemblages on congeneric Acer species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakadai, Ryosuke; Murakami, Masashi; Hirao, Toshihide

    2014-08-01

    Historical, niche-based, and stochastic processes have been proposed as the mechanisms that drive community assembly. In plant-herbivore systems, these processes can correspond to phylogeny, leaf traits, and the distribution of host plants, respectively. Although patterns of herbivore assemblages among plant species have been repeatedly examined, the effects of these factors among co-occurring congeneric host plant species have rarely been studied. Our aim was to reveal the process of community assembly for herbivores by investigating the effects of phylogeny, leaf traits, and the altitudinal distribution of closely related host plants of the genus Acer. We sampled leaf functional traits for 30 Acer species in Japan. Using a newly constructed phylogeny, we determined that three of the six measured leaf traits (leaf thickness, C/N ratio, and condensed tannin content) showed a phylogenetic signal. In a field study, we sampled herbivore communities on 14 Acer species within an elevation gradient and examined relationships between herbivore assemblages and host plants. We found that herbivore assemblages were significantly correlated with phylogeny, leaf traits, phylogenetic signals, and the altitudinal distribution of host plants. Our results indicate that the interaction between historical and current ecological processes shapes herbivore community assemblages.

  12. Contrasting effects of land use intensity and exotic host plants on the specialization of interactions in plant-herbivore networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Araújo, Walter Santos; Vieira, Marcos Costa; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2015-01-01

    Human land use tends to decrease the diversity of native plant species and facilitate the invasion and establishment of exotic ones. Such changes in land use and plant community composition usually have negative impacts on the assemblages of native herbivorous insects. Highly specialized herbivores are expected to be especially sensitive to land use intensification and the presence of exotic plant species because they are neither capable of consuming alternative plant species of the native flora nor exotic plant species. Therefore, higher levels of land use intensity might reduce the proportion of highly specialized herbivores, which ultimately would lead to changes in the specialization of interactions in plant-herbivore networks. This study investigates the community-wide effects of land use intensity on the degree of specialization of 72 plant-herbivore networks, including effects mediated by the increase in the proportion of exotic plant species. Contrary to our expectation, the net effect of land use intensity on network specialization was positive. However, this positive effect of land use intensity was partially canceled by an opposite effect of the proportion of exotic plant species on network specialization. When we analyzed networks composed exclusively of endophagous herbivores separately from those composed exclusively of exophagous herbivores, we found that only endophages showed a consistent change in network specialization at higher land use levels. Altogether, these results indicate that land use intensity is an important ecological driver of network specialization, by way of reducing the local host range of herbivore guilds with highly specialized feeding habits. However, because the effect of land use intensity is offset by an opposite effect owing to the proportion of exotic host species, the net effect of land use in a given herbivore assemblage will likely depend on the extent of the replacement of native host species with exotic ones.

  13. Elevated CO{sub 2} levels and herbivore damage alter host plant preferences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agrell, J. [Lund Univ., Dept. of Animal Ecology, Lund (Sweden); Anderson, Peter, Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Crop Sciences, Alnarp (SE)); Oleszek, W.; Stochmal, Anna [Inst. of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Dept. of Biochemistry, Pulawy (Poland); Agrell, Cecilia [Lund Univ., Dept. of Chemical Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Lund (Sweden)

    2006-01-01

    Interactions between the moth Spodoptera littoralis and two of its host plants, alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) were examined, using plants grown under ambient (350 ppm) and elevated (700 ppm) CO{sub 2} conditions. To determine strength and effects of herbivore-induced responses assays were performed with both undamaged (control) and herbivore damaged plants. CO{sub 2} and damage effects on larval host plant preferences were determined through dual-choice bioassays. In addition, larvae were reared from hatching to pupation on experimental foliage to examine effects on larval growth and development. When undamaged plants were used S. littoralis larvae in consumed more cotton than alfalfa, and CO{sub 2} enrichment caused a reduction in the preference for cotton. With damaged plants larvae consumed equal amounts of the two plant species (ambient CO{sub 2} conditions), but CO{sub 2} enrichment strongly shifted preferences towards cotton, which was then consumed three times more than alfalfa. Complementary assays showed that elevated CO{sub 2} levels had no effect on the herbivore-induced responses of cotton, whereas those of alfalfa were significantly increased. Larval growth was highest for larvae fed undamaged cotton irrespectively of CO{sub 2} level, and lowest for larvae on damaged alfalfa from the high CO{sub 2} treatment. Development time increased on damaged cotton irrespectively of CO{sub 2} treatment, and on damaged alfalfa in the elevated CO{sub 2} treatment. (au) These results demonstrate that elevated CO2 levels can cause insect herbivores to alter host plant preferences, and that effects on herbivore-induced responses may be a key mechanism behind these processes. Furthermore, since the insects were shown to avoid foliage that reduced their physiological performance, our data suggest that behavioural host plant shifts result in partial escape from negative consequences of feeding on high CO2 foliage. Thus, CO2 enrichment can alter

  14. Phylogenetic composition of host plant communities drives plant-herbivore food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volf, Martin; Pyszko, Petr; Abe, Tomokazu; Libra, Martin; Kotásková, Nela; Šigut, Martin; Kumar, Rajesh; Kaman, Ondřej; Butterill, Philip T; Šipoš, Jan; Abe, Haruka; Fukushima, Hiroaki; Drozd, Pavel; Kamata, Naoto; Murakami, Masashi; Novotny, Vojtech

    2017-05-01

    Insects tend to feed on related hosts. The phylogenetic composition of host plant communities thus plays a prominent role in determining insect specialization, food web structure, and diversity. Previous studies showed a high preference of insect herbivores for congeneric and confamilial hosts suggesting that some levels of host plant relationships may play more prominent role that others. We aim to quantify the effects of host phylogeny on the structure of quantitative plant-herbivore food webs. Further, we identify specific patterns in three insect guilds with different life histories and discuss the role of host plant phylogeny in maintaining their diversity. We studied herbivore assemblages in three temperate forests in Japan and the Czech Republic. Sampling from a canopy crane, a cherry picker and felled trees allowed a complete census of plant-herbivore interactions within three 0·1 ha plots for leaf chewing larvae, miners, and gallers. We analyzed the effects of host phylogeny by comparing the observed food webs with randomized models of host selection. Larval leaf chewers exhibited high generality at all three sites, whereas gallers and miners were almost exclusively monophagous. Leaf chewer generality dropped rapidly when older host lineages (5-80 myr) were collated into a single lineage but only decreased slightly when the most closely related congeneric hosts were collated. This shows that leaf chewer generality has been maintained by feeding on confamilial hosts while only a few herbivores were shared between more distant plant lineages and, surprisingly, between some congeneric hosts. In contrast, miner and galler generality was maintained mainly by the terminal nodes of the host phylogeny and dropped immediately after collating congeneric hosts into single lineages. We show that not all levels of host plant phylogeny are equal in their effect on structuring plant-herbivore food webs. In the case of generalist guilds, it is the phylogeny of deeper

  15. Plant diversification promotes biocontrol services in peach orchards by shaping the ecological niches of insect herbivores and their natural enemies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wan, Nian Feng; Ji, Xiang Yun; Deng, Jian Yu

    2018-01-01

    Ecological niche indicators have been scarcely adopted to assess the biological control of insect herbivores by their natural enemies. We hypothesize that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by narrowing the niches of herbivores and broadening the niches of natural enemies....... Our study reveals that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by shaping the niche of herbivores and natural enemies, and provides a new assessment method to understand the biodiversity-niche-ecosystem management interactions........ In a large-scale experiment, we found that the abundance of natural enemies was increased by 38.1%, and the abundance of insect herbivores was decreased by 16.9% in peach orchards with plant diversification (treatment) compared to ones with monoculture (control). Stratified sampling indicated...

  16. Fish, Benthic and Urchin Survey Data from Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (HFMA), Maui since 2008 (NCEI Accession 0146683)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data are summary fish, benthic and urchin data from belt transect surveys conducted by the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program within the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries...

  17. Fish, Benthic and Urchin Survey Data from Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (HFMA), Maui, HI since 2008 (NCEI Accession 0165015)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data are summary fish, benthic and urchin data from belt transect surveys conducted by the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program within the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries...

  18. Community structure of insect herbivores is driven by conservatism, escalation and divergence of defensive traits in Ficus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Volf, M.; Segar, S. T.; Miller, S. E.; Isua, B.; Sisol, M.; Aubona, G.; Šimek, P.; Moos, M.; Laitila, J.; Kim, J.; Zima, Jan; Rota, J.; Weiblen, G. D.; Wossa, S.; Salminen, J.-P.; Basset, Y.; Novotný, V.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 1 (2018), s. 83-92 ISSN 1461-023X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : alcaloids * coevolution * herbivore Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 9.449, year: 2016

  19. The response of soil CO2 fluxes to progressively excluding vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores depends on ecosystem type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anita C. Risch; Alan G. Haynes; Matt D. Busse; Flurin Filli; Martin Schütz

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands support large populations of herbivores and store up to 30% of the world’s soil carbon (C). Thus, herbivores likely play an important role in the global C cycle. However, most studies on how herbivory impacts the largest source of C released from grassland soils—soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions—only considered the role of large...

  20. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hella Schlinkert

    Full Text Available Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground, the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness. We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their

  1. The effect of fire on habitat selection of mammalian herbivores: the role of body size and vegetation characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eby, Stephanie L; Anderson, T Michael; Mayemba, Emilian P; Ritchie, Mark E

    2014-09-01

    Given the role of fire in shaping ecosystems, especially grasslands and savannas, it is important to understand its broader impact on these systems. Post-fire stimulation of plant nutrients is thought to benefit grazing mammals and explain their preference for burned areas. However, fire also reduces vegetation height and increases visibility, thereby potentially reducing predation risk. Consequently, fire may be more beneficial to smaller herbivores, with higher nutritional needs and greater risks of predation. We tested the impacts of burning on different sized herbivores' habitat preference in Serengeti National Park, as mediated by burning's effects on vegetation height, live : dead biomass ratio and leaf nutrients. Burning caused a less than 4 month increase in leaf nitrogen (N), and leaf non-N nutrients [copper (Cu), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg)] and a decrease in vegetation height and live : dead biomass. During this period, total herbivore counts were higher on burned areas. Generally, smaller herbivores preferred burned areas more strongly than larger herbivores. Unfortunately, it was not possible to determine the vegetation characteristics that explained burned area preference for each of the herbivore species observed. However, total herbivore abundance and impala (Aepyceros melampus) preference for burned areas was due to the increases in non-N nutrients caused by burning. These findings suggest that burned area attractiveness to herbivores is mainly driven by changes to forage quality and not potential decreases in predation risk caused by reductions in vegetation height. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  2. The role of herbivore- and plant-related experiences in intraspecific host preference of a relatively specialized parasitoid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morawo, Tolulope; Fadamiro, Henry

    2017-09-06

    Parasitoids use odor cues from infested plants and herbivore hosts to locate their hosts. Specialist parasitoids of generalist herbivores are predicted to rely more on herbivore-derived cues than plant-derived cues. Microplitis croceipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is a relatively specialized larval endoparasitoid of Heliothis virescens (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), which is a generalist herbivore on several crops including cotton and soybean. Using M. croceipes/H. virescens as a model system, we tested the following predictions about specialist parasitoids of generalist herbivores: (i) naive parasitoids will show innate responses to herbivore-emitted kairomones, regardless of host plant identity and (ii) herbivore-related experience will have a greater influence on intraspecific oviposition preference than plant-related experience. Inexperienced (naive) female M. croceipes did not discriminate between cotton-fed and soybean-fed H. virescens in oviposition choice tests, supporting our first prediction. Oviposition experience alone with either host group influenced subsequent oviposition preference while experience with infested plants alone did not elicit preference in M. croceipes, supporting our second prediction. Furthermore, associative learning of oviposition with host-damaged plants facilitated host location. Interestingly, naive parasitoids attacked more soybean-fed than cotton-fed host larvae in two-choice tests when a background of host-infested cotton odor was supplied, and vice versa. This suggests that plant volatiles may have created an olfactory contrast effect. We discussed ecological significance of the results and concluded that both plant- and herbivore-related experiences play important role in parasitoid host foraging. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  3. A below-ground herbivore shapes root defensive chemistry in natural plant populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Meret; Bont, Zoe; Fricke, Julia; Brillatz, Théo; Aziz, Zohra; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-03-30

    Plants display extensive intraspecific variation in secondary metabolites. However, the selective forces shaping this diversity remain often unknown, especially below ground. Using Taraxacum officinale and its major native insect root herbivore Melolontha melolontha, we tested whether below-ground herbivores drive intraspecific variation in root secondary metabolites. We found that high M. melolontha infestation levels over recent decades are associated with high concentrations of major root latex secondary metabolites across 21 central European T. officinale field populations. By cultivating offspring of these populations, we show that both heritable variation and phenotypic plasticity contribute to the observed differences. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the production of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) is costly in the absence, but beneficial in the presence of M. melolontha, resulting in divergent selection of TA-G. Our results highlight the role of soil-dwelling insects for the evolution of plant defences in nature. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Turnover of plant lineages shapes herbivore phylogenetic beta diversity along ecological gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Ndiribe, Charlotte; Dubuis, Anne; Pradervand, Jean-Nicolas; Salamin, Nicolas; Guisan, Antoine; Rasmann, Sergio

    2013-05-01

    Understanding drivers of biodiversity patterns is of prime importance in this era of severe environmental crisis. More diverse plant communities have been postulated to represent a larger functional trait-space, more likely to sustain a diverse assembly of herbivore species. Here, we expand this hypothesis to integrate environmental, functional and phylogenetic variation of plant communities as factors explaining the diversity of lepidopteran assemblages along elevation gradients in the Swiss Western Alps. According to expectations, we found that the association between butterflies and their host plants is highly phylogenetically structured. Multiple regression analyses showed the combined effect of climate, functional traits and phylogenetic diversity in structuring butterfly communities. Furthermore, we provide the first evidence that plant phylogenetic beta diversity is the major driver explaining butterfly phylogenetic beta diversity. Along ecological gradients, the bottom up control of herbivore diversity is thus driven by phylogenetically structured turnover of plant traits as well as environmental variables. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Induction of Systemic Resistance against Insect Herbivores in Plants by Beneficial Soil Microbes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Harun-Or Rashid

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Soil microorganisms with growth-promoting activities in plants, including rhizobacteria and rhizofungi, can improve plant health in a variety of different ways. These beneficial microbes may confer broad-spectrum resistance to insect herbivores. Here, we provide evidence that beneficial microbes modulate plant defenses against insect herbivores. Beneficial soil microorganisms can regulate hormone signaling including the jasmonic acid, ethylene and salicylic acid pathways, thereby leading to gene expression, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, plant defensive proteins and different enzymes and volatile compounds, that may induce defenses against leaf-chewing as well as phloem-feeding insects. In this review, we discuss how beneficial microbes trigger induced systemic resistance against insects by promoting plant growth and highlight changes in plant molecular mechanisms and biochemical profiles.

  6. Diets of giants: the nutritional value of herbivorous dinosaur diet during the Mesozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Fiona; Hummel, Juergen; Sharifi, Reza; Lee, Alexandra; Lomax, Barry

    2017-04-01

    A major uncertainty in estimating energy budgets and population densities of extinct animals is the carrying capacity of their ecosystems, constrained by net primary productivity (NPP) and digestible energy content of that NPP. The hypothesis that increases in NPP of land plants due to elevated atmospheric CO2 contributed to the unparalleled size of the sauropods, the largest ever land animals, has recently been rejected, based on modern studies on herbivorous insects. However, the nutritional value of plants grown under elevated CO2 levels might be very different for vertebrate megaherbivores with more complex digestive systems and different protein:energy requirements than insects. Here we show that the metabolisable energy (ME) value of five species of potential dinosaur food plants does not decline consistently with increasing CO2 growth concentrations, with maxima observed at 1200 ppm CO2. Our data potentially rebut the hypothesis of constraints on herbivore diet quality in the Mesozoic due to CO2 levels.

  7. Macroevolutionary chemical escalation in an ancient plant-herbivore arms race.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra, Judith X; Noge, Koji; Venable, D Lawrence

    2009-10-27

    A central paradigm in the field of plant-herbivore interactions is that the diversity and complexity of secondary compounds in plants have intensified over evolutionary time, resulting in the great variety of secondary products that currently exists. Unfortunately, testing of this proposal has been very limited. We analyzed the volatile chemistry of 70 species of the tropical plant genus Bursera and used a molecular phylogeny to test whether the species' chemical diversity or complexity have escalated. The results confirm that as new species diverged over time they tended to be armed not only with more compounds/species, but also with compounds that could potentially be more difficult for herbivores to adapt to because they belong to an increasing variety of chemical pathways. Overall chemical diversity in the genus also increased, but not as fast as species diversity, possibly because of allopatric species gaining improved defense with compounds that are new locally, but already in existence elsewhere.

  8. Insect herbivores drive real-time ecological and evolutionary change in plant populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Johnson, Marc T J; Maron, John L; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2012-10-05

    Insect herbivores are hypothesized to be major factors affecting the ecology and evolution of plants. We tested this prediction by suppressing insects in replicated field populations of a native plant, Oenothera biennis, which reduced seed predation, altered interspecific competitive dynamics, and resulted in rapid evolutionary divergence. Comparative genotyping and phenotyping of nearly 12,000 O. biennis individuals revealed that in plots protected from insects, resistance to herbivores declined through time owing to changes in flowering time and lower defensive ellagitannins in fruits, whereas plant competitive ability increased. This independent real-time evolution of plant resistance and competitive ability in the field resulted from the relaxation of direct selective effects of insects on plant defense and through indirect effects due to reduced herbivory on plant competitors.

  9. Direct and indirect effects of light pollution on the performance of an herbivorous insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grenis, Kylee; Murphy, Shannon M

    2018-02-09

    Light pollution is a global disturbance with resounding impacts on a wide variety of organisms, but our understanding of these impacts is restricted to relatively few higher vertebrate species. We tested the direct effects of light pollution on herbivore performance as well as indirect effects mediated by host plant quality. We found that artificial light from streetlights alters plant toughness. Additionally, we found evidence of both direct and indirect effects of light pollution on the performance of an herbivorous insect, which indicates that streetlights can have cascading impacts on multiple trophic levels. Our novel findings suggest that light pollution can alter plant-insect interactions and thus may have important community-wide consequences. © 2018 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  10. The herbivore-induced plant volatile methyl salicylate negatively affects attraction of the parasitoid Diadegma semiclausum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoeren, Tjeerd A L; Mumm, Roland; Poelman, Erik H; Yang, Yue; Pichersky, Eran; Dicke, Marcel

    2010-05-01

    The indirect defense mechanisms of plants comprise the production of herbivore-induced plant volatiles that can attract natural enemies of plant attackers. One of the often emitted compounds after herbivory is methyl salicylate (MeSA). Here, we studied the importance of this caterpillar-induced compound in the attraction of the parasitoid wasp Diadegma semiclausum by using a mutant Arabidopsis line. Pieris rapae infested AtBSMT1-KO mutant Arabidopsis plants, compromised in the biosynthesis of MeSA, were more attractive to parasitoids than infested wild-type plants. This suggests that the presence of MeSA has negative effects on parasitoid host-finding behavior when exposed to wild-type production of herbivore-induced Arabidopsis volatiles. Furthermore, in line with this, we recorded a positive correlation between MeSA dose and repellence of D. semiclausum when supplementing the headspace of caterpillar-infested AtBSMT1-KO plants with synthetic MeSA.

  11. Understanding plant defence responses against herbivore attacks: an essential first step towards the development of sustainable resistance against pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santamaria, M Estrella; Martínez, Manuel; Cambra, Inés; Grbic, Vojislava; Diaz, Isabel

    2013-08-01

    Plant-herbivore relationships are complex interactions encompassing elaborate networks of molecules, signals and strategies used to overcome defences developed by each other. Herbivores use multiple feeding strategies to obtain nutrients from host plants. In turn, plants respond by triggering defence mechanisms to inhibit, block or modify the metabolism of the pest. As part of these defences, herbivore-challenged plants emit volatiles to attract natural enemies and warn neighbouring plants of the imminent threat. In response, herbivores develop a variety of strategies to suppress plant-induced protection. Our understanding of the plant-herbivore interphase is limited, although recent molecular approaches have revealed the participation of a battery of genes, proteins and volatile metabolites in attack-defence processes. This review describes the intricate and dynamic defence systems governing plant-herbivore interactions by examining the diverse strategies plants employ to deny phytophagous arthropods the ability to breach newly developed mechanisms of plant resistance. A cornerstone of this understanding is the use of transgenic tools to unravel the complex networks that control these interactions.

  12. Herbivory and body size: allometries of diet quality and gastrointestinal physiology, and implications for herbivore ecology and dinosaur gigantism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clauss, Marcus; Steuer, Patrick; Müller, Dennis W H; Codron, Daryl; Hummel, Jürgen

    2013-01-01

    Digestive physiology has played a prominent role in explanations for terrestrial herbivore body size evolution and size-driven diversification and niche differentiation. This is based on the association of increasing body mass (BM) with diets of lower quality, and with putative mechanisms by which a higher BM could translate into a higher digestive efficiency. Such concepts, however, often do not match empirical data. Here, we review concepts and data on terrestrial herbivore BM, diet quality, digestive physiology and metabolism, and in doing so give examples for problems in using allometric analyses and extrapolations. A digestive advantage of larger BM is not corroborated by conceptual or empirical approaches. We suggest that explanatory models should shift from physiological to ecological scenarios based on the association of forage quality and biomass availability, and the association between BM and feeding selectivity. These associations mostly (but not exclusively) allow large herbivores to use low quality forage only, whereas they allow small herbivores the use of any forage they can physically manage. Examples of small herbivores able to subsist on lower quality diets are rare but exist. We speculate that this could be explained by evolutionary adaptations to the ecological opportunity of selective feeding in smaller animals, rather than by a physiologic or metabolic necessity linked to BM. For gigantic herbivores such as sauropod dinosaurs, other factors than digestive physiology appear more promising candidates to explain evolutionary drives towards extreme BM.

  13. Herbivory and body size: allometries of diet quality and gastrointestinal physiology, and implications for herbivore ecology and dinosaur gigantism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Clauss

    Full Text Available Digestive physiology has played a prominent role in explanations for terrestrial herbivore body size evolution and size-driven diversification and niche differentiation. This is based on the association of increasing body mass (BM with diets of lower quality, and with putative mechanisms by which a higher BM could translate into a higher digestive efficiency. Such concepts, however, often do not match empirical data. Here, we review concepts and data on terrestrial herbivore BM, diet quality, digestive physiology and metabolism, and in doing so give examples for problems in using allometric analyses and extrapolations. A digestive advantage of larger BM is not corroborated by conceptual or empirical approaches. We suggest that explanatory models should shift from physiological to ecological scenarios based on the association of forage quality and biomass availability, and the association between BM and feeding selectivity. These associations mostly (but not exclusively allow large herbivores to use low quality forage only, whereas they allow small herbivores the use of any forage they can physically manage. Examples of small herbivores able to subsist on lower quality diets are rare but exist. We speculate that this could be explained by evolutionary adaptations to the ecological opportunity of selective feeding in smaller animals, rather than by a physiologic or metabolic necessity linked to BM. For gigantic herbivores such as sauropod dinosaurs, other factors than digestive physiology appear more promising candidates to explain evolutionary drives towards extreme BM.

  14. Feeding the enemy: loss of nectar and nectaries to herbivores reduces tepal damage and increases pollinator attraction in Iris bulleyana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ya-Ru; Yang, Min; Vamosi, Jana C; Armbruster, W Scott; Wan, Tao; Gong, Yan-Bing

    2017-08-01

    Floral nectar usually functions as a pollinator reward, yet it may also attract herbivores. However, the effects of herbivore consumption of nectar or nectaries on pollination have rarely been tested. We investigated Iris bulleyana , an alpine plant that has showy tepals and abundant nectar, in the Hengduan Mountains of SW China. In this region, flowers are visited mainly by pollen-collecting pollinators and nectarivorous herbivores. We tested the hypothesis that, in I. bulleyana , sacrificing nectar and nectaries to herbivores protects tepals and thus enhances pollinator attraction. We compared rates of pollination and herbivory on different floral tissues in plants with flowers protected from nectar and nectary consumption with rates in unprotected control plants. We found that nectar and nectaries suffered more herbivore damage than did tepals in natural conditions. However, the amount of tepal damage was significantly greater in the flowers with protected nectaries than in the controls; this resulted in significant differences in pollinator visitation rates. These results provide the first evidence that floral nectar and nectaries may be 'sacrificed' to herbivores, leading to reduced damage to other floral tissues that are more important for reproduction. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. Comparison of carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore mammalian genomes with a new leopard assembly

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hak-Min; Chung, Oksung; Kim, Hyunho; Jho, Sungwoong; Seomun, Hong; Kim, Jeongho; Bang, Woo Young; Kim, Changmu; An, Junghwa; Bae, Chang Hwan; Bhak, Youngjune; Jeon, Sungwon; Yoon, Hyejun

    2016-01-01

    Background: There are three main dietary groups in mammals: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Currently, there is limited comparative genomics insight into the evolution of dietary specializations in mammals. Due to recent advances in sequencing technologies, we were able to perform in-depth whole genome analyses of representatives of these three dietary groups. Results: We investigated the evolution of carnivory by comparing 18 representative genomes from across Mammalia with carnivorou...

  16. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona Attenuates Host Plant Defenses against Insect Herbivores1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.

    2008-01-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores. PMID:18165323

  17. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona attenuates host plant defenses against insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B; Mescher, Mark C; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2008-03-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores.

  18. Herbivore-plant interactions: mixed-function oxidases and secondary plant substances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brattsten, L B; Wilkinson, C F; Eisner, T

    1977-06-17

    The mixed-function oxidases of a polyphagous insect larva (the southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania) were found to be induced by a diversity of secondary plant substances. The induction proceeds rapidly and in response to a small quantity of secondary substance. Following induction, the larva is less susceptible to dietary poisoning. It is argued that mixed-function oxidases play a major role in protecting herbivores against chemical stress from secondary plant substances.

  19. Evidence for functional convergence in genes upregulated by herbivores ingesting plant secondary compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Nearly 40 years ago, Freeland and Janzen predicted that liver biotransformation enzymes dictated diet selection by herbivores. Despite decades of research on model species and humans, little is known about the biotransformation mechanisms used by mammalian herbivores to metabolize plant secondary compounds (PSCs). We investigated the independent evolution of PSC biotransformation mechanisms by capitalizing on a dramatic diet change event—the dietary inclusion of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata)—that occurred in the recent evolutionary history of two species of woodrats (Neotoma lepida and N. bryanti). Results By comparing gene expression profiles of two populations of woodrats with evolutionary experience to creosote and one population naïve to creosote, we identified genes either induced by a diet containing creosote PSCs or constitutively higher in populations with evolutionary experience of creosote. Although only one detoxification gene (an aldo-keto reductase) was induced by both experienced populations, these populations converged upon functionally equivalent strategies to biotransform the PSCs of creosote bush by constitutively expressing aldehyde and alcohol dehydrogenases, Cytochromes P450s, methyltransferases, glutathione S-transferases and sulfotransferases. The response of the naïve woodrat population to creosote bush was indicative of extreme physiological stress. Conclusions The hepatic detoxification system of mammals is notoriously complex, with hundreds of known biotransformation enzymes. The comparison herein of woodrat taxa that differ in evolutionary and ecological experience with toxins in creosote bush reveals convergence in the overall strategies used by independent species after a historical shift in diet. In addition, remarkably few genes seemed to be important in this dietary shift. The research lays the requisite groundwork for future studies of specific biotransformation pathways used by woodrats to metabolize the

  20. Acylated quinic acids are the main salicortin metabolites in the lepidopteran specialist herbivore Cerura vinula

    OpenAIRE

    Feistel, F.; Paetz, C.; Menezes, R.; Veit, D.; Schneider, B.

    2018-01-01

    Salicortin is a phenolic glucoside produced in Salicaceae as a chemical defense against herbivory. The specialist lepidopteran herbivorous larvae of Cerura vinula are able to overcome this defense. We examined the main frass constituents of C. vinula fed on Populus nigra leaves, and identified 11 quinic acid derivatives with benzoate and/or salicylate substitution.We asked whether the compounds are a result of salicortin breakdown and sought answers by carrying out feeding experiments with hi...

  1. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-12-01

    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within broad functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  2. Monoterpene and herbivore-induced emissions from cabbage plants grown at elevated atmospheric CO 2 concentration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuorinen, Terhi; Reddy, G. V. P.; Nerg, Anne-Marja; Holopainen, Jarmo K.

    The warming of the lower atmosphere due to elevating CO 2 concentration may increase volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from plants. Also, direct effects of elevated CO 2 on plant secondary metabolism are expected to lead to increased VOC emissions due to allocation of excess carbon on secondary metabolites, of which many are volatile. We investigated how growing at doubled ambient CO 2 concentration affects emissions from cabbage plants ( Brassica oleracea subsp. capitata) damaged by either the leaf-chewing larvae of crucifer specialist diamondback moth ( Plutella xylostella L.) or generalist Egyptian cotton leafworm ( Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval)). The emission from cabbage cv. Lennox grown in both CO 2 concentrations, consisted mainly of monoterpenes (sabinene, limonene, α-thujene, 1,8-cineole, β-pinene, myrcene, α-pinene and γ-terpinene). ( Z)-3-Hexenyl acetate, sesquiterpene ( E, E)- α-farnesene and homoterpene ( E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene (DMNT) were emitted mainly from herbivore-damaged plants. Plants grown at 720 μmol mol -1 of CO 2 had significantly lower total monoterpene emissions per shoot dry weight than plants grown at 360 μmol mol -1 of CO 2, while damage by both herbivores significantly increased the total monoterpene emissions compared to intact plants. ( Z)-3-Hexenyl acetate, ( E, E)- α-farnesene and DMNT emissions per shoot dry weight were not affected by the growth at elevated CO 2. The emission of DMNT was significantly enhanced from plants damaged by the specialist P. xylostella compared to the plants damaged by the generalist S. littoralis. The relative proportions of total monoterpenes and total herbivore-induced compounds of total VOCs did not change due to the growth at elevated CO 2, while insect damage increased significantly the proportion of induced compounds. The results suggest that VOC emissions that are induced by the leaf-chewing herbivores will not be influenced by elevated CO 2 concentration.

  3. USE OF ELEUSINE INDICA (L. GAERTN. (KECHILA GHAS AS AN ANTIPYRETIC MEDICINE OF HERBIVORES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shibabrata Pattanayak

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In Murshidabad district of West Bengal state, India, the traditionally animal rearing people feed parts of Kechila ghas as an antipyretic medicine to their herbivorous animals. The plant is identified as Eleusine indica (L. Gaertn. of the family Poaceae. After collection from the soil, the plants are washed and the whole root along with 1-2 centimeter of stems are cut and fed directly at fresh, succulent stage to the ailing animals for that purpose.

  4. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within broad functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  5. Habitats as complex odour environments: how does plant diversity affect herbivore and parasitoid orientation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Wäschke

    Full Text Available Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts.

  6. Acceleration of exotic plant invasion in a forested ecosystem by a generalist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eschtruth, Anne K; Battles, John J

    2009-04-01

    The successful invasion of exotic plants is often attributed to the absence of coevolved enemies in the introduced range (i.e., the enemy release hypothesis). Nevertheless, several components of this hypothesis, including the role of generalist herbivores, remain relatively unexplored. We used repeated censuses of exclosures and paired controls to investigate the role of a generalist herbivore, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), in the invasion of 3 exotic plant species (Microstegium vimineum, Alliaria petiolata, and Berberis thunbergii) in eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (U.S.A.). This work was conducted in 10 eastern hemlock (T. canadensis) forests that spanned gradients in deer density and in the severity of canopy disturbance caused by an introduced insect pest, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). We used maximum likelihood estimation and information theoretics to quantify the strength of evidence for alternative models of the influence of deer density and its interaction with the severity of canopy disturbance on exotic plant abundance. Our results were consistent with the enemy release hypothesis in that exotic plants gained a competitive advantage in the presence of generalist herbivores in the introduced range. The abundance of all 3 exotic plants increased significantly more in the control plots than in the paired exclosures. For all species, the inclusion of canopy disturbance parameters resulted in models with substantially greater support than the deer density only models. Our results suggest that white-tailed deer herbivory can accelerate the invasion of exotic plants and that canopy disturbance can interact with herbivory to magnify the impact. In addition, our results provide compelling evidence of nonlinear relationships between deer density and the impact of herbivory on exotic species abundance. These findings highlight the important role of herbivore density in determining impacts on

  7. The multiple strategies of an insect herbivore to overcome plant cyanogenic glucoside defence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Roelsgaard, Pernille Sølvhøj

    2014-01-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides (CNglcs) are widespread plant defence compounds that release toxic hydrogen cyanide by plant bglucosidase activity after tissue damage. Specialised insect herbivores have evolved counter strategies and some sequester CNglcs, but the underlying mechanisms to keep CNglcs intact...... during feeding and digestion are unknown. We show that CNglc-sequestering Zygaena filipendulae larvae combine behavioural, morphological, physiological and biochemical strategies at different time points during feeding and digestion to avoid toxic hydrolysis of the CNglcs present in their Lotus food...

  8. Effects of habitat management on different feeding guilds of herbivorous insects in cacao agroforestry systems

    OpenAIRE

    Novais, Samuel M. A.; Macedo-Reis, Luiz E.; DaRocha, Wesley D.; Neves, Frederico S.

    2016-01-01

    AbstractHuman pressure on natural habitats increases the importance of agroforests for biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of cacao traditional cultivation system (CTCS) on the conservation of the herbivorous insect community when compared with a monodominant rubber agroforest, a type of agricultural system for cacao cultivation. The insects were sampled in three habitats in Southeastern Bahia, Brazil: native forests, CTCS and rubber agroforests. In...

