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Sample records for herbivorous insect electronic

  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. 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.

  3. 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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  8. 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

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

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    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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

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    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Insect herbivores associated with Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae: responses of gall-forming and free-feeding insects to latitudinal variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcílio Fagundes

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The spatial heterogeneity hypothesis has been invoked to explain the increase in species diversity from the poles to the tropics: the tropics may be more diverse because they contain more habitats and microhabitats. In this paper, the spatial heterogeneity hypothesis prediction was tested by evaluating the variation in richness of two guilds of insect herbivores (gall-formers and free-feeders associated with Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae along a latitudinal variation in Brazil. The seventeen populations of B. dracunculifolia selected for insect herbivores sampling were within structurally similar habitats, along the N-S distributional limit of the host plant, near the Brazilian sea coast. Thirty shrubs were surveyed in each host plant population. A total of 8 201 galls and 864 free-feeding insect herbivores belonging to 28 families and 88 species were sampled. The majority of the insects found on B. dracunculifolia were restricted to a specific site rather than having ageographic distribution mirroring that of the host plant. Species richness of free-feeding insects was not affected by latitudinal variation corroborating the spatial heterogeneity hypothesis. Species richness of gall-forming insects was positively correlated with latitude, probably because galling insect associated with Baccharris genus radiated in Southern Brazil. Other diversity indices and evenness estimated for both gall-forming and free feeding insect herbivores, did not change with latitude, suggesting a general structure for different assemblages of herbivores associated with the host plant B. dracunculifolia. Thus it is probable that, insect fauna sample in each site resulted of large scale events, as speciation, migration and coevolution, while at local level, the population of these insects is regulated by ecological forces which operate in the system. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59 (3: 1419-1432. Epub 2011 September 01.La hipótesis de heterogeneidad espacial se ha

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Tracking the elusive history of diversification in plant-herbivorous insect-parasitoid food webs: insights from figs and fig wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjellberg, Finn; Proffit, Magali

    2016-02-01

    The food webs consisting of plants, herbivorous insects and their insect parasitoids are a major component of terrestrial biodiversity. They play a central role in the functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems, and the number of species involved is mind-blowing (Nyman et al. 2015). Nevertheless, our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological determinants of their diversity is still in its infancy. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Sutton et al. (2016) open a window into the comparative analysis of spatial genetic structuring in a set of comparable multitrophic models, involving highly species-specific interactions: figs and fig wasps. This is the first study to compare genetic structure using population genetics tools in a fig-pollinating wasp (Pleistodontes imperialis sp1) and its main parasitoid (Sycoscapter sp.A). The fig-pollinating wasp has a discontinuous spatial distribution that correlates with genetic differentiation, while the parasitoid bridges the discontinuity by parasitizing other pollinator species on the same host fig tree and presents basically no spatial genetic structure. The full implications of these results for our general understanding of plant-herbivorous insect-insect parasitoids diversification become apparent when envisioned within the framework of recent advances in fig and fig wasp biology. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  17. Insect herbivores associated with an evergreen tree Goniorrhachis marginata Taub. (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae) in a tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, J O; Neves, F S

    2014-08-01

    Goniorrhachis marginata Taub. (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae) is a tree species found in Brazilian tropical dry forests that retain their leaves during the dry season. That being, we addressed the following question: i) How do insect diversity (sap-sucking and chewing), leaf herbivory and defensive traits (tannin and leaf sclerophylly) vary on the evergreen tree species G. marginata between seasons? The abundance of sap-sucking insects was higher in the dry season than in the rainy season. However, we did not verify any difference in the species richness and abundance of chewing insects between seasons. Leaf herbivory was higher in the rainy season, whereas leaf sclerophylly was higher in the dry season. However, herbivory was not related to sclerophylly. Insect herbivores likely decrease their folivory activity during the dry season due to life history patterns or changes in behaviour, possibly entering diapause or inactivity during this period. Therefore, G. marginata acts as a likely keystone species, serving as a moist refuge for the insect fauna during the dry season in tropical dry forest, and the presence of this evergreen species is crucial to conservation strategies of this threatened ecosystem.

  18. Phytophagous insect fauna tracks host plant responses to exotic grass invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Neto, Mário; Prado, Paulo I; Lewinsohn, Thomas M

    2011-04-01

    The high dependence of herbivorous insects on their host plants implies that plant invaders can affect these insects directly, by not providing a suitable habitat, or indirectly, by altering host plant availability. In this study, we sampled Asteraceae flower heads in cerrado remnants with varying levels of exotic grass invasion to evaluate whether invasive grasses have a direct effect on herbivore richness independent of the current disturbance level and host plant richness. By classifying herbivores according to the degree of host plant specialization, we also investigated whether invasive grasses reduce the uniqueness of the herbivorous assemblages. Herbivorous insect richness showed a unimodal relationship with invasive grass cover that was significantly explained only by way of the variation in host plant richness. The same result was found for polyphagous and oligophagous insects, but monophages showed a significant negative response to the intensity of the grass invasion that was independent of host plant richness. Our findings lend support to the hypothesis that the aggregate effect of invasive plants on herbivores tends to mirror the effects of invasive plants on host plants. In addition, exotic plants affect specialist insects differently from generalist insects; thus exotic plants affect not only the size but also the structural profile of herbivorous insect assemblages.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Resistance to sap-sucking insects in modern-day agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin eDe Vos

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Plants and herbivores have co-evolved in their natural habitats for about 350 million years, but since the domestication of crops, plant resistance against insects has taken a different turn. With the onset of monoculture-driven modern agriculture, selective pressure on insects to overcome resistances has dramatically increased. Therefore plant breeders have resorted to high-tech tools to continuously create new insect-resistant crops. Efforts in the past 30 years have resulted in elucidation of mechanisms of many effective plant defenses against insect herbivores. Here, we critically appraise these efforts and - with a focus on sap-sucking insects - discuss how these findings have contributed to herbivore-resistant crops. Moreover, in this review we try to assess where future challenges and opportunities lay ahead. Of particular importance will be a mandatory reduction in systemic pesticide usage and thus a greater reliance on alternative methods, such as improved plant genetics for plant resistance to insect herbivores.

  3. 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

  4. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobral, Mar; Losada, María; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Javier; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i) Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii) Do mutualists (pollinators) and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock) jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock.

  5. 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),...

  6. Three-way interaction among plants, bacteria, and coleopteran insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wielkopolan, Beata; Obrępalska-Stęplowska, Aleksandra

    2016-08-01

    Coleoptera, the largest and the most diverse Insecta order, is characterized by multiple adaptations to plant feeding. Insect-associated microorganisms can be important mediators and modulators of interactions between insects and plants. Interactions between plants and insects are highly complex and involve multiple factors. There are various defense mechanisms initiated by plants upon attack by herbivorous insects, including the development of morphological structures and the synthesis of toxic secondary metabolites and volatiles. In turn, herbivores have adapted to feeding on plants and further sophisticated adaptations to overcome plant responses may continue to evolve. Herbivorous insects may detoxify toxic phytocompounds, sequester poisonous plant factors, and alter their own overall gene expression pattern. Moreover, insects are associated with microbes, which not only considerably affect insects, but can also modify plant defense responses to the benefit of their host. Plants are also frequently associated with endophytes, which may act as bioinsecticides. Therefore, it is very important to consider the factors influencing the interaction between plants and insects. Herbivorous insects cause considerable damage to global crop production. Coleoptera is the largest and the most diverse order in the class Insecta. In this review, various aspects of the interactions among insects, microbes, and plants are described with a focus on coleopteran species, their bacterial symbionts, and their plant hosts to demonstrate that many factors contribute to the success of coleopteran herbivory.

  7. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losada, María; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Javier; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i) Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii) Do mutualists (pollinators) and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock) jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock. PMID:27014509

  8. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mar Sobral

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii Do mutualists (pollinators and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Electronic nose in edible insects area

    OpenAIRE

    Martin Adámek; Anna Adámková; Marie Borkovcová; Jiří Mlček; Martina Bednářová; Lenka Kouřimská; Josef Skácel; Michal Řezníček

    2017-01-01

    Edible insect is appraised by many cultures as delicious and nutritionally beneficial food. In western countries this commodity is not fully appreciated, and the worries about edible insect food safety prevail. Electronic noses can become a simple and cheap way of securing the health safety of food, and they can also become a tool for evaluating the quality of certain commodities. This research is a pilot project of using an electronic nose in edible insect culinary treatment, and this manusc...

  12. Plant-mediated Interactions Among Insects within a Community Ecological Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Plants may be visited by many species of insects during their life-time. These insects include harmful herbivores above and belowground as well as beneficial natural enemies of herbivores and pollinators. Moreover, these interactions may take place sequentially or simultaneously. Responses of plants

  13. Insect herbivory on native and exotic aquatic plants: phosphorus and nitrogen drive insect growth and nutrient release

    OpenAIRE

    Grutters, B.M.C.; Gross, E.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication and globalisation facilitate the dominance of exotic plants in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Aquatic omnivores can provide biotic resistance to plant invasions, but little is known about whether obligate aquatic herbivores can do the same. Herbivores such as insects can decimate aquatic vegetation, but may not be able to consume exotic plants due to their more or less specialised nature of feeding. We experimentally tested the larval feeding of an aquatic insect, the moth Parap...

  14. 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.

  15. Electronic nose in edible insects area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Adámek

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Edible insect is appraised by many cultures as delicious and nutritionally beneficial food. In western countries this commodity is not fully appreciated, and the worries about edible insect food safety prevail. Electronic noses can become a simple and cheap way of securing the health safety of food, and they can also become a tool for evaluating the quality of certain commodities. This research is a pilot project of using an electronic nose in edible insect culinary treatment, and this manuscript describes the phases of edible insect culinary treatment and methods of distinguishing mealworm (Tenebrio molitor and giant mealworm (Zophobas morio using simple electronic nose. These species were measured in the live stage, after killing with boiling water, after drying and after inserting into the chocolate.The sensing device was based on the Arduino Mega platform with the ability to store the recorded data on the SD memory card, and with the possibility to communicate via internet. Data analysis shows that even a simple, cheap and portable electronic nose can distinguish between the different steps of culinary treatment (native samples, dried samples, samples enriched with chocolate for cooking and selected species. Another benefit of the electronic nose could be its future introduction into the control mechanisms of food security systems (e.g. HACCP.

  16. This tree is not big enough for the both of us: symptoms of Phytophthora ramorum on California bay laurel are lower when insect herbivores are abundant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerry E. Wininger; Nathan Rank

    2017-01-01

    Leaves of California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) are considered the primary natural source of inoculum for the devastating forest disease sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum), and yet this plant and the insects associated with its leaves remain understudied. This is unfortunate due to the role herbivorous...

  17. Insect herbivory on native and exotic aquatic plants: phosphorus and nitrogen drive insect growth and nutrient release

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, B.M.C.; Gross, E.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication and globalisation facilitate the dominance of exotic plants in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Aquatic omnivores can provide biotic resistance to plant invasions, but little is known about whether obligate aquatic herbivores can do the same. Herbivores such as insects can decimate

  18. Plant responses to insect egg deposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilker, M.; Fatouros, N.E.

    2015-01-01

    Plants can respond to insect egg deposition and thus resist attack by herbivorous insects from the beginning of the attack, egg deposition. We review ecological effects of plant responses to insect eggs and differentiate between egg-induced plant defenses that directly harm the eggs and indirect

  19. 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.