  9. Mammalian Herbivores in the Boreal Forests: Their Numerical Fluctuations and Use by Man

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjell Danell

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Within the boreal zone, there are about 50 native mammalian herbivore species that belong to the orders Artiodactyla, Rodentia, and Lagomorpha. Of these species, 31 occur in the Nearctic and 24 in the Palaearctic. Only six species occur in both regions. Species of the family Cervidae have probably been, and still are, the most important group for man, as they provide both meat and hides. Pelts from squirrels, muskrats, and hares were commercially harvested at the beginning of the century, but have less value today. The semi-domestic reindeer in the Palaearctic produces meat and hides on a commercial basis. It is also used for milking, to a limited extent, as is the semi-domestic moose in Russia. The Siberian musk deer is used for its musk and is raised in captivity in China. All species heavier than 1 kg are utilized by man, those with a body mass in the range 1 kg - 1 hg are sometimes used, and species lighter than 1 hg are rarely used. Here, we review the numerical fluctuations in terms of periodicity and amplitude, based on an extensive data set found in the literature, especially from the former Soviet Union. Current understanding of the underlying factors behind the population fluctuations is briefly reviewed. Management and conservation aspects of the mammalian herbivores in the boreal zone are also discussed. We conclude that there is a challenge to manage the forests for the mammalian herbivores, but there is also a challenge to manage the populations of mammalian herbivores for the forests.

  10. Baleen whales host a unique gut microbiome with similarities to both carnivores and herbivores

    OpenAIRE

    Sanders, Jon G.; Beichman, Annabel C.; Roman, Joe; Scott, Jarrod J.; Emerson, David; McCarthy, James J.; Girguis, Peter R.

    2015-01-01

    Mammals host gut microbiomes of immense physiological consequence, but the determinants of diversity in these communities remain poorly understood. Diet appears to be the dominant factor, but host phylogeny also seems to be an important, if unpredictable, correlate. Here we show that baleen whales, which prey on animals (fish and crustaceans), harbor unique gut microbiomes with surprising parallels in functional capacity and higher level taxonomy to those of terrestrial herbivores. These simi...

  11. Herbivorous insect response to group selection cutting in a southeastern bottomland hardwood forest.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michael D. Ulyshen; James L. Hanula; Scott Horn; Christopher E. Moorman.

    2005-04-01

    ABSTRACT Malaise and pitfall traps were used to sample herbivorous insects in canopy gaps created by group-selection cutting in a bottomland hardwood forest in South Carolina. The traps were placed at the centers, edges, and in the forest adjacent to gaps of different sizes (0.13, 0.26, and 0.50 ha) and ages (1 and 7 yr old) during four sampling periods in 2001. Overall, the abundance and species richness of insect herbivores were greater at the centers of young gaps than at the edge of young gaps or in the forest surrounding young gaps. There were no differences in abundance or species richness among old gap locations (i.e., centers, edges, and forest), and we collected significantly more insects in young gaps than old gaps. The insect communities in old gaps were more similar to the forests surrounding them than young gap communities were to their respective forest locations, but the insect communities in the two forests locations (surrounding young and old gaps) had the highest percent similarity of all. Although both abundance and richness increased in the centers of young gaps with increasing gap size, these differences were not significant.Weattribute the increased numbers of herbivorous insects to the greater abundance of herbaceous plants available in young gaps.

  12. An insect herbivore microbiome with high plant biomass-degrading capacity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garret Suen

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini, which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome's predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.

  13. Physiological Mechanisms in Herbivores for Retention and Utilization of Nitrogenous Compounds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sperber, I. [Department of Animal Physiology, Agricultural College of Sweden, Uppsala 7 (Sweden)

    1968-07-01

    A short review is given of some aspects of nitrogen metabolism in herbivorous mammals. In the rumen the passage of urea into the rumen and of ammonia out of the rumen are of considerable importance. As yet no facts have been disclosed which definitely prove the existence of special mechanisms influencing these processes in a way favouring the use of endogenous urea in the rumen. The excretion of urea by the kidneys on the other hand is regulated in a manner which appears to be adapted for improved utilization of nitrogen when the nitrogen supply is low. It is further pointed out that efficient retention of microbial protein produced in the caecum must be of considerable importance to herbivores with a large caecum. Some preliminary results are given concerning the physiology of the colon in rabbits and the anatomy and physiology of the colon in lemmings. In the rabbit it appears probable that the passage of fluid and fine particles through the colon is considerably delayed compared with the passage of larger particles. In the lemming an anatomically complicated proximal part of the colon effects a very efficient separation of the microorganisms from the indigestible food residues when caecal contents pass through the colon. The microorganisms appear to be returned to the most proximal part of the colon or into the caecum. Mechanisms of this type seem to be of considerable value to herbivores, enabling them to utilize food with a low digestibility and a low protein content. (author)

  14. A test of the herbivore optimization hypothesis using muskoxen and a graminoid meadow plant community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L. Smith

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available A prediction from the herbivore optimization hypothesis is that grazing by herbivores at moderate intensities will increase net above-ground primary productivity more than at lower or higher intensities. I tested this hypothesis in an area of high muskox {Ovibos moschatus density on north-central Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada (73°50'N, 119°53'W. Plots (1 m2 in graminoid meadows dominated by cottongrass (Eriophorum triste were either clipped, exposed to muskoxen, protected for part of one growing season, or permanently protected. This resulted in the removal of 22-44%, 10-39%, 0-39% or 0%, respectively, of shoot tissue during each growing season. Contrary to the predictions of the herbivore optimization hypothesis, productivity did not increase across this range of tissue removal. Productivity of plants clipped at 1.5 cm above ground once or twice per growing season, declined by 60+/-5% in 64% of the tests. The productivity of plants grazed by muskoxen declined by 56+/-7% in 25% of the tests. No significant change in productivity was observed in 36% and 75% of the tests in clipped and grazed treatments, respecrively. Clipping and grazing reduced below-ground standing crop except where removals were small. Grazing and clipping did not stimulate productivity of north-central Banks Island graminoid meadows.

  15. Evolutionary Ecology of Multitrophic Interactions between Plants, Insect Herbivores and Entomopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Ikkei

    2017-06-01

    Plants play an important role in the interactions between insect herbivores and their pathogens. Since the seminal review by Cory and Hoover (2006) on plant-mediated effects on insect-pathogen interactions, considerable progress has been made in understanding the complexity of these tritrophic interactions. Increasing interest in the areas of nutritional and ecological immunology over the last decade have revealed that plant primary and secondary metabolites can influence the outcomes of insect-pathogen interactions by altering insect immune functioning and physical barriers to pathogen entry. Some insects use plant secondary chemicals and nutrients to prevent infections (prophylactic medication) and medicate to limit the severity of infections (therapeutic medication). Recent findings suggest that there may be selectable plant traits that enhance entomopathogen efficacy, suggesting that entomopathogens could potentially impose selection pressure on plant traits that improve both pathogen and plant fitness. Moreover, plants in nature are inhabited by diverse communities of microbes, in addition to entomopathogens, some of which can trigger immune responses in insect herbivores. Plants are also shared by numerous other herbivorous arthropods with different modes of feeding that can trigger different defensive responses in plants. Some insect symbionts and gut microbes can degrade ingested defensive phytochemicals and be orally secreted onto wounded plant tissue during herbivory to alter plant defenses. Since non-entomopathogenic microbes and other arthropods are likely to influence the outcomes of plant-insect-entomopathogen interactions, I discuss a need to consider these multitrophic interactions within the greater web of species interactions.

  16. Omnivore-herbivore interactions: thrips and whiteflies compete via the shared host plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, Maria L; Tavlaki, Georgia; Triantafyllou, Anneta; Broufas, George

    2018-03-05

    Phytophagy is a common feature among pure herbivorous insects and omnivores that utilise both plant and prey as food resources; nevertheless, experimental evidence for factors affecting their interactions is restricted to intraguild predation and predator-mediated competition. We herein focused on plant-mediated effects that could result from plant defence activation or quality alteration and compared the performance of an omnivore, the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis, and a pure herbivore, the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum, on cucumber plants previously infested with either species. Furthermore, we recorded their behavioural responses when given a choice among infested and clean plants. Whiteflies laid less eggs on plants previously exposed to thrips but more on whitefly-infested plants. Thrips survival was negatively affected on whitefly-infested than on thrips-infested or clean plants. Notably, whiteflies developed significantly faster on plants infested with conspecifics. In accordance, whiteflies avoided thrips-infested plants and preferred whitefly-infested over clean plants. Thrips showed no preference for either infested or clean plants. Our study is a first report on the role of plant-mediated effects in shaping omnivore-herbivore interactions. Considering the factors driving such interactions we will likely better understand the ecology of the more complex relationships among plants and pest organisms.

  17. Fatal attraction: vegetation responses to nutrient inputs attract herbivores to infectious anthrax carcass sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Wendy C; Kausrud, Kyrre L; Krishnappa, Yathin S; Cromsigt, Joris P G M; Ganz, Holly H; Mapaure, Isaac; Cloete, Claudine C; Havarua, Zepee; Küsters, Martina; Getz, Wayne M; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2014-11-22

    Parasites can shape the foraging behaviour of their hosts through cues indicating risk of infection. When cues for risk co-occur with desired traits such as forage quality, individuals face a trade-off between nutrient acquisition and parasite exposure. We evaluated how this trade-off may influence disease transmission in a 3-year experimental study of anthrax in a guild of mammalian herbivores in Etosha National Park, Namibia. At plains zebra (Equus quagga) carcass sites we assessed (i) carcass nutrient effects on soils and grasses, (ii) concentrations of Bacillus anthracis (BA) on grasses and in soils, and (iii) herbivore grazing behaviour, compared with control sites, using motion-sensing camera traps. We found that carcass-mediated nutrient pulses improved soil and vegetation, and that BA is found on grasses up to 2 years after death. Host foraging responses to carcass sites shifted from avoidance to attraction, and ultimately to no preference, with the strength and duration of these behavioural responses varying among herbivore species. Our results demonstrate that animal carcasses alter the environment and attract grazing hosts to parasite aggregations. This attraction may enhance transmission rates, suggesting that hosts are limited in their ability to trade off nutrient intake with parasite avoidance when relying on indirect cues. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  18. An Insect Herbivore Microbiome with High Plant Biomass-Degrading Capacity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suen, Garret; Barry, Kerrie; Goodwin, Lynne; Scott, Jarrod; Aylward, Frank; Adams, Sandra; Pinto-Tomas, Adrian; Foster, Clifton; Pauly, Markus; Weimer, Paul; Bouffard, Pascal; Li, Lewyn; Osterberger, Jolene; Harkins, Timothy; Slater, Steven; Donohue, Timothy; Currie, Cameron; Tringe, Susannah G.

    2010-09-23

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome?s predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.

  19. Disentangling the effects of shrubs and herbivores on tree regeneration in a dry Chaco forest (Argentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tálamo, Andrés; Barchuk, Alicia H; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Trucco, Carlos E; Cardozo, Silvana; Mohr, Federico

    2015-07-01

    Successful persistence of dry forests depends on tree regeneration, which depends on a balance of complex biotic interactions. In particular, the relative importance and interactive effects of shrubs and herbivores on tree regeneration are unclear. In a manipulative study, we investigated if thornless shrubs have a direct net effect, an indirect positive effect mediated by livestock, and/or an indirect negative effect mediated by small vertebrates on tree regeneration of two key species of Chaco forest (Argentina). In a spatial association study, we also explored the existence of net positive interactions from thorny and thornless shrubs. The number of Schinopsis lorentzii seedlings was highest under artificial shade with native herbivores and livestock excluded. Even excluding livestock, no seedlings were found with natural conditions (native herbivores present with natural shade or direct sunlight) at the end of the experiment. Surprisingly, seedling recruitment was not enhanced under thornless shrubs, because there was a complementary positive effect of shade and interference. Moreover, thornless shrubs had neither positive nor negative effects on regeneration of S. lorentzii. Regeneration of Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco was minimal in all treatments. In agreement with the experiment, spatial distributions of saplings of both tree species were independent of thornless shrubs, but positively associated with thorny shrubs. Our results suggest that in general thornless shrubs may have a negligible effect and thorny shrubs a net positive effect on tree regeneration in dry forests. These findings provide a conceptual framework for testing the impact of biotic interactions on seedling recruitment in other dry forests.

  20. Postfire Burnt-Wood Management Affects Plant Damage by Ungulate Herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Castro

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available I analyze the effect of post-fire burnt wood management on herbivore attack on a woody plant species (Ulex parviflorus. Two experimental plots of ca. 20 hectares were established at two elevations in a burnt area in a Mediterranean mountain (Sierra Nevada, Spain. Three replicates of three treatments differing in post-fire burnt wood management were established per plot: “no intervention” (NI, all trees remained standing, “partial cut plus lopping” (PCL, felling the trees, cutting the main branches, and leaving all the biomass in situ, and “salvage logging” (SL; removal of logs and elimination of woody debris. Risk of herbivory and damage intensity were monitored for two years. The pattern of attack by ungulate herbivores varied among treatments and years. In any case, there was an overall reduction in the risk of herbivory in the PCL treatment, presumably because the highest habitat complexity in this treatment hampered ungulate movement and foraging. As a result, the burnt logs and branches spread over the ground acted as a physical barrier that protected seedlings from herbivores. This protection may be used for the regeneration of shrubs and trees, and it is of interest for the regeneration of burnt sites either naturally or by reforestation.

  1. Urban land use decouples plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions at multiple spatial scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda E Nelson

    Full Text Available Intense urban and agricultural development alters habitats, increases fragmentation, and may decouple trophic interactions if plants or animals cannot disperse to needed resources. Specialist insects represent a substantial proportion of global biodiversity and their fidelity to discrete microhabitats provides a powerful framework for investigating organismal responses to human land use. We sampled site occupancy and densities for two plant-herbivore-parasitoid systems from 250 sites across a 360 km2 urban/agricultural landscape to ask whether and how human development decouples interactions between trophic levels. We compared patterns of site occupancy, host plant density, herbivory and parasitism rates of insects at two trophic levels with respect to landcover at multiple spatial scales. Geospatial analyses were used to identify landcover characters predictive of insect distributions. We found that herbivorous insect densities were decoupled from host tree densities in urban landcover types at several spatial scales. This effect was amplified for the third trophic level in one of the two insect systems: despite being abundant regionally, a parasitoid species was absent from all urban/suburban landcover even where its herbivore host was common. Our results indicate that human land use patterns limit distributions of specialist insects. Dispersal constraints associated with urban built development are specifically implicated as a limiting factor.

  2. Mining the plant-herbivore interface with a leafmining Drosophila of Arabidopsis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Noah K.; Groen, Simon C.; Chevasco, Daniela; Bear, Ashley; Beckwith, Noor; Gregory, T. Ryan; Denoux, Carine; Mammarella, Nicole; Ausubel, Frederick M.; Pierce, Naomi E.

    2010-01-01

    Experimental infections of Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) with genomically characterized plant pathogens such as Pseudomonas syringae have facilitated dissection of canonical eukaryotic defense pathways and parasite virulence factors. Plants are also attacked by herbivorous insects, and the development of an ecologically relevant genetic model herbivore that feeds on Arabidopsis will enable the parallel dissection of host defense and reciprocal resistance pathways such as those involved in xenobiotic metabolism. An ideal candidate is Scaptomyza flava, a drosophilid fly whose leafmining larvae are true herbivores that can be found in nature feeding on Arabidopsis and other crucifers. Here we describe the eukaryotic life cycle of S. flava on Arabidopsis, and use multiple approaches to characterize the response of Arabidopsis to S. flava attack. Oviposition choice tests and growth performance assays on different Arabidopsis ecotypes, defense-related mutants, and hormone and chitin-treated plants revealed significant differences in host preference and variation in larval performance across Arabidopsis accessions. The jasmonate (JA) and glucosinolate pathways in Arabidopsis are important in mediating quantitative resistance against S. flava, and priming with JA or chitin resulted in increased resistance. Expression of xenobiotic detoxification genes was reduced in S. flava larvae reared on Arabidopsis JA signaling mutants, and increased in plants pre-treated with chitin. These results and future research directions are discussed in the context of developing a genetic model system to analyze insect/plant interactions. PMID:21073583

  3. Gut transport characteristics in herbivorous and carnivorous serrasalmid fish from ion-poor Rio Negro water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelster, Bernd; Wood, Chris M; Speers-Roesch, Ben; Driedzic, William R; Almeida-Val, Vera; Val, Adalberto

    2015-02-01

    Three closely related characids, Tambaqui (omnivore), black Piranha (carnivore), and Pacu (herbivore), all Serrasalmidae, inhabit the ion-poor, acidic Rio Negro. We compared O2-consumption and N excretion rates in vivo, and sodium, chloride, glucose, and ammonia transport characteristics of gut sac preparations in vitro. The Pacu had a significantly higher weight-specific oxygen consumption, and a lower N/Q ratio than the omnivorous Tambaqui, and a significantly lower urea-N excretion rate than the carnivorous black Piranha, suggesting N-limitation in the herbivorous Pacu. With a value of 2.62 ± 0.15, gut to fork length ratio in the Pacu was about 2.5 times higher than in the black Piranha, and 2.0 times higher than in the Tambaqui. Anterior intestinal activities of three enzymes involved in N-fixation for amino acid synthesis (glutamate dehydrogenase, glutamate-oxaloacetate transferase, and glutamate-pyruvate transferase) were generally greatest in the carnivore and lowest in the herbivore species. In all three species, sodium, chloride, glucose, and ammonia were taken up at high rates from the intestine, resulting in an isosmotic fluid flux. Comparing the area-specific fluid flux of the anterior, mid, and posterior gut sections, no difference was detected between the three sections of the Pacu, while in the Tambaqui, it was highest in the anterior section, and in the black Piranha highest in the middle section. Overall, the area-specific uptake rates for sodium, chloride, glucose, and ammonia of anterior, mid, and posterior sections were similar in all three species, indicating that there is no difference in the area-specific transport rates associated with trophic position. The net ammonia uptake flux from gut interior was not significantly different from the net ammonia efflux to the serosal fluid, so that the ammonia removed from the intestine by the mucosal epithelium was quantitatively transferred through the tissue to the serosal side in all three

  4. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Miguel Grandez-Rios

    Full Text Available Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin.

  5. The draft genome of blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) reveals the development of intermuscular bone and adaptation to herbivorous diet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Han; Chen, Chunhai; Gao, Zexia; Min, Jiumeng; Gu, Yongming; Jian, Jianbo; Jiang, Xiewu; Cai, Huimin; Ebersberger, Ingo; Xu, Meng; Zhang, Xinhui; Chen, Jianwei; Luo, Wei; Chen, Boxiang; Chen, Junhui; Liu, Hong; Li, Jiang; Lai, Ruifang; Bai, Mingzhou; Wei, Jin; Yi, Shaokui; Wang, Huanling; Cao, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Xiaoyun; Zhao, Yuhua; Wei, Kaijian; Yang, Ruibin; Liu, Bingnan; Zhao, Shancen; Fang, Xiaodong

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The blunt snout bream Megalobrama amblycephala is the economically most important cyprinid fish species. As an herbivore, it can be grown by eco-friendly and resource-conserving aquaculture. However, the large number of intermuscular bones in the trunk musculature is adverse to fish meat processing and consumption. As a first towards optimizing this aquatic livestock, we present a 1.116-Gb draft genome of M. amblycephala, with 779.54 Mb anchored on 24 linkage groups. Integrating spatiotemporal transcriptome analyses, we show that intermuscular bone is formed in the more basal teleosts by intramembranous ossification and may be involved in muscle contractibility and coordinating cellular events. Comparative analysis revealed that olfactory receptor genes, especially of the beta type, underwent an extensive expansion in herbivorous cyprinids, whereas the gene for the umami receptor T1R1 was specifically lost in M. amblycephala. The composition of gut microflora, which contributes to the herbivorous adaptation of M. amblycephala, was found to be similar to that of other herbivores. As a valuable resource for the improvement of M. amblycephala livestock, the draft genome sequence offers new insights into the development of intermuscular bone and herbivorous adaptation. PMID:28535200

  6. Comparison of carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore mammalian genomes with a new leopard assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hak-Min; Chung, Oksung; Kim, Hyunho; Jho, Sungwoong; Seomun, Hong; Kim, Jeongho; Bang, Woo Young; Kim, Changmu; An, Junghwa; Bae, Chang Hwan; Bhak, Youngjune; Jeon, Sungwon; Yoon, Hyejun; Kim, Yumi; Jun, JeHoon; Lee, HyeJin; Cho, Suan; Uphyrkina, Olga; Kostyria, Aleksey; Goodrich, John; Miquelle, Dale; Roelke, Melody; Lewis, John; Yurchenko, Andrey; Bankevich, Anton; Cho, Juok; Lee, Semin; Edwards, Jeremy S; Weber, Jessica A; Cook, Jo; Kim, Sangsoo; Lee, Hang; Manica, Andrea; Lee, Ilbeum; O'Brien, Stephen J; Bhak, Jong; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2016-10-11

    There are three main dietary groups in mammals: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Currently, there is limited comparative genomics insight into the evolution of dietary specializations in mammals. Due to recent advances in sequencing technologies, we were able to perform in-depth whole genome analyses of representatives of these three dietary groups. We investigated the evolution of carnivory by comparing 18 representative genomes from across Mammalia with carnivorous, omnivorous, and herbivorous dietary specializations, focusing on Felidae (domestic cat, tiger, lion, cheetah, and leopard), Hominidae, and Bovidae genomes. We generated a new high-quality leopard genome assembly, as well as two wild Amur leopard whole genomes. In addition to a clear contraction in gene families for starch and sucrose metabolism, the carnivore genomes showed evidence of shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with diet, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for successful hunting and meat consumption. Additionally, an analysis of highly conserved regions at the family level revealed molecular signatures of dietary adaptation in each of Felidae, Hominidae, and Bovidae. However, unlike carnivores, omnivores and herbivores showed fewer shared adaptive signatures, indicating that carnivores are under strong selective pressure related to diet. Finally, felids showed recent reductions in genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, which may be due to the inflexible nature of their strict diet, highlighting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our study provides a large-scale family level comparative genomic analysis to address genomic changes associated with dietary specialization. Our genomic analyses also provide useful resources for diet-related genetic and health research.

  7. Species-environment interactions changed by introduced herbivores in an oceanic high-mountain ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seguí, Jaume; López-Darias, Marta; Pérez, Antonio J; Nogales, Manuel; Traveset, Anna

    2017-01-05

    Summit areas of oceanic islands constitute some of the most isolated ecosystems on earth, highly vulnerable to climate change and introduced species. Within the unique high-elevation communities of Tenerife (Canary Islands), reproductive success and thus long-term survival of species may depend on environmental suitability as well as threat by introduced herbivores. By experimentally modifying the endemic and vulnerable species Viola cheiranthifolia along its entire altitudinal occurrence range, we studied plant performance, autofertility, pollen limitation and visitation rate and the interactive effect of grazing by non-native rabbits on them. We assessed the grazing effects by recording (1) the proportion of consumed plants and flowers along the gradient, (2) comparing fitness traits of herbivore-excluded plants along the gradient, and (3) comparing fitness traits, autofertility and pollen limitation between plants excluded from herbivores with unexcluded plants at the same locality. Our results showed that V. cheiranthifolia performance is mainly affected by inter-annual and microhabitat variability along the gradient, especially in the lowest edge. Despite the increasingly adverse environmental conditions, the plant showed no pollen limitation with elevation, which is attributed to the increase in autofertility levels (≥ 50% of reproductive output) and decrease in competition for pollinators at higher elevations. Plant fitness is, however, extremely reduced owing to the presence of non-native rabbits in the area (consuming more than 75% of the individuals in some localities), which in turn change plant trait-environment interactions along the gradient. Taken together, these findings indicate that the elevational variation found on plant performance results from the combined action of non-native rabbits with the microhabitat variability, exerting intricate ecological influences that threaten the survival of this violet species. Published by Oxford University

  8. Nocturnal herbivore-induced plant volatiles attract the generalist predatory earwig Doru luteipes Scudder

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    Naranjo-Guevara, Natalia; Peñaflor, Maria Fernanda G. V.; Cabezas-Guerrero, Milton F.; Bento, José Maurício S.

    2017-10-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that entomophagous arthropods use herbivore-induced plant volatile (HIPV) blends to search for their prey or host. However, no study has yet focused on the response of nocturnal predators to volatile blends emitted by prey damaged plants. We investigated the olfactory behavioral responses of the night-active generalist predatory earwig Doru luteipes Scudder (Dermaptera: Forficulidae) to diurnal and nocturnal volatile blends emitted by maize plants ( Zea mays) attacked by either a stem borer ( Diatraea saccharalis) or a leaf-chewing caterpillar ( Spodoptera frugiperda), both suitable lepidopteran prey. Additionally, we examined whether the earwig preferred odors emitted from short- or long-term damaged maize. We first determined the earwig diel foraging rhythm and confirmed that D. luteipes is a nocturnal predator. Olfactometer assays showed that during the day, although the earwigs were walking actively, they did not discriminate the volatiles of undamaged maize plants from those of herbivore damaged maize plants. In contrast, at night, earwigs preferred volatiles emitted by maize plants attacked by D. saccharalis or S. frugiperda over undamaged plants and short- over long-term damaged maize. Our GC-MS analysis revealed that short-term damaged nocturnal plant volatile blends were comprised mainly of fatty acid derivatives (i.e., green leaf volatiles), while the long-term damaged plant volatile blend contained mostly terpenoids. We also observed distinct volatile blend composition emitted by maize damaged by the different caterpillars. Our results showed that D. luteipes innately uses nocturnal herbivore-induced plant volatiles to search for prey. Moreover, the attraction of the earwig to short-term damaged plants is likely mediated by fatty acid derivatives.

  9. Evolution of resistance and tolerance to herbivores: testing the trade-off hypothesis

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    Eunice Kariñho-Betancourt

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background. To cope with their natural enemies, plants rely on resistance and tolerance as defensive strategies. Evolution of these strategies among natural population can be constrained by the absence of genetic variation or because of the antagonistic genetic correlation (trade-off between them. Also, since plant defenses are integrated by several traits, it has been suggested that trade-offs might occur between specific defense traits.Methodology/Principal Findings. We experimentally assessed (1 the presence of genetic variance in tolerance, total resistance, and leaf trichome density as specific defense trait, (2 the extent of natural selection acting on plant defenses, and (3 the relationship between total resistance and leaf trichome density with tolerance to herbivory in the annual herb Datura stramonium. Full-sib families of D. stramonium were either exposed to natural herbivores (control or protected from them by a systemic insecticide. We detected genetic variance for leaf trichome density, and directional selection acting on this character. However, we did not detect a negative significant correlation between tolerance and total resistance, or between tolerance and leaf trichome density. We argue that low levels of leaf damage by herbivores precluded the detection of a negative genetic correlation between plant defense strategies.Conclusions/Significance. This study provides empirical evidence of the independent evolution of plant defense strategies, and a defensive role of leaf trichomes. The pattern of selection should favor individuals with high trichomes density. Also, because leaf trichome density reduces damage by herbivores and possess genetic variance in the studied population, its evolution is not constrained.

  10. Host-plant-mediated effects of Nadefensin on herbivore and pathogen resistance in Nicotiana attenuata

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    Baldwin Ian T

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The adage from Shakespeare, "troubles, not as single spies, but in battalions come," holds true for Nicotiana attenuata, which is commonly attacked by both pathogens (Pseudomonas spp. and herbivores (Manduca sexta in its native habitats. Defense responses targeted against the pathogens can directly or indirectly influence the responses against the herbivores. Nadefensin is an effective induced defense gene against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (PST DC3000, which is also elicited by attack from M. sexta larvae, but whether this defense protein influences M. sexta's growth and whether M. sexta-induced Nadefensin directly or indirectly influences PST DC3000 resistance are unknown. Results M. sexta larvae consumed less on WT and on Nadefensin-silenced N. attenuata plants that had previously been infected with PST DC3000 than on uninfected plants. WT plants infected with PST DC3000 showed enhanced resistance to PST DC3000 and decreased leaf consumption by M. sexta larvae, but larval mass gain was unaffected. PST DC3000-infected Nadefensin-silenced plants were less resistant to subsequent PST DC3000 challenge, and on these plants, M. sexta larvae consumed less and gained less mass. WT and Nadefensin-silenced plants previously damaged by M. sexta larvae were better able to resist subsequent PST DC3000 challenges than were undamaged plants. Conclusion These results demonstrate that Na-defensin directly mediates defense against PST DC3000 and indirectly against M. sexta in N. attenuata. In plants that were previously infected with PST DC3000, the altered leaf chemistry in PST DC3000-resistant WT plants and PST DC3000-susceptible Nadefensin-silenced plants differentially reduced M. sexta's leaf consumption and mass gain. In plants that were previously damaged by M. sexta, the combined effect of the altered host plant chemistry and a broad spectrum of anti-herbivore induced metabolomic responses was more

  11. How far do schools of roving herbivores rove? A case study using Scarus rivulatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, J. Q.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    Herbivorous reef fish play an important role in shaping ecosystem processes on coral reefs. Often found in schools, Scarus rivulatus, is an abundant herbivorous species on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, especially on inshore reefs. Recent evidence has highlighted the limited spatial movements of some herbivorous fishes. However, individuals in schools are thought to be much more mobile. The aim of this study, therefore, was to evaluate the spatial range of schooling S. rivulatus to measure the spatial scale over which they exert their functional role. Furthermore, we assess the influence of the schooling behaviour on their feeding rates and thus their ecological impact. The diurnal movements of S. rivulatus were monitored using acoustic transmitters and a passive acoustic array for up to 7 months in Pioneer Bay, Orpheus Island, GBR. In addition, behavioural observations recorded school size-frequency distributions and feeding rates of S. rivulatus inside and outside foraging schools. Despite schooling, all S. rivulatus were site attached. On average, the maximum potential home range of individuals was 24,440 m2 and ranges overlapped extensively in individuals captured from the same school. School size was highly variable, with a mean school size of 5.7 individuals. Schooling had a significant impact on the functional role of individuals, with feeding rates in schools being two times higher for S. rivulatus and over three times higher for other scarid species. Our results suggest that, despite schooling, individual S. rivulatus only rove over a limited area of reef (occupying a linear stretch of reef, measuring only approximately 250 m for individuals and 220 m for entire schools). Each individual may therefore have little impact on the spatial resilience of coral reefs.

  12. Herbivore impacts on marsh production depend upon a compensatory continuum mediated by salinity stress.

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    Jeremy D Long

    Full Text Available Plant communities are disturbed by several stressors and they are expected to be further impacted by increasing anthropogenic stress. The consequences of these stressors will depend, in part, upon the ability of plants to compensate for herbivory. Previous studies found that herbivore impacts on plants can vary from negative to positive because of environmental control of plant compensatory responses, a.k.a. the Compensatory Continuum Hypothesis. While these influential studies enhanced our appreciation of the dynamic nature of plant-herbivore interactions, they largely focused on the impact of resource limitation. This bias limits our ability to predict how other environmental factors will shape the impact of herbivory. We examined the role of salinity stress on herbivory of salt marsh cordgrass, Spartina foliosa, by an herbivore previously hypothesized to influence the success of restoration projects (the scale insect, Haliaspis spartinae. Using a combination of field and mesocosm manipulations of scales and salinity, we measured how these factors affected Spartina growth and timing of senescence. In mesocosm studies, Spartina overcompensated for herbivory by growing taller shoots at low salinities but the impact of scales on plants switched from positive to neutral with increasing salinity stress. In field studies of intermediate salinities, scales reduced Spartina growth and increased the rate of senescence. Experimental salinity additions at this field site returned the impact of scales to neutral. Because salinity decreased scale densities, the switch in impact of scales on Spartina with increasing salinity was not simply a linear function of scale abundance. Thus, the impact of scales on primary production depended strongly upon environmental context because intermediate salinity stress prevented plant compensatory responses to herbivory. Understanding this context-dependency will be required if we are going to successfully predict the

  13. Extreme precipitation variability, forage quality and large herbivore diet selection in arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, James W.; Gedir, Jay V.; Marshal, Jason P.; Krausman, Paul R.; Allen, Jamison D.; Duff, Glenn C.; Jansen, Brian; Morgart, John R.

    2017-01-01

    Nutritional ecology forms the interface between environmental variability and large herbivore behaviour, life history characteristics, and population dynamics. Forage conditions in arid and semi-arid regions are driven by unpredictable spatial and temporal patterns in rainfall. Diet selection by herbivores should be directed towards overcoming the most pressing nutritional limitation (i.e. energy, protein [nitrogen, N], moisture) within the constraints imposed by temporal and spatial variability in forage conditions. We investigated the influence of precipitation-induced shifts in forage nutritional quality and subsequent large herbivore responses across widely varying precipitation conditions in an arid environment. Specifically, we assessed seasonal changes in diet breadth and forage selection of adult female desert bighorn sheep Ovis canadensis mexicana in relation to potential nutritional limitations in forage N, moisture and energy content (as proxied by dry matter digestibility, DMD). Succulents were consistently high in moisture but low in N and grasses were low in N and moisture until the wet period. Nitrogen and moisture content of shrubs and forbs varied among seasons and climatic periods, whereas trees had consistently high N and moderate moisture levels. Shrubs, trees and succulents composed most of the seasonal sheep diets but had little variation in DMD. Across all seasons during drought and during summer with average precipitation, forages selected by sheep were higher in N and moisture than that of available forage. Differences in DMD between sheep diets and available forage were minor. Diet breadth was lowest during drought and increased with precipitation, reflecting a reliance on few key forage species during drought. Overall, forage selection was more strongly associated with N and moisture content than energy content. Our study demonstrates that unlike north-temperate ungulates which are generally reported to be energy-limited, N and moisture

  14. A fungal root symbiont modifies plant resistance to an insect herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowicz, Victoria A

    1997-11-01

    Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi are common root-colonizing symbionts that affect nutrient uptake by plants and can alter plant susceptibility to herbivores. I conducted a factorial experiment to test the hypotheses that colonization by VAM fungi (1) improves soybean (Glycine max) tolerance to grazing by folivorous Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis), and (2) indirectly affects herbivores by increasing host resistance. Soybean seedlings were inoculated with the VAM fungus Glomus etunicatum or VAM-free filtrate and fertilized with high-[P] or low-[P] fertilizer. After plants had grown for 7 weeks first-instar beetle larvae were placed on bagged leaves. Growth of soybean was little affected by grazing larvae, and no effects of treatments on tolerance of soybeans to herbivores were evident. Colonization by VAM fungus doubled the size of phosphorus-stressed plants but these plants were still half the size of plants given adequate phosphorus. High-[P] fertilizer increased levels of phosphorus and soluble carbohydrates, and decreased levels of soluble proteins in leaves of grazed plants. Colonization of grazed plants by VAM fungus had no significant effect on plant soluble carbohydrates, but increased concentration of phosphorus and decreased levels of proteins in phosphorus-stressed plants to concentrations similar to those of plants given adequate phosphorus. Mexican bean beetle mass at pupation, pupation rate, and survival to eclosion were greatest for beetles reared on phosphorus-stressed, VAM-colonized plants, refuting the hypothesis that VAM colonization improves host plant resistance. VAM colonization indirectly affected performance of Mexician bean beetle larvae by improving growth and nutrition of the host plant.

  15. High nymphal host density and mortality negatively impact parasitoid complex during an insect herbivore outbreak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Aidan A G; Johnson, Scott N; Cook, James M; Riegler, Markus

    2017-08-26

    Insect herbivore outbreaks frequently occur and this may be due to factors that restrict top-down control by parasitoids, for example, host-parasitoid asynchrony, hyperparasitization, resource limitation and climate. Few studies have examined host-parasitoid density relationships during an insect herbivore outbreak in a natural ecosystem with diverse parasitoids. We studied parasitization patterns of Cardiaspina psyllids during an outbreak in a Eucalyptus woodland. First, we established the trophic roles of the parasitoids through a species-specific multiplex PCR approach on mummies from which parasitoids emerged. Then, we assessed host-parasitoid density relationships across three spatial scales (leaf, tree and site) over one year. We detected four endoparasitoid species of the family Encyrtidae (Hymenoptera); two primary parasitoid and one heteronomous hyperparasitoid Psyllaephagus species (the latter with female development as a primary parasitoid and male development as a hyperparasitoid), and the hyperparasitoid Coccidoctonus psyllae. Parasitoid development was host-synchronized, although synchrony between sites appeared constrained during winter (due to temperature differences). Parasitization was predominantly driven by one primary parasitoid species and was mostly inversely host-density dependent across the spatial scales. Hyperparasitization by C. psyllae was psyllid-density dependent at the site scale, however, this only impacted the rarer primary parasitoid. High larval parasitoid mortality due to density-dependent nymphal psyllid mortality (a consequence of resource limitation) compounded by a summer heat wave was incorporated in the assessment and resulted in density independence of host-parasitoid relationships. As such, high larval parasitoid mortality during insect herbivore outbreaks may contribute to the absence of host density-dependent parasitization during outbreak events. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  16. Tolerance to deer herbivory and resistance to insect herbivores in the common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puentes, A; Johnson, M T J

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of plant defence in response to herbivory will depend on the fitness effects of damage, availability of genetic variation and potential ecological and genetic constraints on defence. Here, we examine the potential for evolution of tolerance to deer herbivory in Oenothera biennis while simultaneously considering resistance to natural insect herbivores. We examined (i) the effects of deer damage on fitness, (ii) the presence of genetic variation in tolerance and resistance, (iii) selection on tolerance, (iv) genetic correlations with resistance that could constrain evolution of tolerance and (v) plant traits that might predict defence. In a field experiment, we simulated deer damage occurring early and late in the season, recorded arthropod abundances, flowering phenology and measured growth rate and lifetime reproduction. Our study showed that deer herbivory has a negative effect on fitness, with effects being more pronounced for late-season damage. Selection acted to increase tolerance to deer damage, yet there was low and nonsignificant genetic variation in this trait. In contrast, there was substantial genetic variation in resistance to insect herbivores. Resistance was genetically uncorrelated with tolerance, whereas positive genetic correlations in resistance to insect herbivores suggest there exists diffuse selection on resistance traits. In addition, growth rate and flowering time did not predict variation in tolerance, but flowering phenology was genetically correlated with resistance. Our results suggest that deer damage has the potential to exert selection because browsing reduces plant fitness, but limited standing genetic variation in tolerance is expected to constrain adaptive evolution in O. biennis. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  17. Effects of habitat management on different feeding guilds of herbivorous insects in cacao agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novais, Samuel M A; Macedo-Reis, Luiz E; DaRocha, Wesley D; Neves, Frederico S

    2016-06-01

    Human pressure on natural habitats increases the importance of agroforests for biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of cacao traditional cultivation system (CTCS) on the conservation of the herbivorous insect community when compared with a monodominant rubber agroforest, a type of agricultural system for cacao cultivation. The insects were sampled in three habitats in Southeastern Bahia, Brazil: native forests, CTCS and rubber agroforests. In each habitat, 18 plots of 10 m2 were established, and the structural measures were collected and herbivorous insects were sampled with a Malaise/window trap. The diversity of folivorous decreased with the simplification of vegetation structure, but species composition was similar among habitats. In addition to a decrease in the availability of resources in monodominant rubber agroforests, the latex present in these systems have limited the occurrence of species that cannot circumvent latex toxicity. The diversity of sap-sucking insects was similar among habitats, but species composition was similar only in the CTCS and native forest, and it was different in the rubber agroforest. We observed turnover and a higher frequency of individuals of the family Psyllidae in the rubber agroforest. The biology and behavior of Psyllids and absence of natural enemies enable their diversity to increase when they are adapted to a new host. We observed a shift in the composition of xylophagous insects in the rubber agroforest compared to that in other habitats. Moreover, this agroforest has low species richness, but high individual abundance. Latex extraction is likely an important additional source of volatile compounds discharged into the environment, and it increases the attraction and recruitment of coleoborers to these sites. We concluded that CTCS has an herbivorous insect community with a structure similar to the community found in native forests of the region, and they present a more

  18. Secondary Plant Products Causing Photosensitization in Grazing Herbivores: Their Structure, Activity and Regulation

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    Jane C. Quinn

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Photosensitivity in animals is defined as a severe dermatitis that results from a heightened reactivity of skin cells and associated dermal tissues upon their exposure to sunlight, following ingestion or contact with UV reactive secondary plant products. Photosensitivity occurs in animal cells as a reaction that is mediated by a light absorbing molecule, specifically in this case a plant-produced metabolite that is heterocyclic or polyphenolic. In sensitive animals, this reaction is most severe in non-pigmented skin which has the least protection from UV or visible light exposure. Photosensitization in a biological system such as the epidermis is an oxidative or other chemical change in a molecule in response to light-induced excitation of endogenous or exogenously-delivered molecules within the tissue. Photo-oxidation can also occur in the plant itself, resulting in the generation of reactive oxygen species, free radical damage and eventual DNA degradation. Similar cellular changes occur in affected herbivores and are associated with an accumulation of photodynamic molecules in the affected dermal tissues or circulatory system of the herbivore. Recent advances in our ability to identify and detect secondary products at trace levels in the plant and surrounding environment, or in organisms that ingest plants, have provided additional evidence for the role of secondary metabolites in photosensitization of grazing herbivores. This review outlines the role of unique secondary products produced by higher plants in the animal photosensitization process, describes their chemistry and localization in the plant as well as impacts of the environment upon their production, discusses their direct and indirect effects on associated animal systems and presents several examples of well-characterized plant photosensitization in animal systems.

  19. High-latitude steppe vegetation and the mineral nutrition of Pleistocene herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davydov, S. P.; Davydova, A.; Makarevich, R.; Loranty, M. M.; Boeskorov, G.

    2014-12-01

    High-latitude steppes were widespread and zonal in the Late Pleistocene and formed a landscape basis for the Mammoth Biome. Now the patches of these steppes survived on steep slopes under southern aspects. These steppes serve as unique information sources about the Late Pleistocene "Mammoth" steppe. Numerous data obtained by palynological, carpological, and DNA analysis of plant remains from feces and stomach contents of Pleistocene herbivore mummies, as well as from buried soils and enclosing deposits show that they are similar to modern steppe plant assemblage in taxa composition. Plant's nutrient concentrations are of fundamental importance across Pleistocene grass-rich ecosystems because of their role in the support of large herbivores. The average weight of an adult mammoth skeleton (about 0.5 tons) and of a woolly rhinoceros (about 0.2 tons) clearly suggests this. Detailed studies on fossil bone remains showed mineral deficiency in large Pleistocene herbivores. A three-year study of ash and mineral contents of two types of relict steppe vegetation at the Kolyma Lowland, Arctic Siberia has been carried out. Nowadays refugia of similar vegetation are located not far (1 - 15km) from the Yedoma permafrost outcrops were abundant fossil remains are found. Dominant species of the steppe vegetation were sampled. Preliminary studies indicate that the ash-content varied 1.5-2 times in speceies of steppe herbs. The Ca, P, Mg, K element contents was higher for most steppe species than in the local herbaceous vegetation, especially in Ca and P. One of the most important elements of the mineral nutrition, the phosphorus, was always found in higher concentrations in the steppe vegetation than in plants of recently dominant landscapes of the study area. It should be noted that the mineral nutrient content of the modern steppe vegetation of Siberian Arctic is comparable to that of the recent zonal steppe of Transbaikal Region. This study supports the hypothesis that

  20. High-throughput sequencing of ancient plant and mammal DNA preserved in herbivore middens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Murray, Dáithí C.; Pearson, Stuart G.; Fullagar, Richard

    2012-01-01

    DNA analysis identified unreported plant and animal taxa, some of which are locally extinct or endemic. The survival and preservation of DNA in hot, arid environments is a complex and poorly understood process that is both sporadic and rare, but the survival of DNA through desiccation may be important......The study of arid palaeoenvironments is often frustrated by the poor or non-existent preservation of plant and animal material, yet these environments are of considerable environmental importance. The analysis of pollen and macrofossils isolated from herbivore middens has been an invaluable source...

  1. Arctic herbivore diet can be inferred from stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in C3 plants, faeces and wool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Ditte; Kristensen, Erik; Forchhammer, Mads C.

    2011-01-01

    The use of stable isotopes in diet analysis usually relies on the different photosynthetic pathways of C3 and C4 plants, and the resulting difference in carbon isotope signature. In the Arctic, however, plant species are exclusively C3, and carbon isotopes alone are therefore not suitable......% graminoids and up to 20% willows. In conclusion, the diet composition of an arctic herbivore can indeed be inferred from stable isotopes in arctic areas, despite the lack of C4 plants...... for studying arctic herbivore diets. In this study, we examined the potential of both stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes to reconstruct the diet of an arctic herbivore, here the muskox (Ovibos moschatus (Zimmermann, 1780)), in northeast Greenland. The isotope composition of plant communities and functional...

  2. The problem of maintaining large herbivores in small conservation areas: deterioration of the grassveld in the Addo Elephant National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Novellie

    1991-09-01

    Full Text Available Changes in vegetation cover and species composition in a grassland community during a six year period are reported. The grass Themeda triandra and the dwarf shrub Helichrysum rosum decreased in abundance, whereas the grass Eragrostis obtusa increased. Comparison of grazed plots with fenced plots revealed large herbivores were responsible for the increase in abundance ofE. obtusa. The abundance of T. triandra was influenced by large herbivores, but rainfall fluctuations apparently also played a role. The decline in relative abundance of/7. rosum was evidently not caused by large herbivores. Grass cover was closely determined by rainfall. A drought-induced decline in forage abundance evidently caused the buffalo population to crash.

  3. Complex effects of fertilization on plant and herbivore performance in the presence of a plant competitor and activated carbon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi-Arab, Nafiseh; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mehrparvar, Mohsen; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2014-01-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions are influenced by host plant quality which in turn is affected by plant growth conditions. Competition is the major biotic and nutrient availability a major abiotic component of a plant's growth environment. Yet, surprisingly few studies have investigated impacts of competition and nutrient availability on herbivore performance and reciprocal herbivore effects on plants. We studied growth of the specialist aphid, Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria, and its host plant tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, under experimental addition of inorganic and organic fertilizer crossed with competition by goldenrod, Solidago canadensis. Because of evidence that competition by goldenrod is mediated by allelopathic compounds, we also added a treatment with activated carbon. Results showed that fertilization increased, and competition with goldenrod decreased, plant biomass, but this was likely mediated by resource competition. There was no evidence from the activated carbon treatment that allelopathy played a role which instead had a fertilizing effect. Aphid performance increased with higher plant biomass and depended on plant growth conditions, with fertilization and AC increasing, and plant competition decreasing aphid numbers. Feedbacks of aphids on plant performance interacted with plant growth conditions in complex ways depending on the relative magnitude of the effects on plant biomass and aphid numbers. In the basic fertilization treatment, tansy plants profited from increased nutrient availability by accumulating more biomass than they lost due to an increased number of aphids under fertilization. When adding additional fertilizer, aphid numbers increased so high that tansy plants suffered and showed reduced biomass compared with controls without aphids. Thus, the ecological cost of an infestation with aphids depends on the balance of effects of growth conditions on plant and herbivore performance. These results emphasize the importance to investigate both

  4. Does herbivorous fish protection really improve coral reef resilience? A case study from new caledonia (South Pacific).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carassou, Laure; Léopold, Marc; Guillemot, Nicolas; Wantiez, Laurent; Kulbicki, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Parts of coral reefs from New Caledonia (South Pacific) were registered at the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008. Management strategies aiming at preserving the exceptional ecological value of these reefs in the context of climate change are currently being considered. This study evaluates the appropriateness of an exclusive fishing ban of herbivorous fish as a strategy to enhance coral reef resilience to hurricanes and bleaching in the UNESCO-registered areas of New Caledonia. A two-phase approach was developed: 1) coral, macroalgal, and herbivorous fish communities were examined in four biotopes from 14 reefs submitted to different fishing pressures in New Caledonia, and 2) results from these analyses were challenged in the context of a global synthesis of the relationship between herbivorous fish protection, coral recovery and relative macroalgal development after hurricanes and bleaching. Analyses of New Caledonia data indicated that 1) current fishing pressure only slightly affected herbivorous fish communities in the country, and 2) coral and macroalgal covers remained unrelated, and macroalgal cover was not related to the biomass, density or diversity of macroalgae feeders, whatever the biotope or level of fishing pressure considered. At a global scale, we found no relationship between reef protection status, coral recovery and relative macroalgal development after major climatic events. These results suggest that an exclusive protection of herbivorous fish in New Caledonia is unlikely to improve coral reef resilience to large-scale climatic disturbances, especially in the lightly fished UNESCO-registered areas. More efforts towards the survey and regulation of major chronic stress factors such as mining are rather recommended. In the most heavily fished areas of the country, carnivorous fish and large targeted herbivores may however be monitored as part of a precautionary approach.

  5. Specific polyphenols and tannins are associated with defense against insect herbivores in the tropical oak Quercus oleoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moctezuma, Coral; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Heil, Martin; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Méndez-Alonzo, Rodrigo; Oyama, Ken

    2014-05-01

    The role of plant polyphenols as defenses against insect herbivores is controversial. We combined correlative field studies across three geographic regions (Northern Mexico, Southern Mexico, and Costa Rica) with induction experiments under controlled conditions to search for candidate compounds that might play a defensive role in the foliage of the tropical oak, Quercus oleoides. We quantified leaf damage caused by four herbivore guilds (chewers, skeletonizers, leaf miners, and gall forming insects) and analyzed the content of 18 polyphenols (including hydrolyzable tannins, flavan-3-ols, and flavonol glycosides) in the same set of leaves using high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Foliar damage ranged from two to eight percent per region, and nearly 90% of all the damage was caused by chewing herbivores. Damage due to chewing herbivores was positively correlated with acutissimin B, catechin, and catechin dimer, and damage by mining herbivores was positively correlated with mongolinin A. By contrast, gall presence was negatively correlated with vescalagin and acutissimin B. By using redundancy analysis, we searched for the combinations of polyphenols that were associated to natural herbivory: the combination of mongolinin A and acutissimin B had the highest association to herbivory. In a common garden experiment with oak saplings, artificial damage increased the content of acutissimin B, mongolinin A, and vescalagin, whereas the content of catechin decreased. Specific polyphenols, either individually or in combination, rather than total polyphenols, were associated with standing leaf damage in this tropical oak. Future studies aimed at understanding the ecological role of polyphenols can use similar correlative studies to identify candidate compounds that could be used individually and in biologically meaningful combinations in tests with herbivores and pathogens.

  6. Family matters: effect of host plant variation in chemical and mechanical defenses on a sequestering specialist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimarco, Romina D; Nice, Chris C; Fordyce, James A

    2012-11-01

    Insect herbivores contend with various plant traits that are presumed to function as feeding deterrents. Paradoxically, some specialist insect herbivores might benefit from some of these plant traits, for example by sequestering plant chemical defenses that herbivores then use as their own defense against natural enemies. Larvae of the butterfly species Battus philenor (L.) (Papilionidae) sequester toxic alkaloids (aristolochic acids) from their Aristolochia host plants, rendering larvae and adults unpalatable to a broad range of predators. We studied the importance of two putative defensive traits in Aristolochia erecta: leaf toughness and aristolochic acid content, and we examined the effect of intra- and interplant chemical variation on the chemical phenotype of B. philenor larvae. It has been proposed that genetic variation for sequestration ability is "invisible to natural selection" because intra- and interindividual variation in host-plant chemistry will largely eliminate a role for herbivore genetic variation in determining an herbivore's chemical phenotype. We found substantial intra- and interplant variation in leaf toughness and in the aristolochic acid chemistry in A. erecta. Based on field observations and laboratory experiments, we showed that first-instar larvae preferentially fed on less tough, younger leaves and avoided tougher, older leaves, and we found no evidence that aristolochic acid content influenced first-instar larval foraging. We found that the majority of variation in the amount of aristolochic acid sequestered by larvae was explained by larval family, not by host-plant aristolochic acid content. Heritable variation for sequestration is the predominant determinant of larval, and likely adult, chemical phenotype. This study shows that for these highly specialized herbivores that sequester chemical defenses, traits that offer mechanical resistance, such as leaf toughness, might be more important determinants of early-instar larval

  7. Complex effects of fertilization on plant and herbivore performance in the presence of a plant competitor and activated carbon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nafiseh Mahdavi-Arab

    Full Text Available Plant-herbivore interactions are influenced by host plant quality which in turn is affected by plant growth conditions. Competition is the major biotic and nutrient availability a major abiotic component of a plant's growth environment. Yet, surprisingly few studies have investigated impacts of competition and nutrient availability on herbivore performance and reciprocal herbivore effects on plants. We studied growth of the specialist aphid, Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria, and its host plant tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, under experimental addition of inorganic and organic fertilizer crossed with competition by goldenrod, Solidago canadensis. Because of evidence that competition by goldenrod is mediated by allelopathic compounds, we also added a treatment with activated carbon. Results showed that fertilization increased, and competition with goldenrod decreased, plant biomass, but this was likely mediated by resource competition. There was no evidence from the activated carbon treatment that allelopathy played a role which instead had a fertilizing effect. Aphid performance increased with higher plant biomass and depended on plant growth conditions, with fertilization and AC increasing, and plant competition decreasing aphid numbers. Feedbacks of aphids on plant performance interacted with plant growth conditions in complex ways depending on the relative magnitude of the effects on plant biomass and aphid numbers. In the basic fertilization treatment, tansy plants profited from increased nutrient availability by accumulating more biomass than they lost due to an increased number of aphids under fertilization. When adding additional fertilizer, aphid numbers increased so high that tansy plants suffered and showed reduced biomass compared with controls without aphids. Thus, the ecological cost of an infestation with aphids depends on the balance of effects of growth conditions on plant and herbivore performance. These results emphasize the importance

  8. Synergism in the effect of prior jasmonic acid application on herbivore-induced volatile emission by Lima bean plants: transcription of a monoterpene synthase gene and volatile emission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Menzel, T.R.; Weldegergis, B.T.; David, A.; Boland, W.; Gols, R.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Jasmonic acid (JA) plays a central role in induced plant defence e.g. by regulating the biosynthesis of herbivore-induced plant volatiles that mediate the attraction of natural enemies of herbivores. Moreover, exogenous application of JA can be used to elicit plant defence responses similar to those

  9. Exposure of Lima bean leaves to volatiles from herbivore-induced conspecific plants results in emission of carnivore attractants: active or passive process?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Choh, Y.; Shimoda, T.; Ozawa, R.; Dicke, M.; Takabayashi, J.

    2004-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatiles emitted by herbivore-damaged plants can cause responses in downwind undamaged neighboring plants, such as the attraction of carnivorous enemies of herbivores. One of the open questions is whether this involves an active (production of volatiles) or passive

  10. Combined influence of Bt rice and rice dwarf virus on biological parameters of a non-target herbivore, Nephotettix cincticeps (Uhler) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The advent of genetically modified (GM) Bt rice creates the possibility of interactions among Bt crops, crop pathogens and non-target herbivores. In particular, information on how pathogen-infected Bt-expressing plants will influence non-target herbivores is necessary to predict the sustainability o...

  11. Plant protein and secondary metabolites influence diet selection in a mammalian specialist herbivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulappa, Amy C.; Kelsey, Rick G.; Frye, Graham G.; Rachlow, Janet L.; Shipley, Lisa A.; Bond, Laura; Pu, Xinzhu; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen

    2015-01-01

    For herbivores, nutrient intake is limited by the relatively low nutritional quality of plants and high concentrations of potentially toxic defensive compounds (plant secondary metabolites, PSMs) produced by many plants. In response to phytochemical challenges, some herbivores selectively forage on plants with higher nutrient and lower PSM concentrations relative to other plants. Pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are dietary specialists that feed on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and forage on specific plants more than others within a foraging patch. We predicted that the plants with evidence of heavy foraging (browsed plants) would be of higher dietary quality than plants that were not browsed (unbrowsed). We used model selection to determine which phytochemical variables best explained the difference between browsed and unbrowsed plants. Higher crude protein increased the odds that plants would be browsed by pygmy rabbits and the opposite was the case for certain PSMs. Additionally, because pygmy rabbits can occupy foraging patches (burrows) for consecutive years, their browsing may influence the nutritional and PSM constituents of plants at the burrows. In a post hoc analysis, we did not find a significant relationship between phytochemical concentrations, browse status and burrow occupancy length. We concluded that pygmy rabbits use nutritional and chemical cues while making foraging decisions. PMID:26366011

  12. Ozone impedes the ability of a herbivore to find its host

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuentes, Jose D; Zenker, John; Roulston, T’ai H

    2013-01-01

    Plant-emitted hydrocarbons mediate several key interactions between plants and insects. They enhance the ability of pollinators and herbivores to locate suitable host plants, and parasitoids to locate herbivores. While plant volatiles provide strong chemical signals, these signals are potentially degraded by exposure to pollutants such as ozone, which has increased in the troposphere and is projected to continue to increase over the coming decades. Despite the potential broad ecological significance of reduced plant signaling effectiveness, few studies have examined behavioral responses of insects to their hosts in polluted environments. Here, we use a laboratory study to test the effect of ozone concentration gradients on the ability of the striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum) to locate flowers of its host plant, Cucurbita foetidissima. Y-tube experiments showed that ozone mixing ratios below 80 parts per billion (ppb) resulted in beetles moving toward their host plant, but levels above 80 ppb resulted in beetles moving randomly with respect to host location. There was no evidence that beetles avoided polluted air directly. The results show that ozone pollution has great potential to perniciously alter key interactions between plants and animals. (letter)

  13. Herbivore-Induced DNA Demethylation Changes Floral Signalling and Attractiveness to Pollinators in Brassica rapa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman T Kellenberger

    Full Text Available Plants have to fine-tune their signals to optimise the trade-off between herbivore deterrence and pollinator attraction. An important mechanism in mediating plant-insect interactions is the regulation of gene expression via DNA methylation. However, the effect of herbivore-induced DNA methylation changes on pollinator-relevant plant signalling has not been systematically investigated. Here, we assessed the impact of foliar herbivory on DNA methylation and floral traits in the model crop plant Brassica rapa. Methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MSAP analysis showed that leaf damage by the caterpillar Pieris brassicae was associated with genome-wide methylation changes in both leaves and flowers of B. rapa as well as a downturn in flower number, morphology and scent. A comparison to plants with jasmonic acid-induced defence showed similar demethylation patterns in leaves, but both the floral methylome and phenotype differed significantly from P. brassicae infested plants. Standardised genome-wide demethylation with 5-azacytidine in five different B. rapa full-sib groups further resulted in a genotype-specific downturn of floral morphology and scent, which significantly reduced the attractiveness of the plants to the pollinator bee Bombus terrestris. These results suggest that DNA methylation plays an important role in adjusting plant signalling in response to changing insect communities.

  14. No evidence for directional evolution of body mass in herbivorous theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanno, Lindsay E.; Makovicky, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    The correlation between large body size and digestive efficiency has been hypothesized to have driven trends of increasing mass in herbivorous clades by means of directional selection. Yet, to date, few studies have investigated this relationship from a phylogenetic perspective, and none, to our knowledge, with regard to trophic shifts. Here, we reconstruct body mass in the three major subclades of non-avian theropod dinosaurs whose ecomorphology is correlated with extrinsic evidence of at least facultative herbivory in the fossil record—all of which also achieve relative gigantism (more than 3000 kg). Ordinary least-squares regressions on natural log-transformed mean mass recover significant correlations between increasing mass and geological time. However, tests for directional evolution in body mass find no support for a phylogenetic trend, instead favouring passive models of trait evolution. Cross-correlation of sympatric taxa from five localities in Asia reveals that environmental influences such as differential habitat sampling and/or taphonomic filtering affect the preserved record of dinosaurian body mass in the Cretaceous. Our results are congruent with studies documenting that behavioural and/or ecological factors may mitigate the benefit of increasing mass in extant taxa, and suggest that the hypothesis can be extrapolated to herbivorous lineages across geological time scales. PMID:23193135

  15. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles and tritrophic interactions across spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aartsma, Yavanna; Bianchi, Felix J J A; van der Werf, Wopke; Poelman, Erik H; Dicke, Marcel

    2017-12-01

    Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are an important cue used in herbivore location by carnivorous arthropods such as parasitoids. The effects of plant volatiles on parasitoids have been well characterised at small spatial scales, but little research has been done on their effects at larger spatial scales. The spatial matrix of volatiles ('volatile mosaic') within which parasitoids locate their hosts is dynamic and heterogeneous. It is shaped by the spatial pattern of HIPV-emitting plants, the concentration, chemical composition and breakdown of the emitted HIPV blends, and by environmental factors such as wind, turbulence and vegetation that affect transport and mixing of odour plumes. The volatile mosaic may be exploited differentially by different parasitoid species, in relation to species traits such as sensory ability to perceive volatiles and the physical ability to move towards the source. Understanding how HIPVs influence parasitoids at larger spatial scales is crucial for our understanding of tritrophic interactions and sustainable pest management in agriculture. However, there is a large gap in our knowledge on how volatiles influence the process of host location by parasitoids at the landscape scale. Future studies should bridge the gap between the chemical and behavioural ecology of tritrophic interactions and landscape ecology. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. Ozone impedes the ability of a herbivore to find its host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Jose D.; Roulston, T.'ai H.; Zenker, John

    2013-03-01

    Plant-emitted hydrocarbons mediate several key interactions between plants and insects. They enhance the ability of pollinators and herbivores to locate suitable host plants, and parasitoids to locate herbivores. While plant volatiles provide strong chemical signals, these signals are potentially degraded by exposure to pollutants such as ozone, which has increased in the troposphere and is projected to continue to increase over the coming decades. Despite the potential broad ecological significance of reduced plant signaling effectiveness, few studies have examined behavioral responses of insects to their hosts in polluted environments. Here, we use a laboratory study to test the effect of ozone concentration gradients on the ability of the striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum) to locate flowers of its host plant, Cucurbita foetidissima. Y-tube experiments showed that ozone mixing ratios below 80 parts per billion (ppb) resulted in beetles moving toward their host plant, but levels above 80 ppb resulted in beetles moving randomly with respect to host location. There was no evidence that beetles avoided polluted air directly. The results show that ozone pollution has great potential to perniciously alter key interactions between plants and animals.

  17. Synergistic effects of an extreme weather event and habitat fragmentation on a specialised insect herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piessens, Katrien; Adriaens, Dries; Jacquemyn, Hans; Honnay, Olivier

    2009-02-01

    Habitat fragmentation is considered to be one of the main causes of population decline and species extinction worldwide. Furthermore, habitat fragmentation can decrease the ability of populations to resist and to recover from environmental disturbances such as extreme weather events, which are expected to occur at an increasing rate as a result of climate change. In this study, we investigated how calcareous grassland fragmentation affected the impact of the climatically extreme summer of 2003 on egg deposition rates, population size variation and survival of the blue butterfly Cupido minimus, a specialist herbivore of Anthyllis vulneraria. Immediately after the 2003 summer heat wave, populations of the host plant declined in size; this was paralleled with decreases in population size of the herbivore and altered egg deposition rates. In 2006 at the end of the monitoring period, however, most A. vulneraria populations had recovered and only one population went extinct. In contrast, several butterfly populations had gone extinct between 2003 and 2006. Extinction probability was significantly related to initial population size, with small populations having a higher risk of extinction than large populations. These results support the prediction that species of higher trophic levels are more susceptible to extinction due to habitat fragmentation and severe disturbances.

  18. Induced plant-defenses suppress herbivore reproduction but also constrain predation of their offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ataide, Livia M S; Pappas, Maria L; Schimmel, Bernardus C J; Lopez-Orenes, Antonio; Alba, Juan M; Duarte, Marcus V A; Pallini, Angelo; Schuurink, Robert C; Kant, Merijn R

    2016-11-01

    Inducible anti-herbivore defenses in plants are predominantly regulated by jasmonic acid (JA). On tomato plants, most genotypes of the herbivorous generalist spider mite Tetranychus urticae induce JA defenses and perform poorly on it, whereas the Solanaceae specialist Tetranychus evansi, who suppresses JA defenses, performs well on it. We asked to which extent these spider mites and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes preying on these spider mites eggs are affected by induced JA-defenses. By artificially inducing the JA-response of the tomato JA-biosynthesis mutant def-1 using exogenous JA and isoleucine (Ile), we first established the relationship between endogenous JA-Ile-levels and the reproductive performance of spider mites. For both mite species we observed that they produced more eggs when levels of JA-Ile were low. Subsequently, we allowed predatory mites to prey on spider mite-eggs derived from wild-type tomato plants, def-1 and JA-Ile-treated def-1 and observed that they preferred, and consumed more, eggs produced on tomato plants with weak JA defenses. However, predatory mite oviposition was similar across treatments. Our results show that induced JA-responses negatively affect spider mite performance, but positively affect the survival of their offspring by constraining egg-predation. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Reproductive demography of a temperate protogynous and herbivorous fish, Odax pullus (Labridae, Odacini)

    KAUST Repository

    Laman Trip, Elizabeth; Raubenheimer, David; Clements, Kendall D.; Choat, John Howard

    2011-01-01

    A common view is that, in marine fishes, herbivory and sex change are subject to physiological constraints at high latitudes, which are likely to affect growth rates and reproductive outputs. The present study examines the reproductive demography of Odax pullus, an herbivorous and protogynous species of temperate New Zealand. We establish an otolith-based methodology for age estimation and investigate sex-specific growth, longevity and age-based reproductive events. Individuals achieved a maximum age of 11 years, reached 85% of adult body size (455mm FL) within the first 3.5 years of life, were sexually mature by the age of 1.11.5 years and changed sex at 2.83.5 years, indicating fast simultaneous somatic and reproductive growth. There was no significant difference in growth or body size between the sexes. Ovary weight of spawning females increased significantly with size and age, suggesting the presence of size- and age-fecundity skews underlying the absence of sex change in larger and older females. Testes of reproductively active males comprised less than 1% of bodyweight, suggesting pair-spawning and little sperm competition. The present study provides metrics to support comparisons of the demography of this temperate protogynous and herbivorous labrid across spatial or temporal strata. © CSIRO 2011.

  20. Reduction of herbivorous fish pressure can facilitate focal algal species forestation on artificial structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianni, Fabrizio; Bartolini, Fabrizio; Airoldi, Laura; Mangialajo, Luisa

    2018-07-01

    Coastal areas have been transformed worldwide by urbanization, so that artificial structures are now widespread. Current coastal development locally depletes many native marine species, while offering limited possibilities for their expansion. Eco-engineering interventions intend to identify ways to facilitate the presence of focal species and their associated functions on artificial habitats. An important but overlooked factor controlling restoration operations is overgrazing by herbivores. The aim of this study was to quantify the effects of different potential feeders on Cystoseira amentacea, a native canopy-forming alga of the Mediterranean infralittoral fringe, and test whether manipulation of grazing pressure can facilitate the human-guided installation of this focal species on coastal structures. Results of laboratory tests and field experiments revealed that Sarpa salpa, the only strictly native herbivorous fish in the Western Mediterranean Sea, can be a very effective grazer of C. amentacea in artificial habitats, up to as far as the infralittoral fringe, which is generally considered less accessible to fishes. S. salpa can limit the success of forestation operations in artificial novel habitats, causing up to 90% of Cystoseira loss after a few days. Other grazers, such as limpets and crabs, had only a moderate impact. Future engineering operations,intended to perform forestation of canopy-forming algae on artificial structures, should consider relevant biotic factors, such as fish overgrazing, identifying cost-effective techniques to limit their impact, as is the usual practice in restoration programmes on land. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Biological Control beneath the Feet: A Review of Crop Protection against Insect Root Herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Kergunteuil

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable agriculture is certainly one of the most important challenges at present, considering both human population demography and evidence showing that crop productivity based on chemical control is plateauing. While the environmental and health threats of conventional agriculture are increasing, ecological research is offering promising solutions for crop protection against herbivore pests. While most research has focused on aboveground systems, several major crop pests are uniquely feeding on roots. We here aim at documenting the current and potential use of several biological control agents, including micro-organisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and nematodes and invertebrates included among the macrofauna of soils (arthropods and annelids that are used against root herbivores. In addition, we discuss the synergistic action of different bio-control agents when co-inoculated in soil and how the induction and priming of plant chemical defense could be synergized with the use of the bio-control agents described above to optimize root pest control. Finally, we highlight the gaps in the research for optimizing a more sustainable management of root pests.

  2. Biological Control beneath the Feet: A Review of Crop Protection against Insect Root Herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kergunteuil, Alan; Bakhtiari, Moe; Formenti, Ludovico; Xiao, Zhenggao; Defossez, Emmanuel; Rasmann, Sergio

    2016-11-29

    Sustainable agriculture is certainly one of the most important challenges at present, considering both human population demography and evidence showing that crop productivity based on chemical control is plateauing. While the environmental and health threats of conventional agriculture are increasing, ecological research is offering promising solutions for crop protection against herbivore pests. While most research has focused on aboveground systems, several major crop pests are uniquely feeding on roots. We here aim at documenting the current and potential use of several biological control agents, including micro-organisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and nematodes) and invertebrates included among the macrofauna of soils (arthropods and annelids) that are used against root herbivores. In addition, we discuss the synergistic action of different bio-control agents when co-inoculated in soil and how the induction and priming of plant chemical defense could be synergized with the use of the bio-control agents described above to optimize root pest control. Finally, we highlight the gaps in the research for optimizing a more sustainable management of root pests.