  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. Nonadaptive radiation: Pervasive diet specialization by drift in scale insects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Nate B; Peterson, Daniel A; Normark, Benjamin B

    2016-10-01

    At least half of metazoan species are herbivorous insects. Why are they so diverse? Most herbivorous insects feed on few plant species, and adaptive host specialization is often invoked to explain their diversification. Nevertheless, it is possible that the narrow host ranges of many herbivorous insects are nonadaptive. Here, we test predictions of this hypothesis with comparative phylogenetic analyses of scale insects, a group for which there appear to be few host-use trade-offs that would select against polyphagy, and for which passive wind-dispersal should make host specificity costly. We infer a strong positive relationship between host range and diversification rate, and a marked asymmetry in cladogenetic changes in diet breadth. These results are consonant with a system of pervasive nonadaptive host specialization in which small, drift- and extinction-prone populations are frequently isolated from persistent and polyphagous source populations. They also contrast with the negative relationship between diet breadth and taxonomic diversification that has been estimated in butterflies, a disparity that likely stems from differences in the average costs and benefits of host specificity and generalism in scale insects versus butterflies. Our results indicate the potential for nonadaptive processes to be important to diet-breadth evolution and taxonomic diversification across herbivorous insects. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. The evolutionary development of plant-feeding insects and their nutritional endosymbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, Isabel H; Hansen, Allison K

    2017-12-01

    Herbivorous insects have evolved diverse mechanisms enabling them to feed on plants with suboptimal nutrient availability. Low nutrient availability negatively impacts insect herbivore development and fitness. To overcome this obstacle numerous insect lineages have evolved intimate associations with nutritional endosymbionts. This is especially true for insects that specialize on nitrogen-poor substrates, as these insects are highly dependent on intracellular symbionts to provide nitrogen lacking in their insect host's diet. Emerging evidence in these systems suggest that the symbiont's and/or the insect's biosynthetic pathways are dynamically regulated throughout the insect's development to potentially cope with the insect's changing nutritional demands. In this review, we evaluate the evolutionary development of symbiotic insect cells (bacteriocytes) by comparing and contrasting genes and mechanisms involved in maintaining and regulating the nutritional symbiosis throughout insect development in a diversity of insect herbivore-endosymbiont associations. With new advances in genome sequencing and functional genomics, we evaluate to what extent nutritional symbioses are shaped by (i) the regulation of symbiont titer, (ii) the regulation of insect symbiosis genes, and (iii) the regulation of symbiont genes. We discuss how important these mechanisms are for the biosynthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins across insect life stages in divergent insect-symbiont systems. We conclude by suggesting future directions of research to further elucidate the evolutionary development of bacteriocytes and the impact of these nutritional symbioses on insect-plant interactions. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  3. 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

  4. Chemical ecology of insects and tritrophic interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmad, F.; Aslam, M.; Razaq, M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper reviews the chemical ecology of insects to explain the role of semiochemicals in plant-herbivore, herbivore-carnivore and plant-carnivore interactions. The semiochemical, mediating tritrophic interactions may be produced by plants, herbivores or their natural enemies (carnivores). Some semiochemicals attract the herbivores and carnivores and mediate interaction among them, while on the other hand some repel them. The semiochemicals are used by heribivores, parasites and predators as cues to locate food, host or prey. The same chemicals are also used for defensive purpose by some herbivores against their natural enemies as they are sequestered through their bodies. (author)

  5. Direct and indirect chemical defence of pine against folivorous insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mumm, R.; Hilker, M.

    2006-01-01

    The chemical defence of pine against herbivorous insects has been intensively studied with respect to its effects on the performance and behaviour of the herbivores as well as on the natural enemies of pine herbivores. The huge variety of terpenoid pine components play a major role in mediating

  6. Insect herbivory and vertebrate grazing impact food limitation and grasshopper populations during a severe outbreak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interspecific competition between distantly related herbivores, as well as between large vertebrate herbivores and phytophagous insects, has received little attention. Livestock grazing is the dominant land use in western North American grasslands, where phytophagous insects can be the dominant herb...

  7. Insect-induced effects on plants and possible effectors used by galling and leaf-mining insects to manipulate their host-plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giron, David; Huguet, Elisabeth; Stone, Graham N; Body, Mélanie

    2016-01-01

    Gall-inducing insects are iconic examples in the manipulation and reprogramming of plant development, inducing spectacular morphological and physiological changes of host-plant tissues within which the insect feeds and grows. Despite decades of research, effectors involved in gall induction and basic mechanisms of gall formation remain unknown. Recent research suggests that some aspects of the plant manipulation shown by gall-inducers may be shared with other insect herbivorous life histories. Here, we illustrate similarities and contrasts by reviewing current knowledge of metabolic and morphological effects induced on plants by gall-inducing and leaf-mining insects, and ask whether leaf-miners can also be considered to be plant reprogrammers. We review key plant functions targeted by various plant reprogrammers, including plant-manipulating insects and nematodes, and functionally characterize insect herbivore-derived effectors to provide a broader understanding of possible mechanisms used in host-plant manipulation. Consequences of plant reprogramming in terms of ecology, coevolution and diversification of plant-manipulating insects are also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Interspecific variation within the genus Asclepias in response to herbivory by a phloem-feeding insect herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehnder, Caralyn B; Hunter, Mark D

    2007-11-01

    Induced plant responses to leaf-chewing insects have been well studied, but considerably less is known about the effects of phloem-feedings insects on induction. In a set of laboratory experiments, we examined density-dependent induction by the milkweed-oleander aphid, Aphis nerii, of putative defenses in four milkweed species (Asclepias incarnata, Asclepias syriaca, Asclepias tuberosa, and Asclepias viridis). We hypothesized that high aphid density would lead to increased cardenolide expression in species with low constitutive levels of cardenolides (e.g., A. tuberosa), but that there would be no induction in high constitutive cardenolide species (e.g., A. viridis). Based on previous studies, we did not expect cardenolide induction in A. incarnata. Contrary to our predictions, we observed feeding-induced declines of cardenolide concentrations in A. viridis. Cardenolide concentrations did not respond to aphid feeding in the other three milkweed species. Aphids also caused reductions in biomass accumulation by two of four Asclepias species, A. viridis and A. incarnata. High aphid density led to a decrease in A. viridis foliar nitrogen concentration. However, aphids had no effect on the defensive chemistry, growth, or nutritional quality of either A. syriaca or A. tuberosa. Our results highlight that congeneric plant species may respond differently to the same levels of herbivore damage.

  9. Gut microbes may facilitate insect herbivory of chemically defended plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Tobin J; Bowers, M Deane

    2015-09-01

    The majority of insect species consume plants, many of which produce chemical toxins that defend their tissues from attack. How then are herbivorous insects able to develop on a potentially poisonous diet? While numerous studies have focused on the biochemical counter-adaptations to plant toxins rooted in the insect genome, a separate body of research has recently emphasized the role of microbial symbionts, particularly those inhabiting the gut, in plant-insect interactions. Here we outline the "gut microbial facilitation hypothesis," which proposes that variation among herbivores in their ability to consume chemically defended plants can be due, in part, to variation in their associated microbial communities. More specifically, different microbes may be differentially able to detoxify compounds toxic to the insect, or be differentially resistant to the potential antimicrobial effects of some compounds. Studies directly addressing this hypothesis are relatively few, but microbe-plant allelochemical interactions have been frequently documented from non-insect systems-such as soil and the human gut-and thus illustrate their potential importance for insect herbivory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for insect diversification and coevolution with plants; for example, evolutionary transitions to host plant groups with novel allelochemicals could be initiated by heritable changes to the insect microbiome. Furthermore, the ecological implications extend beyond the plant and insect herbivore to higher trophic levels. Although the hidden nature of microbes and plant allelochemicals make their interactions difficult to detect, recent molecular and experimental techniques should enable research on this neglected, but likely important, aspect of insect-plant biology.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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 ...

  13. Effects of nitrogen fertilization on forest trees in relation to insect resistance and to red-listed insect species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glynn, C.; Herms, D.A.

    2001-10-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are experiencing unprecedented nitrogen enrichment through fertilization and pollution. While longterm ecological consequences are difficult to predict, it seems that plants and animals adapted to nitrogen-limited environments are at particular risk from these changes. This report summarizes the limited body of literature which addresses this important topic. From a herbivoreAes perspective, fertilization increases the nutritional quality of host plant tissues. In some cases fertilization has lead to decreased production of defensive compounds. How this affects populations of insects is unclear because fertilization affects not only herbivores but their natural enemies. This report outlines how fertilization affects tree processes such as growth, photosynthesis, and production of defensive compounds. The many factors that affect insect repsonse to fertilization and the difficulties in assessing how fertilization affects insect populations are discussed

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Host-Plant Specialization Mediates the Influence of Plant Abundance on Host Use by Flower Head-Feeding Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobre, Paola A F; Bergamini, Leonardo L; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Jorge, Leonardo R; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2016-02-01

    Among-population variation in host use is a common phenomenon in herbivorous insects. The simplest and most trivial explanation for such variation in host use is the among-site variation in plant species composition. Another aspect that can influence spatial variation in host use is the relative abundance of each host-plant species compared to all available hosts. Here, we used endophagous insects that develop in flower heads of Asteraceae species as a study system to investigate how plant abundance influences the pattern of host-plant use by herbivorous insects with distinct levels of host-range specialization. Only herbivores recorded on three or more host species were included in this study. In particular, we tested two related hypotheses: 1) plant abundance has a positive effect on the host-plant preference of herbivorous insects, and 2) the relative importance of plant abundance to host-plant preference is greater for herbivorous species that use a wider range of host-plant species. We analyzed 11 herbivore species in 20 remnants of Cerrado in Southeastern Brazil. For 8 out of 11 herbivore species, plant abundance had a positive influence on host use. In contrast to our expectation, both the most specialized and the most generalist herbivores showed a stronger positive effect of plant species abundance in host use. Thus, we found evidence that although the abundance of plant species is a major factor determining the preferential use of host plants, its relative importance is mediated by the host-range specialization of herbivores.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. Co-evolution of insect proteases and plant protease inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongsma, Maarten A; Beekwilder, Jules

    2011-08-01

    Plants are at the basis of the food chain, but there is no such thing as a "free lunch" for herbivores. To promote reproductive success, plants evolved multi-layered defensive tactics to avoid or discourage herbivory. To the detriment of plants, herbivores, in turn, evolved intricate strategies to find, eat, and successfully digest essential plant parts to raise their own offspring. In this battle the digestive tract is the arena determining final victory or defeat as measured by growth or starvation of the herbivore. Earlier, specific molecular opponents were identified as proteases and inhibitors: digestive proteases of herbivores evolved structural motifs to occlude plant protease inhibitors, or alternatively, the insects evolved proteases capable of specifically degrading the host plant inhibitors. In response plant inhibitors evolved hyper-variable and novel protein folds to remain active against potential herbivores. At the level of protease regulation in herbivorous insects, it was shown that inhibition-insensitive digestive proteases are up-regulated when sensitive proteases are inhibited. The way this regulation operates in mammals is known as negative feedback by gut-luminal factors, so-called 'monitor peptides' that are sensitive to the concentration of active enzymes. We propose that regulation of gut enzymes by endogenous luminal factors has been an open invitation to plants to "hijack" this regulation by evolving receptor antagonists, although yet these plant factors have not been identified. In future research the question of the co-evolution of insect proteases and plant inhibitors should, therefore, be better approached from a systems level keeping in mind that evolution is fundamentally opportunistic and that the plant's fitness is primarily improved by lowering the availability of essential amino acids to an herbivore by any available mechanism.

  1. 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

  2. Steering soil microbiomes to suppress aboveground insect pests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pineda, Ana; Kaplan, Ian; Bezemer, T. Martijn

    2017-01-01

    Soil-borne microbes affect aboveground herbivorous insects through a cascade of molecular and chemical changes in the plant, but knowledge of these microbe?plant?insect interactions is mostly limited to one or a few microbial strains. Yet, the soil microbial community comprises thousands of unique

  3. 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.

  4. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions

  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. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Different effects of variation in Xanthium strumarium L. (Compositae) on two insect seed predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, J Daniel; Futuyma, Douglas J

    1978-01-01

    To determine the relative importance of variation in several plant characters on susceptibility to herbivores, we examined patterns of seed predation by two monophagous insect species and patterns of variation in ten populations of the cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium. Multiple regression analysis disclosed that one seed predator was most influenced by plant chemical variation, the other was significantly influenced by both chemical and morphological variation, but variation in yet another character, general burr size, was most important in conferring resistance to both insects simultaneously. The plant populations differed most in this character. Although many of the plant characters were correlated with each other, those important in determining susceptibility to each insect species were uncorrelated and independent of those conferring resistance to both insects simultaneously.These results imply that ecological similar herbivores may be influenced by different aspects of plant variation, and that predictions of evolutionary responses of local plant populations to herbivory may require knowledge of the structure of local herbivore communities and the dynamics of their establishment.

  11. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success

    OpenAIRE

    Sobral, Mar; Losada, Mar?a; Veiga, Tania; Guiti?n, Javier; Guiti?n, Jos?; Guiti?n, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i) Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii) Do mutualists (p...

  12. Experimental assemblage of novel plant-herbivore interactions: ecological host shifts after 40 million years of isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Robledo, Carlos; Horvitz, Carol C; Kress, W John; Carvajal-Acosta, A Nalleli; Erwin, Terry L; Staines, Charles L

    2017-11-01

    Geographic isolation is the first step in insect herbivore diet specialization. Such specialization is postulated to increase insect fitness, but may simultaneously reduce insect ability to colonize novel hosts. During the Paleocene-Eocene, plants from the order Zingiberales became isolated either in the Paleotropics or in the Neotropics. During the Cretaceous, rolled-leaf beetles diversified in the Neotropics concurrently with Neotropical Zingiberales. Using a community of Costa Rican rolled-leaf beetles and their Zingiberales host plants as study system, we explored if previous geographic isolation precludes insects to expand their diets to exotic hosts. We recorded interactions between rolled-leaf beetles and native Zingiberales by combining DNA barcodes and field records for 7450 beetles feeding on 3202 host plants. To determine phylogenetic patterns of diet expansions, we set 20 field plots including five exotic Zingiberales, recording beetles feeding on these exotic hosts. In the laboratory, using both native and exotic host plants, we reared a subset of insect species that had expanded their diets to the exotic plants. The original plant-herbivore community comprised 24 beetle species feeding on 35 native hosts, representing 103 plant-herbivore interactions. After exotic host plant introduction, 20% of the beetle species expanded their diets to exotic Zingiberales. Insects only established on exotic hosts that belong to the same plant family as their native hosts. Laboratory experiments show that beetles are able to complete development on these novel hosts. In conclusion, rolled-leaf beetles are pre-adapted to expand their diets to novel host plants even after millions of years of geographic isolation.

  13. 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

  14. Does fragmentation of Urtica habitats affect phytophagous and predatory insects differentially?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabel, Jörg; Tscharntke, Teja

    1998-09-01

    Effects of habitat fragmentation on the insect community of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) were studied, using 32 natural nettle patches of different area and degree of isolation in an agricultural landscape. Habitat fragmentation reduced the species richness of Heteroptera, Auchenorrhyncha, and Coleoptera, and the abundance of populations. Habitat isolation and area reduction did not affect all insect species equally. Monophagous herbivores had a higher probability of absence from small patches than all (monophagous and polyphagous) herbivore species, and the percentage of monophagous herbivores increased with habitat area. Abundance and population variability of species were negatively correlated and could both be used as a predictor of the percentage of occupied habitats. Species richness of herbivores correlated (positively) with habitat area, while species richness of predators correlated (negatively) with habitat isolation. In logistic regressions, the probability of absence of monophagous herbivores from habitat patches could only be explained by habitat area (in 4 out of 10 species) and predator absence probability only by habitat isolation (in 3 out of 14 species). Presumably because of the instability of higher-trophic-level populations and dispersal limitation, predators were more affected by habitat isolation than herbivores, while they did not differ from herbivore populations with respect to abundance or variability. Thus increasing habitat connectivity in the agricultural landscape should primarily promote predator populations.

  15. Physiological function and ecological aspects of fatty acid-amino acid conjugates in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshinaga, Naoko

    2016-07-01

    In tritrophic interactions, plants recognize herbivore-produced elicitors and release a blend of volatile compounds (VOCs), which work as chemical cues for parasitoids or predators to locate their hosts. From detection of elicitors to VOC emissions, plants utilize sophisticated systems that resemble the plant-microbe interaction system. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs), a class of insect elicitors, resemble compounds synthesized by microbes in nature. Recent evidence suggests that the recognition of insect elicitors by an ancestral microbe-associated defense system may be the origin of tritrophic interactions mediated by FACs. Here we discuss our findings in light of how plants have customized this defense to be effective against insect herbivores, and how some insects have successfully adapted to these defenses.

  16. Variable effects of temperature on insect herbivory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan P. Lemoine

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Rising temperatures can influence the top-down control of plant biomass by increasing herbivore metabolic demands. Unfortunately, we know relatively little about the effects of temperature on herbivory rates for most insect herbivores in a given community. Evolutionary history, adaptation to local environments, and dietary factors may lead to variable thermal response curves across different species. Here we characterized the effect of temperature on herbivory rates for 21 herbivore-plant pairs, encompassing 14 herbivore and 12 plant species. We show that overall consumption rates increase with temperature between 20 and 30 °C but do not increase further with increasing temperature. However, there is substantial variation in thermal responses among individual herbivore-plant pairs at the highest temperatures. Over one third of the herbivore-plant pairs showed declining consumption rates at high temperatures, while an approximately equal number showed increasing consumption rates. Such variation existed even within herbivore species, as some species exhibited idiosyncratic thermal response curves on different host plants. Thus, rising temperatures, particularly with respect to climate change, may have highly variable effects on plant-herbivore interactions and, ultimately, top-down control of plant biomass.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Genes, enzymes and chemicals of terpenoid diversity in the constitutive and induced defence of conifers against insects and pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeling, Christopher I; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2006-01-01

    Insects select their hosts, but trees cannot select which herbivores will feed upon them. Thus, as long-lived stationary organisms, conifers must resist the onslaught of varying and multiple attackers over their lifetime. Arguably, the greatest threats to conifers are herbivorous insects and their associated pathogens. Insects such as bark beetles, stem- and wood-boring insects, shoot-feeding weevils, and foliage-feeding budworms and sawflies are among the most devastating pests of conifer forests. Conifer trees produce a great diversity of compounds, such as an enormous array of terpenoids and phenolics, that may impart resistance to a variety of herbivores and microorganisms. Insects have evolved to specialize in resistance to these chemicals -- choosing, feeding upon, and colonizing hosts they perceive to be best suited to reproduction. This review focuses on the plant-insect interactions mediated by conifer-produced terpenoids. To understand the role of terpenoids in conifer-insect interactions, we must understand how conifers produce the wide diversity of terpenoids, as well as understand how these specific compounds affect insect behaviour and physiology. This review examines what chemicals are produced, the genes and proteins involved in their biosynthesis, how they work, and how they are regulated. It also examines how insects and their associated pathogens interact with, elicit, and are affected by conifer-produced terpenoids.

  20. 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.

  1. Insect folivory in Didymopanax vinosum (Apiaceae in a vegetation mosaic of Brazilian cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Varanda

    Full Text Available Susceptibility of Didymopanax vinosum (Apiaceae to insect herbivores was investigated in three sites of a cerrado mosaic - composed of campo cerrado (a grassland with scattered trees and shrubs, cerradão (a tall woodland and cerrado sensu stricto (intermediate between the two - situated in Cerrado Pé-de-Gigante, Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, SP, Brazil. We also examined the relationship of folivory with the composition and abundance of the insect herbivore fauna, and with several nutritional and defensive plant characteristics (water, nitrogen, cellulose, lignin, tannin leaf contents, and leaf toughness. We collected insects associated with D. vinosum every month, and we measured leaf damage every three months. In general, the annual folivory differed among sites. It reached the highest rates in site 1 and site 3: 7.33 and 8.5 percent, respectively. Only 1.32 percent of annual folivory was observed in site 2. These levels resulted from the higher abundance, in sites 1 and 3, of the thrips Liothrips didymopanacis (Phlaeothripidae, the most abundant herbivore sampled, responsible for more than 90 percent of the observed damage. However, no significant relationship was found between insect activity and the chemical and physical composition of the leaves. Our findings suggest that, at least in this species, other chemical compounds or variables related to plant apparency and resource availability to herbivores (e.g. plant architecture might play a more decisive role in the spatial variation of folivory than the nutritional and defensive traits that were analyzed.

  2. Eavesdropping on plant-insect-microbe chemical communications in agricultural ecology: a virtual issue on semiochemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies of plant-insect interactions, and more recently the interactions among plants, insects, and microbes, have revealed that volatiles often facilitate insect movement, aggregation, and host location by herbivores, predators and parasitoids, all of which could be used to help protect agriculture...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of pollutants on bottom-up and top-down processes in insect-plant interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butler, Casey D.; Trumble, John T.

    2008-01-01

    Bottom-up (host plant quality) and top-down (natural enemies) forces both influence the fitness and population dynamics of herbivores. However, the impact of pollutants acting on these forces has not been examined, which prompted us to review the literature to test hypotheses regarding this area of research. A comprehensive literature search found 126 references which examined fitness components and population dynamics of 203 insect herbivores. One hundred and fifty-three of the 203 herbivores (75.4%) had fitness impacted due to bottom-up factors in polluted environments. In contrast, only 20 of the 203 (9.9%) had fitness significantly impacted due to top-down factors in polluted environments. The paucity of results for top-down factors impacting fitness does not necessarily mean that top-down factors are less important, but rather that fewer studies include natural enemies. We provide a synthesis of available data by pollution type and herbivore guild, and suggest future research to address this issue. - Pollutants can affect insect herbivores through bottom-up and, possibly, top-down processes

  6. Insects on plants: Diversity of herbivore assemblages revisited

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lewinsohn, T. M.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Basset, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 36, - (2005), s. 597-620 ISSN 1543-592X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/04/0725; GA ČR(CZ) GD206/03/H034; GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6007106; GA MŠk(CZ) ME 646 Grant - others:Fundacao de Amaparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo(BR) Biota/Fapesp 98/05085-2; Conselho Nacional de Densenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico-Brasil(BR) 306049/2004-0; U. S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-02-11591; Darwin Initiative fior the Survival of Species(GB) 162/10/030 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : herbivory * insect-plant interactions * tropical insects Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 10.104, year: 2005

  7. 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

  8. Insect herbivory and plant adaptation in an early successional community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Fines, Daniel M; Bogdanowicz, Steve; Huber, Meret

    2018-05-01

    To address the role of insect herbivores in adaptation of plant populations and the persistence of selection through succession, we manipulated herbivory in a long-term field experiment. We suppressed insects in half of 16 plots over nine years and examined the genotypic structure and chemical defense of common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a naturally colonizing perennial apomictic plant. Insect suppression doubled dandelion abundance in the first few years, but had negligible effects thereafter. Using microsatellite DNA markers, we genotyped >2500 plants and demonstrate that insect suppression altered the genotypic composition of plots in both sampling years. Phenotypic and genotypic estimates of defensive terpenes and phenolics from the field plots allowed us to infer phenotypic plasticity and the response of dandelion populations to insect-mediated natural selection. The effects of insect suppression on plant chemistry were, indeed, driven both by plasticity and plant genotypic identity. In particular, di-phenolic inositol esters were more abundant in plots exposed to herbivory (due to the genotypic composition of the plots) and were also induced in response to herbivory. This field experiment thus demonstrates evolutionary sorting of plant genotypes in response to insect herbivores that was in same direction as the plastic defensive response within genotypes. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. Phylloplane bacteria increase the negative impact of food limitation on insect fitness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olson, Grant L.; Myers, Judith H.; Hemerik, Lia; Cory, Jenny S.