  3. Jasmonic acid protects etiolated seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana against herbivorous arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boex-Fontvieille, Edouard; Rustgi, Sachin; Von Wettstein, Diter; Pollmann, Stephan; Reinbothe, Steffen; Reinbothe, Christiane

    2016-08-02

    Seed predators can cause mass ingestion of larger seed populations. As well, herbivorous arthropods attempt to attack etiolated seedlings and chose the apical hook for ingestion, aimed at dropping the cotyledons for later consumption. Etiolated seedlings, as we show here, have established an efficient mechanism of protecting their Achilles' heel against these predators, however. Evidence is provided for a role of jasmonic acid (JA) in this largely uncharacterized plant-herbivore interaction during skotomorphogenesis and that this comprises the temporally and spatially tightly controlled synthesis of a cysteine protease inhibitors of the Kunitz family. Interestingly, the same Kunitz protease inhibitor was found to be expressed in flowers of Arabidopsis where endogenous JA levels are high for fertility. Because both the apical hook and inflorescences were preferred isopod targets in JA-deficient plants that could be rescued by exogenously administered JA, our data identify a JA-dependent mechanism of plant arthropod deterrence that is recalled in different organs and at quite different times of plant development.

  4. Cyanide detoxification in an insect herbivore: Molecular identification of β-cyanoalanine synthases from Pieris rapae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ohlen, Maike; Herfurth, Anna-Maria; Kerbstadt, Henrike; Wittstock, Ute

    2016-03-01

    Cyanogenic compounds occur widely in the plant kingdom. Therefore, many herbivores are adapted to the presence of these compounds in their diet by either avoiding cyanide release or by efficient cyanide detoxification mechanisms. The mechanisms of adaptation are not fully understood. Larvae of Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) are specialist herbivores on glucosinolate-containing plants. They are exposed to cyanide during metabolism of phenylacetonitrile, a product of benzylglucosinolate breakdown catalyzed by plant myrosinases and larval nitrile-specifier protein (NSP) in the gut. Cyanide is metabolized to β-cyanoalanine and thiocyanate in the larvae. Here, we demonstrate that larvae of P. rapae possess β-cyanoalanine activity in their gut. We have identified three gut-expressed cDNAs designated PrBSAS1-PrBSAS3 which encode proteins with similarity to β-substituted alanine synthases (BSAS). Characterization of recombinant PrBSAS1-PrBSAS3 shows that they possess β-cyanoalanine activity. In phylogenetic trees, PrBSAS1-PrBSAS3, the first characterized insect BSAS, group together with a characterized mite β-cyanoalanine synthase and bacterial enzymes indicating a similar evolutionary history. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Biomonitors and the assessment of ecological impacts: Distribution of herbivorous epifauna in contaminated macroalgal beds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, David A.; Johnston, Emma L.; Poore, Alistair G.B.

    2008-01-01

    We determined metal contents of co-occurring algae Padina crassa and Sargassum sp. in Port Jackson (Australia), and relationships between metal levels and the abundance of epifaunal amphipods. Copper, lead and zinc concentrations were amongst the highest yet recorded in these algae. Copper, manganese and lead concentrations were far greater in P. crassa than Sargassum sp., possibly due to the low growth of P. crassa in proximity to contaminated sediments. However, in manipulative experiments the proximity of algae to sediments did not explain these differences. The abundance of herbivorous amphipods correlated negatively with the copper content of P. crassa, but not with the lower concentrations in Sargassum sp. The greater contamination of P. crassa led to patchy distributions of metals in algal beds and recolonisation experiments showed Sargassum sp. acts as a refuge from contaminants for epifauna. The contamination of macroalgae may pose threats to epifauna in harbours around the world. - The accumulation of metals by macroalgae may pose ecological threats to herbivorous epifauna in ports and harbours worldwide

  6. Conservation challenge: human-herbivore conflict in Chebera Churchura National Park, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datiko, Demeke; Bekele, Afework

    2013-12-01

    An investigation on human-herbivore conflict was carried out in CCNP between 2011 and 2012 in seven randomly selected villages (Chebera, Serri, Yora, Shita, Delba, Chuchra, Chewda) around the Park. A total of 312 household samples were identified for interview. Group discussion and field observation were also carried out. Among the respondents, the majority (83.9%) faced crop damage. African elephant (Loxodonta africana), Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious), African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), Desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus), Wild pig (Sus scrofa), Porcupine (Hystrix cristata), Vervet monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) and Anubis baboon (Papio anubis) were identified as the most problematic animals in the area. However, buffalo, monkey and warthog were considered as the notorious pest. Crop damage and threats to human safety were the major problems encountered resulting in conflict between human and wildlife. Most respondents had a negative attitude towards the problem-posing animals. This will lead to a change in public attitude from one that supports wildlife conservation to sees wild herbivores as a threat and a potential negative consequence for wildlife conservation. Active measures have to be implemented to solve the problems and safeguard the future of the wildlife management in the park.

  7. Plant age, communication, and resistance to herbivores: young sagebrush plants are better emitters and receivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiojiri, Kaori; Karban, Richard

    2006-08-01

    Plants progress through a series of distinct stages during development, although the role of plant ontogeny in their defenses against herbivores is poorly understood. Recent work indicates that many plants activate systemic induced resistance after herbivore attack, although the relationship between resistance and ontogeny has not been a focus of this work. In addition, for sagebrush and a few other species, individuals near neighbors that experience simulated herbivory become more resistant to subsequent attack. Volatile, airborne cues are required for both systemic induced resistance among branches and for communication among individuals. We conducted experiments in stands of sagebrush of mixed ages to determine effects of plant age on volatile signaling between branches and individuals. Young and old control plants did not differ in levels of chewing damage that they experienced. Systemic induced resistance among branches was only observed for young plants. Young plants showed strong evidence of systemic resistance only if airflow was permitted among branches; plants with only vascular connections showed no systemic resistance. We also found evidence for volatile communication between individuals. For airborne communication, young plants were more effective emitters of cues as well as more responsive receivers of volatile cues.

  8. Experience matters: prior exposure to plant toxins enhances diversity of gut microbes in herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Dearing, M D

    2012-09-01

    For decades, ecologists have hypothesised that exposure to plant secondary compounds (PSCs) modifies herbivore-associated microbial community composition. This notion has not been critically evaluated in wild mammalian herbivores on evolutionary timescales. We investigated responses of the microbial communities of two woodrat species (Neotoma bryanti and N. lepida). For each species, we compared experienced populations that independently converged to feed on the same toxic plant (creosote bush, Larrea tridentata) to naïve populations with no exposure to creosote toxins. The addition of dietary PSCs significantly altered gut microbial community structure, and the response was dependent on previous experience. Microbial diversity and relative abundances of several dominant phyla increased in experienced woodrats in response to PSCs; however, opposite effects were observed in naïve woodrats. These differential responses were convergent in experienced populations of both species. We hypothesise that adaptation of the foregut microbiota to creosote PSCs in experienced woodrats drives this differential response. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  9. Novel multitrophic interactions among an exotic, generalist herbivore, its host plants and resident enemies in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopper, Julie V; Mills, Nicholas J

    2016-12-01

    What happens when an exotic herbivore invades and encounters novel host plants and enemies? Here, we investigate the impacts of host plant quality and plant architecture on an exotic generalist herbivore, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) and its interactions with resident parasitoids in California. Using artificial diet and five plant species, we found significant effects of diet on the fitness of E. postvittana under laboratory conditions. In the field, based on a common garden experiment with host plants of nine species, we found that larval parasitism varied among plant species by a factor of 2.1 with a higher risk of parasitism on shorter than taller plants. Parasitism of egg masses varied by a factor of 4.7 among plant species with a higher risk of parasitism on taller than shorter plants. In the laboratory, the foraging time of a resident egg parasitoid on excised leaves varied among plant species, but did not correspond to observed egg parasitism rates on these same plants in the field. On leaves of Plantago lanceolata, the probability of egg parasitism decreased with trichome density. Overall, there was a significant effect of host plant on the intrinsic rate of increase of E. postvittana and on the extent of parasitism by resident parasitoids, but no correlation existed between these two effects. The recent decline of E. postvittana in California may be due to the low quality of some host plants and to the many resident enemies that readily attack it, perhaps due to its phylogenetic relatedness to resident tortricids.

  10. Petunia hybrida PDR2 is involved in herbivore defense by controlling steroidal contents in trichomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasse, Joëlle; Schlegel, Markus; Borghi, Lorenzo; Ullrich, Friederike; Lee, Miyoung; Liu, Guo-Wei; Giner, José-Luis; Kayser, Oliver; Bigler, Laurent; Martinoia, Enrico; Kretzschmar, Tobias

    2016-12-01

    As a first line of defense against insect herbivores many plants store high concentrations of toxic and deterrent secondary metabolites in glandular trichomes. Plant Pleiotropic Drug Resistance (PDR)-type ABC transporters are known secondary metabolite transporters, and several have been implicated in pathogen or herbivore defense. Here, we report on Petunia hybrida PhPDR2 as a major contributor to trichome-related chemical defense. PhPDR2 was found to localize to the plasma membrane and be predominantly expressed in multicellular glandular trichomes of leaves and stems. Down-regulation of PhPDR2 via RNA interference (pdr2) resulted in a markedly higher susceptibility of the transgenic plants to the generalist foliage feeder Spodoptera littoralis. Untargeted screening of pdr2 trichome metabolite contents showed a significant decrease in petuniasterone and petuniolide content, compounds, which had previously been shown to act as potent toxins against various insects. Our findings suggest that PhPDR2 plays a leading role in controlling petuniasterone levels in leaves and trichomes of petunia, thus contributing to herbivory resistance. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Interactions between Plant Metabolites Affect Herbivores: A Study with Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids and Chlorogenic Acid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaojie; Vrieling, Klaas; Klinkhamer, Peter G.L.

    2017-01-01

    The high structural diversity of plant metabolites suggests that interactions among them should be common. We investigated the effects of single metabolites and combinations of plant metabolites on insect herbivores. In particular we studied the interacting effects of pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PAs), and chlorogenic acid (CGA), on a generalist herbivore, Frankliniella occidentalis. We studied both the predominantly occurring PA N-oxides and the less frequent PA free bases. We found antagonistic effects between CGA and PA free bases on thrips mortality. In contrast PA N-oxides showed synergistic interactions with CGA. PA free bases caused a higher thrips mortality than PA N-oxides while the reverse was through for PAs in combination with CGA. Our results provide an explanation for the predominate storage of PA N-oxides in plants. We propose that antagonistic interactions represent a constraint on the accumulation of plant metabolites, as we found here for Jacobaea vulgaris. The results show that the bioactivity of a given metabolite is not merely dependent upon the amount and chemical structure of that metabolite, but also on the co-occurrence metabolites in, e.g., plant cells, tissues and organs. The significance of this study is beyond the concerns of the two specific groups tested here. The current study is one of the few studies so far that experimentally support the general conception that the interactions among plant metabolites are of great importance to plant-environment interactions. PMID:28611815

  12. Interactions between Plant Metabolites Affect Herbivores: A Study with Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids and Chlorogenic Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaojie Liu

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The high structural diversity of plant metabolites suggests that interactions among them should be common. We investigated the effects of single metabolites and combinations of plant metabolites on insect herbivores. In particular we studied the interacting effects of pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PAs, and chlorogenic acid (CGA, on a generalist herbivore, Frankliniella occidentalis. We studied both the predominantly occurring PA N-oxides and the less frequent PA free bases. We found antagonistic effects between CGA and PA free bases on thrips mortality. In contrast PA N-oxides showed synergistic interactions with CGA. PA free bases caused a higher thrips mortality than PA N-oxides while the reverse was through for PAs in combination with CGA. Our results provide an explanation for the predominate storage of PA N-oxides in plants. We propose that antagonistic interactions represent a constraint on the accumulation of plant metabolites, as we found here for Jacobaea vulgaris. The results show that the bioactivity of a given metabolite is not merely dependent upon the amount and chemical structure of that metabolite, but also on the co-occurrence metabolites in, e.g., plant cells, tissues and organs. The significance of this study is beyond the concerns of the two specific groups tested here. The current study is one of the few studies so far that experimentally support the general conception that the interactions among plant metabolites are of great importance to plant-environment interactions.

  13. Herds Overhead: Nimbadon lavarackorum (Diprotodontidae), Heavyweight Marsupial Herbivores in the Miocene Forests of Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Karen H.; Camens, Aaron B.; Archer, Michael; Hand, Suzanne J.

    2012-01-01

    The marsupial family Diprotodontidae (Diprotodontia, Vombatiformes) is a group of extinct large-bodied (60–2500 kg) wombat-like herbivores that were common and geographically widespread in Cenozoic fossil deposits of Australia and New Guinea. Typically they are regarded to be gregarious, terrestrial quadrupeds and have been likened in body form among placental groups to sheep, rhinoceros and hippopotami. Arguably, one of the best represented species is the zygomaturine diprotodontid Nimbadon lavarackorum which is known from exceptionally well-preserved cranial and postcranial material from the middle Miocene cave deposit AL90, in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland. Here we describe and functionally analyse the appendicular skeleton of Nimbadon lavarackorum and reveal a far more unique lifestyle for this plesiomorphic and smallest of diprotodontids. Striking similarities are evident between the skeleton of Nimbadon and that of the extant arboreal koala Phascolarctos cinereus, including the powerfully built forelimbs, highly mobile shoulder and elbow joints, proportionately large manus and pes (both with a semi-opposable digit I) and exceedingly large, recurved and laterally compressed claws. Combined with the unique (among australidelphians) proportionately shortened hindlimbs of Nimbadon, these features suggest adept climbing ability, probable suspensory behaviour, and an arboreal lifestyle. At approximately 70 kg, Nimbadon is the largest herbivorous mammal to have occupied the forest canopies of Australia - an ecological niche that is no longer occupied in any Australian ecosystem and one that further expands the already significant niche diversity displayed by marsupials during the Cenozoic. PMID:23185250

  14. Herds overhead: Nimbadon lavarackorum (Diprotodontidae, heavyweight marsupial herbivores in the Miocene forests of Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen H Black

    Full Text Available The marsupial family Diprotodontidae (Diprotodontia, Vombatiformes is a group of extinct large-bodied (60-2500 kg wombat-like herbivores that were common and geographically widespread in Cenozoic fossil deposits of Australia and New Guinea. Typically they are regarded to be gregarious, terrestrial quadrupeds and have been likened in body form among placental groups to sheep, rhinoceros and hippopotami. Arguably, one of the best represented species is the zygomaturine diprotodontid Nimbadon lavarackorum which is known from exceptionally well-preserved cranial and postcranial material from the middle Miocene cave deposit AL90, in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland. Here we describe and functionally analyse the appendicular skeleton of Nimbadon lavarackorum and reveal a far more unique lifestyle for this plesiomorphic and smallest of diprotodontids. Striking similarities are evident between the skeleton of Nimbadon and that of the extant arboreal koala Phascolarctos cinereus, including the powerfully built forelimbs, highly mobile shoulder and elbow joints, proportionately large manus and pes (both with a semi-opposable digit I and exceedingly large, recurved and laterally compressed claws. Combined with the unique (among australidelphians proportionately shortened hindlimbs of Nimbadon, these features suggest adept climbing ability, probable suspensory behaviour, and an arboreal lifestyle. At approximately 70 kg, Nimbadon is the largest herbivorous mammal to have occupied the forest canopies of Australia - an ecological niche that is no longer occupied in any Australian ecosystem and one that further expands the already significant niche diversity displayed by marsupials during the Cenozoic.

  15. Reproductive demography of a temperate protogynous and herbivorous fish, Odax pullus (Labridae, Odacini)

    KAUST Repository

    Laman Trip, Elizabeth

    2011-03-07

    A common view is that, in marine fishes, herbivory and sex change are subject to physiological constraints at high latitudes, which are likely to affect growth rates and reproductive outputs. The present study examines the reproductive demography of Odax pullus, an herbivorous and protogynous species of temperate New Zealand. We establish an otolith-based methodology for age estimation and investigate sex-specific growth, longevity and age-based reproductive events. Individuals achieved a maximum age of 11 years, reached 85% of adult body size (455mm FL) within the first 3.5 years of life, were sexually mature by the age of 1.11.5 years and changed sex at 2.83.5 years, indicating fast simultaneous somatic and reproductive growth. There was no significant difference in growth or body size between the sexes. Ovary weight of spawning females increased significantly with size and age, suggesting the presence of size- and age-fecundity skews underlying the absence of sex change in larger and older females. Testes of reproductively active males comprised less than 1% of bodyweight, suggesting pair-spawning and little sperm competition. The present study provides metrics to support comparisons of the demography of this temperate protogynous and herbivorous labrid across spatial or temporal strata. © CSIRO 2011.

  16. The impact of herbivores on nitrogen mineralization rate: consequences for salt-marsh succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijnen, Harm J; van der Wal, René; Bakker, Jan P

    1999-02-01

    Soil net N-mineralization rate was measured along a successional gradient in salt-marsh sites that were grazed by vertebrate herbivores, and in 5-year-old exclosures from which the animals were excluded. Mineralization rate was significantly higher at ungrazed than at grazed sites. In the absence of grazing, mineralization rate increased over the course of succession, whereas it remained relatively low when sites were grazed. The largest differences in mineralization rate between grazed and ungrazed sites were found at late successional stages where grazing pressure was lowest. The amount of plant litter was significantly lower at grazed sites. In addition, the amount of litter and potential litter (non-woody, live shoots) was linearly related to net N-mineralization rate. This implies that herbivores reduced mineralization rate by preventing litter accumulation. Bulk density was higher at grazed salt-marsh sites than at ungrazed sites. This factor may also have contributed to the differences in net N-mineralization rate between grazed and ungrazed sites.

  17. The abundance of herbivorous fish on an inshore Red Sea reef following a mass coral bleaching event

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.

    2013-01-08

    A healthy herbivore community is critical for the ability of a reef to resist and recover from severe disturbances and to regain lost coral cover (i.e., resilience). The densities of the two major herbivorous fish groups (the family Acanthuridae and scarine labrids) were comparatively studied for an inshore reef that was severely impacted by a mass coral bleaching event in 2010 and an unaffected reef within the same region. Densities were found to be significantly higher on the affected reef, most likely due to the high algal densities on that reef. However, densities of herbivores on both reefs were found to be on average about 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than previously published reports from some Pacific reefs and from Red Sea reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba and only slightly higher than Caribbean reefs. Thus, it is predicted that recovery for this reef and similarly affected reefs may be very slow. The protection of herbivores from overfishing and the introduction of other management strategies that maximize reef resilience in Saudi Arabian waters are highly recommended. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

  18. The effect of nitrogen additions on oak foliage and herbivore communities at sites with high and low atmospheric pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eatough Jones, Michele; Paine, Timothy D.; Fenn, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    To evaluate plant and herbivore responses to nitrogen we conducted a fertilization study at a low and high pollution site in the mixed conifer forests surrounding Los Angeles, California. Contrary to expectations, discriminant function analysis of oak herbivore communities showed significant response to N fertilization when atmospheric deposition was high, but not when atmospheric deposition was low. We hypothesize that longer-term fertilization treatments are needed at the low pollution site before foliar N nutrition increases sufficiently to affect herbivore communities. At the high pollution site, fertilization was also associated with increased catkin production and higher densities of a byturid beetle that feeds on the catkins of oak. Leaf nitrogen and nitrate were significantly higher at the high pollution site compared to the low pollution site. Foliar nitrate concentrations were positively correlated with abundance of sucking insects, leafrollers and plutellids in all three years of the study. - Nitrogen additions at sites impacted by air pollution were associated with altered foliar herbivore communities and increased densities of a catkin-feeding beetle on Quercus kellogii

  19. Agriculture sows pests: how crop domestication, host shifts, and agricultural intensification can create insect pests from herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Julio S; Medina, Raul F

    2018-04-01

    We argue that agriculture as practiced creates pests. We use three examples (Corn leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis; Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; Cotton fleahopper, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus) to illustrate: firstly, how since its origins, agriculture has proven conducive to transforming selected herbivores into pests, particularly through crop domestication and spread, and agricultural intensification, and; secondly, that the herbivores that became pests were among those hosted by crop wild relatives or associates, and were pre-adapted either as whole species or component subpopulations. Two of our examples, Corn leafhopper and Western corn rootworm, illustrate how following a host shift to a domesticated host, emergent pests 'hopped' onto crops and rode expansion waves to spread far beyond the geographic ranges of their wild hosts. Western corn rootworm exemplifies how an herbivore-tolerant crop was left vulnerable when it was bred for yield and protected with insecticides. Cotton fleahopper illustrates how removing preferred wild host plants from landscapes and replacing them with crops, allows herbivores with flexible host preferences to reach pest-level populations. We conclude by arguing that in the new geological epoch we face, the Anthropocene, we can improve agriculture by looking to our past to identify and avoid missteps of early and recent farmers. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Evolution of nutrient uptake reveals a trade-off in the ecological stoichiometry of plant-herbivore interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Branco, P.; Stomp, M.; Egas, M.; Huisman, J.

    2010-01-01

    Nutrient limitation determines the primary production and species composition of many ecosystems. Here we apply an adaptive dynamics approach to investigate evolution of the ecological stoichiometry of primary producers and its implications for plant‐herbivore interactions. The model predicts a

  1. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    generalist functional herbivores. Laccases are polyphenol oxidase enzymes (PPOs) that are best known for their ability to degrade lignin in saprophytic and wood-pathogenic fungi. We found that laccase activity was primarily expressed in newly constructed garden sections where secondary leaf compounds...

  2. Ozone exposure triggers the emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles, but does not disturb tritrophic signalling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vuorinen, Terhi; Nerg, Anne-Marja; Holopainen, Jarmo K

    2004-09-01

    We evaluated the similarities between ozone-induced and mite-induced emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from lima beans, and tested the response of the natural enemies of herbivores to these emissions using trophic system of two-spotted spider mites and predatory mites. The acute ozone-exposure and spider mite-infestation induced the emission of two homoterpenes, (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene and (E,E)-4,8,12-trimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetraene, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate. Only plants with spider mite-infestation emitted the monoterpene (E)-{beta}-ocimene. Predatory mites were equally attracted to ozone-exposed and unexposed plants, but discriminated between spider mite-infested and uninfested plants, when both were exposed to ozone. The similarities between ozone and herbivore-induced VOCs suggest that plant defence against phytotoxic ozone and the production of VOCs for attraction of the natural enemies of herbivores may have adaptive coevolution. However, the expected elevated ozone concentrations in future may not disturb tritrophic signalling, unless herbivore-induced VOCs are lost in the process of aerosol formation.

  3. Variation in plant defense against invasive herbivores: evidence for a hypersensitive response in eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radville, Laura; Chaves, Arielle; Preisser, Evan L

    2011-06-01

    Herbivores can trigger a wide array of morphological and chemical changes in their host plants. Feeding by some insects induces a defensive hypersensitive response, a defense mechanism consisting of elevated H(2)O(2) levels and tissue death at the site of herbivore feeding. The invasive hemlock woolly adelgid Adelges tsugae ('HWA') and elongate hemlock scale Fiorinia externa ('EHS') feed on eastern hemlocks; although both are sessile sap feeders, HWA causes more damage than EHS. The rapid rate of tree death following HWA infestation has led to the suggestion that feeding induces a hypersensitive response in hemlock trees. We assessed the potential for an herbivore-induced hypersensitive response in eastern hemlocks by measuring H(2)O(2) levels in foliage from HWA-infested, EHS-infested, and uninfested trees. Needles with settled HWA or EHS had higher H(2)O(2) levels than control needles, suggesting a localized hypersensitive plant response. Needles with no direct contact to settled HWA also had high H(2)O(2) levels, suggesting that HWA infestation may induce a systemic defense response in eastern hemlocks. There was no similar systemic defensive response in the EHS treatment. Our results showed that two herbivores in the same feeding guild had dramatically different outcomes on the health of their shared host.

  4. Nectar-providing plants enhance the energetic state of herbivores as well as their parasitoids under field conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winkler, K.; Wackers, F.; Pinto, D.M.

    2009-01-01

    1. The use of flowering vegetation has been widely advocated as a strategy for providing parasitoids and predators with nectar and pollen. However, their herbivorous hosts and prey may exploit floral food sources as well. 2. Previous laboratory studies have shown that not all flower species are

  5. Nutrient and secondary metabolite concentrations in a savanna are independently affected by large herbivores and shoot growth rate

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scogings, PF

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Carbon-based secondary metabolites (CBSMs) such as tannins are assumed to function as plant defences against herbivores. CBSMs are thought to be inversely related to growth rate and nutrient concentrations because a physiological trade-off exists...

  6. Innate responses of the parasitoids Cotesia glomerata and C. rubecula (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) to volatiles from different plant-herbivore complexes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geervliet, J.B.F.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    1996-01-01

    To determine and compare innate preferences of the parasitoid species Cotesia glomerata and C. rubecula for different plant-herbivore complexes, long-range (1-m) foraging behavior was studied in dual-choice experiments in a wind tunnel. In this study we tested the hypothesis that naive females of

  7. ß-Glucosidase: an elicitor of herbivore-induced plant odor that attracts host-searching parasitic wasps.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mattiacci, L.; Dicke, M.; Posthumus, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    Cabbage plants respond to caterpillar (Pieris brassicae) herbivory by releasing a mixture of volatiles that makes them highly attractive to parasitic wasps (Cotesia glomerata) that attack the herbivores. Cabbage leaves that are artificially damaged and subsequently treated with gut regurgitant of P.

  8. Ozone exposure triggers the emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles, but does not disturb tritrophic signalling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vuorinen, Terhi; Nerg, Anne-Marja; Holopainen, Jarmo K.

    2004-01-01

    We evaluated the similarities between ozone-induced and mite-induced emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from lima beans, and tested the response of the natural enemies of herbivores to these emissions using trophic system of two-spotted spider mites and predatory mites. The acute ozone-exposure and spider mite-infestation induced the emission of two homoterpenes, (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene and (E,E)-4,8,12-trimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetraene, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate. Only plants with spider mite-infestation emitted the monoterpene (E)-β-ocimene. Predatory mites were equally attracted to ozone-exposed and unexposed plants, but discriminated between spider mite-infested and uninfested plants, when both were exposed to ozone. The similarities between ozone and herbivore-induced VOCs suggest that plant defence against phytotoxic ozone and the production of VOCs for attraction of the natural enemies of herbivores may have adaptive coevolution. However, the expected elevated ozone concentrations in future may not disturb tritrophic signalling, unless herbivore-induced VOCs are lost in the process of aerosol formation

  9. Defoliation and Soil Compaction Jointly Drive Large-Herbivore Grazing Effects on Plants and Soil Arthropods on Clay Soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, R.; Schrama, M.; Nolte, S.; Bakker, J. P.; WallisDeVries, M. F.; Berg, M. P.

    In addition to the well-studied impacts of defecation and defoliation, large herbivores also affect plant and arthropod communities through trampling, and the associated soil compaction. Soil compaction can be expected to be particularly important on wet, fine-textured soils. Therefore, we

  10. Defoliation and Soil Compaction Jointly Drive Large-Herbivore Grazing Effects on Plants and Soil Arthropods on Clay Soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, R.; Schrama, M.; Nolte, S.; Bakker, Jan P.; WallisDeVries, M.F.; Berg, M.P.

    2015-01-01

    In addition to the well-studied impacts of defecation and defoliation, large herbivores also affect plant and arthropod communities through trampling, and the associated soil compaction. Soil compaction can be expected to be particularly important on wet, fine-textured soils. Therefore, we

  11. Systemic above- and belowground cross talk: hormone-based responses triggered by Heterodera schachtii and shoot herbivores in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kammerhofer, N.; Egger, B.; Dobrev, Petre; Vaňková, Radomíra; Hofmann, J.; Schausberger, P.; Wieczorek, K.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 22 (2015), s. 7005-7017 ISSN 0022-0957 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LD14120 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Aboveground–belowground interactions * Frankliniella occidentalis * herbivores Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 5.677, year: 2015

  12. First-Year Vitality of Reforestation Plantings in Response to Herbivore Exclusion on Reclaimed Appalachian Surface-Mined Land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary J. Hackworth

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Conventional Appalachian surface-mine reclamation techniques repress natural forest regeneration, and tree plantings are often necessary for reforestation. Reclaimed Appalachian surface mines harbor a suite of mammal herbivores that forage on recently planted seedlings. Anecdotal reports across Appalachia have implicated herbivory in the hindrance and failure of reforestation efforts, yet empirical evaluation of herbivory impacts on planted seedling vitality in this region remains relatively uninitiated. First growing-season survival, height growth, and mammal herbivory damage of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L., shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill., and white oak (Quercus alba L. are presented in response to varying intensities of herbivore exclusion. Seedling survival was generally high, and height growth was positive for all species. The highest herbivory incidence of all tree species was observed in treatments offering no herbivore exclusion. While seedling protectors lowered herbivory incidence compared with no exclusion, full exclusion treatments resulted in the greatest reduction of herbivore damage. Although herbivory from rabbits, small mammals, and domestic animals was observed, cervids (deer and elk were responsible for 95.8% of all damaged seedlings. This study indicates that cervids forage heavily on planted seedlings during the first growing-season, but exclusion is effective at reducing herbivory.