    2017-01-01

    1. When populations of herbivorous insects increase in density, they can alter the quantity or quality of their food. The impacts of diet-related stressors on insect fitness have been investigated singly, but not simultaneously. 2. Foliage quantity and quality of red alder, Alnus rubra, were

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. Plant–insect interactions: the role of ecological stoichiometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michał Filipiak

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The energy budget of organisms is a primary factor used to generate hypotheses in ecosystem ecology and evolutionary theory. Therefore, previous studies have focused on the energy costs and benefits of adaptations, the efficiency of energy acquisition and investment, and energy budget limitations. The maintenance of stoichiometric balance is equally important because inconsistency between the chemical composition of the consumer’s tissues and that of its food sources strongly affects the major life-history traits of the consumer and may influence the consumer’s fitness and shape plant–herbivore interactions. In this short review, the framework of ecological stoichiometry is introduced, focusing on plant–insect interactions in terrestrial ecosystems. The use of the trophic stoichiometric ratio (TSR index is presented as a useful tool for indicating the chemical elements that are scarce in food and have the potential to limit the growth and development of herbivores, thereby influencing plant – herbivorous insect interactions. As an example, the elemental composition and stoichiometry of a pollen consumer (mason bee Osmia bicornis and its preferred pollen are compared. The growth and development of O. bicornis may be colimited by the scarcity of K, Na, and N in pollen, whereas the development of the cocoon might be colimited by the scarcity of P, Mg, K, Na, Zn, Ca, and N. A literature review of the elemental composition of pollen shows high taxonomical variability in the concentrations of bee-limiting elements. The optimized collection of pollen species based on the elemental composition may represent a strategy used by bees to overcome stoichiometric mismatches, influencing their interactions with plants. It is concluded that the dependence of life-history traits on food stoichiometry should be considered when discussing life history evolution and plant–herbivore interactions. The TSR index may serve as a convenient and powerful tool

  13. Ecological Importance of Insects in Selenium Biogenic Cycling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadezhda Golubkina

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Selenium is an essential trace element for animal and human beings. Despite the importance of insects in most ecosystems and their significant contribution to the biological cycling of trace elements due to high abundance, population productivity, and diverse ecosystem functions, surprisingly little information is available on selenium bioaccumulation by these arthropods. This review considers selenium essentiality and toxicity to insects as well as insects’ contribution to selenium trophic transfer through the food chains. Data on Se accumulation by insects of the Dniester River Valley with no anthropogenic Se loading reveal typically low Se content in necrophagous insects compared to predators and herbivores and seasonal variations in Se accumulation.

  14. Plant Secondary Metabolites Modulate Insect Behavior-Steps Toward Addiction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Wink

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Plants produce a diversity of secondary metabolites (PSMs that serve as defense compounds against herbivores and microorganisms. In addition, some PSMs attract animals for pollination and seed dispersal. In case of pollinating insects, PSMs with colors or terpenoids with fragrant odors attract pollinators in the first place, but when they arrive at a flower, they are rewarded with nectar, so that the pollinators do not feed on flowers. In order to be effective as defense chemicals, PSMs evolved as bioactive substances, that can interfere with a large number of molecular targets in cells, tissues and organs of animals or of microbes. The known functions of PSMs are summarized in this review. A number of PSMs evolved as agonists or antagonists of neuronal signal transduction. Many of these PSMs are alkaloids. Several of them share structural similarities to neurotransmitters. Evidence for neuroactive and psychoactive PSMs in animals will be reviewed. Some of the neuroactive PSMs can cause addiction in humans and other vertrebrates. Why should a defense compound be addictive and thus attract more herbivores? Some insects are food specialists that can feed on plants that are normally toxic to other herbivores. These specialists can tolerate the toxins and many are stored in the insect body as acquired defense chemicals against predators. A special case are pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs that are neurotoxic and mutagenic in vertebrates. PAs are actively sequestered by moths of the family Arctiidae and a few other groups of arthropods. In arctiids, PAs are not only used for defense, but also serve as morphogens for the induction of male coremata and as precursors for male pheromones. Caterpillars even feed on filter paper impregnated with pure PAs (that modulate serotonin receptors in vertebrates and maybe even in insects and thus show of behavior with has similarities to addiction in vertebrates. Not only PA specialists, but also many monophagous

  15. 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.

  16. How predictable are the behavioral responses of insects to herbivore induced changes in plants? Responses of two congeneric thrips to induced cotton plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rehan Silva

    Full Text Available Changes in plants following insect attack are referred to as induced responses. These responses are widely viewed as a form of defence against further insect attack. In the current study we explore whether it is possible to make generalizations about induced plant responses given the unpredictability and variability observed in insect-plant interactions. Experiments were conducted to test for consistency in the responses of two congeneric thrips, Frankliniella schultzei Trybom and Frankliniella occidentalis Pergrande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae to cotton seedlings (Gossypium hirsutum Linneaus (Malvales: Malvaceae damaged by various insect herbivores. In dual-choice experiments that compared intact and damaged cotton seedlings, F. schultzei was attracted to seedlings damaged by Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae, Tetranychus urticae (Koch (Trombidiforms: Tetranychidae, Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae, F. schultzei and F. occidentalis but not to mechanically damaged seedlings. In similar tests, F. occidentalis was attracted to undamaged cotton seedlings when simultaneously exposed to seedlings damaged by H. armigera, T. molitor or F. occidentalis. However, when exposed to F. schultzei or T. urticae damaged plants, F. occidentalis was more attracted towards damaged plants. A quantitative relationship was also apparent, F. schultzei showed increased attraction to damaged seedlings as the density of T. urticae or F. schultzei increased. In contrast, although F. occidentalis demonstrated increased attraction to plants damaged by higher densities of T. urticae, there was a negative relationship between attraction and the density of damaging conspecifics. Both species showed greater attraction to T. urticae damaged seedlings than to seedlings damaged by conspecifics. Results demonstrate that the responses of both species of thrips were context dependent, making generalizations difficult to formulate.

  17. 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.

  18. An extreme case of plant-insect codiversification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cruaud, Astrid; Rønsted, Nina; Chanterasuwan, Bhanumas

    2012-01-01

    It is thought that speciation in phytophagous insects is often due to colonization of novel host plants, because radiations of plant and insect lineages are typically asynchronous. Recent phylogenetic comparisons have supported this model of diversification for both insect herbivores...... and specialized pollinators. An exceptional case where contemporaneous plant-insect diversification might be expected is the obligate mutualism between fig trees (Ficus species, Moraceae) and their pollinating wasps (Agaonidae, Hymenoptera). The ubiquity and ecological significance of this mutualism in tropical...... for this study. We also developed a new analytical tool, Jane 2, for event-based phylogenetic reconciliation analysis of very large data sets. Separate Bayesian phylogenetic analyses for figs and fig wasps under relaxed molecular clock assumptions indicate Cretaceous diversification of crown groups...

  19. Is the Performance of a Specialist Herbivore Affected by Female Choices and the Adaptability of the Offspring?

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    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.

  20. 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 ...

  1. De novo biosynthesis of volatiles induced by insect herbivory in cotton plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pare, P.W.; Tumlinson, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    In response to insect feeding on the leaves, cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plants release elevated levels of volatiles, which can serve as a chemical signal that attracts natural enemies of the herbivore to the damaged plant. Pulse-labeling experiments with [13C]CO2 demonstrated that many of the volatiles released, including the acyclic terpenes (E,E)-alpha-farnesene, (E)-beta-farnesene, (E)-beta-ocimene, linalool,(E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene, and (E,E)-4,8,12-trimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetrane, as well as the shikimate pathway product indole, are biosynthesized de novo following insect damage. However, other volatile constituents, including several cyclic terpenes, butyrates, and green leaf volatiles of the lipoxygenase pathway are released from storage or synthesized from stored intermediates. Analysis of volatiles from artificially damaged plants, with and without beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hubner) oral secretions exogenously applied to the leaves, as well as volatiles from beet armyworm-damaged and -undamaged control plants, demonstrated that the application of caterpillar oral secretions increased both the production and release of several volatiles that are synthesized de novo in response to insect feeding. These results establish that the plant plays an active and dynamic role in mediating the interaction between herbivores and natural enemies of herbivores

  2. 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

  3. Two-way plant mediated interactions between root-associated microbes and insects: from ecology to mechanisms

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    Nurmi ePangesti

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants are members of complex communities and function as a link between above- and below-ground organisms. Associations between plants and soil-borne microbes commonly occur and have often been found beneficial for plant fitness. Root-associated microbes may trigger physiological changes in the host plant that influence interactions between plants and aboveground insects at several trophic levels. Aboveground, plants are under continuous attack by insect herbivores and mount multiple responses that also have systemic effects on belowground microbes. Until recently, both ecological and mechanistic studies have mostly focused on exploring these below- and above-ground interactions using simplified systems involving both single microbe and herbivore species, which is far from the naturally occurring interactions. Increasing the complexity of the systems studied is required to increase our understanding of microbe - plant - insect interactions and to gain more benefit from the use of non-pathogenic microbes in agriculture. In this review, we explore how colonization by either single non-pathogenic microbe species or a community of such microbes belowground affects plant growth and defense and how this affects the interactions of plants with aboveground insects at different trophic levels. Moreover, we review how plant responses to foliar herbivory by insects belonging to different feeding guilds affect interactions of plants with non-pathogenic soil-borne microbes. The role of phytohormones in coordinating plant growth, plant defenses against foliar herbivores while simultaneously establishing associations with non-pathogenic soil microbes is discussed.

  4. 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.

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

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    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.

  6. Numerical relationships of the Solidago altissima stem gall insect-parasitoid guild food chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrahamson, Warren G; Armbruster, Paulette O; Maddox, G David

    1983-06-01

    The field site conditions (soil pH, soil moisture, soil nutrient availability, etc.) and abundances of Solidago altissima (often included in S. canadensis sensu lato), three S. altissima specific stem gall formers, and the parasitepredator guilds for two of the three gall insects were investigated. It was found that S. altissima is tolerant of a wide range of site conditions. Herbivore (stem gall insects) occurrences were positively correlated with plant occurrence, in a linear fashion. However, there was no disproportionate increase in stem gall insect densities with plant density as might be predicted by the resource concentration hypothesis. Parasitoid guilds were exploiting stem gall insect populations over a wide range of occurrence, but were under-utilizing fields of higher herbivore occurrences. Path analysis showed a high degree of predictability in the causal models, with all but 14% of the ball gall parasitoid guild and all but 43% of the elliptical gall parasitoid guild occurrences explained by the direct influences of stem gall insect occurrence and the indirect influences of goldenrod occurrence and site conditions. The numerical relations of this three trophic level system suggest a well-integrated and well-controlled food chain.