  13. Protein hydrolysates are avoided by herbivores but not by omnivores in two-choice preference tests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin L Field

    Full Text Available The negative sensory properties of casein hydrolysates (HC often limit their usage in products intended for human consumption, despite HC being nutritious and having many functional benefits. Recent, but taxonomically limited, evidence suggests that other animals also avoid consuming HC when alternatives exist.We evaluated ingestive responses of five herbivorous species (guinea pig, mountain beaver, gopher, vole, and rabbit and five omnivorous species (rat, coyote, house mouse, white-footed mouse, and deer mouse; N = 16-18/species using solid foods containing 20% HC in a series of two-choice preference tests that used a non-protein, cellulose-based alternative. Individuals were also tested with collagen hydrolysate (gelatin; GE to determine whether it would induce similar ingestive responses to those induced by HC. Despite HC and GE having very different nutritional and sensory qualities, both hydrolysates produced similar preference score patterns. We found that the herbivores generally avoided the hydrolysates while the omnivores consumed them at similar levels to the cellulose diet or, more rarely, preferred them (HC by the white-footed mouse; GE by the rat. Follow-up preference tests pairing HC and the nutritionally equivalent intact casein (C were performed on the three mouse species and the guinea pigs. For the mice, mean HC preference scores were lower in the HC v C compared to the HC v Cel tests, indicating that HC's sensory qualities negatively affected its consumption. However, responses were species-specific. For the guinea pigs, repeated exposure to HC or C (4.7-h sessions; N = 10 were found to increase subsequent HC preference scores in an HC v C preference test, which was interpreted in the light of conservative foraging strategies thought to typify herbivores.This is the first empirical study of dietary niche-related taxonomic differences in ingestive responses to protein hydrolysates using multiple species under comparable

  14. Chronic impacts of invasive herbivores on a foundational forest species: a whole-tree perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Claire M; Schaeffer, Robert N; Hickin, Mauri L; Rigsby, Chad M; Sommi, Amanda F; Thornber, Carol S; Orians, Colin M; Preisser, Evan L

    2018-05-05

    Forests make up a large portion of terrestrial plant biomass, and the long-lived woody plants that dominate them possess an array of traits that deter consumption by forest pests. Although often extremely effective against native consumers, invasive species that avoid or overcome these defenses can wreak havoc on trees and surrounding ecosystems. This is especially true when multiple invasive species co-occur, since interactions between invasive herbivores may yield non-additive effects on the host. While the threat posed by invasive forest pests is well known, long-term field experiments are necessary to explore these consumer-host interactions at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Moreover, it is important to measure multiple variables to get a 'whole-plant' picture of their combined impact. We report the results of a four-year field experiment addressing the individual and combined impacts of two invasive herbivores, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) and elongate hemlock scale (Fiorinia externa), on native eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) in southern New England. In 2011, we planted 200 hemlock saplings into a temperate forest understory and experimentally manipulated the presence/absence of both herbivore species; in 2015, we harvested the 88 remaining saplings and assessed plant physiology, growth, and resource allocation. Adelgids strongly affected hemlock growth: infested saplings had lower above/belowground biomass ratios, more needle loss, and produced fewer new needles than control saplings. Hemlock scale did not alter plant biomass allocation or growth, and its co-occurrence did not alter the impact of adelgid. While both adelgid and scale impacted the concentrations of primary metabolites, adelgid effects were more pronounced. Adelgid feeding simultaneously increased free amino acids local to feeding sites and a ~30% reduction in starch. The cumulative impact of adelgid-induced needle loss, manipulation of nitrogen pools, and the loss

  15. Specificity of herbivore-induced hormonal signaling and defensive traits in five closely related milkweeds (Asclepias spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Patrick, Eamonn T; Knight, Anna C

    2014-07-01

    Despite the recognition that phytohormonal signaling mediates induced responses to herbivory, we still have little understanding of how such signaling varies among closely related species and may generate herbivore-specific induced responses. We studied closely related milkweeds (Asclepias) to link: 1) plant damage by two specialist chewing herbivores (milkweed leaf beetles Labidomera clivicolis and monarch caterpillars Danaus plexippus); 2) production of the phytohormones jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), and abscisic acid (ABA); 3) induction of defensive cardenolides and latex; and 4) impacts on Danaus caterpillars. We first show that A. syriaca exhibits induced resistance following monarch herbivory (i.e., reduced monarch growth on previously damaged plants), while the defensively dissimilar A. tuberosa does not. We next worked with a broader group of five Asclepias, including these two species, that are highly divergent in defensive traits yet from the same clade. Three of the five species showed herbivore-induced changes in cardenolides, while induced latex was found in four species. Among the phytohormones, JA and ABA showed specific responses (although they generally increased) to insect species and among the plant species. In contrast, SA responses were consistent among plant and herbivore species, showing a decline following herbivore attack. Jasmonic acid showed a positive quantitative relationship only with latex, and this was strongest in plants damaged by D. plexippus. Although phytohormones showed qualitative tradeoffs (i.e., treatments that enhanced JA reduced SA), the few significant individual plant-level correlations among hormones were positive, and these were strongest between JA and ABA in monarch damaged plants. We conclude that: 1) latex exudation is positively associated with endogenous JA levels, even among low-latex species; 2) correlations among milkweed hormones are generally positive, although herbivore damage induces a

  16. Feeding height stratification among the herbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Herbivore coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has been a topic of great interest, stemming from the paradoxically high diversity and biomass of these animals in relation to the relatively small landmass available to them. Various hypotheses have been advanced to account for these facts, of which niche partitioning is among the most frequently invoked. However, despite its wide acceptance, this hypothesis has not been rigorously tested. This study uses the fossil assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta as a model to investigate whether niche partitioning facilitated herbivorous dinosaur coexistence on Laramidia. Specifically, the question of feeding height stratification is examined in light of the role it plays in facilitating modern ungulate coexistence. Results Most herbivorous dinosaur species from the Dinosaur Park Formation were restricted to feeding no higher than approximately 1 m above the ground. There is minimal evidence for feeding height partitioning at this level, with ceratopsids capable of feeding slightly higher than ankylosaurs, but the ecological significance of this is ambiguous. Hadrosaurids were uniquely capable of feeding up to 2 m quadrupedally, or up to 5 m bipedally. There is no evidence for either feeding height stratification within any of these clades, or for change in these ecological relationships through the approximately 1.5 Ma record of the Dinosaur Park Formation. Conclusions Although we cannot reject the possibility, we find no good evidence that feeding height stratification, as revealed by reconstructed maximum feeding heights, played an important role in facilitating niche partitioning among the herbivorous dinosaurs of Laramidia. Most browsing pressure was concentrated in the herb layer, although hadrosaurids were capable of reaching shrubs and low-growing trees that were out of reach from ceratopsids, ankylosaurs, and other small herbivores, effectively dividing the

  17. Feeding height stratification among the herbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, Jordan C; Evans, David C; Ryan, Michael J; Anderson, Jason S

    2013-04-04

    Herbivore coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has been a topic of great interest, stemming from the paradoxically high diversity and biomass of these animals in relation to the relatively small landmass available to them. Various hypotheses have been advanced to account for these facts, of which niche partitioning is among the most frequently invoked. However, despite its wide acceptance, this hypothesis has not been rigorously tested. This study uses the fossil assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta as a model to investigate whether niche partitioning facilitated herbivorous dinosaur coexistence on Laramidia. Specifically, the question of feeding height stratification is examined in light of the role it plays in facilitating modern ungulate coexistence. Most herbivorous dinosaur species from the Dinosaur Park Formation were restricted to feeding no higher than approximately 1 m above the ground. There is minimal evidence for feeding height partitioning at this level, with ceratopsids capable of feeding slightly higher than ankylosaurs, but the ecological significance of this is ambiguous. Hadrosaurids were uniquely capable of feeding up to 2 m quadrupedally, or up to 5 m bipedally. There is no evidence for either feeding height stratification within any of these clades, or for change in these ecological relationships through the approximately 1.5 Ma record of the Dinosaur Park Formation. Although we cannot reject the possibility, we find no good evidence that feeding height stratification, as revealed by reconstructed maximum feeding heights, played an important role in facilitating niche partitioning among the herbivorous dinosaurs of Laramidia. Most browsing pressure was concentrated in the herb layer, although hadrosaurids were capable of reaching shrubs and low-growing trees that were out of reach from ceratopsids, ankylosaurs, and other small herbivores, effectively dividing the herbivores in terms of relative

  18. Niche partitioning of feeding microhabitats produces a unique function for herbivorous rabbitfishes (Perciformes, Siganidae) on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, R. J.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2013-03-01

    Niche theory predicts that coexisting species minimise competition by evolving morphological or behavioural specialisations that allow them to spread out along resource axes such as space, diet and temporal activity. These specialisations define how a species interacts with its environment and, by extension, determine its functional role. Here, we examine the feeding niche of three species of coral reef-dwelling rabbitfishes (Siganidae, Siganus). By comparing aspects of their feeding behaviour (bite location, bite rate, foraging distance) with that of representative species from two other abundant herbivorous fish families, the parrotfishes (Labridae, Scarus) and surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae, Acanthurus), we examine whether rabbitfishes have a feeding niche distinct from other members of the herbivore guild. Measurements of the penetration of the fishes' snouts and bodies into reef concavities when feeding revealed that rabbitfish fed to a greater degree from reef crevices and interstices than other herbivores. There was just a 40 % overlap in the penetration-depth niche between rabbitfish and surgeonfish and a 45 % overlap between rabbitfish and parrotfish, compared with the almost complete niche overlap (95 %) recorded for parrotfish and surgeonfish along this spatial niche axis. Aspects of the morphology of rabbitfish which may contribute to this niche segregation include a comparatively longer, narrower snout and narrower head. Our results suggest that sympatric coexistence of rabbitfish and other reef herbivores is facilitated by segregation along a spatial (and potentially dietary) axis. This segregation results in a unique functional role for rabbitfishes among roving herbivores that of "crevice-browser": a group that specifically feeds on crevice-dwelling algal or benthic organisms. This functional trait may have implications for reef ecosystem processes in terms of controlling the successional development of crevice-based algal communities, reducing their

  19. A genetically-based latitudinal cline in the emission of herbivore-induced plant volatile organic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wason, Elizabeth L; Agrawal, Anurag A; Hunter, Mark D

    2013-08-01

    The existence of predictable latitudinal variation in plant defense against herbivores remains controversial. A prevailing view holds that higher levels of plant defense evolve at low latitudes compared to high latitudes as an adaptive plant response to higher herbivore pressure on low-latitude plants. To date, this prediction has not been examined with respect to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that many plants emit, often thus attracting the natural enemies of herbivores. Here, we compared genetically-based constitutive and herbivore-induced aboveground vegetative VOC emissions from plants originating across a gradient of more than 10° of latitude (>1,500 km). We collected headspace VOCs from Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) originating from 20 populations across its natural range and grown in a common garden near the range center. Feeding by specialist Danaus plexippus (monarch) larvae induced VOCs, and field environmental conditions (temperature, light, and humidity) also influenced emissions. Monarch damage increased plant VOC concentrations and altered VOC blends. We found that genetically-based induced VOC emissions varied with the latitude of plant population origin, although the pattern followed the reverse of that predicted-induced VOC concentration increased with increasing latitude. This pattern appeared to be driven by a greater induction of sesquiterpenoids at higher latitudes. In contrast, constitutive VOC emission did not vary systematically with latitude, and the induction of green leafy volatiles declined with latitude. Our results do not support the prevailing view that plant defense is greater at lower than at higher latitudes. That the pattern holds only for herbivore-induced VOC emission, and not constitutive emission, suggests that latitudinal variation in VOCs is not a simple adaptive response to climatic factors.

  20. Interaction intimacy of pathogens and herbivores with their host plants influences the topological structure of ecological networks in different ways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2015-04-01

    • Over the past two decades an interest in the role that plant-animal mutualistic networks play in the organization and dynamic of biodiversity has steadily risen. Despite the ecological, evolutionary, and economic importance of plant-herbivore and plant-pathogen antagonistic relationships, however, few studies have examined these interactions in an ecological network framework.• We describe for the first time the topological structure of multitrophic networks involving congeneric tropical plant species of the genus Heliconia (Heliconiaceae, Zingiberales) and their herbivores and pathogens in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. We based our study on the available literature describing the organisms (e.g., insects, mites, fungi, and bacteria) that attack 24 different species, hybrids, and cultivated varieties of Heliconia.• In general, pathogen- and herbivore-Heliconia networks differed in their topological structure (more modular vs. more nested, respectively): pathogen-Heliconia networks were more specialized and compartmentalized than herbivore-Heliconia networks. High modularity was likely due to the high intimacy that pathogens have with their host plants as compared with the more generalized feeding modes and behavior of herbivores. Some clusters clearly reflected the clustering of closely related cultivated varieties of Heliconia sharing the same pathogens.• From a commercial standpoint, different varieties of the same Heliconia species may be more susceptible to being attacked by the same species of pathogens. In summary, our study highlights the importance of interaction intimacy in structuring trophic relationships between plants and pathogens in the tropics. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  1. OsMPK3 positively regulates the JA signaling pathway and plant resistance to a chewing herbivore in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Li, Jiancai; Hu, Lingfei; Zhang, Tongfang; Zhang, Guren; Lou, Yonggen

    2013-07-01

    KEY MESSAGE : Silencing OsMPK3 decreased elicited JA levels, which subsequently reduced levels of herbivore-induced trypsin protease inhibitors (TrypPIs) and improved the performance of SSB larvae, but did not influence BPH. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MPKs) are known to play an important role in plant defense by transferring biotic and abiotic signals into programmed cellular responses. However, their functions in the herbivore-induced defense response in rice remain largely unknown. Here, we identified a MPK3 gene from rice, OsMPK3, and found that its expression levels were up-regulated in response to infestation by the larvae of the striped stem borer (SSB) (Chilo suppressalis), to mechanical wounding and to treatment with jasmonic acid (JA), but not to infestation by the brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens or to treatment with salicylic acid. Moreover, mechanical wounding and SSB infestation induced the expression of OsMPK3 strongly and quickly, whereas JA treatment induced the gene more weakly and slowly. Silencing OsMPK3 (ir-mpk3) reduced the expression of the gene by 50-70 %, decreased elicited levels of JA and diminished the expression of a lipoxygenase gene OsHI-LOX and an allene oxide synthase gene OsAOS1. The reduced JA signaling in ir-mpk3 plants decreased the levels of herbivore-induced trypsin protease inhibitors (TrypPIs) and improved the performance of SSB larvae, but did not influence BPH. Our findings suggest that the gene OsMPK3 responds early in herbivore-induced defense and can be regulated by rice plants to activate a specific and appropriate defense response to different herbivores.

  2. The genetics of indirect ecological effects - plant parasites and aphid herbivores

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    Jennifer K Rowntree

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available When parasitic plants and aphid herbivores share a host, both direct and indirect ecological effects (IEEs can influence evolutionary processes. We used a hemiparasitic plant (Rhinanthus minor, a grass host (Hordeum vulgare and a cereal aphid (Sitobion avenae to investigate the genetics of IEEs between the aphid and the parasitic plant, and looked to see how these might affect or be influenced by the genetic diversity of the host plants. Survival of R. minor depended on the parasite’s population of origin, the genotypes of the aphids sharing the host and the genetic diversity in the host plant community. Hence the indirect effects of the aphids on the parasitic plants depended on the genetic environment of the system. Here, we show that genetic variation can be important in determining the outcome of IEEs. Therefore, IEEs have the potential to influence evolutionary processes and the continuity of species interactions over time.

  3. Zygomycetes from herbivore dung in the ecological reserve of Dois Irmãos, Northeast Brazil

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    André Luiz Cabral Monteiro de Azevedo Santiago

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Thirty-eight taxa of Zygomycetes distributed in 15 genera were recorded from tapir (Tapirus terrestris, camel (Camelus bactrianus, horse (Equus caballus, deer (Cervus elaphus, agouti (Dasyprocta aguti, donkey (Equus asinus, llama (Llama glama and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus dung collected at the Reserva Ecológica de Dois Irmãos located in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil. The samples were collected on a monthly basis from June 2005 to May 2006, taken to the laboratory and incubated in moist chambers. Higher number of taxa was observed in the excrements of tapir, followed by deer and donkey. The highest number of species was detected for Mucor, followed by Pilobolus. Statistical analyses showed significant differences in richness of Zygomycetes taxa between the herbivore dung types. Differences of species composition, however, were weak. Seasonality influenced the Zygomycetes species composition but not its richness. Variations in taxa composition between ruminants and non-ruminants dung were non significant.

  4. Zygomycetes From Herbivore Dung in the Ecological Reserve of Dois IrmÃOs, Northeast Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Azevedo Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro; Botelho Trufem, Sandra Farto; Malosso, Elaine; dos Santos, Paulo Jorge Parreira; de Queiroz Cavalcanti, Maria Auxiliadora

    2011-01-01

    Thirty-eight taxa of Zygomycetes distributed in 15 genera were recorded from tapir (Tapirus terrestris), camel (Camelus bactrianus), horse (Equus caballus), deer (Cervus elaphus), agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), donkey (Equus asinus), llama (Llama glama) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) dung collected at the Reserva Ecológica de Dois Irmãos located in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil. The samples were collected on a monthly basis from June 2005 to May 2006, taken to the laboratory and incubated in moist chambers. Higher number of taxa was observed in the excrements of tapir, followed by deer and donkey. The highest number of species was detected for Mucor, followed by Pilobolus. Statistical analyses showed significant differences in richness of Zygomycetes taxa between the herbivore dung types. Differences of species composition, however, were weak. Seasonality influenced the Zygomycetes species composition but not its richness. Variations in taxa composition between ruminants and non-ruminants dung were non significant. PMID:24031609

  5. Neimark-Sacker Bifurcation and Chaos Control in a Fractional-Order Plant-Herbivore Model

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    Qamar Din

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This work is related to dynamics of a discrete-time 3-dimensional plant-herbivore model. We investigate existence and uniqueness of positive equilibrium and parametric conditions for local asymptotic stability of positive equilibrium point of this model. Moreover, it is also proved that the system undergoes Neimark-Sacker bifurcation for positive equilibrium with the help of an explicit criterion for Neimark-Sacker bifurcation. The chaos control in the model is discussed through implementation of two feedback control strategies, that is, pole-placement technique and hybrid control methodology. Finally, numerical simulations are provided to illustrate theoretical results. These results of numerical simulations demonstrate chaotic long-term behavior over a broad range of parameters. The computation of the maximum Lyapunov exponents confirms the presence of chaotic behavior in the model.

  6. The evolution of tolerance to deer herbivory: modifications caused by the abundance of insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, John R; Rausher, Mark D

    2002-01-01

    Although recent evidence indicates that coevolutionary interactions between species often vary on a biogeographical scale, little consideration has been given to the processes responsible for producing this pattern. One potential explanation is that changes in the community composition alter the coevolutionary interactions between species, but little evidence exists regarding the occurrence of such changes. Here we present evidence that the pattern of natural selection on plant defence traits, and the probable response to that selection, are critically dependent on the composition of the biotic community. The evolutionary trajectory of defence traits against mammalian herbivory in the Ivyleaf morning glory (Ipomoea hederacea), and which defence traits are likely to respond to selection, are both dependent on the presence or absence of insect herbivores. These results indicate that variation in community composition may be a driving force in generating geographical mosaics. PMID:12065040

  7. Large herbivores affect forest ecosystem functions by altering the structure of dung beetle communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iida, Taichi; Soga, Masashi; Koike, Shinsuke

    2018-04-01

    Dramatic increases in populations of large mammalian herbivores have become a major ecological issue, particularly in the northern hemisphere, due to their substantial impacts on both animal and plant communities through processes such as grazing, browsing, and trampling. However, little is known about the consequences of these population explosions on ecosystem functions. Here, we experimentally investigated how the population density of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in temperate deciduous forest areas in Japan affected the decomposition of mammal dung by dung beetles, which is a key process in forest ecosystems. We measured a range of environmental variables (e.g., vegetation cover, soil hardness) and the dung decomposition rate, measured as the amount of deer dung decomposed during one week, and sampled dung beetles at 16 study sites with three different deer densities (high/intermediate/low). We then used structural equation modeling to investigate the relationships between deer density, environmental variables, the biomass of dung beetles (classified into small or large species), and the dung decomposition rate. We found that the biomass of small species increased with increasing deer density, whereas that of large species was not related to deer density. Furthermore, the dung decomposition rate was positively related to the biomass of small species but unrelated to that of large species. Overall, our results showed that an increase in deer density affects the decomposition rate of mammal dung by changing the structure of dung beetle communities (i.e., increasing the number of small dung beetles). Such an understanding of how increases in large herbivore populations affect ecosystem functions is important for accurately evaluating the ecological consequences of their overabundance and ultimately managing their populations appropriately.

  8. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

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    Anselmo Nogueira

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT. Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1 a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2 seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated

  9. Innate responses of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis to a herbivore-induced plant volatile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sznajder, B; Sabelis, M W; Egas, M

    2011-06-01

    The responses of the predatory mite P. persimilis to herbivore-induced plant volatiles are at least partly genetically determined. Thus, there is potential for the evolution of this behaviour by natural selection. We tested whether distinct predator genotypes with contrasting responses to a specific herbivore-induced plant volatile, i.e. methyl salicylate (MeSa), could be found in a base population collected in the field (Sicily). To this end, we imposed purifying selection on individuals within iso-female lines of P. persimilis such that the lines were propagated only via the individual that showed either a preference or avoidance of MeSa. The responses of the lines were characterized as the mean proportion of individuals choosing MeSa when given a choice between MeSa and clean air. Significant variation in predator responses was detected among iso-female lines, thus confirming the presence of a genetic component for this behaviour. Nevertheless, we did not find a significant difference in the response to MeSa between the lines that were selected to avoid MeSa and the lines selected to prefer MeSa. Instead, in the course of selection the lines selected to avoid MeSa shifted their mean response towards a preference for MeSa. An inverse, albeit weaker, shift was detected for the lines selected to prefer MeSa. We discuss the factors that may have caused the apparent lack of a response to selection within iso-female line in this study and propose experimental approaches that address them.

  10. Plant-Herbivore and Plant-Pollinator Interactions of the Developing Perennial Oilseed Crop, Silphium integrifolium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasifka, J R; Mallinger, R E; Hulke, B S; Larson, S R; Van Tassel, D

    2017-12-08

    Sampling in Kansas and North Dakota documented the plant-herbivore and plant-pollinator interactions of the developing perennial oilseed crop, Silphium integrifolium Michx. The larva of the tortricid moth, Eucosma giganteana (Riley), was the most damaging floret- and seed-feeding pest in Kansas, with infested heads producing ≈85% (2015) or ≈45% (2016) fewer seeds than apparently undamaged heads. Necrosis of apical meristems caused stunting and delayed bloom in Kansas; though the source of the necrosis is not known, observations of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois; Hemiptera: Miridae), in S. integrifolium terminals suggest a possible cause. In North Dakota, E. giganteana larvae were not found, but pupae of Neotephritis finalis (Loew; Diptera: Tephritidae), a minor pest of cultivated sunflower, were common in the heads of S. integrifolium. Bees appeared highly attracted to S. integrifolium, and in all but one observation, bees were seen actively collecting pollen. The most common bees included large apids (Apis mellifera L., Svastra obliqua [Say], Melissodes spp.) and small-bodied halictids (Lasioglossum [Dialictus] spp.). Controlled pollination experiments demonstrated that S. integrifolium is pollinator dependent, due to both mechanical barriers (imperfect florets and protogyny) and genetic self-incompatibility. Subsequent greenhouse tests and AFLP confirmation of putative self-progeny show that a low (<1%) level of self-pollination is possible. If genetic self-incompatibility is eventually reduced through breeding, mechanical barriers would maintain a reliance on bees to move pollen between male and female florets. Collectively, observations on S. integrifolium show that both herbivore and pollinator management are important to maximize seed production. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  11. Herbivore Oral Secreted Bacteria Trigger Distinct Defense Responses in Preferred and Non-Preferred Host Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jie; Chung, Seung Ho; Peiffer, Michelle; Rosa, Cristina; Hoover, Kelli; Zeng, Rensen; Felton, Gary W

    2016-06-01

    Insect symbiotic bacteria affect host physiology and mediate plant-insect interactions, yet there are few clear examples of symbiotic bacteria regulating defense responses in different host plants. We hypothesized that plants would induce distinct defense responses to herbivore- associated bacteria. We evaluated whether preferred hosts (horsenettle) or non-preferred hosts (tomato) respond similarly to oral secretions (OS) from the false potato beetle (FPB, Leptinotarsa juncta), and whether the induced defense triggered by OS was due to the presence of symbiotic bacteria in OS. Both horsenettle and tomato damaged by antibiotic (AB) treated larvae showed higher polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity than those damaged by non-AB treated larvae. In addition, application of OS from AB treated larvae induced higher PPO activity compared with OS from non-AB treated larvae or water treatment. False potato beetles harbor bacteria that may provide abundant cues that can be recognized by plants and thus mediate corresponding defense responses. Among all tested bacterial isolates, the genera Pantoea, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, and Serratia were found to suppress PPO activity in tomato, while only Pantoea sp. among these four isolates was observed to suppress PPO activity in horsenettle. The distinct PPO suppression caused by symbiotic bacteria in different plants was similar to the pattern of induced defense-related gene expression. Pantoea inoculated FPB suppressed JA-responsive genes and triggered a SA-responsive gene in both tomato and horsenettle. However, Enterobacter inoculated FPB eliminated JA-regulated gene expression and elevated SA-regulated gene expression in tomato, but did not show evident effects on the expression levels of horsenettle defense-related genes. These results indicate that suppression of plant defenses by the bacteria found in the oral secretions of herbivores may be a more widespread phenomenon than previously indicated.

  12. Chemical defense in Elodea nuttallii reduces feeding and growth of aquatic herbivorous Lepidoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erhard, Daniela; Pohnert, Georg; Gross, Elisabeth M

    2007-08-01

    The submersed macrophyte Elodea nuttallii (Hydrocharitaceae) is invasive in Europe and frequently found in aquatic plant communities. Many invertebrate herbivores, such as larvae of the generalist aquatic moth, Acentria ephemerella (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae), avoid feeding on E. nuttallii and preferably consume native species. First instar larvae exhibited a high mortality on E. nuttallii compared to the native macrophyte Potamogeton perfoliatus. Mortality of older larvae was also high when fed E. nuttallii exposed to high light intensities. Growth of older larvae was strongly reduced on E. nuttallii compared to pondweeds (Potamogeton lucens). Neither differences in nitrogen nor phosphorus content explained the different performance on these submerged macrophytes, but plants differed in their flavonoid content. To investigate whether plant-derived allelochemicals from E. nuttallii affect larval performance in the same way as live plants, we developed a functional bioassay, in which Acentria larvae were reared on artificial diets. We offered larvae Potamogeton leaf disks coated with crude Elodea extracts and partially purified flavonoids. Elodea extracts deterred larvae from feeding on otherwise preferred Potamogeton leaves, and yet, unknown compounds in the extracts reduced growth and survival of Acentria. The flavonoid fraction containing luteolin-7-O-diglucuronide, apigenin-7-O-diglucuronide, and chrysoeriol-7-O-diglucuronide strongly reduced feeding of larvae, but did not increase mortality. The concentrations of these compounds in our assays were 0.01-0.09% of plant dry mass, which is in the lower range of concentrations found in the field (0.02-1.2%). Chemical defense in E. nuttallii thus plays an ecologically relevant role in this aquatic plant-herbivore system.

  13. Status of theileriosis among herbivores in Iran: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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    Masoud Soosaraei

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Theileriosis is a protozoal disease caused by Theileria spp. mostly in warm-blooded vertebrates worldwide. It is one of the common tick-borne diseases among domestic animals in tropical and sub-tropical regions, which have a variety of unlikable effects on health economy and animal welfare. In the present study, the prevalence of theileriosis among domestic farm animals in Iran was systematically evaluated. Methods: To identify the related papers, 10 English and Persian databases, including PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, Web of Science, Medical Subject Headings, Google Scholar, Magiran, Barakatns (formerly Iranmedex, Elm net, and Scientific Information Database, were appraised for articles published throughout 1999-2017. Results: A total of 56 papers, providing the examination of 11,317 cattle, 9394 sheep, 2991 buffaloes, 1504 horses, 600 goats, and 212 donkeys were analyzed, matching for the prevalence of theileriosis from different parts of Iran were permitted for our allowing checklist. The overall prevalence of theileriosis among domestic herbivores was expected to be 19% (95% confidence interval: 15%, 22%. Our findings highlighted the average of the maximum prevalence in Razavi Khorasan (60.4% and West Azerbaijan (49.1% and the minimum in Mazandaran (1.1% and East Azerbaijan provinces (2.2%, respectively. The high prevalence of Theileria infection in the herbivores (mainly sheep verifies the well-known enzootic episode of theileriosis in Iran, predominantly in northeastern and western parts of the country. Conclusion: Our results suggested updated and imperative information on the true burden of theileriosis in Iran. Moreover, it could be supporting the gaps among monitoring, prevention, and control arrangements to improve the health economy, particularly among dairy farm animals.

  14. DUST-BATHING BEHAVIORS OF AFRICAN HERBIVORES AND THE POTENTIAL RISK OF INHALATIONAL ANTHRAX.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barandongo, Zoe R; Mfune, John K E; Turner, Wendy C

    2018-01-01

    :  Anthrax in herbivorous wildlife and livestock is generally assumed to be transmitted via ingestion or inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores. Although recent studies have highlighted the importance of the ingestion route for anthrax transmission, little is known about the inhalational route in natural systems. Dust bathing could aerosolize soilborne pathogens such as B. anthracis, exposing dust-bathing individuals to inhalational infections. We investigated the potential role of dust bathing in the transmission of inhalational anthrax to herbivorous wildlife in Etosha National Park, Namibia, an area with endemic seasonal anthrax outbreaks. We 1) cultured soils from dust-bathing sites for the presence and concentration of B. anthracis spores, 2) monitored anthrax carcass sites, the locations with the highest B. anthracis concentrations, for evidence of dust bathing, including a site where a zebra died of anthrax on a large dust bath, and 3) characterized the ecology and seasonality of dust bathing in plains zebra ( Equus quagga), blue wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus), and African savanna elephant ( Loxodonta africana) using a combination of motion-sensing camera traps and direct observations. Only two out of 83 dust-bath soils were positive for B. anthracis, both with low spore concentrations (≤20 colony-forming units per gram). We also detected no evidence of dust baths occurring at anthrax carcass sites, perhaps due to carcass-induced changes in soil composition that may deter dust bathing. Finally, despite observing some seasonal variation in dust bathing, preliminary evidence suggests that the seasonality of dust bathing and anthrax mortalities are not correlated. Thus, although dust bathing creates a dramatic cloud of aerosolized soil around an individual, our microbiologic, ecologic, and behavioral results in concert demonstrate that dust bathing is highly unlikely to transmit inhalational anthrax infections.

  15. Wildlife in the Matrix: Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Herbivore Occurrence in Karnataka, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, Krithi K.

    2016-01-01

    Wildlife reserves are becoming increasingly isolated from the surrounding human-dominated landscapes particularly in Asia. It is imperative to understand how species are distributed spatially and temporally in and outside reserves, and what factors influence their occurrence. This study surveyed 7500 km2 landscape surrounding five reserves in the Western Ghats to examine patterns of occurrence of five herbivores: elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, and pig. Species distributions are modeled spatio-temporally using an occupancy approach. Trained field teams conducted 3860 interview-based occupancy surveys in a 10-km buffer surrounding these five reserves in 2012. I found gaur and wild pig to be the least and most wide-ranging species, respectively. Elephant and chital exhibit seasonal differences in spatial distribution unlike the other three species. As predicted, distance to reserve, the reserve itself, and forest cover were associated with higher occupancy of all species, and higher densities of people negatively influenced occurrence of all species. Park management, species protection, and conflict mitigation efforts in this landscape need to incorporate temporal and spatial understanding of species distributions. All species are known crop raiders and conflict prone locations with resources (such as water and forage) have to be monitored and managed carefully. Wildlife reserves and adjacent areas are critical for long-term persistence and habitat use for all five herbivores and must be monitored to ensure wildlife can move freely. Such a large-scale approach to map and monitor species distributions can be adapted to other landscapes to identify and monitor critical habitats shared by people and wildlife.

  16. Reciprocal diversification in a complex plant-herbivore-parasitoid food web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bokma Folmer

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plants, plant-feeding insects, and insect parasitoids form some of the most complex and species-rich food webs. According to the classic escape-and-radiate (EAR hypothesis, these hyperdiverse communities result from coevolutionary arms races consisting of successive cycles of enemy escape, radiation, and colonization by new enemy lineages. It has also been suggested that "enemy-free space" provided by novel host plants could promote host shifts by herbivores, and that parasitoids could similarly drive diversification of gall form in insects that induce galls on plants. Because these central coevolutionary hypotheses have never been tested in a phylogenetic framework, we combined phylogenetic information on willow-galling sawflies with data on their host plants, gall types, and enemy communities. Results We found that evolutionary shifts in host plant use and habitat have led to dramatic prunings of parasitoid communities, and that changes in gall phenotype can provide "enemy-free morphospace" for millions of years even in the absence of host plant shifts. Some parasites have nevertheless managed to colonize recently-evolved gall types, and this has apparently led to adaptive speciation in several enemy groups. However, having fewer enemies does not in itself increase speciation probabilities in individual sawfly lineages, partly because the high diversity of the enemy community facilitates compensatory attack by remaining parasite taxa. Conclusion Taken together, our results indicate that niche-dependent parasitism is a major force promoting ecological divergence in herbivorous insects, and that prey divergence can cause speciation in parasite lineages. However, the results also show that the EAR hypothesis is too simplistic for species-rich food webs: instead, diversification seems to be spurred by a continuous stepwise process, in which ecological and phenotypic shifts in prey lineages are followed by a lagged evolutionary

  17. Contrasting effects of sampling scale on insect herbivores distribution in response to canopy structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico S. Neves

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Species diversity of insect herbivores associated to canopy may vary local and geographically responding to distinct factors at different spatial scales. The aim of this study was to investigate how forest canopy structure affects insect herbivore species richness and abundance depending on feeding guilds´ specificities. We tested the hypothesis that habitat structure affects insect herbivore species richness and abundance differently to sap-sucking and chewing herbivore guilds. Two spatial scales were evaluated: inside tree crowns (fine spatial scale and canopy regions (coarse spatial scale. In three sampling sites we measured 120 tree crowns, grouped in five points with four contiguous tree crowns. Insects were sampled by beating method from each crown and data were summed up for analyzing each canopy region. In crowns (fine spatial scale we measured habitat structure: trunk circumference, tree height, canopy depth, number of ramifications and maximum ramification level. In each point, defined as a canopy region (coarse spatial scale, we measured habitat structure using a vertical cylindrical transect: tree species richness, leaf area, sum of strata heights and maximum canopy height. A principal component analysis based on the measured variables for each spatial scale was run to estimate habitat structure parameters. To test the effects of habitat structure upon herbivores, different general linear models were adjusted using the first two principal components as explanatory variables. Sap-sucking insect species richness and all herbivore abundances increased with size of crown at fine spatial scale. On the other hand, chewer species richness and abundance increased with resource quantity at coarse scale. Feeding specialization, resources availability, and agility are discussed as ecological causes of the found pattern.La diversidad de especies de insectos herbívoros asociados con el dosel puede variar geográficamente y responder a distintos

  18. The Active Jasmonate JA-Ile Regulates a Specific Subset of Plant Jasmonate-Mediated Resistance to Herbivores in Nature

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    Meredith C. Schuman

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The jasmonate hormones are essential regulators of plant defense against herbivores and include several dozen derivatives of the oxylipin jasmonic acid (JA. Among these, the conjugate jasmonoyl isoleucine (JA-Ile has been shown to interact directly with the jasmonate co-receptor complex to regulate responses to jasmonate signaling. However, functional studies indicate that some aspects of jasmonate-mediated defense are not regulated by JA-Ile. Thus, it is not clear whether JA-Ile is best characterized as the master jasmonate regulator of defense, or if it regulates more specific aspects. We investigated possible functions of JA-Ile in anti-herbivore resistance of the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata, a model system for plant-herbivore interactions. We first analyzed the soluble and volatile secondary metabolomes of irJAR4xirJAR6, asLOX3, and WT plants, as well as an RNAi line targeting the jasmonate co-receptor CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1 (irCOI1, following a standardized herbivory treatment. irJAR4xirJAR6 were the most similar to WT plants, having a ca. 60% overlap in differentially regulated metabolites with either asLOX3 or irCOI1. In contrast, while at least 25 volatiles differed between irCOI1 or asLOX3 and WT plants, there were few or no differences in herbivore-induced volatile emission between irJAR4xirJAR6 and WT plants, in glasshouse- or field-collected samples. We then measured the susceptibility of jasmonate-deficient vs. JA-Ile-deficient plants in nature, in comparison to wild-type (WT controls, and found that JA-Ile-deficient plants (irJAR4xirJAR6 are much better defended even than a mildly jasmonate-deficient line (asLOX3. The differences among lines could be attributed to differences in damage from specific herbivores, which appeared to prefer either one or the other jasmonate-deficient phenotype. We further investigated the elicitation of one herbivore-induced volatile known to be jasmonate-regulated and to mediate resistance to

  19. Rates and modes of body size evolution in early carnivores and herbivores: a case study from Captorhinidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Brocklehurst

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Body size is an extremely important characteristic, impacting on a variety of ecological and life-history traits. It is therefore important to understand the factors which may affect its evolution, and diet has attracted much interest in this context. A recent study which examined the evolution of the earliest terrestrial herbivores in the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian concluded that in the four herbivorous clades examined there was a trend towards increased body size, and that this increase was more substantial than that observed in closely related carnivorous clades. However, this hypothesis was not based on quantitative examination, and phylogenetic comparative methods provide a more robust means of testing such hypotheses. Here, the evolution of body size within different dietary regimes is examined in Captorhinidae, the most diverse and longest lived of these earliest high fibre herbivores. Evolutionary models were fit to their phylogeny to test for variation in rate and mode of evolution between the carnivorous and herbivorous members of this clade, and an analysis of rate variation throughout the tree was carried out. Estimates of ancestral body sizes were calculated in order to compare the rates and direction of evolution of lineages with different dietary regimes. Support for the idea that the high fibre herbivores within captorhinids are being drawn to a higher adaptive peak in body size than the carnivorous members of this clade is weak. A shift in rates of body size evolution is identified, but this does not coincide with the evolution of high-fibre herbivory, instead occurring earlier in time and at a more basal node. Herbivorous lineages which show an increase in size are not found to evolve at a faster rate than those which show a decrease; in fact, it is those which experience a size decrease which evolve at higher rates. It is possible the shift in rates of evolution is related to the improved food processing ability of

  20. Bottom-up resource limitation: the ecosystem energy balance predicts the quality of nutrition in a herbivore prey population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Nestor; Garcia, Monica; Gil, Esperanza

    2014-01-01

    by measuring the dynamics in diet quality for the European rabbit, a key prey in Mediterranean communities. Rabbit nutrition was measured in six habitats throughout a year using faecal nitrogen (FN) content, an indicator of the levels of ingested protein. Then we tested the accuracy for predicting diet quality...... of the herbivore diet has been insufficiently tested. We hypothesized that in drylands, where water availability is a prime control of ecosystem functioning, remote sensing indicators of vegetation drought stress are critical to predict the nutritional quality of herbivore habitats. This hypothesis was analyzed...... contributed to explain the dynamics of diet quality: models including either TVDI or Hr shower a better fit than those exclusively based in EVI (R2 = 0.43—0.60). Whereas FN showed a positive relationship with EVI, the effect of TVDI and Hr was negative. Extracting the temporal component further allowed us...