  7. Reciprocal diversification in a complex plant-herbivore-parasitoid food web

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    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Formulation of A Novel Phytopesticide PONNEEM and its Potentiality to control generalist Herbivorous Lepidopteran insect pests, Spodoptera litura (Fabricius and Helicoverpa armigera (H übner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susaimanickam Maria Packiam

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To evaluate the deterrence of oviposition potentiality of a novel phytopesticide PONNEEM against the generalist herbivorous lepidopteran insect pests Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura. Methods: Different phytopesticidal formulations were prepared at different ratio to evaluate the deterrence of oviposition activity against S. litura and H. armigera at 5, 10, 15, and 20毺 L/L concentrations. Results: The newly formulated different phytopesticides exhibited good results of oviposition deterrent activity against these two polyphagous insect pests. At 20毺 L/L concentration of PONNEEM, 77.48% of the maximum deterrence of oviposition activity was recorded, followed by formulation A (49.23%. And 68.12% was observed against H. armigera followed by A (49.52%. PONNEEM exhibited statistically significant oviposition deterrent activity compared to all other treatments. Conclusions: The newly formulated PONNEEM was found to be effective phytopesticidal formulation to control the adult of S. litura and H. armigera due to the synergistic effect of biomolecules such as azadirachtin and karanjin. This is the first report of PONNEEM which was patented under the government of India. The potential use of this novel phytopesticide could be an agent of controlling the adults of lepidopteran insect pests which can be applied in the integrated pest management programme.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

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    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

  17. Physical characteristics of calcium oxalate crystals as determinants in structural defense against chewing insects in Medicago truncatula

    Science.gov (United States)

    In addition to the numerous chemical defenses that plants employ to fend off insect herbivores, simple structural components can also play important roles in effective protection. Our investigations have shown that plant crystals of calcium oxalate can function in insect defense. The isolation of ca...

  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. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review demonstrates the ecological significance of such plant secondary metabolites in the highly diverse interactions between insects and plants.

  1. 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.

  2. Patterns of resource use by milkweed insects in Sinai | Elbanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plant morphology and defensive chemistry are related to the insect community of herbivores on Gomphocarpus sinaicus (Boiss.) (Apocynaceae) in Sinai (Egypt). There appears to be significant variation among individual plants in the components of their chemical defences. The different components of the community ...

  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. Medicago truncatula-derived calcium oxalate crystals have a negative impact on chewing insect performance via their physical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant structural traits often act as defenses against herbivorous insects, causing them to avoid feeding on a given plant or tissue. Mineral crystals of calcium oxalate in Medicago truncatula Gaertn. (Fabaceae) leaves have previously been shown to be effective deterrents of lepidopteran insect feedi...

  5. 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

  6. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

    OpenAIRE

    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review d...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Insect diet of some afrotropical insectivorous passerines at the Jos ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite being the most common avian dietary strategy, our understanding of the nutrition of avian insectivores lags behind that of less populous granivores, herbivores, and frugivores; thereby attracting research interest. Insect diet of Afrotropical insectivorous passerines at the Jos Wildlife Park was studied by trapping birds ...

  10. 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.

  11. Convergent bacterial microbiotas in the fungal agricultural systems of insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylward, Frank O; Suen, Garret; Biedermann, Peter H W; Adams, Aaron S; Scott, Jarrod J; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Tringe, Susannah G; Poulsen, Michael; Raffa, Kenneth F; Klepzig, Kier D; Currie, Cameron R

    2014-11-18

    The ability to cultivate food is an innovation that has produced some of the most successful ecological strategies on the planet. Although most well recognized in humans, where agriculture represents a defining feature of civilization, species of ants, beetles, and termites have also independently evolved symbioses with fungi that they cultivate for food. Despite occurring across divergent insect and fungal lineages, the fungivorous niches of these insects are remarkably similar, indicating convergent evolution toward this successful ecological strategy. Here, we characterize the microbiota of ants, beetles, and termites engaged in nutritional symbioses with fungi to define the bacterial groups associated with these prominent herbivores and forest pests. Using culture-independent techniques and the in silico reconstruction of 37 composite genomes of dominant community members, we demonstrate that different insect-fungal symbioses that collectively shape ecosystems worldwide have highly similar bacterial microbiotas comprised primarily of the genera Enterobacter, Rahnella, and Pseudomonas. Although these symbioses span three orders of insects and two phyla of fungi, we show that they are associated with bacteria sharing high whole-genome nucleotide identity. Due to the fine-scale correspondence of the bacterial microbiotas of insects engaged in fungal symbioses, our findings indicate that this represents an example of convergence of entire host-microbe complexes. The cultivation of fungi for food is a behavior that has evolved independently in ants, beetles, and termites and has enabled many species of these insects to become ecologically important and widely distributed herbivores and forest pests. Although the primary fungal cultivars of these insects have been studied for decades, comparatively little is known of their bacterial microbiota. In this study, we show that diverse fungus-growing insects are associated with a common bacterial community composed of the

  12. 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.

  13. Influence of cnicin, a sesquiterpene lactone ofCentaurea maculosa (Asteraceae), on specialist and generalist insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, I; Müller-Schärer, H; Ward, P I

    1994-04-01

    The sesquiterpene lactone cnicin was extracted fromCentaurea maculosa andCentaurea vallesiaca. We examined its effects on the ovipositional response and larval development of generalist and specialist insect herbivores associated withC. maculosa. For the oviposition trials, three plant species (C. maculosa, Achillea millefolium, andCichorium intybus), half of which were sprayed with 3% of cnicin, were exposed to the specialist mothsStenodes straminea, Agapeta zoegana, andPterolonche inspersa in field cages. All three species significantly preferredC. maculosa to other plants andP. inspersa significantly preferred cnicin-sprayed plants to untreated plants for oviposition. Tested over all species, cnicin significantly increased the number of eggs laid on a given plant. A larval diet test examined the toxicity of cnicin for larvae of the generalist noctuid mothSpodoptera littoralis. Cnicin concentrations of 3% and 6% were lethal and 1% and 0.5% seriously inhibited growth and development. The larvae of theC. maculosa specialistStenodes straminea survived at 6% cnicin, but none of the pupae hatched.Agapeta zoegana was able to survive at 1% and 3% cnicin. Both specialists had difficulties with the artificial diet, but weight increase and survival was not further reduced when cnicin was present compared with on the control diet. In conclusion, cnicin influenced host recognition by the specialist species, and larvae of the generalist did not survive on natural levels of cnicin. Growth and survival of the specialist were not influenced by cnicin but were considerably hampered on artificial diet.

  14. [Research progress in chemical communication among insect-resistant genetically modified plants, insect pests and natural enemies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qing-Song; Li, Yun-He; Chen, Xiu-Ping; Peng, Yu-Fa

    2014-08-01

    Semiochemicals released by plants or insects play an important role in the communication among plants, phytophagous insects and their natural enemies. They thus form a chemical information network which regulates intra- and inter-specific behaviors and sustains the composition and structure of plant and insect communities. The application of insect-resistant genetically modified (IRGM) crops may affect the chemical communication within and among the tritrophic levels, and thus cause disturbances to the biotic community structure and the stability of the farmland ecosystem. This has raised concerns about the environmental safety of IRGM crops and triggered research worldwide. In the current article we provided a brief summary of the chemical communication among plants, herbivores and natural enemies; analyzed the potential of IRGM crops to affect the chemical communication between plants and arthropods and the related mechanisms; and discussed the current research progress and the future prospects in this field. We hope that this will promote the research in this field by Chinese scientists and increase our understanding of the potential effects of growing of IRGM crops on the arthropod community structure.

  15. 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.

  16. Ecological genomics of Boechera stricta: Identification of a QTL controlling the allocation of methionine- vs branched-chain amino acid-derived glucosinolates and levels of insect herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schranz, M.E.; Manzaneda, A.J.; Windsor, A.J.; Clauss, M.; Mitchell-Olds, T.

    2009-01-01

    In the Brassicaceae, glucosinolates influence the feeding, reproduction and development of many insect herbivores. Glucosinolate production and effects on herbivore feeding have been extensively studied in the model species, Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica crops, both of which constitutively

  17. Benefits conferred by "timid" ants: active anti-herbivore protection of the rainforest tree Leonardoxa africana by the minute ant Petalomyrmex phylax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaume, Laurence; McKey, Doyle; Anstett, Marie-Charlotte

    1997-10-01

    In this study, we demonstrate that an important benefit provided by the small host-specific ant Petalomyrmex phylax to its host plant Leonardoxa africana is efficient protection against herbivores. We estimate that in the absence of ants, insect herbivory would reduce the leaf area by about one-third. This contributes considerably to the fitness of the plant. Our estimates take into account not only direct damage, such as removal of leaf surface by chewing insects, but also the effects of sucking insects on leaf growth and expansion. Sucking insects are numerically predominant in this system, and the hitherto cryptic effects of ant protection against the growth-reducing effects of sucking insects accounted for half of the total estimated benefit of ant protection. We propose that the small size of workers confers a distinct advantage in this system. Assuming that resource limitation implies a trade off between size and number of ants, and given the small size of phytophagous insects that attack Leonardoxa, we conclude that fine-grained patrolling by a large number of small workers maximises protection of young leaves of this plant. Since herbivores are small and must complete their development on the young leaves of Leonardoxa, and since a high patrolling density is required for a fine-grained search for these enemies, numerous small ants should provide the most effective protection of young leaves of Leonardoxa. We also discuss other factors that may have influenced worker size in this ant.

  18. Alien interference: disruption of infochemical networks by invasive insect herbivores

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Desurmont, G.A.; Harvey, J.; Van Dam, N. M.; Cristescu, S. M.; Schiestl, F.P.; Cozzolino, S.; Anderson, P.; Larsson, M. C.; Kindlmann, Pavel; Danner, H.; Turlings, C. J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 8 (2014), s. 1854-1865 ISSN 0140-7791 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : invasive species * multitrophic interactions * plant –insect interactions * plant volatiles Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 6.960, year: 2014

  19. Chemical diversity in Brassica oleracea affects biodiversity of insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

    Intraspecific variation in plants plays a major role in the composition and diversity of the associated insect community. Resistance traits of plants are likely candidates mediating community composition. However, it is debated whether total concentrations of chemical compounds or specific compounds

  20. Differential and Synergistic Functionality of Acylsugars in Suppressing Oviposition by Insect Herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian M Leckie

    Full Text Available Acylsugars are secondary metabolites exuded from type IV glandular trichomes that provide broad-spectrum insect suppression for Solanum pennellii Correll, a wild relative of cultivated tomato. Acylsugars produced by different S. pennellii accessions vary by sugar moieties (glucose or sucrose and fatty acid side chains (lengths and branching patterns. Our objective was to determine which acylsugar compositions more effectively suppressed oviposition of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius (Middle East--Asia Minor 1 Group, tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca (Hinds, and western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande. We extracted and characterized acylsugars from four S. pennellii accessions with different compositions, as well as from an acylsugar-producing tomato breeding line. We also fractionated the acylsugars of one S. pennellii accession to examine the effects of its components. Effects of acylsugars on oviposition were evaluated by administering a range of doses to oviposition sites of adult whiteflies and thrips in non-choice and choice bioassays, respectively. The acylsugars from S. pennellii accessions and the tomato breeding line demonstrated differential functionality in their ability to alter the distribution of whitefly oviposition and suppress oviposition on acylsugar treated substrates. Tobacco thrips were sensitive to all compositions while western flower thrips and whiteflies were more sensitive to acylsugars from a subset of S. pennellii accessions. It follows that acylsugars could thus mediate plant-enemy interactions in such a way as to affect evolution of host specialization, resistance specificity, and potentially host differentiation or local adaptation. The acylsugars from S. pennellii LA1376 were separated by polarity into two fractions that differed sharply for their sugar moieties and fatty acid side chains. These fractions had different efficacies, with neither having activity approaching that of the

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Herbivore-induced callose deposition on the sieve plates of rice: an important mechanism for host resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Peiying; Liu, Caixiang; Wang, Yuanyuan; Chen, Rongzhi; Tang, Ming; Du, Bo; Zhu, Lili; He, Guangcun

    2008-04-01

    The brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens Stål; BPH) is a specialist herbivore on rice (Oryza sativa) that ingests phloem sap from the plant through its stylet mouthparts. Electronic penetration graphs revealed that BPH insects spent more time wandering over plants carrying the resistance genes Bph14 and Bph15, but less time ingesting phloem than they did on susceptible plants. They also showed that their feeding was frequently interrupted. Tests with [(14)C]sucrose showed that insects ingested much less phloem sap from the resistant than the susceptible plants. BPH feeding up-regulated callose synthase genes and induced callose deposition in the sieve tubes at the point where the stylet was inserted. The compact callose remained intact in the resistant plants, but genes encoding beta-1,3-glucanases were activated, causing unplugging of the sieve tube occlusions in susceptible plants. Continuing ingestion led to a remarkable reduction in the susceptible plants' sucrose content and activation of the RAmy3D gene, leading to starch hydrolysis and ultimately carbohydrate deprivation in the plants. Our results demonstrate that BPH feeding induces the deposition of callose on sieve plates in rice and that this is an important defense mechanism that prevents insects from ingesting phloem sap. In response, however, the BPH can unplug sieve tube occlusions by activating beta-1,3-glucanase genes in rice plants.

  4. Phenotypic Plasticity of Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiles in Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otte, Tobias; Hilker, Monika; Geiselhardt, Sven

    2018-03-01

    The insect integument is covered by cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) which provide protection against environmental stresses, but are also used for communication. Here we review current knowledge on environmental and insect-internal factors which shape phenotypic plasticity of solitary living insects, especially herbivorous ones. We address the dynamics of changes which may occur within minutes, but may also last weeks, depending on the species and conditions. Two different modes of changes are suggested, i.e. stepwise and gradual. A switch between two distinct environments (e.g. host plant switch by phytophagous insects) results in stepwise formation of two distinct adaptive phenotypes, while a gradual environmental change (e.g. temperature gradients) induces a gradual change of numerous adaptive CHC phenotypes. We further discuss the ecological and evolutionary consequences of phenotypic plasticity of insect CHC profiles by addressing the question at which conditions is CHC phenotypic plasticity beneficial. The high plasticity of CHC profiles might be a trade-off for insects using CHCs for communication. We discuss how insects cope with the challenge to produce and "understand" a highly plastic, environmentally dependent CHC pattern that conveys reliable and comprehensible information. Finally, we outline how phenotypic plasticity of CHC profiles may promote speciation in insects that rely on CHCs for mate recognition.

  5. 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...

  6. Plant interactions with multiple insect herbivores: from community to genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, J.M.; Kroes, A.; Li, Y.; Gols, R.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Every plant is a member of a complex insect community that consists of tens to hundreds of species that belong to different trophic levels. The dynamics of this community are critically influenced by the plant, which mediates interactions between community members that can occur on the plant

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Aboveground endophyte affects root volatile emission and host plant selection of a belowground insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostás, Michael; Cripps, Michael G; Silcock, Patrick

    2015-02-01

    Plants emit specific blends of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that serve as multitrophic, multifunctional signals. Fungi colonizing aboveground (AG) or belowground (BG) plant structures can modify VOC patterns, thereby altering the information content for AG insects. Whether AG microbes affect the emission of root volatiles and thus influence soil insect behaviour is unknown. The endophytic fungus Neotyphodium uncinatum colonizes the aerial parts of the grass hybrid Festuca pratensis × Lolium perenne and is responsible for the presence of insect-toxic loline alkaloids in shoots and roots. We investigated whether endophyte symbiosis had an effect on the volatile emission of grass roots and if the root herbivore Costelytra zealandica was able to recognize endophyte-infected plants by olfaction. In BG olfactometer assays, larvae of C. zealandica were more strongly attracted to roots of uninfected than endophyte-harbouring grasses. Combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry revealed that endophyte-infected roots emitted less VOCs and more CO2. Our results demonstrate that symbiotic fungi in plants may influence soil insect distribution by changing their behaviour towards root volatiles. The well-known defensive mutualism between grasses and Neotyphodium endophytes could thus go beyond bioactive alkaloids and also confer protection by being chemically less apparent for soil herbivores.

  11. Herbivory by a Phloem-feeding insect inhibits floral volatile production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pareja, Martin; Qvarfordt, Erika; Webster, Ben; Mayon, Patrick; Pickett, John; Birkett, Michael; Glinwood, Robert

    2012-01-01

    There is extensive knowledge on the effects of insect herbivory on volatile emission from vegetative tissue, but little is known about its impact on floral volatiles. We show that herbivory by phloem-feeding aphids inhibits floral volatile emission in white mustard Sinapis alba measured by gas chromatographic analysis of headspace volatiles. The effect of the Brassica specialist aphid Lipaphis erysimi was stronger than the generalist aphid Myzus persicae and feeding by chewing larvae of the moth Plutella xylostella caused no reduction in floral volatile emission. Field observations showed no effect of L. erysimi-mediated floral volatile emission on the total number of flower visits by pollinators. Olfactory bioassays suggested that although two aphid natural enemies could detect aphid inhibition of floral volatiles, their olfactory orientation to infested plants was not disrupted. This is the first demonstration that phloem-feeding herbivory can affect floral volatile emission, and that the outcome of interaction between herbivory and floral chemistry may differ depending on the herbivore's feeding mode and degree of specialisation. The findings provide new insights into interactions between insect herbivores and plant chemistry.

  12. Trans-generational desensitization and within-generational resensitization of a sucrose-best neuron in the polyphagous herbivore Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ma, Ying; Li, Jingjing; Tang, Qingbo; Zhang, Xuening; Zhao, Xincheng; Yan, Fengming; Loon, van Joop J.A.

    2016-01-01

    Dietary exposure of insects to a feeding deterrent substance for hours to days can induce habituation and concomitant desensitization of the response of peripheral gustatory neurons to such a substance. In the present study, larvae of the herbivore Helicoverpa armigera were fed on diets

  13. Seasonal phenology of interactions involving short-lived annual plants, a multivoltine herbivore and its endoparasitoid wasp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2014-01-01

    Spatial-temporal realism is often missing in many studies of multitrophic interactions, which are conducted at a single time frame and/or involving interactions between insects with a single species of plant. In this scenario, an underlying assumption is that the host-plant species is ubiquitous throughout the season and that the insects always interact with it. We studied interactions involving three naturally occurring wild species of cruciferous plants, Brassica rapa, Sinapis arvensis and Brassica nigra, that exhibit different seasonal phenologies, and a multivoltine herbivore, the large cabbage white butterfly, Pieris brassicae, and its gregarious endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. The three plants have very short life cycles. In central Europe, B. rapa grows in early spring, S. arvensis in late spring and early summer, and B. nigra in mid to late summer. P. brassicae generally has three generations per year, and C. glomerata at least two. This means that different generations of the insects must find and exploit different plant species that may differ in quality and which may be found some distance from one another. Insects were either reared on each of the three plant species for three successive generations or shifted between generations from B. rapa to S. arvensis to B. nigra. Development time from neonate to pupation and pupal fresh mass were determined in P. brassicae and egg-to-adult development time and body mass in C. glomerata. Overall, herbivores performed marginally better on S. arvensis and B. nigra plants than on B. rapa plants. Parasitoids performance was closely tailored with that of the host. Irrespective as to whether the insects were shifted to a new plant in successive generations or not, development time of P. brassicae and C. glomerata decreased dramatically over time. Our results show that there were some differences in insect development on different plant species and when transferred from one species to another. However, all three

  14. Control of insect pests with electrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayashi, Toru; Imamura, Taro; Miyanoshita, Akihiro; Todoriki, Setsuko

    2003-01-01

    Effects of electron beams with an energy of 2.5 MeV on insect pests were slightly smaller than those of gamma-rays. Electron beams at 400 Gy inactivated all the pests for cut flowers tested; spider mite (Tetraychus urticae), mealybug (Pseudococcus comstocki), leaf miner (Liriomyza trifolii), thrips (Thrips palmi, and Thrips tabaci), cutworm (Spodoptera litura) and aphid (Myzus persicae). Carnation, alstromeria, gladiolus, tulip, statice, stock, dendrobium, prairie gentian, oncidium, campanula, gloriosa, fern, gypsophila, freesia, lobelia, triteleia and gerbera were tolerant to electron beams at 400-600 Gy, while chrysanthemum, rose, lily, calla, antherium, sweet pea and iris were intolerant. Radiation-induced deterioration of chrysanthemum could be prevented by post-irradiation treatment with commercial preservative solutions or sugar solutions. Soft-electrons at 60 keV effectively inactivated eggs, larvae and pupae of red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) and Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) and eggs of adzuki bean weevil (Callosobruchus chinensis) at a dose of 1 kGy. The adults of T. castaneum and P. interpunctella were inactivated by electron treatment at 5.0 kGy and 7.5 kGy, respectively. Adults of C. chinensis survived at 7.5 kGy, but were inactivated having lost ability to walk at 2.5 kGy. Soft-electrons at 60 keV could not completely inactivate the larvae of C. chinensis and smaller larvae (2nd instar) of maize weevil (Stiophilus zeamais) inside beans and grains, because the electrons with low penetration did not reach the larvae due to the shield of beans or grains. However, soft-electrons at 60 keV inactivated eggs, larger larvae (4th instar) and pupae of S. zeamais in rice grains, which indicated that S. zeamais was exposed to electrons even inside the grains. (author)

  15. 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,...

  16. Measuring Asymmetry in Insect-Plant Networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cruz, Claudia P T [Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Fisica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil); De Almeida, Adriana M [Departamento de Botanica, Ecologia e Zoologia, Centro de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil); Corso, Gilberto, E-mail: claudia@dfte.ufrn.br, E-mail: adrianam@ufrn.br, E-mail: corso@cb.ufrn.br [Departamento de Biofisica e Farmacologia, Centro de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil)

    2011-03-01

    In this work we focus on interaction networks between insects and plants and in the characterization of insect plant asymmetry, an important issue in coevolution and evolutionary biology. We analyze in particular the asymmetry in the interaction matrix of animals (herbivorous insects) and plants (food resource for the insects). Instead of driving our attention to the interaction matrix itself we derive two networks associated to the bipartite network: the animal network, D{sub 1}, and the plant network, D{sub 2}. These networks are constructed according to the following recipe: two animal species are linked once if they interact with the same plant. In a similar way, in the plant network, two plants are linked if they interact with the same animal. To explore the asymmetry between D{sub 2} and D{sub 1} we test for a set of 23 networks from the ecologic literature networks: the difference in size, {Delta}L, clustering coefficient difference, {Delta}C, and mean connectivity difference, {Delta}. We used a nonparametric statistical test to check the differences in {Delta}L, {Delta}C and {Delta}. Our results indicate that {Delta}L and {Delta} show a significative asymmetry.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Decreased losses of woody plant foliage to insects in large urban areas are explained by bird predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Mikhail V; Lanta, Vojtěch; Zverev, Vitali; Rainio, Kalle; Kunavin, Mikhail A; Zvereva, Elena L

    2017-10-01

    Despite the increasing rate of urbanization, the consequences of this process on biotic interactions remain insufficiently studied. Our aims were to identify the general pattern of urbanization impact on background insect herbivory, to explore variations in this impact related to characteristics of both urban areas and insect-plant systems, and to uncover the factors governing urbanization impacts on insect herbivory. We compared the foliar damage inflicted on the most common trees by defoliating, leafmining and gall-forming insects in rural and urban habitats associated with 16 European cities. In two of these cities, we explored quality of birch foliage for herbivorous insects, mortality of leafmining insects due to predators and parasitoids and bird predation on artificial plasticine larvae. On average, the foliage losses to insects were 16.5% lower in urban than in rural habitats. The magnitude of the overall adverse effect of urbanization on herbivory was independent of the latitude of the locality and was similar in all 11 studied tree species, but increased with an increase in the size of the urban area: it was significant in large cities (city population 1-5 million) but not significant in medium-sized and small towns. Quality of birch foliage for herbivorous insects was slightly higher in urban habitats than in rural habitats. At the same time, leafminer mortality due to ants and birds and the bird attack intensity on dummy larvae were higher in large cities than in rural habitats, which at least partially explained the decline in insect herbivory observed in response to urbanization. Our findings underscore the importance of top-down forces in mediating impacts of urbanization on plant-feeding insects: factors favouring predators may override the positive effects of temperature elevation on insects and thus reduce plant damage. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. 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.