  1. Local adaptation of Ruellia nudiflora (Acanthaceae) to biotic counterparts: complex scenarios revealed when two herbivore guilds are considered.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortegón-Campos, I; Parra-Tabla, V; Abdala-Roberts, L; Herrera, C M

    2009-11-01

    This study evaluated whether the herb Ruellia nudiflora is locally adapted to a specialist insect seed predator (SP) and insect folivores, and if plant local adaptation (LA) to the former is more likely. A reciprocal transplant experiment was conducted using three sites in Yucatan (Mexico) (n = 864 plants). A third of the plants of each origin were placed at each site, and we recorded the following during a 9-month period: fruit number, leaf damage, and fruits attacked by SP. Results indicated lack of plant LA for all the variables measured. Instead, seed predation was c. 100% greater for native plants at one study site, suggesting insect LA or plant maladaptation; folivory was homogeneous across sites/origins. Based on these results, we discuss differences in the potential each herbivore guild has to promote plant LA, as well as divergent evolutionary outcomes of plant-herbivore interactions across sites.

  2. Nitrogen cycling in an extreme hyperarid environment inferred from δ15N analyses of plants, soils and herbivore diet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Francisca P.; Frugone, Matías; Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A.; Latorre, Claudio

    2016-03-01

    Climate controls on the nitrogen cycle are suggested by the negative correlation between precipitation and δ15N values across different ecosystems. For arid ecosystems this is unclear, as water limitation among other factors can confound this relationship. We measured herbivore feces, foliar and soil δ15N and δ13C values and chemically characterized soils (pH and elemental composition) along an elevational/climatic gradient in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Although very positive δ15N values span the entire gradient, soil δ15N values show a positive correlation with aridity as expected. In contrast, foliar δ15N values and herbivore feces show a hump-shaped relationship with elevation, suggesting that plants are using a different N source, possibly of biotic origin. Thus at the extreme limits of plant life, biotic interactions may be just as important as abiotic processes, such as climate in explaining ecosystem δ15N values.

  3. Looking for a similar partner: host plants shape mating preferences of herbivorous insects by altering their contact pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiselhardt, Sven; Otte, Tobias; Hilker, Monika

    2012-09-01

    The role of phenotypical plasticity in ecological speciation and the evolution of sexual isolation remains largely unknown. We investigated whether or not divergent host plant use in an herbivorous insect causes assortative mating by phenotypically altering traits involved in mate recognition. We found that males of the mustard leaf beetle Phaedon cochleariae preferred to mate with females that were reared on the same plant species to females provided with a different plant species, based on divergent cuticular hydrocarbon profiles that serve as contact pheromones. The cuticular hydrocarbon phenotypes of the beetles were host plant specific and changed within 2 weeks after a shift to a novel host plant species. We suggest that plant-induced phenotypic divergence in mate recognition cues may act as an early barrier to gene flow between herbivorous insect populations on alternative host species, preceding genetic divergence and thus, promoting ecological speciation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  4. [Effects of plant viruses on vector and non-vector herbivorous arthropods and their natural enemies: a mini review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiao-Chan; Xu, Hong-Xing; Zhou, Xiao-Jun; Zheng, Xu-Song; Sun, Yu-Jian; Yang, Ya-Jun; Tian, Jun-Ce; Lü, Zhong-Xian

    2014-05-01

    Plant viruses transmitted by arthropods, as an important biotic factor, may not only directly affect the yield and quality of host plants, and development, physiological characteristics and ecological performances of their vector arthropods, but also directly or indirectly affect the non-vector herbivorous arthropods and their natural enemies in the same ecosystem, thereby causing influences to the whole agro-ecosystem. This paper reviewed the progress on the effects of plant viruses on herbivorous arthropods, including vector and non-vector, and their natural enemies, and on their ecological mechanisms to provide a reference for optimizing the management of vector and non-vector arthropod populations and sustainable control of plant viruses in agro-ecosystem.

  5. Nitrogen cycling in an extreme hyperarid environment inferred from δ(15)N analyses of plants, soils and herbivore diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Francisca P; Frugone, Matías; Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A; Latorre, Claudio

    2016-03-09

    Climate controls on the nitrogen cycle are suggested by the negative correlation between precipitation and δ(15)N values across different ecosystems. For arid ecosystems this is unclear, as water limitation among other factors can confound this relationship. We measured herbivore feces, foliar and soil δ(15)N and δ(13)C values and chemically characterized soils (pH and elemental composition) along an elevational/climatic gradient in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Although very positive δ(15)N values span the entire gradient, soil δ(15)N values show a positive correlation with aridity as expected. In contrast, foliar δ(15)N values and herbivore feces show a hump-shaped relationship with elevation, suggesting that plants are using a different N source, possibly of biotic origin. Thus at the extreme limits of plant life, biotic interactions may be just as important as abiotic processes, such as climate in explaining ecosystem δ(15)N values.

  6. Reconstructing a herbivore's diet using a novel rbcL DNA mini-barcode for plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, David L; Reed, Elizabeth; Ramachandran, Padmini; Bourg, Norman A; McShea, William J; Ottesen, Andrea

    2017-05-01

    Next Generation Sequencing and the application of metagenomic analyses can be used to answer questions about animal diet choice and study the consequences of selective foraging by herbivores. The quantification of herbivore diet choice with respect to native versus exotic plant species is particularly relevant given concerns of invasive species establishment and their effects on ecosystems. While increased abundance of white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) appears to correlate with increased incidence of invasive plant species, data supporting a causal link is scarce. We used a metabarcoding approach (PCR amplicons of the plant rbc L gene) to survey the diet of white-tailed deer (fecal samples), from a forested site in Warren County, Virginia with a comprehensive plant species inventory and corresponding reference collection of plant barcode and chloroplast sequences. We sampled fecal pellet piles and extracted DNA from 12 individual deer in October 2014. These samples were compared to a reference DNA library of plant species collected within the study area. For 72 % of the amplicons, we were able to assign taxonomy at the species level, which provides for the first time-sufficient taxonomic resolution to quantify the relative frequency at which native and exotic plant species are being consumed by white-tailed deer. For each of the 12 individual deer we collected three subsamples from the same fecal sample, resulting in sequencing 36 total samples. Using Qiime, we quantified the plant DNA found in all 36 samples, and found that variance within samples was less than variance between samples ( F  = 1.73, P  = 0.004), indicating additional subsamples may not be necessary. Species level diversity ranged from 60 to 93 OTUs per individual and nearly 70 % of all plant sequences recovered were from native plant species. The number of species detected did reduce significantly (range 4-12) when we excluded species whose OTU composed plants inventoried

  7. Declines in populations of Salix caprea L.during forest regeneration after strong herbivore pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janusz B. Faliński

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Communities of broadleaved forest subject to strong pressure from large herbivores underwent degeneration. The relief of this pressure led to regeneration of the community, in which an important role was played by the sallow Salix caprea and other light-seeded pioneer species of tree (Populus tremula, Betula pendula and B. pubescens. Regeneration involving Salix caprea proceeded following the conservatorial protection of the degenerate stands in a reserve and later in Białowieża National Park. The emergence and development of the population of Salix caprea proceeded following the invasion of spruce, which coincided with the period of enhanced animal pressure on broadleaved forest. Salix caprea filled all the gaps in the tree stand arising as a result of the destruction of trees and undergrowth by herbivores (in the years 1892-1915. It also appeared en masse on old, at that time unforested, clearings and felled areas. In these places, Salix caprea created very abundant populations, with particular trees being in good condition, with a habit typical of forest trees and attaining considerable heights. The majority of trees were 50-60 years old at the time of death, although individuals reached 74 years of age. The process of extinction of the sallow population - observed over 19 years on permanent plots and fixed trees - proceeded very quickly, especially in the first decade of observation. It led to the almost complete disappearance of sallow for the forest communities of Białowieża National Park. The death of individual trees is preceded by impairment of their health and reduced annual increments in the 4-9 last years of life. The extinction of the population is associated with the loss of its primary phenological differentiation and with a change in the sex structure of the population from a prevalence of female trees to a near even distribution of the two sexes. The development of the populations of permanent constituents of the forest

  8. Herbivore removal reduces influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on plant growth and tolerance in an East African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Jonathan B; Petipas, Renee H; Franken, Oscar; Kiers, E Toby; Veblen, Kari E; Brody, Alison K

    2018-05-01

    The functional relationship between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and their hosts is variable on small spatial scales. Here, we hypothesized that herbivore exclusion changes the AMF community and alters the ability of AMF to enhance plant tolerance to grazing. We grew the perennial bunchgrass, Themeda triandra Forssk in inoculum from soils collected in the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment where treatments representing different levels of herbivory have been in place since 1995. We assessed AMF diversity in the field, using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and compared fungal diversity among treatments. We conducted clipping experiments in the greenhouse and field and assessed regrowth. Plants inoculated with AMF from areas accessed by wild herbivores and cattle had greater biomass than non-inoculated controls, while plants inoculated with AMF from where large herbivores were excluded did not benefit from AMF in terms of biomass production. However, only the inoculation with AMF from areas with wild herbivores and no cattle had a positive effect on regrowth, relative to clipped plants grown without AMF. Similarly, in the field, regrowth of plants after clipping in areas with only native herbivores was higher than other treatments. Functional differences in AMF were evident despite little difference in AMF species richness or community composition. Our findings suggest that differences in large herbivore communities over nearly two decades has resulted in localized, functional changes in AMF communities. Our results add to the accumulating evidence that mycorrhizae are locally adapted and that functional differences can evolve within small geographical areas.

  9. Isotopic and anatomical evidence of an herbivorous diet in the Early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis. Implications for the structure of Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angst, D.; Lécuyer, C.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Fourel, F.; Martineau, F.; Legendre, S.; Abourachid, A.; Herrel, A.

    2014-04-01

    The mode of life of the early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis has long been a matter of controversy. Although it has often been reconstructed as an apex predator feeding on small mammals, according to other interpretations, it was in fact a large herbivore. To determine the diet of this bird, we analyze here the carbon isotope composition of the bone apatite from Gastornis and contemporaneous herbivorous mammals. Based on 13C-enrichment measured between carbonate and diet of carnivorous and herbivorous modern birds, the carbonate δ13C values of Gastornis bone remains, recovered from four Paleocene and Eocene French localities, indicate that this bird fed on plants. This is confirmed by a morphofunctional study showing that the reconstructed jaw musculature of Gastornis was similar to that of living herbivorous birds and unlike that of carnivorous forms. The herbivorous Gastornis was the largest terrestrial tetrapod in the Paleocene biota of Europe, unlike the situation in North America and Asia, where Gastornis is first recorded in the early Eocene, and the largest Paleocene animals were herbivorous mammals. The structure of the Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems of Europe may have been similar to that of some large islands, notably Madagascar, prior to the arrival of humans.

  10. A herbivore tag-and-trace system reveals contact- and density-dependent repellence of a root toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Bont, Zoe; Arce, Carla; Huber, Meret; Huang, Wei; Mestrot, Adrien; Sturrock, Craig; Erb, Matthais

    2017-01-01

    Foraging behavior of root feeding organisms strongly affects plant-environment-interactions and ecosystem processes. However, the impact of plant chemistry on root herbivore movement in the soil is poorly understood. Here, we apply a simple technique to trace the movement of soil-dwelling insects in their habitats without disturbing or restricting their interactions with host plants. We tagged the root feeding larvae of Melolontha melolontha with a copper ring and repeatedly located their pos...

  11. Oesophageal fistula/tritium-labelled water technique for determining dry matter intake and saliva secretion rates of grazing herbivores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luick, J.R.

    1982-01-01

    Seven assumptions on which the use of tritium-labelled water and oesophageal fistula depend, for determining the dry matter intake and saliva secretion rates of grazing herbivores, were tested experimentally. It is concluded that many of the possible sources of error can be ignored, but that a correction is necessary for the saliva dry matter content when calculating the dry matter of ingested food from fistula samples. (author)

  12. Disentangling the effects of predator hunting mode and habitat domain on the top-down control of insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Ben A; Heard, Matthew S

    2011-03-01

    1. Polyphagous predatory invertebrates play a key role in the top-down control of insect herbivores. However, predicting predation risk for herbivores is not a simple function of predator species richness. Predation risk may be reduced or enhanced depending on the functional characteristics predator species. We predict that where predator species spatially overlap this will reduce predation risk for herbivores by allowing negative inter-specific interaction between predators to occur. Where increased predation risk occurs, we also predict that this will have a cascading effect through the food chain reducing plant growth. 2. We used a substitutive replicated block design to identify the effect of similarity and dissimilarity in predator hunting mode (e.g. 'sit and wait', 'sit and pursue', and 'active') and habitat domain (e.g. canopy or ground) on the top-down control of planthoppers in grasslands. Predators included within the mesocosms were randomly selected from a pool of 17 local species. 3. Predation risk was reduced where predators shared the same habitat domain, independent of whether they shared hunting modes. Where predators shared the same habitat domains, there was some evidence that this had a cascading negative effect on the re-growth of grass biomass. Where predator habitat domains did not overlap, there were substitutable effects on predation risk to planthoppers. Predation risk for planthoppers was affected by taxonomic identity of predator species, i.e. whether they were beetles, spiders or true bugs. 4. Our results indicated that in multi-predator systems, the risk of predation is typically reduced. Consideration of functional characteristics of individual species, in particular aspects of habitat domain and hunting mode, are crucial in predicting the effects of multi-predator systems on the top-down control of herbivores. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2010 British Ecological Society.

  13. Silencing of a Germin-Like Gene in Nicotiana attenuata Improves Performance of Native Herbivores1[W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Yonggen; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2006-01-01

    Germins and germin-like proteins (GLPs) are known to function in pathogen resistance, but their involvement in defense against insect herbivores is poorly understood. In the native tobacco Nicotiana attenuata, attack from the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta or elicitation by adding larval oral secretions (OS) to wounds up-regulates transcripts of a GLP. To understand the function of this gene, which occurs as a single copy, we cloned the full-length NaGLP and silenced its expression in N. attenuata by expressing a 250-bp fragment in an antisense orientation with an Agrobacterium-based transformation system and by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). Homozygous lines harboring a single insert and VIGS plants had significantly reduced constitutive (measured in roots) and elicited NaGLP transcript levels (in leaves). Silencing NaGLP improved M. sexta larval performance and Tupiocoris notatus preference, two native herbivores of N. attenuata. Silencing NaGLP also attenuated the OS-induced hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), diterpene glycosides, and trypsin proteinase inhibitor responses, which may explain the observed susceptibility of antisense or VIGS plants to herbivore attack and increased nicotine contents, but did not influence the OS-elicited jasmonate and salicylate bursts, or the release of the volatile organic compounds (limonene, cis-α-bergamotene, and germacrene-A) that function as an indirect defense. This suggests that NaGLP is involved in H2O2 production and might also be related to ethylene production and/or perception, which in turn influences the defense responses of N. attenuata via H2O2 and ethylene-signaling pathways. PMID:16461381

  14. Contrasting effects of ethylene biosynthesis on induced plant resistance against a chewing and a piercing-sucking herbivore in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jing; Li, Jiancai; Ju, Hongping; Liu, Xiaoli; Erb, Matthias; Wang, Xia; Lou, Yonggen

    2014-11-01

    Ethylene is a stress hormone with contrasting effects on herbivore resistance. However, it remains unknown whether these differences are plant- or herbivore-specific. We cloned a rice 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase gene, OsACS2, whose transcripts were rapidly up-regulated in response to mechanical wounding and infestation by two important pests: the striped stem borer (SSB) Chilo suppressalis and the brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens. Antisense expression of OsACS2 (as-acs) reduced elicited ethylene emission, SSB-elicited trypsin protease inhibitor (TrypPI) activity, SSB-induced volatile release, and SSB resistance. Exogenous application of ACC restored TrypPI activity and SSB resistance. In contrast to SSB, BPH infestation increased volatile emission in as-acs lines. Accordingly, BPH preferred to feed and oviposit on wild-type (WT) plants--an effect that could be attributed to two repellent volatiles, 2-heptanone and 2-heptanol, that were emitted in higher amounts by as-acs plants. BPH honeydew excretion was reduced and natural enemy attraction was enhanced in as-acs lines, resulting in higher overall resistance to BPH. These results demonstrate that ethylene signaling has contrasting, herbivore-specific effects on rice defense responses and resistance against a chewing and a piercing-sucking insect, and may mediate resistance trade-offs between herbivores of different feeding guilds in rice. © The Author 2014. Published by the Molecular Plant Shanghai Editorial Office in association with Oxford University Press on behalf of CSPB and IPPE, SIBS, CAS.

  15. Infestation of transgenic powdery mildew-resistant wheat by naturally occurring insect herbivores under different environmental conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Álvarez-Alfageme

    Full Text Available A concern associated with the growing of genetically modified (GM crops is that they could adversely affect non-target organisms. We assessed the impact of several transgenic powdery mildew-resistant spring wheat lines on insect herbivores. The GM lines carried either the Pm3b gene from hexaploid wheat, which confers race-specific resistance to powdery mildew, or the less specific anti-fungal barley seed chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase. In addition to the non-transformed control lines, several conventional spring wheat varieties and barley and triticale were included for comparison. During two consecutive growing seasons, powdery mildew infection and the abundance of and damage by naturally occurring herbivores were estimated under semi-field conditions in a convertible glasshouse and in the field. Mildew was reduced on the Pm3b-transgenic lines but not on the chitinase/glucanase-expressing lines. Abundance of aphids was negatively correlated with powdery mildew in the convertible glasshouse, with Pm3b wheat plants hosting significantly more aphids than their mildew-susceptible controls. In contrast, aphid densities did not differ between GM plants and their non-transformed controls in the field, probably because of low mildew and aphid pressure at this location. Likewise, the GM wheat lines did not affect the abundance of or damage by the herbivores Oulema melanopus (L. and Chlorops pumilionis Bjerk. Although a previous study has revealed that some of the GM wheat lines show pleiotropic effects under field conditions, their effect on herbivorous insects appears to be low.

  16. Is the Performance of a Specialist Herbivore Affected by Female Choices and the Adaptability of the Offspring?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarcísio Visintin da Silva Galdino

    Full Text Available The performance of herbivorous insects is related to the locations of defenses and nutrients found in the different plant organs on which they feed. In this context, the females of herbivorous insect species select certain parts of the plant where their offspring can develop well. In addition, their offspring can adapt to plant defenses. A system where these ecological relationships can be studied occurs in the specialist herbivore, Tuta absoluta, on tomato plants. In our experiments we evaluated: (i the performance of the herbivore T. absoluta in relation to the tomato plant parts on which their offspring had fed, (ii the spatial distribution of the insect stages on the plant canopy and (iii the larval resistance to starvation and their walking speed at different instar stages. We found that the T. absoluta females preferred to lay their eggs in the tomato plant parts where their offspring had greater chances of success. We verified that the T. absoluta females laid their eggs on both sides of the leaves to better exploit resources. We also observed that the older larvae (3rd and 4th instars moved to the most nutritious parts of the plant, thus increasing their performance. The T. absoluta females and offspring (larvae were capable of identifying plant sites where their chances of better performance were higher. Additionally, their offspring (larvae spread across the plant to better exploit the available plant nutrients. These behavioral strategies of T. absoluta facilitate improvement in their performance after acquiring better resources, which help reduce their mortality by preventing the stimulation of plant defense compounds and the action of natural enemies.

  17. Unveiling the diet of elusive rainforest herbivores in next generation sequencing era? The tapir as a case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrice Hibert

    Full Text Available Characterizing the trophic relationships between large herbivores and the outstanding plant diversity in rainforest is a major challenge because of their elusiveness. This is crucial to understand the role of these herbivores in the functioning of the rainforest ecosystems. We tested a non-invasive approach based on the high-throughput sequencing of environmental samples using small plant plastid sequences (the trnL P6 loop and ribosomal ITS1 primers, referred to as DNA metabarcoding, to investigate the diet of the largest neotropical herbivore, the lowland tapir. Sequencing was performed on plant DNA extracted from tapir faeces collected at the Nouragues station, a protected area of French Guiana. In spite of a limited sampling, our approach reliably provided information about the lowland tapir's diet at this site. Indeed, 95.1% and 74.4% of the plant families and genera identified thanks to the trnL P6 loop, respectively, matched with taxa already known to be consumed by tapirs. With this approach we were able to show that two families and eight new genera are also consumed by the lowland tapir. The taxonomic resolution of this method is limited to the plant family and genera. Complementary barcodes, such as a small portion of ITS1, can be used to efficiently narrow identifications down to the species in some problematic families. We will discuss the remaining limitations of this approach and how useful it is at this stage to unravel the diet of elusive rainforest herbivores and better understand their role as engineers of the ecosystem.

  18. Unveiling the diet of elusive rainforest herbivores in next generation sequencing era? The tapir as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hibert, Fabrice; Taberlet, Pierre; Chave, Jérôme; Scotti-Saintagne, Caroline; Sabatier, Daniel; Richard-Hansen, Cécile

    2013-01-01

    Characterizing the trophic relationships between large herbivores and the outstanding plant diversity in rainforest is a major challenge because of their elusiveness. This is crucial to understand the role of these herbivores in the functioning of the rainforest ecosystems. We tested a non-invasive approach based on the high-throughput sequencing of environmental samples using small plant plastid sequences (the trnL P6 loop) and ribosomal ITS1 primers, referred to as DNA metabarcoding, to investigate the diet of the largest neotropical herbivore, the lowland tapir. Sequencing was performed on plant DNA extracted from tapir faeces collected at the Nouragues station, a protected area of French Guiana. In spite of a limited sampling, our approach reliably provided information about the lowland tapir's diet at this site. Indeed, 95.1% and 74.4% of the plant families and genera identified thanks to the trnL P6 loop, respectively, matched with taxa already known to be consumed by tapirs. With this approach we were able to show that two families and eight new genera are also consumed by the lowland tapir. The taxonomic resolution of this method is limited to the plant family and genera. Complementary barcodes, such as a small portion of ITS1, can be used to efficiently narrow identifications down to the species in some problematic families. We will discuss the remaining limitations of this approach and how useful it is at this stage to unravel the diet of elusive rainforest herbivores and better understand their role as engineers of the ecosystem.

  19. Trade-off between early emergence and herbivore susceptibility mediates exotic success in an experimental California plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waterton, Joseph; Cleland, Elsa E

    2016-12-01

    Ecological trade-offs are fundamental to theory in community ecology; critical for understanding species coexistence in diverse plant communities, as well as the evolution of diverse life-history strategies. Invasions by exotic species can provide insights into the importance of trade-offs in community assembly, because the ecological strategies of invading species often differ from those present in the native species pool. Exotic annual species have invaded many Mediterranean-climate areas around the globe, and often germinate and emerge earlier in the growing season than native species. Early-season growth can enable exotic annual species to preempt space and resources, competitively suppressing later-emerging native species; however, early-emerging individuals may also be more apparent to herbivores. This suggests a potential trade-off between seasonal phenology and susceptibility to herbivory. To evaluate this hypothesis, we monitored the emergence and growth of 12 focal species (six each native and exotic) in monoculture and polyculture, while experimentally excluding generalist herbivores both early and later in the growing season. Consistent with past studies, the exotic species emerged earlier than native species. Regardless of species origin, earlier-emerging species achieved greater biomass by the end of the experiment, but were more negatively impacted by herbivory, particularly in the early part of the growing season. This greater impact of early-season herbivory on early-active species led to a reduction in the competitive advantage of exotic species growing in polyculture, and improved the performance of later-emerging natives. Such a trade-off between early growth and susceptibility to herbivores could be an important force in community assembly in seasonal herbaceous-dominated ecosystems. These results also show how herbivore exclusion favors early-active exotic species in this system, with important implications for management in many areas invaded

  20. Large-scale assessment of commensalistic-mutualistic associations between African birds and herbivorous mammals using internet photos

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikula, P.; Hadrava, Jiří; Albrecht, Tomáš; Tryjanowski, P.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 3 (2018), č. článku e4520. ISSN 2167-8359 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:68081766 Keywords : herbivores * commensalism * web network analyses Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EG - Zoology (UBO-W) OBOR OECD: Ecology; Zoology (UBO-W) Impact factor: 2.177, year: 2016 https://peerj.com/articles/4520/

  1. Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co-evolution.

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    Butler, R J; Barrett, P M; Kenrick, P; Penn, M G

    2009-03-01

    Palaeobiologists frequently attempt to identify examples of co-evolutionary interactions over extended geological timescales. These hypotheses are often intuitively appealing, as co-evolution is so prevalent in extant ecosystems, and are easy to formulate; however, they are much more difficult to test than their modern analogues. Among the more intriguing deep time co-evolutionary scenarios are those that relate changes in Cretaceous dinosaur faunas to the primary radiation of flowering plants. Demonstration of temporal congruence between the diversifications of co-evolving groups is necessary to establish whether co-evolution could have occurred in such cases, but is insufficient to prove whether it actually did take place. Diversity patterns do, however, provide a means for falsifying such hypotheses. We have compiled a new database of Cretaceous dinosaur and plant distributions from information in the primary literature. This is used as the basis for plotting taxonomic diversity and occurrence curves for herbivorous dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Stegosauria, Ankylosauria, Ornithopoda, Ceratopsia, Pachycephalosauria and herbivorous theropods) and major groups of plants (angiosperms, Bennettitales, cycads, cycadophytes, conifers, Filicales and Ginkgoales) that co-occur in dinosaur-bearing formations. Pairwise statistical comparisons were made between various floral and faunal groups to test for any significant similarities in the shapes of their diversity curves through time. We show that, with one possible exception, diversity patterns for major groups of herbivorous dinosaurs are not positively correlated with angiosperm diversity. In other words, at the level of major clades, there is no support for any diffuse co-evolutionary relationship between herbivorous dinosaurs and flowering plants. The diversification of Late Cretaceous pachycephalosaurs (excluding the problematic taxon Stenopelix) shows a positive correlation, but this might be spuriously related to

  2. Interactions between the jasmonic and salicylic acid pathway modulate the plant metabolome and affect herbivores of different feeding types.

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    Schweiger, R; Heise, A-M; Persicke, M; Müller, C

    2014-07-01

    The phytohormones jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) mediate induced plant defences and the corresponding pathways interact in a complex manner as has been shown on the transcript and proteine level. Downstream, metabolic changes are important for plant-herbivore interactions. This study investigated metabolic changes in leaf tissue and phloem exudates of Plantago lanceolata after single and combined JA and SA applications as well as consequences on chewing-biting (Heliothis virescens) and piercing-sucking (Myzus persicae) herbivores. Targeted metabolite profiling and untargeted metabolic fingerprinting uncovered different categories of plant metabolites, which were influenced in a specific manner, indicating points of divergence, convergence, positive crosstalk and pronounced mutual antagonism between the signaling pathways. Phytohormone-specific decreases of primary metabolite pool sizes in the phloem exudates may indicate shifts in sink-source relations, resource allocation, nutrient uptake or photosynthesis. Survival of both herbivore species was significantly reduced by JA and SA treatments. However, the combined application of JA and SA attenuated the negative effects at least against H. virescens suggesting that mutual antagonism between the JA and SA pathway may be responsible. Pathway interactions provide a great regulatory potential for the plant that allows triggering of appropriate defences when attacked by different antagonist species. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Modeling trade-offs between plant fiber and toxins: a framework for quantifying risks perceived by foraging herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Meghan J; Shipley, Lisa A; Johnson, Timothy R; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen; Rachlow, Janet L; Crowell, Miranda M

    2015-12-01

    When selecting habitats, herbivores must weigh multiple risks, such as predation, starvation, toxicity, and thermal stress, forcing them to make fitness trade-offs. Here, we applied the method of paired comparisons (PC) to investigate how herbivores make trade-offs between habitat features that influence selection of food patches. The method of PC measures utility and the inverse of utility, relative risk, and makes trade-offs and indifferences explicit by forcing animals to make choices between two patches with different types of risks. Using a series of paired-choice experiments to titrate the equivalence curve and find the marginal rate of substitution for one risk over the other, we evaluated how toxin-tolerant (pygmy rabbit Brachylagus idahoensis) and fiber-tolerant (mountain cottontail rabbit Sylviagus nuttallii) herbivores differed in their hypothesized perceived risk of fiber and toxins in food. Pygmy rabbits were willing to consume nearly five times more of the toxin 1,8-cineole in their diets to avoid consuming higher levels of fiber than were mountain cottontails. Fiber posed a greater relative risk for pygmy rabbits than cottontails and cineole a greater risk for cottontails than pygmy rabbits. Our flexible modeling approach can be used to (1) quantify how animals evaluate and trade off multiple habitat attributes when the benefits and risks are difficult to quantify, and (2) integrate diverse risks that influence fitness and habitat selection into a single index of habitat value. This index potentially could be applied to landscapes to predict habitat selection across several scales.

  4. Algal Turf Recruitment and Early Growth did not Differ Across Sites that Varied Greatly in Herbivore and Coral Community Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaynus, C.

    2016-02-01

    Worldwide losses of coral with accompanying phase shifts to algae have been attributed to human alterations of major ecological processes, especially top down (herbivory) and bottom up (nutrients) forces. While positive effects on macroalgae have received some attention, less is known about turf algae. Closely cropped turf algae (French Polynesia. While this study will continue for 2 years, data here are for 5 weeks. We chose 3 sites in Cooks Bay that likely varied in nutrients and 3 along the north shore, presumably higher in herbivory. At each site 10 recruitment tiles were deployed. Turf communities accumulated over five-weeks while benthic and herbivorous fish communities were quantified at each site. Herbivorous fish communities consisted of juveniles and adults from the families Acanthuridae and Scaridae with both adult and juvenile acanthurids, comprising > 50% of all herbivorous fish. Sites within the bay, however, contained at least 66.7% less fish than sites along the north shore. In contrast benthic surveys portrayed little difference between sites, with turf making up > 70% of total hard bottom cover. Similarly, there was little difference among sites in the recruitment and growth rate ( 0.2-0.3 mm/week) of turf on tiles. While turf recruitment and early development appeared to be unaffected by herbivory or nutrients over the short time, we predict that longer-term effects will occur as this community develops.

  5. Temperature and diet effects on omnivorous fish performance: Implications for the latitudinal diversity gradient in herbivorous fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrens, M.D.; Lafferty, K.D.

    2007-01-01

    Herbivorous fishes show a clear latitudinal diversity gradient, making up a larger proportion of the fish species in a community in tropical waters than in temperate waters. One proposed mechanism that could drive this gradient is a physiological constraint due to temperature. One prediction based on this mechanism is that if herbivorous fishes could shift their diet to animal material, they would be better able to grow, survive, and reproduce in cold waters. We tested this prediction on the omnivore Girella nigricans under different temperature and diet regimes using RNA-DNA ratios as an indicator of performance. Fish had increased performance (100%) at low temperatures (12??C) when their diet was supplemented with animal material. In contrast, at higher temperatures (17, 22, and 27??C) fish showed no differences between diets. This indicates that omnivorous fishes could increase their performance at low temperatures by consuming more animal matter. This study supports the hypothesis that a relative increase in the nutritional value of plant material at warmer temperatures could drive the latitudinal diversity gradient in herbivorous fishes. ?? 2007 NRC.

  6. The Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles Methyl Salicylate and Menthol Positively affect Growth and Pathogenicity of Entomopathogenic Fungi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yongwen; Qasim, Muhammad; Hussain, Mubasher; Akutse, Komivi Senyo; Avery, Pasco Bruce; Dash, Chandra Kanta; Wang, Liande

    2017-01-01

    Some herbivore-induced-plant volatiles (HIPVs) compounds are vital for the functioning of an ecosystem, by triggering multi-trophic interactions for natural enemies, plants and herbivores. However, the effect of these chemicals, which play a crucial role in regulating the multi-trophic interactions between plant-herbivore-entomopathogenic fungi, is still unknown. To fill this scientific gap, we therefore investigated how these chemicals influence the entomopathogenic fungi growth and efficacy. In this study, Lipaphis erysimi induced Arabidopsis thaliana HIPVs were collected using headspace system and detected with GC-MS, and then analyzed the effects of these HIPVs chemicals on Lecanicillium lecanii strain V3450. We found that the HIPVs menthol and methyl salicylate at 1 and 10 nmol·ml-1 improved many performance aspects of the fungus, such as germination, sporulation, appressorial formation as well as its pathogenicity and virulence. These findings are not only important for understanding the multi-trophic interactions in an ecosystem, but also would contribute for developing new and easier procedures for conidial mass production as well as improve the pathogenicity and virulence of entomopathogenic fungi in biological pest management strategies.

  7. Stochastic spatio-temporal model of coral cover as a function of herbivorous grazers, water quality, and coral demographics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuhausler, R.; Robinson, M.; Bruna, M.

    2017-12-01

    Over the last 60 years we have seen an increased amount of ecological regime shifts in tropical coastal zones, from coral reefs to macroalgae dominated states, as a result of natural and anthropogenic stresses. However, these shifts are not always immediate- macroalgae are generally present in coral reefs, with their distribution regulated by herbivorous fish. This is especially true in Moorea, French Polynesia, where macroalgae are shown to flourish in spaces that provide refuge from roaming herbivores. While there are currently modeling efforts in projecting ecological regime shifts in Moorea, temporal deterministic models have been utilized, which fail to capture metastability between multiple steady states and can have issues when dealing with very small populations. To address these concerns, we build on these models to account for spatial variations and individual organisms, as well as stochasticity. Our model can project the percent cover of coral, macroalgae, and algae turf as a function of herbivorous grazers, water quality, and coral demographics. Grazers, included as individual fish (particles), evolve according to a kinetic model and interact with neighbouring benthic assemblages, represented as nodes. Water quality and coral demographics are input parameters that can vary over time, allowing our model to be run for temporally changing scenarios and to be adjusted for different reefs. We plan to engage with previous Moorea Reef Resilience Models through a comparative analysis of our models' outcomes and existing Moorea data. Coupling projective models with available data is useful for informing environmental policy and advancing the modeling field.