  1. Plants as green phones: Novel insights into plant-mediated communication between below- and above-ground insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, Roxina; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Bezemer, T Martijn; Stuefer, Josef F

    2008-08-01

    Plants can act as vertical communication channels or 'green phones' linking soil-dwelling insects and insects in the aboveground ecosystem. When root-feeding insects attack a plant, the direct defense system of the shoot is activated, leading to an accumulation of phytotoxins in the leaves. The protection of the plant shoot elicited by root damage can impair the survival, growth and development of aboveground insect herbivores, thereby creating plant-based functional links between soil-dwelling insects and insects that develop in the aboveground ecosystem. The interactions between spatially separated insects below- and aboveground are not restricted to root and foliar plant-feeding insects, but can be extended to higher trophic levels such as insect parasitoids. Here we discuss some implications of plants acting as communication channels or 'green phones' between root and foliar-feeding insects and their parasitoids, focusing on recent findings that plants attacked by root-feeding insects are significantly less attractive for the parasitoids of foliar-feeding insects.

  2. Towards Biological Control of Kudzu Through an Improved Understanding of Insect-Kudzu Interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Orr, D.; Barber, G.; DeBarr, G.; Thornton, M.

    2001-08-03

    The authors evaluated various approaches to the biological control of kudzu and exotic weed that infests the SRS. A large number of native pollinators were found to be attracted to kudzu. The viability of seed was found to be low, between 2% and 11%. This is the result of native Hemiptera. The results suggest that seed feeding insects should not be targeted for importation. Both kudzu and soybeans had the same level of abundance and diversity of herbivore insects and the same levels of defoliation. No vine or root damaging species were found. Efforts should be targeted to the latter insects to control kudzu.

  3. 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

  4. Turning the 'mustard oil bomb' into a 'cyanide bomb': aromatic glucosinolate metabolism in a specialist insect herbivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Einar J Stauber

    Full Text Available Plants have evolved a variety of mechanisms for dealing with insect herbivory among which chemical defense through secondary metabolites plays a prominent role. Physiological, behavioural and sensorical adaptations to these chemicals provide herbivores with selective advantages allowing them to diversify within the newly occupied ecological niche. In turn, this may influence the evolution of plant metabolism giving rise to e.g. new chemical defenses. The association of Pierid butterflies and plants of the Brassicales has been cited as an illustrative example of this adaptive process known as 'coevolutionary armsrace'. All plants of the Brassicales are defended by the glucosinolate-myrosinase system to which larvae of cabbage white butterflies and related species are biochemically adapted through a gut nitrile-specifier protein. Here, we provide evidence by metabolite profiling and enzyme assays that metabolism of benzylglucosinolate in Pieris rapae results in release of equimolar amounts of cyanide, a potent inhibitor of cellular respiration. We further demonstrate that P. rapae larvae develop on transgenic Arabidopsis plants with ectopic production of the cyanogenic glucoside dhurrin without ill effects. Metabolite analyses and fumigation experiments indicate that cyanide is detoxified by β-cyanoalanine synthase and rhodanese in the larvae. Based on these results as well as on the facts that benzylglucosinolate was one of the predominant glucosinolates in ancient Brassicales and that ancient Brassicales lack nitrilases involved in alternative pathways, we propose that the ability of Pierid species to safely handle cyanide contributed to the primary host shift from Fabales to Brassicales that occured about 75 million years ago and was followed by Pierid species diversification.

  5. Insect biodiversity of the Algodones Dunes of California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynn Kimsey

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Over a nine year period beginning in 2007 we surveyed the insects of the Algodones Dunes, Imperial Count, California, as part of a study undertaken for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. In a series of 22 collecting trips ranging in duration from 2 to 8 days we thus far have accumulated records of 1,840 species, 21 orders and 244 families from the dunes. Hymenoptera constituted the most diverse order, comprising about 45% of all the species recovered. Insect diversity and abundance peaked during the hottest part of the year between the months of May and September. Life history traits of the insects sampled included herbivores (29.6%, parasitoids (28.7%, predators (18.1%, pollen/nectar feeders (10.9%, detritivores (6.2% and scavengers (2.4%. Seventy-nine or 4% of the insect species collected in the dunes have been solely recorded from there, and 3% of the species almost certainly derive from adjacent aquatic habitats or agricultural ecosystems, as their life histories could not be completed in Algodones Dunes habitat. The insect fauna of the Algodones Dunes is unexpectedly rich and diverse.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Herbivory by a Phloem-feeding insect inhibits floral volatile production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Pareja

    Full Text Available There is extensive knowledge on the effects of insect herbivory on volatile emission from vegetative tissue, but little is known about its impact on floral volatiles. We show that herbivory by phloem-feeding aphids inhibits floral volatile emission in white mustard Sinapis alba measured by gas chromatographic analysis of headspace volatiles. The effect of the Brassica specialist aphid Lipaphis erysimi was stronger than the generalist aphid Myzus persicae and feeding by chewing larvae of the moth Plutella xylostella caused no reduction in floral volatile emission. Field observations showed no effect of L. erysimi-mediated floral volatile emission on the total number of flower visits by pollinators. Olfactory bioassays suggested that although two aphid natural enemies could detect aphid inhibition of floral volatiles, their olfactory orientation to infested plants was not disrupted. This is the first demonstration that phloem-feeding herbivory can affect floral volatile emission, and that the outcome of interaction between herbivory and floral chemistry may differ depending on the herbivore's feeding mode and degree of specialisation. The findings provide new insights into interactions between insect herbivores and plant chemistry.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular interrogation of the feeding behaviour of field captured individual insects for interpretation of multiple host plant use.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James P Hereward

    Full Text Available The way in which herbivorous insect individuals use multiple host species is difficult to quantify under field conditions, but critical to understanding the evolutionary processes underpinning insect-host plant relationships. In this study we developed a novel approach to understanding the host plant interactions of the green mirid, Creontiades dilutus, a highly motile heteropteran bug that has been associated with many plant species. We combine quantified sampling of the insect across its various host plant species within particular sites and a molecular comparison between the insects' gut contents and available host plants. This approach allows inferences to be made as to the plants fed upon by individual insects in the field. Quantified sampling shows that this "generalist" species is consistently more abundant on two species in the genus Cullen (Fabaceae, its primary host species, than on any other of its numerous listed hosts. The chloroplast intergenic sequences reveal that C. dilutus frequently feeds on plants additional to the one from which it was collected, even when individuals were sampled from the primary host species. These data may be reconciled by viewing multiple host use in this species as an adaptation to survive spatiotemporally ephemeral habitats. The methodological framework developed here provides a basis from which new insights into the feeding behaviour and host plant relationships of herbivorous insects can be derived, which will benefit not only ecological interpretation but also our understanding of the evolution of these relationships.

  12. 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

  13. 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)

  14. Use of habitat odour by host-seeking insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Ben; Cardé, Ring T

    2017-05-01

    Locating suitable feeding or oviposition sites is essential for insect survival. Understanding how insects achieve this is crucial, not only for understanding the ecology and evolution of insect-host interactions, but also for the development of sustainable pest-control strategies that exploit insects' host-seeking behaviours. Volatile chemical cues are used by foraging insects to locate and recognise potential hosts but in nature these resources usually are patchily distributed, making chance encounters with host odour plumes rare over distances greater than tens of metres. The majority of studies on insect host-seeking have focussed on short-range orientation to easily detectable cues and it is only recently that we have begun to understand how insects overcome this challenge. Recent advances show that insects from a wide range of feeding guilds make use of 'habitat cues', volatile chemical cues released over a relatively large area that indicate a locale where more specific host cues are most likely to be found. Habitat cues differ from host cues in that they tend to be released in larger quantities, are more easily detectable over longer distances, and may lack specificity, yet provide an effective way for insects to maximise their chances of subsequently encountering specific host cues. This review brings together recent advances in this area, discussing key examples and similarities in strategies used by haematophagous insects, soil-dwelling insects and insects that forage around plants. We also propose and provide evidence for a new theory that general and non-host plant volatiles can be used by foraging herbivores to locate patches of vegetation at a distance in the absence of more specific host cues, explaining some of the many discrepancies between laboratory and field trials that attempt to make use of plant-derived repellents for controlling insect pests. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  15. A Moveable Feast: Insects Moving at the Forest-Crop Interface Are Affected by Crop Phenology and the Amount of Forest in the Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Ezequiel; Salvo, Adriana; Defagó, María Teresa; Valladares, Graciela

    2016-01-01

    Edges have become prevailing habitats, mainly as a result of habitat fragmentation and agricultural expansion. The interchange of functionally relevant organisms like insects occurs through these edges and can influence ecosystem functioning in both crop and non-crop habitats. However, very few studies have focused on the directionality of insect movement through edges, and the role of crop and non-crop amount has been ignored. Using bi-directional flight interception traps we investigated interchange of herbivore, natural enemy, pollinator and detritivore insects between native forest fragments and soybean crops, simultaneously considering movement direction, forest cover in the landscape and crop phenology. In total, 52,173 specimens and 877 morphospecies were collected. We found that, within most functional and taxonomic groups, movement intensity was similar (richness and/or abundance) between directions, whereas a predominantly forest-to-crop movement characterized natural enemies. Insect movement was extensively affected by crop phenology, decreasing during crop senescence, and was enhanced by forest cover particularly at senescence. Mainly the same herbivore species moved to and from the forest, but different natural enemy species predominated in each direction. Finally, our analyses revealed greater forest contribution to natural enemy than to herbivore communities in the crop, fading with distance to the forest in both groups. By showing that larger amounts of forest lead to richer insect interchange, in both directions and in four functional groups, our study suggests that allocation to natural and cultivated habitats at landscape level could influence functioning of both systems. Moreover, natural enemies seemed to benefit more than pests from natural vegetation, with natural enemy spillover from forests likely contributing to pest control in soybean fields. Thus consequences of insect interchange seem to be mostly positive for the agroecosystem

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Modification of plant-induced responses by an insect ecosystem engineer influences the colonization behaviour of subsequent shelter-users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uesugi, Akane; Morrell, Kimberly; Poelman, Erik H.; Raaijmakers, Ciska E.; Kessler, André

    2016-01-01

    * Herbivores that modify plant morphology, such as gall-forming insects, can disproportionately impact arthropod community on their host plants by providing novel habitats and shelters from biotic and abiotic stresses. These ecosystem engineers could also modify plant chemical properties, but how

  19. Secondary production of benthic insects in three cold-desert streams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaines, W.L.