  8. Herbivore handling of a plant's trichome: the case of Heliconius charithonia (L.) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) and Passiflora lobata (Killip) Hutch. (Passifloraceae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cardoso, Marcio Z.

    2008-01-01

    Trichomes reduce herbivore attack on plants by physically and/or chemically inhibiting movement or other activities. Despite evidence that herbivores are negatively affected by trichomes there also reports of insect counter-adaptations that circumvent the plant's defense. This paper reports on a study that investigated the likely mechanisms employed by larvae of the nymphalid butterfly, Heliconius charithonia (L.), that allow it to feed on a host that is presumably protected by hooked trichomes (Passiflora lobata (Killip) Hutch). Evidence were gathered using data from direct observations of larval movement and behavior, faeces analysis, scanning electron microscopy of plant surface and experimental analysis of larval movement on plants with and without trichomes (manually removed). The latter involved a comparison with a non specialist congener, Heliconius pachinus Salvin. Observations showed that H. charithonia larvae are capable of freeing themselves from entrapment on trichome tips by physical force. Moreover, wandering larvae lay silk mats on the trichomes and remove their tips by biting. In fact, trichome tips were found in the faeces. Experimental removal of trichomes aided in the movement of the non specialist but had no noticeable effect on the specialist larvae. These results support the suggestion that trichomes are capable of deterring a non specialist herbivore (H. pachinus). The precise mechanisms that allow the success of H. charithonia are not known, but I suggest that a blend of behavioral as well as physical resistance mechanisms is involved. Future studies should ascertain whether larval integument provides physical resistance to trichomes. (author)

  9. Monitoring digestibility of forages for herbivores: a new application for an old approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vansomeren, Lindsey L.; Barboza, Perry S.; Thompson, Daniel P.; Gustine, David D.

    2015-01-01

    Ruminant populations are often limited by how well individuals are able to acquire nutrients for growth, maintenance, and reproduction. Nutrient supply to the animal is dictated by the concentration of nutrients in feeds and the efficiency of digesting those nutrients (i.e., digestibility). Many different methods have been used to measure digestibility of forages for wild herbivores, all of which rely on collecting rumen fluid from animals or incubation within animals. Animal-based methods can provide useful estimates, but the approach is limited by the expense of fistulated animals, wide variation in digestibility among animals, and contamination from endogenous and microbial sources that impairs the estimation of nutrient digestibility. We tested an in vitro method using a two-stage procedure using purified enzymes. The first stage, a 6 h acid–pepsin treatment, was followed by a combined 72 h amylase–cellulase or amylase–Viscozyme treatment. We then validated our estimates using in sacco and in vivo methods to digest samples of the same forages. In vitro estimates of dry matter (DM) digestibility were correlated with estimates of in sacco and in vivo DM digestibility (both P content declined below 0.03–0.06 g/g of DM. The in vitro method is well suited to monitoring forage quality over multiple years because it is reproducible, can be used with minimal investment by other laboratories without animal facilities, and can measure digestibility of individual nutrients such as N.

  10. The nitrogen window for arctic herbivores: plant phenology and protein gain of migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barboza, Perry S.; Van Someren, Lindsay L.; Gustine, David D.; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia

    2018-01-01

    Terrestrial plants are often limited by nitrogen (N) in arctic systems, but constraints of N supply on herbivores are typically considered secondary to those of energy. We tested the hypothesis that forage N is more limiting than energy for arctic caribou by collecting key forages (three species of graminoids, three species of woody browse, and one genus of forb) over three summers in the migratory range of the Central Arctic Herd in Alaska from the Brooks Range to the Coastal Plain on the Arctic Ocean. We combined in vitro digestion and detergent extraction to measure fiber, digestible energy, and usable fractions of N in forages (n = 771). Digestible energy content fell below the minimum threshold value of 9 kJ/g for one single forage group: graminoids, and only beyond 64–75 d from parturition (6 June), whereas all forages fell below the minimum threshold value for digestible N (1% of dry matter) before female caribou would have weaned their calves at 100 d from parturition. The window for digestible N was shortest for browse, which fell below 1% at 30–41 d from parturition, whereas digestible N contents of graminoids were adequate until 46–57 d from parturition. The low quality of browse as a source of N was also apparent from concentrations of available N (i.e., the N not bound to fiber) that were distribution and growth of the population.

  11. Warming increases the top-down effects and metabolism of a subtidal herbivore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsey A. Carr

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Ecological theory and experiments indicate that warming can increase the relative strength of top-down effects via alterations to metabolic rates in several different systems, thereby resulting in decreased plant biomass at higher temperatures. However, the general influence of increased environmental temperature on top-down effects is not well understood in systems where organisms experience relatively large variation in temperature. Rapid ocean temperature changes are pervasive throughout the Galápagos Islands due to upwelling and downwelling of internal waves, ENSO events and seasonality. We measured the effect of large, but not uncommon, water temperature variation on the metabolism and grazing rate of a common subtidal herbivore and on photosynthesis of their algal prey in the Galápagos Islands in July 2012. We found that green urchin consumption and metabolism were greater at the higher temperature treatment (28°C, resulting in significantly less algal biomass. Our result that warming increased green urchin metabolic rates, even in a highly dynamic system, provides further support for a mechanistic link between environmental temperature and feeding rates. And further, our findings suggest individual response to temperature results in changes in top-down effects. And if this response is maintained over longer-time scales of days to weeks, this could translate to alterations of larger-scale ecological patterns, such as primary producer community composition and structure.

  12. Translocations as experiments in the ecological resilience of an asocial mega-herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linklater, Wayne L; Gedir, Jay V; Law, Peter R; Swaisgood, Ron R; Adcock, Keryn; du Preez, Pierre; Knight, Michael H; Kerley, Graham I H

    2012-01-01

    Species translocations are remarkable experiments in evolutionary ecology, and increasingly critical to biodiversity conservation. Elaborate socio-ecological hypotheses for translocation success, based on theoretical fitness relationships, are untested and lead to complex uncertainty rather than parsimonious solutions. We used an extraordinary 89 reintroduction and 102 restocking events releasing 682 black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) to 81 reserves in southern Africa (1981-2005) to test the influence of interacting socio-ecological and individual characters on post-release survival. We predicted that the socio-ecological context should feature more prominently after restocking than reintroduction because released rhinoceros interact with resident conspecifics. Instead, an interaction between release cohort size and habitat quality explained reintroduction success but only individuals' ages explained restocking outcomes. Achieving translocation success for many species may not be as complicated as theory suggests. Black rhino, and similarly asocial generalist herbivores without substantial predators, are likely to be resilient to ecological challenges and robust candidates for crisis management in a changing world.

  13. Do cities simulate climate change? A comparison of herbivore response to urban and global warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Dale, Adam G.; Terando, Adam; Dunn, Robert R.; Frank, Steven D.

    2014-01-01

    Cities experience elevated temperature, CO2, and nitrogen deposition decades ahead of the global average, such that biological response to urbanization may predict response to future climate change. This hypothesis remains untested due to a lack of complementary urban and long-term observations. Here, we examine the response of an herbivore, the scale insect Melanaspis tenebricosa, to temperature in the context of an urban heat island, a series of historical temperature fluctuations, and recent climate warming. We survey M. tenebricosa on 55 urban street trees in Raleigh, NC, 342 herbarium specimens collected in the rural southeastern United States from 1895 to 2011, and at 20 rural forest sites represented by both modern (2013) and historical samples. We relate scale insect abundance to August temperatures and find that M. tenebricosa is most common in the hottest parts of the city, on historical specimens collected during warm time periods, and in present-day rural forests compared to the same sites when they were cooler. Scale insects reached their highest densities in the city, but abundance peaked at similar temperatures in urban and historical datasets and tracked temperature on a decadal scale. Although urban habitats are highly modified, species response to a key abiotic factor, temperature, was consistent across urban and rural-forest ecosystems. Cities may be an appropriate but underused system for developing and testing hypotheses about biological effects of climate change. Future work should test the applicability of this model to other groups of organisms.

  14. Interaction between Digestive Strategy and Niche Specialization Predicts Speciation Rates across Herbivorous Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Lucy A P

    2016-04-01

    Biotic and abiotic factors often are treated as mutually exclusive drivers of diversification processes. In this framework, ecological specialists are expected to have higher speciation rates than generalists if abiotic factors are the primary controls on species diversity but lower rates if biotic interactions are more important. Speciation rate is therefore predicted to positively correlate with ecological specialization in the purely abiotic model but negatively correlate in the biotic model. In this study, I show that the positive relationship between ecological specialization and speciation expected from the purely abiotic model is recovered only when a species-specific trait, digestive strategy, is modeled in the terrestrial, herbivorous mammals (Mammalia). This result suggests a more nuanced model in which the response of specialized lineages to abiotic factors is dependent on a biological trait. I also demonstrate that the effect of digestive strategy on the ecological specialization-speciation rate relationship is not due to a difference in either the degree of ecological specialization or the speciation rate between foregut- and hindgut-fermenting mammals. Together, these findings suggest that a biological trait, alongside historical abiotic events, played an important role in shaping mammal speciation at long temporal and large geographic scales.

  15. Elevated carbon dioxide reduces emission of herbivore-induced volatiles in Zea mays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Anna; Vaughan, Martha M; Christensen, Shawn A; Alborn, Hans T; Tumlinson, James H

    2017-09-01

    Terpene volatiles produced by sweet corn (Zea mays) upon infestation with pests such as beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) function as part of an indirect defence mechanism by attracting parasitoid wasps; yet little is known about the impact of climate change on this form of plant defence. To investigate how a central component of climate change affects indirect defence, we measured herbivore-induced volatile emissions in plants grown under elevated carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). We found that S. exigua infested or elicitor-treated Z. mays grown at elevated CO 2 had decreased emission of its major sesquiterpene, (E)-β-caryophyllene and two homoterpenes, (3E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene and (3E,7E)-4,8,12-trimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetraene. In contrast, inside the leaves, elicitor-induced (E)-β-caryophyllene hyper-accumulated at elevated CO 2 , while levels of homoterpenes were unaffected. Furthermore, gene expression analysis revealed that the induction of terpene synthase genes following treatment was lower in plants grown at elevated CO 2 . Our data indicate that elevated CO 2 leads both to a repression of volatile synthesis at the transcriptional level and to limitation of volatile release through effects of CO 2 on stomatal conductance. These findings suggest that elevated CO 2 may alter the ability of Z. mays to utilize volatile terpenes to mediate indirect defenses. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Isolation of fungi from dung of wild herbivores for application in bioethanol production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhuvele, Rhulani; Ncube, Ignatious; Jansen van Rensburg, Elbert Lukas; La Grange, Daniël Coenrad

    Producing biofuels such as ethanol from non-food plant material has the potential to meet transportation fuel requirements in many African countries without impacting directly on food security. The current shortcomings in biomass processing are inefficient fermentation of plant sugars, such as xylose, especially at high temperatures, lack of fermenting microbes that are able to resist inhibitors associated with pre-treated plant material and lack of effective lignocellulolytic enzymes for complete hydrolysis of plant polysaccharides. Due to the presence of residual partially degraded lignocellulose in the gut, the dung of herbivores can be considered as a natural source of pre-treated lignocellulose. A total of 101 fungi were isolated (36 yeast and 65 mould isolates). Six yeast isolates produced ethanol during growth on xylose while three were able to grow at 42°C. This is a desirable growth temperature as it is closer to that which is used during the cellulose hydrolysis process. From the yeast isolates, six isolates were able to tolerate 2g/L acetic acid and one tolerated 2g/L furfural in the growth media. These inhibitors are normally generated during the pre-treatment step. When grown on pre-treated thatch grass, Aspergillus species were dominant in secretion of endo-glucanase, xylanase and mannanase. Copyright © 2017 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  17. A massive incorporation of microbial genes into the genome of Tetranychus urticae, a polyphagous arthropod herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wybouw, N; Van Leeuwen, T; Dermauw, W

    2018-06-01

    A number of horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) have been identified in the spider mite Tetranychus urticae, a chelicerate herbivore. However, the genome of this mite species has at present not been thoroughly mined for the presence of HGT genes. Here, we performed a systematic screen for HGT genes in the T. urticae genome using the h-index metric. Our results not only validated previously identified HGT genes but also uncovered 25 novel HGT genes. In addition to HGT genes with a predicted biochemical function in carbohydrate, lipid and folate metabolism, we also identified the horizontal transfer of a ketopantoate hydroxymethyltransferase and a pantoate β-alanine ligase gene. In plants and bacteria, both genes are essential for vitamin B5 biosynthesis and their presence in the mite genome strongly suggests that spider mites, similar to Bemisia tabaci and nematodes, can synthesize their own vitamin B5. We further show that HGT genes were physically embedded within the mite genome and were expressed in different life stages. By screening chelicerate genomes and transcriptomes, we were able to estimate the evolutionary histories of these HGTs during chelicerate evolution. Our study suggests that HGT has made a significant and underestimated impact on the metabolic repertoire of plant-feeding spider mites. © 2018 The Royal Entomological Society.

  18. A Global Analysis of the Relationship between Farmed Seaweed Production and Herbivorous Fish Catch.

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    E James Hehre

    Full Text Available Globally, farmed seaweed production is expanding rapidly in shallow marine habitats. While seaweed farming provides vital income to millions of artisanal farmers, it can negatively impact shallow coral reef and seagrass habitats. However, seaweed farming may also potentially provide food subsidies for herbivorous reef fish such as the Siganidae, a valuable target family, resulting in increased catch. Comparisons of reef fish landings across the central Philippines revealed that the catch of siganids was positively correlated to farmed seaweed production whilst negatively correlated to total reef fish catch over the same period of time. We tested the generality of this pattern by analysing seaweed production, siganid catch, and reef fish catch for six major seaweed-producing countries in the tropics. We hypothesized that increased seaweed production would correspond with increased catch of siganids but not other reef fish species. Analysis of the global data showed a positive correlation between farmed seaweeds and siganids in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines but not Africa (Tanzania and Zanzibar, or the Western Pacific (Fiji. In Southeast Asia, siganid catch increased disproportionately faster with seaweed production than did reef fish catch. Low continuity, sporadic production and smaller volumes of seaweed farming may explain the differences.

  19. A Global Analysis of the Relationship between Farmed Seaweed Production and Herbivorous Fish Catch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hehre, E James; Meeuwig, Jessica J

    2016-01-01

    Globally, farmed seaweed production is expanding rapidly in shallow marine habitats. While seaweed farming provides vital income to millions of artisanal farmers, it can negatively impact shallow coral reef and seagrass habitats. However, seaweed farming may also potentially provide food subsidies for herbivorous reef fish such as the Siganidae, a valuable target family, resulting in increased catch. Comparisons of reef fish landings across the central Philippines revealed that the catch of siganids was positively correlated to farmed seaweed production whilst negatively correlated to total reef fish catch over the same period of time. We tested the generality of this pattern by analysing seaweed production, siganid catch, and reef fish catch for six major seaweed-producing countries in the tropics. We hypothesized that increased seaweed production would correspond with increased catch of siganids but not other reef fish species. Analysis of the global data showed a positive correlation between farmed seaweeds and siganids in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) but not Africa (Tanzania and Zanzibar), or the Western Pacific (Fiji). In Southeast Asia, siganid catch increased disproportionately faster with seaweed production than did reef fish catch. Low continuity, sporadic production and smaller volumes of seaweed farming may explain the differences.

  20. Ethogram of Immature Green Turtles: Behavioral Strategies for Somatic Growth in Large Marine Herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuyama, Junichi; Nakajima, Kana; Noda, Takuji; Kimura, Satoko; Kamihata, Hiroko; Kobayashi, Masato; Arai, Nobuaki; Kagawa, Shiro; Kawabata, Yuuki; Yamada, Hideaki

    2013-01-01

    Animals are assumed to obtain/conserve energy effectively to maximise their fitness, which manifests itself in a variety of behavioral strategies. For marine animals, however, these behavioral strategies are generally unknown due to the lack of high-resolution monitoring techniques in marine habitats. As large marine herbivores, immature green turtles do not need to allocate energy to reproduction but are at risk of shark predation, although it is a rare occurrence. They are therefore assumed to select/use feeding and resting sites that maximise their fitness in terms of somatic growth, while avoiding predation. We investigated fine-scale behavioral patterns (feeding, resting and other behaviors), microhabitat use and time spent on each behavior for eight immature green turtles using data loggers including: depth, global positioning system, head acceleration, speed and video sensors. Immature green turtles at Iriomote Island, Japan, spent an average of 4.8 h feeding on seagrass each day, with two peaks, between 5∶00 and 9∶00, and between 17∶00 and 20∶00. This feeding pattern appeared to be restricted by gut capacity, and thus maximised energy acquisition. Meanwhile, most of the remaining time was spent resting at locations close to feeding grounds, which allowed turtles to conserve energy spent travelling and reduced the duration of periods exposed to predation. These behavioral patterns and time allocations allow immature green turtles to effectively obtain/conserve energy for growth, thus maximising their fitness. PMID:23840367

  1. Impact of wild herbivorous mammals and birds on the altitudinal and northern treeline ecotones

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    Friedrich-Karl Holtmeier

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Wild herbivorous mammals may damage treeline vegetation an cause soil erosion at a local scale. In many high mountain areas of Europe and North America, large numbers of red deer have become a threat to the maintenance of high-elevation forests and attempts to restore the climatic treeline. In northern Fennoscandia, overgrazing by reindeer in combination with mass outbreaks of the autumnal moth are influencing treeline dynamics. Moose are also increasingly involved damaging treeline forest. In the Alps, the re-introduction of ibex is causing local damage to subalpine forests and tree establishment above the forest limit as well as aggravating soil erosion. High-elevation forests and treeline in Europe are susceptible to the deleterious impact of wild ungulate populations because of former extensive pastoral use. Rodents may damage tree seedlings and saplings by girdling, root cutting, bark stripping and burrowing. Hares damage young trees by gnawing. Large numbers of small rodents may occasionally impede tree regeneration by depleting the seed sources. Rodents do not contribute to forest expansion beyond the current treeline. Among birds, nutcrackers are highly effective in influencing tree distribution patterns and treeline dynamics. Without the nutcracker caching of stone pine seeds any upward advance of the trees in response to climatic warming would be impossible. Some bird species such as black grouse, willow grouse and ptarmigan can impair tree growth by feeding on buds, catkins and fresh terminal shoots.

  2. Phosphorus body content in an herbivorous fish in environments with different trophic state

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    Talita M. de Andrade Santos

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Animals are believed to be homeostatic by maintaining relatively constant body nutrient content independently of changes in diet. Phosphorus (P is one of the most important elements for fishes as Loricariids, which are covered with armor-like bony plates. These species are expected to maintain nutrient homeostasis, however, in environments with low P availability they can be P-limited. The hypothesis of this study is that P concentration in body composition of an herbivorous fish, Hypostomus jaguribensis, does not change in environments with different availability of this nutrient. We conducted this study in two locations of the Curu river basin in Brazil, which differed in their nutrient concentrations: one was ultraoligotrophic and the other mesotrophic, as determined by total phosphorous concentrations and chlorophyll a in the water. We found significant differences in the body P content of the fish from the two sites: Hypostomus jaguribensis from the ultraoligotrophic site showed higher body P content, higher body weight and condition factor. This suggests that the ultraoligotrophic site is a more favorable environment for this species. The body P content was higher in intermediate sizes (between 12 and 14 cm in the ultraoligotrophic site and between 11 and 13 cm in the mesotrophic site, which can be related to biological characteristics such as the need to accumulate nutrients at the beginning of the reproductive period. Our study did not find support for strict homeostasis in this high-P demand fish species.

  3. Network topology: patterns and mechanisms in plant-herbivore and host-parasitoid food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagnolo, Luciano; Salvo, Adriana; Valladares, Graciela

    2011-03-01

    1. Biological communities are organized in complex interaction networks such as food webs, which topology appears to be non-random. Gradients, compartments, nested subsets and even combinations of these structures have been shown in bipartite networks. However, in most studies only one pattern is tested against randomness and mechanistic hypotheses are generally lacking. 2. Here we examined the topology of regional, coexisting plant-herbivore and host-parasitoid food webs to discriminate between the mentioned network patterns. We also evaluated the role of species body size, local abundance, regional frequency and phylogeny as determinants of network topology. 3. We found both food webs to be compartmented, with interaction range boundaries imposed by host phylogeny. Species degree within compartments was mostly related to their regional frequency and local abundance. Only one compartment showed an internal nested structure in the distribution of interactions between species, but species position within this compartment was unrelated to species size or abundance. 4. These results suggest that compartmentalization may be more common than previously considered, and that network structure is a result of multiple, hierarchical, non-exclusive processes. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

  4. Augmenting Sulfur Metabolism and Herbivore Defense in Arabidopsis by Bacterial Volatile Signaling

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    Mina eAziz

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Sulfur is an element necessary for the life cycle of higher plants. Its assimilation and reduction into essential biomolecules are pivotal factors determining a plant’s growth and vigor as well as resistance to environmental stress. While certain soil microbes can enhance ion solubility via chelating agents or oxidation, microbial regulation of plant-sulfur assimilation has not been reported. With an increasing understanding that soil microbes can activate growth and stress tolerance in plants via chemical signaling, the question arises as to whether such beneficial bacteria also regulate sulfur assimilation. Here we report a previously unidentified mechanism by which the growth-promoting rhizobacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (GB03 transcriptionally activates genes responsible for sulfur assimilation, increasing sulfur uptake and accumulation in Arabidopsis. Transcripts encoding for sulfur-rich aliphatic and indolic glucosinolates are also GB03 induced. As a result, GB03-exposed plants with elevated glucosinolates exhibit greater protection against the generalist herbivore, Spodoptera exigua (beet armyworm. In contrast, a previously-characterized glucosinolate mutant compromised in the production of both aliphatic and indolic glucosinolates is also compromised in terms of GB03-induced protection against insect herbivory. As with in vitro studies, soil-grown plants show enhanced glucosinolate accumulation and protection against beet armyworm feeding with GB03 exposure. These results demonstrate the potential of microbes to enhance plant sulfur assimilation and emphasize the sophisticated integration of microbial signaling in plant defense.

  5. The systemin receptor SYR1 enhances resistance of tomato against herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Einig, Elias; Almeida-Trapp, Marilia; Albert, Markus; Fliegmann, Judith; Mithöfer, Axel; Kalbacher, Hubert; Felix, Georg

    2018-03-01

    The discovery in tomato of systemin, the first plant peptide hormone 1,2 , was a fundamental change for the concept of plant hormones. Numerous other peptides have since been shown to play regulatory roles in many aspects of the plant life, including growth, development, fertilization and interactions with symbiotic organisms 3-6 . Systemin, an 18 amino acid peptide derived from a larger precursor protein 7 , was proposed to act as the spreading signal that triggers systemic defence responses observed in plants after wounding or attack by herbivores 1,7,8 . Further work culminated in the identification of a leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase (LRR-RK) as the systemin receptor 160 (SR160) 9,10 . SR160 is a tomato homologue of Brassinosteroid Insensitive 1 (BRI1), which mediates the regulation of growth and development in response to the steroid hormone brassinolide 11-13 . However, a role of SR160/BRI1 as systemin receptor could not be corroborated by others 14-16 . Here, we demonstrate that perception of systemin depends on a pair of distinct LRR-RKs termed SYR1 and SYR2. SYR1 acts as a genuine systemin receptor that binds systemin with high affinity and specificity. Further, we show that presence of SYR1, although not decisive for local and systemic wound responses, is important for defence against insect herbivory.

  6. Ethogram of Immature Green Turtles: Behavioral Strategies for Somatic Growth in Large Marine Herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junichi Okuyama

    Full Text Available Animals are assumed to obtain/conserve energy effectively to maximise their fitness, which manifests itself in a variety of behavioral strategies. For marine animals, however, these behavioral strategies are generally unknown due to the lack of high-resolution monitoring techniques in marine habitats. As large marine herbivores, immature green turtles do not need to allocate energy to reproduction but are at risk of shark predation, although it is a rare occurrence. They are therefore assumed to select/use feeding and resting sites that maximise their fitness in terms of somatic growth, while avoiding predation. We investigated fine-scale behavioral patterns (feeding, resting and other behaviors, microhabitat use and time spent on each behavior for eight immature green turtles using data loggers including: depth, global positioning system, head acceleration, speed and video sensors. Immature green turtles at Iriomote Island, Japan, spent an average of 4.8 h feeding on seagrass each day, with two peaks, between 5∶00 and 9∶00, and between 17∶00 and 20∶00. This feeding pattern appeared to be restricted by gut capacity, and thus maximised energy acquisition. Meanwhile, most of the remaining time was spent resting at locations close to feeding grounds, which allowed turtles to conserve energy spent travelling and reduced the duration of periods exposed to predation. These behavioral patterns and time allocations allow immature green turtles to effectively obtain/conserve energy for growth, thus maximising their fitness.

  7. Overcompensation of herbivore reproduction through hyper-suppression of plant defenses in response to competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schimmel, Bernardus C J; Ataide, Livia M S; Chafi, Rachid; Villarroel, Carlos A; Alba, Juan M; Schuurink, Robert C; Kant, Merijn R

    2017-06-01

    Spider mites are destructive arthropod pests on many crops. The generalist herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae induces defenses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and this constrains its fitness. By contrast, the Solanaceae-specialist Tetranychus evansi maintains a high reproductive performance by suppressing tomato defenses. Tetranychus evansi outcompetes T. urticae when infesting the same plant, but it is unknown whether this is facilitated by the defenses of the plant. We assessed the extent to which a secondary infestation by a competitor affects local plant defense responses (phytohormones and defense genes), mite gene expression and mite performance. We observed that T. evansi switches to hyper-suppression of defenses after its tomato host is also invaded by its natural competitor T. urticae. Jasmonate (JA) and salicylate (SA) defenses were suppressed more strongly, albeit only locally at the feeding site of T. evansi, upon introduction of T. urticae to the infested leaflet. The hyper-suppression of defenses coincided with increased expression of T. evansi genes coding for salivary defense-suppressing effector proteins and was paralleled by an increased reproductive performance. Together, these observations suggest that T. evansi overcompensates its reproduction through hyper-suppression of plant defenses in response to nearby competitors. We hypothesize that the competitor-induced overcompensation promotes competitive population growth of T. evansi on tomato. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Drought and flooding have distinct effects on herbivore-induced responses and resistance in Solanum dulcamara.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Duy; D'Agostino, Nunzio; Tytgat, Tom O G; Sun, Pulu; Lortzing, Tobias; Visser, Eric J W; Cristescu, Simona M; Steppuhn, Anke; Mariani, Celestina; van Dam, Nicole M; Rieu, Ivo

    2016-07-01

    In the field, biotic and abiotic stresses frequently co-occur. As a consequence, common molecular signalling pathways governing adaptive responses to individual stresses can interact, resulting in compromised phenotypes. How plant signalling pathways interact under combined stresses is poorly understood. To assess this, we studied the consequence of drought and soil flooding on resistance of Solanum dulcamara to Spodoptera exigua and their effects on hormonal and transcriptomic profiles. The results showed that S. exigua larvae performed less well on drought-stressed plants than on well-watered and flooded plants. Both drought and insect feeding increased abscisic acid and jasmonic acid (JA) levels, whereas flooding did not induce JA accumulation. RNA sequencing analyses corroborated this pattern: drought and herbivory induced many biological processes that were repressed by flooding. When applied in combination, drought and herbivory had an additive effect on specific processes involved in secondary metabolism and defence responses, including protease inhibitor activity. In conclusion, drought and flooding have distinct effects on herbivore-induced responses and resistance. Especially, the interaction between abscisic acid and JA signalling may be important to optimize plant responses to combined drought and insect herbivory, making drought-stressed plants more resistant to insects than well-watered and flooded plants. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Temporal Uncoupling between Energy Acquisition and Allocation to Reproduction in a Herbivorous-Detritivorous Fish.

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    Francisco Villamarín

    Full Text Available Although considerable knowledge has been gathered regarding the role of fish in cycling and translocation of nutrients across ecosystem boundaries, little information is available on how the energy obtained from different ecosystems is temporally allocated in fish bodies. Although in theory, limitations on energy budgets promote the existence of a trade-off between energy allocated to reproduction and somatic growth, this trade-off has rarely been found under natural conditions. Combining information on RNA:DNA ratios and carbon and nitrogen stable-isotope analyses we were able to achieve novel insights into the reproductive allocation of diamond mullet (Liza alata, a catadromous, widely distributed herbivorous-detritivorous fish. Although diamond mullet were in better condition during the wet season, most reproductive allocation occurred during the dry season when resources are limited and fish have poorer body condition. We found a strong trade-off between reproductive and somatic investment. Values of δ13C from reproductive and somatic tissues were correlated, probably because δ13C in food resources between dry and wet seasons do not differ markedly. On the other hand, data for δ15N showed that gonads are more correlated to muscle, a slow turnover tissue, suggesting long term synthesis of reproductive tissues. In combination, these lines of evidence suggest that L. alata is a capital breeder which shows temporal uncoupling of resource ingestion, energy storage and later allocation to reproduction.

  10. Plant-to-plant communication triggered by systemin primes anti-herbivore resistance in tomato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppola, Mariangela; Cascone, Pasquale; Madonna, Valentina; Di Lelio, Ilaria; Esposito, Francesco; Avitabile, Concetta; Romanelli, Alessandra; Guerrieri, Emilio; Vitiello, Alessia; Pennacchio, Francesco; Rao, Rosa; Corrado, Giandomenico

    2017-11-14

    Plants actively respond to herbivory by inducing various defense mechanisms in both damaged (locally) and non-damaged tissues (systemically). In addition, it is currently widely accepted that plant-to-plant communication allows specific neighbors to be warned of likely incoming stress (defense priming). Systemin is a plant peptide hormone promoting the systemic response to herbivory in tomato. This 18-aa peptide is also able to induce the release of bioactive Volatile Organic Compounds, thus also promoting the interaction between the tomato and the third trophic level (e.g. predators and parasitoids of insect pests). In this work, using a combination of gene expression (RNA-Seq and qRT-PCR), behavioral and chemical approaches, we demonstrate that systemin triggers metabolic changes of the plant that are capable of inducing a primed state in neighboring unchallenged plants. At the molecular level, the primed state is mainly associated with an elevated transcription of pattern -recognition receptors, signaling enzymes and transcription factors. Compared to naïve plants, systemin-primed plants were significantly more resistant to herbivorous pests, more attractive to parasitoids and showed an increased response to wounding. Small peptides are nowadays considered fundamental signaling molecules in many plant processes and this work extends the range of downstream effects of this class of molecules to intraspecific plant-to-plant communication.

  11. The greenscape shapes surfing of resource waves in a large migratory herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikens, Ellen O; Kauffman, Matthew J; Merkle, Jerod A; Dwinnell, Samantha P H; Fralick, Gary L; Monteith, Kevin L

    2017-06-01

    The Green Wave Hypothesis posits that herbivore migration manifests in response to waves of spring green-up (i.e. green-wave surfing). Nonetheless, empirical support for the Green Wave Hypothesis is mixed, and a framework for understanding variation in surfing is lacking. In a population of migratory mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), 31% surfed plant phenology in spring as well as a theoretically perfect surfer, and 98% surfed better than random. Green-wave surfing varied among individuals and was unrelated to age or energetic state. Instead, the greenscape, which we define as the order, rate and duration of green-up along migratory routes, was the primary factor influencing surfing. Our results indicate that migratory routes are more than a link between seasonal ranges, and they provide an important, but often overlooked, foraging habitat. In addition, the spatiotemporal configuration of forage resources that propagate along migratory routes shape animal movement and presumably, energy gains during migration. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Preference of the herbivorous marine teleost Siganus canaliculatus for different macroalgae

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Cuihong; Zeng, Fangui; Wang, Shuqi; Li, Yuanyou

    2014-06-01

    The decomposition of a large amount of unexploited macroalgal resource along the coast of China often results in heavy environmental pollution. In order to pave a way of using macroalgae as the dietary ingredient of rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus, one of a few farmed herbivorous marine teleosts in China, its preference (feeding selectivity) for different macroalgae was determined in this study. Seven seaweed species abundantly inhabiting the coast of east Guangdong Province were exposed simultaneously to rabbitfish juveniles in laboratory (multiple-choice feeding) with their content and absolute intake assayed. It was found that the most preferred algae were Ulva prolifera, Gracilaria lemaneiformis and Chaetomorpha linum, less preferred algae were U. pertusa and Porphyra haitanensis, and least preferred ones were Sargassum fusiforme and Corallina sessilis. Such an order did not change when one to four relatively preferred seaweeds were removed. The preferred seaweeds were richer in protein and soluble sugar thus higher in energy than the least preferred. In addition, this fish was found to favor filamentous and flat algae rather than calcified ones. Accordingly, the richness of nutrients and morphological characteristics determined the preference of S. canaliculatus for tested macroalgae.

  13. Host plant invests in growth rather than chemical defense when attacked by a specialist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arab, Alberto; Trigo, José Roberto

    2011-05-01

    Plant defensive compounds may be a cost rather than a benefit when plants are attacked by specialist insects that may overcome chemical barriers by strategies such as sequestering plant compounds. Plants may respond to specialist herbivores by compensatory growth rather than chemical defense. To explore the use of defensive chemistry vs. compensatory growth we studied Brugmansia suaveolens (Solanaceae) and the specialist larvae of the ithomiine butterfly Placidina euryanassa, which sequester defensive tropane alkaloids (TAs) from this host plant. We investigated whether the concentration of TAs in B. suaveolens was changed by P. euryanassa damage, and whether plants invest in growth, when damaged by the specialist. Larvae feeding during 24 hr significantly decreased TAs in damaged plants, but they returned to control levels after 15 days without damage. Damaged and undamaged plants did not differ significantly in leaf area after 15 days, indicating compensatory growth. Our results suggest that B. suaveolens responds to herbivory by the specialist P. euryanassa by investing in growth rather than chemical defense.

  14. Effect of Drought on Herbivore-Induced Plant Gene Expression: Population Comparison for Range Limit Inferences

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    Gunbharpur Singh Gill

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Low elevation “trailing edge” range margin populations typically face increases in both abiotic and biotic stressors that may contribute to range limit development. We hypothesize that selection may act on ABA and JA signaling pathways for more stable expression needed for range expansion, but that antagonistic crosstalk prevents their simultaneous co-option. To test this hypothesis, we compared high and low elevation populations of Boechera stricta that have diverged with respect to constitutive levels of glucosinolate defenses and root:shoot ratios; neither population has high levels of both traits. If constraints imposed by antagonistic signaling underlie this divergence, one would predict that high constitutive levels of traits would coincide with lower plasticity. To test this prediction, we compared the genetically diverged populations in a double challenge drought-herbivory growth chamber experiment. Although a glucosinolate defense response to the generalist insect herbivore Spodoptera exigua was attenuated under drought conditions, the plastic defense response did not differ significantly between populations. Similarly, although several potential drought tolerance traits were measured, only stomatal aperture behavior, as measured by carbon isotope ratios, was less plastic as predicted in the high elevation population. However, RNAseq results on a small subset of plants indicated differential expression of relevant genes between populations as predicted. We suggest that the ambiguity in our results stems from a weaker link between the pathways and the functional traits compared to transcripts.

  15. Role of sensorial perceptions in feed selection and intake by domestic herbivores

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    Giovanni Molle

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensorial perceptions play an important role in feed selection and intake by herbivores. Much research has been carried out to study the sensorial perceptions evoked by forages and their effects on intake and feed selection. Certain specific compounds are clearly able to evoke positive or negative sensorial perceptions when forages are eaten. This might lead to the development of plant extracts and aromas that might be used to improve the intake of unpalatable feeds. In the case of concentrates, the little research available seems to support an important role of the interaction between sensorial perceptions and post-ingestive effects when simple unmixed concentrates are supplied. It is not clear to what extent these effects are important when compound concentrates are offered. Despite these advances, it appears that most of the research carried out so far has been exploratory and observational. More research is needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying feed palatability before it can be included in intake prediction models.

  16. A first report of hydroxylated apatite as structural biomineral in Loasaceae - plants’ teeth against herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ensikat, Hans-Jürgen; Geisler, Thorsten; Weigend, Maximilian

    2016-05-01

    Biomineralization provides living organisms with various materials for the formation of resilient structures. Calcium phosphate is the main component of teeth and bones in vertebrates, whereas especially silica serves for the protection against herbivores on many plant surfaces. Functional calcium phosphate structures are well-known from the animal kingdom, but had not so far been reported from higher plants. Here, we document the occurrence of calcium phosphate biomineralization in the South-American plant group Loasaceae (rock nettle family), which have stinging trichomes similar to those of the well-known stinging nettles (Urtica). Stinging hairs and the smaller, glochidiate trichomes contained nanocrystalline hydroxylated apatite, especially in their distal portions, replacing the silica found in analogous structures of other flowering plants. This could be demonstrated by chemical, spectroscopic, and diffraction analyses. Some species of Loasaceae contained both calcium phosphate and silica in addition to calcium carbonate. The intriguing discovery of structural hydroxylated apatite in plants invites further studies, e.g., on its systematic distribution across the family, the genetic and cellular control of plant biomineralization, the properties and ultrastructure of calcium phosphate. It may prove the starting point for the development of biomimetic calcium phosphate composites based on a cellulose matrix.

  17. Availability and temporal heterogeneity of water supply affect the vertical distribution and mortality of a belowground herbivore and consequently plant growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsunoda, Tomonori; Kachi, Naoki; Suzuki, Jun-Ichirou

    2014-01-01

    We examined how the volume and temporal heterogeneity of water supply changed the vertical distribution and mortality of a belowground herbivore, and consequently affected plant biomass. Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae) seedlings were grown at one per pot under different combinations of water volume (large or small volume) and heterogeneity (homogeneous water conditions, watered every day; heterogeneous conditions, watered every 4 days) in the presence or absence of a larva of the belowground herbivorous insect, Anomala cuprea (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The larva was confined in different vertical distributions to top feeding zone (top treatment), middle feeding zone (middle treatment), or bottom feeding zone (bottom treatment); alternatively no larva was introduced (control treatment) or larval movement was not confined (free treatment). Three-way interaction between water volume, heterogeneity, and the herbivore significantly affected plant biomass. With a large water volume, plant biomass was lower in free treatment than in control treatment regardless of heterogeneity. Plant biomass in free treatment was as low as in top treatment. With a small water volume and in free treatment, plant biomass was low (similar to that under top treatment) under homogeneous water conditions but high under heterogeneous ones (similar to that under middle or bottom treatment). Therefore, there was little effect of belowground herbivory on plant growth under heterogeneous water conditions. In other watering regimes, herbivores would be distributed in the shallow soil and reduced root biomass. Herbivore mortality was high with homogeneous application of a large volume or heterogeneous application of a small water volume. Under the large water volume, plant biomass was high in pots in which the herbivore had died. Thus, the combinations of water volume and heterogeneity affected plant growth via the change of a belowground herbivore.

  18. Modeling the long-term effects of introduced herbivores on the spread of an invasive tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bo; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Rayamajhi, Min B.; Botkin, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    ContextMelaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake (hereafter melaleuca) is an invasive tree from Australia that has spread over the freshwater ecosystems of southern Florida, displacing native vegetation, thus threatening native biodiversity. Suppression of melaleuca appears to be progressing through the introduction of insect species, the weevil, Oxiops vitiosa, and the psyllid, Boreioglycaspis melaleucae.ObjectiveTo improve understanding of the possible effects of herbivory on the landscape dynamics of melaleuca in native southern Florida plant communities.MethodsWe projected likely future changes in plant communities using the individual based modeling platform, JABOWA-II, by simulating successional processes occurring in two types of southern Florida habitat, cypress swamp and bay swamp, occupied by native species and melaleuca, with the impact of insect herbivores.ResultsComputer simulations show melaleuca invasion leads to decreases in density and basal area of native species, but herbivory would effectively control melaleuca to low levels, resulting in a recovery of native species. When herbivory was modeled on pure melaleuca stands, it was more effective in stands with initially larger-sized melaleuca. Although the simulated herbivory did not eliminate melaleuca, it decreased its presence dramatically in all cases, supporting the long-term effectiveness of herbivory in controlling melaleuca invasion.ConclusionsThe results provide three conclusions relevant to management: (1) The introduction of insect herbivory that has been applied to melaleuca appears sufficient to suppress melaleuca over the long term, (2) dominant native species may recover in about 50 years, and (3) regrowth of native species will further suppress melaleuca through competition.

  19. Insect herbivore feeding and their excretion contribute to volatile organic compounds emission to the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebelo, S.; Gnavi, G.; Bertea, C.; Bossi, S.; Andrea, O.; Cordero, C.; Rubiolo, P.; Bicchi, C.; Maffei, M.

    2011-12-01

    Secondary plant metabolites play an important role in insect plant interactions. The Lamiaceae family, especially Mentha species, accumulate secondary plant metabolites in their glandular trichomes, mainly mono and sesquiterpenes. Here we show that mint plants respond to herbivory by changing the quality and quantity of leaf secondary plant metabolite components. The volatiles from herbivore damaged, mechanical damage and healthy plant were collected by HS-SPME and analyzed by GC-MS. Plants with the same treatment were kept for genomic analysis. Total RNA was extracted from the above specified treatments. The terpenoid quantitative gene expressions (qPCR) were then assayed. Upon herbivory, M. aquatica synthesizes and emits (+)-menthofuran and the other major monoterpene (+)-pulegone emitted by healthy and mechanically damaged plants. Herbivory was found to up-regulate the expression of genes involved in terpenoid biosynthesis. The increased emission of (+)-menthofuran was correlated with the upregulation of (+)-menthofuran synthase. In addition we analysed the VOC composition of C. herbacea frass from insects feeding on Mentha aquatica. VOCs were sampled by HS-SPME and analyzed by GCxGC-qMS, and the results compared through quantitative comparative analysis of 2D chromatographic data. Most terpenoids from M. aquatica were completely catabolized by C. herbacea and were absent in the frass volatile fraction. On the other hand, the monoterpene 1,8-cineole was oxidized and frass yielded several new hydroxy-1,8-cineoles, among which 2α-OH-, 3α-OH-, 3β-OH- and 9-OH-1,8-cineole. The role of VOC emitted during herbivory and frass excretion on secondary organic aerosol formation is discussed.

  20. Diet selection and seasonal dietary switch of a large sexually dimorphic herbivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Graeme; Mackey, Robin L.; Slotow, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Although diet selection and the physiological adaptations of grazers and browsers have been widely studied, much less is known about mixed-feeders that target both grass and woody species. The ability to switch diet allows the individual to respond to spatial and temporal changes in forage abundance and quality, providing a key mechanism for large herbivores to exploit heterogeneous environments. We compare diet selection and timing of the seasonal dietary switch for a large-bodied, sexually dimorphic mixed-feeder, the African elephant. The study was carried out on a small population of elephants (n = 48) in the Pongola Game Reserve (PGR), South Africa. Sex-specific dietary composition evaluated from feeding behaviour correlated with composition in dung samples from individuals of known sex. Grass was strongly preferred during the wet season and browse in the winter dry season. However, adult male elephants switched from browse to grass earlier, and consumed a greater overall proportion of grass in their diet, compared with adult females and their associated family groups. Male elephants also spent more time in grassland habitats, and expanded their ranges to a greater extent than females following the end of the dry season. Our results suggest that smaller adult body size, high nutritional demands of offspring, and the constraints of sociality have contributed to female elephants in PGR resolving their diet selection strategies to target higher quality foraging opportunities, whilst males appear to be adopting a rate maximizing approach. The behavioural differences between the sexes are pronounced, which has implications for elephant management approaches that are typically focussed at the population level.

  1. Herbivorous snails can increase water clarity by stimulating growth of benthic algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiufeng; Taylor, William D; Rudstam, Lars G

    2017-11-01

    Eutrophication in shallow lakes is characterized by a switch from benthic to pelagic dominance of primary productivity that leads to turbid water, while benthification is characterized by a shift in primary production from the pelagic zone to the benthos associated with clear water. A 12-week mesocosm experiment tested the hypothesis that the herbivorous snail Bellamya aeruginosa stimulates the growth of pelagic algae through grazing on benthic algae and through accelerating nutrient release from sediment. A tube-microcosm experiment using 32 P-PO 4 as a tracer tested the effects of the snails on the release of sediment phosphorus (P). The mesocosm experiment recorded greater total nitrogen (TN) concentrations and a higher ratio of TN:TP in the overlying water, and a higher light intensity and biomass of benthic algae as measured by chlorophyll a (Chl a) in the snail treatment than in the control. Concentrations of total phosphorus (TP), total suspended solids (TSSs), and inorganic suspended solids (ISSs) in the overlying water were lower in the snail treatment than in the control, though no significant difference in Chl a of pelagic algae between the snail treatment and control was observed. In the microcosm experiment, 32 P activity in the overlying water was higher in the snail treatment than in the control, indicating that snails accelerated P release from the sediment. Our interpretation of these results is that snails enhanced growth of benthic algae and thereby improved water clarity despite grazing on the benthic algae and enhancing P release from the sediment. The rehabilitation of native snail populations may therefore enhance the recovery of eutrophic shallow lakes to a clear water state by stimulating growth of benthic algae.

  2. The European Hare (Lepus europaeus: A Picky Herbivore Searching for Plant Parts Rich in Fat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie C Schai-Braun

    Full Text Available European hares of both sexes rely on fat reserves, particularly during the reproduc-tive season. Therefore, hares should select dietary plants rich in fat and energy. However, hares also require essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA such as linoleic acid (LA and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA to reproduce and survive. Although hares are able to absorb PUFA selectively in their gastrointestinal tract, it is unknown whether this mechanism is sufficient to guarantee PUFA supply. Thus, diet selection may involve a trade-off between a preference for energy versus a preference for crucial nutrients, namely PUFA. We compared plant and nutrient availability and use by hares in an arable landscape in Austria over three years. We found that European hares selected their diet for high energy content (crude fat and crude protein, and avoided crude fibre. There was no evidence of a preference for plants rich in LA and ALA. We conclude that fat is the limiting resource for this herbivorous mammal, whereas levels of LA and ALA in forage are sufficiently high to meet daily requirements, especially since their uptake is enhanced by physiological mechanisms. Animals selected several plant taxa all year round, and preferences did not simply correlate with crude fat content. Hence, European hares might not only select for plant taxa rich in fat, but also for high-fat parts of preferred plant taxa. As hares preferred weeds/grasses and various crop types while avoiding cereals, we suggest that promoting heterogeneous habitats with high crop diversity and set-asides may help stop the decline of European hares throughout Europe.

  3. The genetic basis of constitutive and herbivore-induced ESP-independent nitrile formation in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burow, Meike; Losansky, Anja; Müller, René; Plock, Antje; Kliebenstein, Daniel J; Wittstock, Ute

    2009-01-01

    Glucosinolates are a group of thioglucosides that are components of an activated chemical defense found in the Brassicales. Plant tissue damage results in hydrolysis of glucosinolates by endogenous thioglucosidases known as myrosinases. Spontaneous rearrangement of the aglucone yields reactive isothiocyanates that are toxic to many organisms. In the presence of specifier proteins, alternative products, namely epithionitriles, simple nitriles, and thiocyanates with different biological activities, are formed at the expense of isothiocyanates. Recently, simple nitriles were recognized to serve distinct functions in plant-insect interactions. Here, we show that simple nitrile formation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ecotype Columbia-0 rosette leaves increases in response to herbivory and that this increase is independent of the known epithiospecifier protein (ESP). We combined phylogenetic analysis, a screen of Arabidopsis mutants, recombinant protein characterization, and expression quantitative trait locus mapping to identify a gene encoding a nitrile-specifier protein (NSP) responsible for constitutive and herbivore-induced simple nitrile formation in Columbia-0 rosette leaves. AtNSP1 is one of five Arabidopsis ESP homologues that promote simple nitrile, but not epithionitrile or thiocyanate, formation. Four of these homologues possess one or two lectin-like jacalin domains, which share a common ancestry with the jacalin domains of the putative Arabidopsis myrosinase-binding proteins MBP1 and MBP2. A sixth ESP homologue lacked specifier activity and likely represents the ancestor of the gene family with a different biochemical function. By illuminating the genetic and biochemical bases of simple nitrile formation, our study provides new insights into the evolution of metabolic diversity in a complex plant defense system.

  4. Gamma irradiation on canola seeds affects herbivore-plant and host-parasitoid interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akandeh, M.; Kocheili, F.; Rasekh, A.; Soufbaf, M.

    2017-01-01

    As an agricultural modernization, gamma irradiation is an important method for enhancing crop yield and quality. Nevertheless, its use can alter other plant traits such as nutrition and resistance to different biotic/abiotic stresses that consequently affect plant-insect interactions. A tritrophic system was utilized based on two canola mutant lines produced through gamma irradiation (RGS 8-1 and Talaye 8-3). Plutella xylostella (L.), as a worldwide pest of Brassicaceae and Cotesia vestalis (Holiday) as a key biocontrol agent of P. xylostella were examined for the potential indirect effects of canola seed irradiation on the experimental insects' performance when acting on the respective mutant lines. This study showed that physical mutation did not affect plant nitrogen and herbivore-damaged total phenolics; however, phenolic compounds showed greater concentration in damaged leaves than undamaged leaves of both mutant and control plants. The relative growth rate and pupal weight of P. xylostella reared on RGS 8-1 were significantly higher than those reared on the control RGS. There was no significant difference by performance parameters of the parasitoid, C. vestalis, including total pre-oviposition period, adult longevity, adult fresh body weight of males and females, pupal weight, forewing area, and total longevity of both sexes on tested canola cultivars in comparison with their mutant lines. Life table parameters of C. vestalis on mutant lines of both cultivars, RGS and Talaye, were not significantly different from their control treatments. Comprehensive studies should be conducted to find out the mechanisms under which gamma rays affect plant-insect interactions. (author)

  5. The effects of urban warming on herbivore abundance and street tree condition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam G Dale

    Full Text Available Trees are essential to urban habitats because they provide services that benefit the environment and improve human health. Unfortunately, urban trees often have more herbivorous insect pests than rural trees but the mechanisms and consequences of these infestations are not well documented. Here, we examine how temperature affects the abundance of a scale insect, Melanaspis tenebricosa (Comstock (Hemiptera: Diaspididae, on one of the most commonly planted street trees in the eastern U.S. Next, we examine how both pest abundance and temperature are associated with water stress, growth, and condition of 26 urban street trees. Although trees in the warmest urban sites grew the most, they were more water stressed and in worse condition than trees in cooler sites. Our analyses indicate that visible declines in tree condition were best explained by scale-insect infestation rather than temperature. To test the broader relevance of these results, we extend our analysis to a database of more than 2700 Raleigh, US street trees. Plotting these trees on a Landsat thermal image of Raleigh, we found that warmer sites had over 70% more trees in poor condition than those in cooler sites. Our results support previous studies linking warmer urban habitats to greater pest abundance and extend this association to show its effect on street tree condition. Our results suggest that street tree condition and ecosystem services may decline as urban expansion and global warming exacerbate the urban heat island effect. Although our non-probability sampling method limits our scope of inference, our results present a gloomy outlook for urban forests and emphasize the need for management tools. Existing urban tree inventories and thermal maps could be used to identify species that would be most suitable for urban conditions.

  6. Diet Switching by Mammalian Herbivores in Response to Exotic Grass Invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Bremm

    Full Text Available Invasion by exotic grasses is a severe threat to the integrity of grassland ecosystems all over the world. Because grasslands are typically grazed by livestock and wildlife, the invasion is a community process modulated by herbivory. We hypothesized that the invasion of native South American grasslands by Eragrostis plana Nees, an exotic tussock-forming grass from Africa, could be deterred by grazing if grazers switched dietary preferences and included the invasive grass as a large proportion of their diets. Bos taurus (heifers and Ovis aries (ewes grazed plots with varying degrees of invasion by E. plana in a replicated manipulative experiment. Animal positions and species grazed were observed every minute in 45-min grazing session. Proportion of bites and steps in and out of E. plana tussocks were measured and used to calculate several indices of selectivity. Both heifers and ewes exhibited increasing probability of grazing E. plana as the proportion of area covered by tussocks increased, but they behaved differently. In agreement with expectations based on the allometry of dietary preferences and morphology, ewes consumed a low proportion of E. plana, except in areas that had more than 90% E. plana cover. Heifers consumed proportionally more E. plana than ewes. Contrary to our hypothesis, herbivores did not exhibit dietary switching towards the invasive grass. Moreover, they exhibited avoidance of the invasive grass and preference for short-statured native species, both of which should tend to enhance invasion. Unless invasive plants are highly palatable to livestock, the effect of grazing to deter the invasion is limited, due to the inherent avoidance of the invasive grass by the main grazers in the ecosystem, particularly sheep.

  7. The Nutritional Balancing Act of a Large Herbivore: An Experiment with Captive Moose (Alces alces L).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Annika M; Felton, Adam; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J; Krizsan, Sophie J; Hedwall, Per-Ola; Stolter, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    The nutrient balancing hypothesis proposes that, when sufficient food is available, the primary goal of animal diet selection is to obtain a nutritionally balanced diet. This hypothesis can be tested using the Geometric Framework for nutrition (GF). The GF enables researchers to study patterns of nutrient intake (e.g. macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates, fat), interactions between the different nutrients, and how an animal resolves the potential conflict between over-eating one or more nutrients and under-eating others during periods of dietary imbalance. Using the moose (Alces alces L.), a model species in the development of herbivore foraging theory, we conducted a feeding experiment guided by the GF, combining continuous observations of six captive moose with analysis of the macronutritional composition of foods. We identified the moose's self-selected macronutrient target by allowing them to compose a diet by mixing two nutritionally complementary pellet types plus limited access to Salix browse. Such periods of free choice were intermixed with periods when they were restricted to one of the two pellet types plus Salix browse. Our observations of food intake by moose given free choice lend support to the nutrient balancing hypothesis, as the moose combined the foods in specific proportions that provided a particular ratio and amount of macronutrients. When restricted to either of two diets comprising a single pellet type, the moose i) maintained a relatively stable intake of non-protein energy while allowing protein intakes to vary with food composition, and ii) increased their intake of the food item that most closely resembled the self-selected macronutrient intake from the free choice periods, namely Salix browse. We place our results in the context of the nutritional strategy of the moose, ruminant physiology and the categorization of food quality.

  8. Ocean acidification induces changes in algal palatability and herbivore feeding behavior and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Cristian; López, Jorge; Benítez, Samanta; Manríquez, Patricio H; Navarro, Jorge M; Bonta, Cesar C; Torres, Rodrigo; Quijón, Pedro

    2016-02-01

    The effects of global stressors on a species may be mediated by the stressors' impact on coexisting taxa. For instance, herbivore-algae interactions may change due to alterations in algal nutritional quality resulting from high CO2 levels associated with ocean acidification (OA). We approached this issue by assessing the indirect effects of OA on the trophic interactions between the amphipod Orchestoidea tuberculata and the brown alga Durvillaea antarctica, two prominent species of the South-east Pacific coast. We predicted that amphipod feeding behavior and performance (growth rate) will be affected by changes in the palatability of the algae exposed to high levels (1000 ppm) of CO2. We exposed algae to current and predicted (OA) atmospheric CO2 levels and then measured their nutritive quality and amphipod preference in choice trials. We also assessed consumption rates separately in no-choice trials, and measured amphipod absorption efficiency and growth rates. Protein and organic contents of the algae decreased in acidified conditions and amphipods showed low preference for these algae. However, in the no-choice trials we recorded higher grazing rates on algae exposed to OA. Although amphipod absorption efficiency was lower on these algae, growth rates did not differ between treatments, which suggests the occurrence of compensatory feeding. Our results suggest that changes in algal nutritional value in response to OA induce changes in algal palatability and these in turn affect consumers' food preference and performance. Indirect effects of global stressors like OA can be equally or more important than the direct effects predicted in the literature.

  9. Individual specialization to non-optimal hosts in a polyphagous marine invertebrate herbivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finn A Baumgartner

    Full Text Available Factors determining the degree of dietary generalism versus specialism are central in ecology. Species that are generalists at the population level may in fact be composed of specialized individuals. The optimal diet theory assumes that individuals choose diets that maximize fitness, and individual specialization may occur if individuals' ability to locate, recognize, and handle different food types differ. We investigate if individuals of the marine herbivorous slug Elysia viridis, which co-occur at different densities on several green macroalgal species in the field, are specialized to different algal hosts. Individual slugs were collected from three original algal host species (Cladophora sericea, Cladophora rupestris and Codium fragile in the field, and short-term habitat choice and consumption, as well as long-term growth (proxy for fitness, on four algal diet species (the original algal host species and Chaetomorpha melagonium were studied in laboratory experiments. Nutritional (protein, nitrogen, and carbon content and morphological (dry weight, and cell/utricle volume algal traits were also measured to investigate if they correlated with the growth value of the different algal diets. E. viridis individuals tended to choose and consume algal species that were similar to their original algal host. Long-term growth of E. viridis, however, was mostly independent of original algal host, as all individuals reached a larger size on the non-host C. melagonium. E. viridis growth was positively correlated to algal cell/utricle volume but not to any of the other measured algal traits. Because E. viridis feeds by piercing individual algal cells, the results indicate that slugs may receive more cytoplasm, and thus more energy per unit time, on algal species with large cells/utricles. We conclude that E. viridis individuals are specialized on different hosts, but host choice in natural E. viridis populations is not determined by the energetic value of

  10. Gamma irradiation on canola seeds affects herbivore-plant and host-parasitoid interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akandeh, M.; Kocheili, F.; Rasekh, A. [Dept. of Entomology, Shahid Chamran Univ of Ahvaz (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Soufbaf, M., E-mail: msoufbaf@nrcam.org [Agricultural, Medical and Industrial Research School, Karaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2017-06-15

    As an agricultural modernization, gamma irradiation is an important method for enhancing crop yield and quality. Nevertheless, its use can alter other plant traits such as nutrition and resistance to different biotic/abiotic stresses that consequently affect plant-insect interactions. A tritrophic system was utilized based on two canola mutant lines produced through gamma irradiation (RGS 8-1 and Talaye 8-3). Plutella xylostella (L.), as a worldwide pest of Brassicaceae and Cotesia vestalis (Holiday) as a key biocontrol agent of P. xylostella were examined for the potential indirect effects of canola seed irradiation on the experimental insects' performance when acting on the respective mutant lines. This study showed that physical mutation did not affect plant nitrogen and herbivore-damaged total phenolics; however, phenolic compounds showed greater concentration in damaged leaves than undamaged leaves of both mutant and control plants. The relative growth rate and pupal weight of P. xylostella reared on RGS 8-1 were significantly higher than those reared on the control RGS. There was no significant difference by performance parameters of the parasitoid, C. vestalis, including total pre-oviposition period, adult longevity, adult fresh body weight of males and females, pupal weight, forewing area, and total longevity of both sexes on tested canola cultivars in comparison with their mutant lines. Life table parameters of C. vestalis on mutant lines of both cultivars, RGS and Talaye, were not significantly different from their control treatments. Comprehensive studies should be conducted to find out the mechanisms under which gamma rays affect plant-insect interactions. (author)

  11. Testing for reproductive interference in the population dynamics of two congeneric species of herbivorous mites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Y; Alba, J M; Sabelis, M W

    2014-01-01

    When phylogenetically close, two competing species may reproductively interfere, and thereby affect their population dynamics. We tested for reproductive interference (RI) between two congeneric haplo-diploid spider mites, Tetranychus evansi and Tetranychus urticae, by investigating their interspecific mating and their population dynamics when they competed on the same plants. They are both pests of tomato, but differ in the host plant defences that they suppress or induce. To reduce the effect of plant-mediated interaction, we used a mutant tomato plant lacking jasmonate-mediated anti-herbivore defences in the competition experiment. In addition, to manipulate the effect of RI, we introduced founder females already mated with conspecific males in mild RI treatments or founder, virgin females in strong RI treatments (in either case together with heterospecific and conspecific males). As females show first-male sperm precedence, RI should occur especially in the founder generation under strong RI treatments. We found that T. urticae outcompeted T. evansi in mild, but not in strong RI treatments. Thus, T. evansi interfered reproductively with T. urticae. This result was supported by crossing experiments showing frequent interspecific copulations, strong postmating reproductive isolation and a preference of T. evansi males to mate with T. urticae (instead of conspecific) females, whereas T. urticae males preferred conspecific females. We conclude that interspecific mating comes at a cost due to asymmetric mate preferences of males. Because RI by T. evansi can improve its competitiveness to T. urticae, we propose that RI partly explains why T. evansi became invasive in Europe where T. urticae is endemic. PMID:24865602

  12. Do cities simulate climate change? A comparison of herbivore response to urban and global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Dale, Adam G; Terando, Adam J; Dunn, Robert R; Frank, Steven D

    2015-01-01

    Cities experience elevated temperature, CO2 , and nitrogen deposition decades ahead of the global average, such that biological response to urbanization may predict response to future climate change. This hypothesis remains untested due to a lack of complementary urban and long-term observations. Here, we examine the response of an herbivore, the scale insect Melanaspis tenebricosa, to temperature in the context of an urban heat island, a series of historical temperature fluctuations, and recent climate warming. We survey M. tenebricosa on 55 urban street trees in Raleigh, NC, 342 herbarium specimens collected in the rural southeastern United States from 1895 to 2011, and at 20 rural forest sites represented by both modern (2013) and historical samples. We relate scale insect abundance to August temperatures and find that M. tenebricosa is most common in the hottest parts of the city, on historical specimens collected during warm time periods, and in present-day rural forests compared to the same sites when they were cooler. Scale insects reached their highest densities in the city, but abundance peaked at similar temperatures in urban and historical datasets and tracked temperature on a decadal scale. Although urban habitats are highly modified, species response to a key abiotic factor, temperature, was consistent across urban and rural-forest ecosystems. Cities may be an appropriate but underused system for developing and testing hypotheses about biological effects of climate change. Future work should test the applicability of this model to other groups of organisms. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  13. Earthworms, Collembola and residue management change wheat (Triticum aestivum) and herbivore pest performance (Aphidina: Rhophalosiphum padi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Xin; Scheu, Stefan

    2008-10-01

    Management practices of arable systems determine the distribution of soil organic matter thereby changing decomposer animal activity and their impact on nutrient mineralization, plant growth and plant-herbivore interactions. Decomposer-mediated changes in plant growth and insect pest performance were investigated in wheat-aphid model systems in the greenhouse. Three types of litter distribution were established: litter patch at the soil surface (simulating mulching), litter patch deeper in soil (simulating ploughing) and litter homogeneously mixed into soil (simulating disk cultivation). The litter was labelled with (15)N to follow the mineralization and uptake of nutrients by the plants. Earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa) and Collembola (Protaphorura armata) were included as representatives of major functional groups of decomposers. Wheat (Triticum aestivum) was planted and aphids (Rhophalosiphum padi) were introduced to leaves as one of the most important pests. Earthworms, Collembola and litter distribution affected plant growth, N acquisition and aphid development in an interactive way. Earthworms and Collembola increased biomass of seeds, shoots and roots of wheat. Increased plant growth by earthworms and Collembola was mainly due to increased transfer of N from soil (rather than litter) into plants. Despite increasing plant growth, earthworms reduced aphid reproduction. Aphid reproduction was not correlated closely with plant N concentrations, but rather with the concentration of litter N in wheat. Unexpectedly, both Collembola and earthworms predominantly affected the mobilization of N from soil organic matter, and by altering the distribution of litter earthworms reduced infestation of crops by aphids via reducing plant capture of litter N, in particular if the litter was concentrated deeper in soil. The results suggest that management practices stimulating a continuous moderate increase in nutrient mobilization from soil organic matter rather than

  14. The Nutritional Balancing Act of a Large Herbivore: An Experiment with Captive Moose (Alces alces L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika M Felton

    Full Text Available The nutrient balancing hypothesis proposes that, when sufficient food is available, the primary goal of animal diet selection is to obtain a nutritionally balanced diet. This hypothesis can be tested using the Geometric Framework for nutrition (GF. The GF enables researchers to study patterns of nutrient intake (e.g. macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates, fat, interactions between the different nutrients, and how an animal resolves the potential conflict between over-eating one or more nutrients and under-eating others during periods of dietary imbalance. Using the moose (Alces alces L., a model species in the development of herbivore foraging theory, we conducted a feeding experiment guided by the GF, combining continuous observations of six captive moose with analysis of the macronutritional composition of foods. We identified the moose's self-selected macronutrient target by allowing them to compose a diet by mixing two nutritionally complementary pellet types plus limited access to Salix browse. Such periods of free choice were intermixed with periods when they were restricted to one of the two pellet types plus Salix browse. Our observations of food intake by moose given free choice lend support to the nutrient balancing hypothesis, as the moose combined the foods in specific proportions that provided a particular ratio and amount of macronutrients. When restricted to either of two diets comprising a single pellet type, the moose i maintained a relatively stable intake of non-protein energy while allowing protein intakes to vary with food composition, and ii increased their intake of the food item that most closely resembled the self-selected macronutrient intake from the free choice periods, namely Salix browse. We place our results in the context of the nutritional strategy of the moose, ruminant physiology and the categorization of food quality.

  15. Evolution of resistance to a multiple-herbivore community: genetic correlations, diffuse coevolution, and constraints on the plant's response to selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Michael J; Rausher, Mark D

    2013-06-01

    Although plants are generally attacked by a community of several species of herbivores, relatively little is known about the strength of natural selection for resistance in multiple-herbivore communities-particularly how the strength of selection differs among herbivores that feed on different plant organs or how strongly genetic correlations in resistance affect the evolutionary responses of the plant. Here, we report on a field study measuring natural selection for resistance in a diverse community of herbivores of Solanum carolinense. Using linear phenotypic-selection analyses, we found that directional selection acted to increase resistance to seven species. Selection was strongest to increase resistance to fruit feeders, followed by flower feeders, then leaf feeders. Selection favored a decrease in resistance to a stem borer. Bootstrapping analyses showed that the plant population contained significant genetic variation for each of 14 measured resistance traits and significant covariances in one-third of the pairwise combinations of resistance traits. These genetic covariances reduced the plant's overall predicted evolutionary response for resistance against the herbivore community by about 60%. Diffuse (co)evolution was widespread in this community, and the diffuse interactions had an overwhelmingly constraining (rather than facilitative) effect on the plant's evolution of resistance. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Herbivore-induced volatiles in the perennial shrub, Vaccinium corymbosum, and their role in inter-branch signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar R; Rodriguez-Saona, Luis E; Frost, Christopher J

    2009-02-01

    Herbivore feeding activates plant defenses at the site of damage as well as systemically. Systemic defenses can be induced internally by signals transported via phloem or xylem, or externally transmitted by volatiles emitted from the damaged tissues. We investigated the role of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) in activating a defense response between branches in blueberry plants. Blueberries are perennial shrubs that grow by initiating adventitious shoots from a basal crown, which produce new lateral branches. This type of growth constrains vascular connections between shoots and branches within plants. While we found that leaves within a branch were highly connected, vascular connectivity was limited between branches within shoots and absent between branches from different shoots. Larval feeding by gypsy moth, exogenous methyl jasmonate, and mechanical damage differentially induced volatile emissions in blueberry plants, and there was a positive correlation between amount of insect damage and volatile emission rates. Herbivore damage did not affect systemic defense induction when we isolated systemic branches from external exposure to HIPVs. Thus, internal signals were not capable of triggering systemic defenses among branches. However, exposure of branches to HIPVs from an adjacent branch decreased larval consumption by 70% compared to those exposed to volatiles from undamaged branches. This reduction in leaf consumption did not result in decreased volatile emissions, indicating that leaves became more responsive to herbivory (or "primed") after being exposed to HIPVs. Chemical profiles of leaves damaged by gypsy moth caterpillars, exposed to HIPVs, or non-damaged controls revealed that HIPV-exposed leaves had greater chemical similarities to damaged leaves than to control leaves. Insect-damaged leaves and young HIPV-exposed leaves had higher amounts of endogenous cis-jasmonic acid compared to undamaged and non-exposed leaves, respectively. Our results

  17. Nitrogen Supply Influences Herbivore-Induced Direct and Indirect Defenses and Transcriptional Responses in Nicotiana attenuata[w

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Yon