    1987-07-01

    Aquatic insect production was studied in three cold-desert streams in eastern Washington (Douglas Creek, Snively Springs, and Rattlesnake Springs). The size-frequency method was applied to individual taxa to estimate total insect production. production was also assessed for functional groups and trophic levels in each stream. Optioservus sp. (riffle beetles) and Baetis sp. (mayflies) accounted for 72% of the total insect numbers and 50% of the total biomass in Douglas Creek. Baetis sp. accounted for 42% of the total insect numbers and 25% of the total biomass in Snively Springs. Simulium sp. (blackflies) and Baetis sp. comprised 74% of the total insect numbers and 55% of the total biomass in Rattlesnake Springs. Grazer-scrapers (49%) and collectors (48%) were the most abundant functional groups in Douglas Creek. Collectors were the most abundant functional group in Snively Springs and Rattlesnake Springs. Herbivores and detritivores were the most abundant trophic level in Snively Springs and Rattlesnake Springs. Dipterans (midges and blackflies) were the most productive taxa within the study streams, accounting for 40% to 70% of the total community production. Production by collectors and detritivores was the highest of all functional groups and trophic levels in all study streams.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Transformation of leaf litter by insect herbivory in the Subarctic: Consequences for soil biogeochemistry under global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, J. A.; Metcalfe, D. B.; Rousk, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate warming may increase insect herbivore ranges and outbreak intensities in arctic ecosystems. Thorough understanding of the implications of these changes for ecosystem processes is essential to make accurate predictions of surface-atmosphere carbon (C) feedbacks. Yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of herbivore outbreaks on soil microbial underpinnings of C and nitrogen (N) fluxes. Here, we investigate the growth responses of heterotrophic soil decomposers and C and N mineralisation to simulated defoliator outbreaks in Subarctic birch forests. In microcosms, topsoil was incubated with leaf litter, insect frass, mineral N and combinations of the three; all was added in equal amounts of N. A higher fraction of added C and N was mineralised during outbreaks (frass addition) relative to non-outbreak years (litter addition). However, under high mineral N-availability in the soil of the kind likely under longer periods of enhanced insect herbivory (litter+mineral N), the mineralised fraction of added C decreased while the mineralised fraction of N increased substantially, which suggest a shift towards more N-mining of the organic substrates. This shift was accompanied by higher fungal dominance, and may facilitate soil C-accumulation assuming constant quality of C-inputs. Thus, long-term increases of insect herbivory, of the kind observed in some areas and projected by some models, may facilitate higher ecosystem C-sink capacity in this Subarctic ecosystem.

  4. Herbivore handling of a plant's trichome: the case of Heliconius charithonia (L.) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) and Passiflora lobata (Killip) Hutch. (Passifloraceae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cardoso, Marcio Z. [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, RN (Brazil). Centro de Biociencias. Dept. de Botanica, Ecologia e Zoologia]. E-mail: mzc@cb.ufrn.br

    2008-05-15

    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)

  5. Detoxifying symbiosis: microbe-mediated detoxification of phytotoxins and pesticides in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itoh, Hideomi; Tago, Kanako; Hayatsu, Masahito; Kikuchi, Yoshitomo

    2018-04-12

    Covering: up to 2018Insects live in a world full of toxic compounds such as plant toxins and manmade pesticides. To overcome the effects of these toxins, herbivorous insects have evolved diverse, elaborate mechanisms of resistance, such as toxin avoidance, target-site alteration, and detoxification. These resistance mechanisms are thought to be encoded by the insects' own genomes, and in many cases, this holds true. However, recent omics analyses, in conjunction with classic culture-dependent analyses, have revealed that a number of insects possess specific gut microorganisms, some of which significantly contribute to resistance against phytotoxins and pesticides by degrading such chemical compounds. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding on the symbiont-mediated degradation of natural and artificial toxins, with a special emphasis on their underlying genetic basis, focus on the importance of environmental microbiota as a resource of toxin-degrading microorganisms, and discuss the ecological and evolutionary significance of these symbiotic associations.

  6. 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.

  7. Insect-plant interactions: new pathways to a better comprehension of ecological communities in Neotropical savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del-Claro, Kleber; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena M

    2009-01-01

    The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory and filled up with rich examples of multitrophic interactions, is underexplored in terms of biodiversity interaction. Here, this ecosystem is suggested as valuable to the study of insect-plant interactions whose understanding can throw a new light at the ecological communities' theory. Three distinct systems: extrafloral nectary plants or trophobiont herbivores and the associated ant fauna; floral herbivores-predators-pollinators; and plants-forest engineers and associated fauna, will serve as examples to illustrate promising new pathways in cerrado. The aim of this brief text is to instigate young researchers, mainly entomologists, to initiate more elaborated field work, including experimental manipulations in multitrophic systems, to explore in an interactive way the structure that maintain preserved viable communities in the Neotropical savanna.

  8. Floral ecology and insect visitation in riparian Tamarix sp. (saltcedar)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D.C.; Nelson, S.M.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change projections for semiarid and arid North America include reductions in stream discharge that could adversely affect riparian plant species dependent on stream-derived ground water. In order to better understand this potential impact, we used a space-for-time substitution to test the hypotheses that increasing depth-to-groundwater (DGW) is inversely related to Tamarix sp. (saltcedar) flower abundance (F) and nectar production per flower (N). We also assessed whether DGW affected the richness or abundance of insects visiting flowers. We examined Tamarix floral attributes and insect visitation patterns during 2010 and 2011 at three locations along a deep DWG gradient (3.2–4.1 m) on a floodplain terrace adjacent to Las Vegas Wash, an effluent-dominated Mojave Desert stream. Flower abundance and insect visitation patterns differed between years, but no effect from DGW on either F or N was detected. An eruption of a novel non-native herbivore, the splendid tamarisk weevil (Coniatus splendidulus), likely reduced flower production in 2011.

  9. Ethylene Contributes to maize insect resistance1-Mediated Maize Defense against the Phloem Sap-Sucking Corn Leaf Aphid1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Joe; Basu, Saumik; Varsani, Suresh; Castano-Duque, Lina; Jiang, Victoria; Williams, W. Paul; Felton, Gary W.; Luthe, Dawn S.

    2015-01-01

    Signaling networks among multiple phytohormones fine-tune plant defense responses to insect herbivore attack. Previously, it was reported that the synergistic combination of ethylene (ET) and jasmonic acid (JA) was required for accumulation of the maize insect resistance1 (mir1) gene product, a cysteine (Cys) proteinase that is a key defensive protein against chewing insect pests in maize (Zea mays). However, this study suggests that mir1-mediated resistance to corn leaf aphid (CLA; Rhopalosiphum maidis), a phloem sap-sucking insect pest, is independent of JA but regulated by the ET-signaling pathway. Feeding by CLA triggers the rapid accumulation of mir1 transcripts in the resistant maize genotype, Mp708. Furthermore, Mp708 provided elevated levels of antibiosis (limits aphid population)- and antixenosis (deters aphid settling)-mediated resistance to CLA compared with B73 and Tx601 maize susceptible inbred lines. Synthetic diet aphid feeding trial bioassays with recombinant Mir1-Cys Protease demonstrates that Mir1-Cys Protease provides direct toxicity to CLA. Furthermore, foliar feeding by CLA rapidly sends defensive signal(s) to the roots that trigger belowground accumulation of the mir1, signifying a potential role of long-distance signaling in maize defense against the phloem-feeding insects. Collectively, our data indicate that ET-regulated mir1 transcript accumulation, uncoupled from JA, contributed to heightened resistance to CLA in maize. In addition, our results underscore the significance of ET acting as a central node in regulating mir1 expression to different feeding guilds of insect herbivores. PMID:26253737

  10. A perspective on the importance of within-tree variation in mortality risk for a leaf-mining insect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Low

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Within-tree variation in abiotic conditions can create a mosaic of fitness gradients for herbivorous insects. To explore these effects, we quantified the patterns of mortality of the solitary oak leafminer, Cameraria hamadryadella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae, which lives within leaves of white oak, Quercus alba. We found differential patterns of survival and larval feeding rate within the tree and in association with several abiotic factors: light levels, leaf nitrogen content, and canopy height. We suggest that the leaf scale microhabitat conditions are fundamental to plant-herbivore-enemy interactions because of the differential fitness effects on herbivores. Such effects would be missed by studies that average effects by whole plants. Our study population of C. hamadryadella is located within the Orland E. White State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce, Virginia, USA.

  11. 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.

  12. Plant–insect interactions from Middle Triassic (late Ladinian of Monte Agnello (Dolomites, N-Italy—initial pattern and response to abiotic environmental perturbations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten Wappler

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Paleozoic–Mesozoic transition is characterized by the most massive extinction of the Phanerozoic. Nevertheless, an impressive adaptive radiation of herbivorous insects occurred on gymnosperm-dominated floras not earlier than during the Middle to Late Triassic, penecontemporaneous with similar events worldwide, all which exhibit parallel expansions of generalized and mostly specialized insect herbivory on plants, expressed as insect damage on a various plant organs and tissues. The flora from Monte Agnello is distinctive, due to its preservation in subaerially deposited pyroclastic layers with exceptionally preserved details. Thus, the para-autochthonous assemblage provides insights into environmental disturbances, caused by volcanic activity, and how they profoundly affected the structure and composition of herbivory patterns. These diverse Middle Triassic biota supply extensive evidence for insect herbivore colonization, resulting in specific and complex herbivory patterns involving the frequency and diversity of 20 distinctive damage types (DTs. These DT patterns show that external foliage feeders, piercer-and-suckers, leaf miners, gallers, and oviposition culprits were intricately using almost all tissue types from the dominant host plants of voltzialean conifers (e.g., Voltzia, horsetails, ferns (e.g., Neuropteridium, Phlebopteris, Cladophlebis and Thaumatopteris, seed ferns (e.g., Scytophyllum, and cycadophytes (e.g., Bjuvia and Nilssonia.

  13. 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

  14. Combined effects of environmental disturbance and climate warming on insect herbivory in mountain birch in subarctic forests: Results of 26-year monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, M V; Zverev, V; Zvereva, E L

    2017-12-01

    Both pollution and climate affect insect-plant interactions, but the combined effects of these two abiotic drivers of global change on insect herbivory remain almost unexplored. From 1991 to 2016, we monitored the population densities of 25 species or species groups of insects feeding on mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) in 29 sites and recorded leaf damage by insects in 21 sites in subarctic forests around the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk, north-western Russia. The leaf-eating insects demonstrated variable, and sometimes opposite, responses to pollution-induced forest disturbance and to climate variations. Consequently, we did not discover any general trend in herbivory along the disturbance gradient. Densities of eight species/species groups correlated with environmental disturbance, but these correlations weakened from 1991 to 2016, presumably due to the fivefold decrease in emissions of sulphur dioxide and heavy metals from the smelter. The densities of externally feeding defoliators decreased from 1991 to 2016 and the densities of leafminers increased, while the leaf roller densities remained unchanged. Consequently, no overall temporal trend in the abundance of birch-feeding insects emerged despite a 2-3°C elevation in spring temperatures. Damage to birch leaves by insects decreased during the observation period in heavily disturbed forests, did not change in moderately disturbed forests and tended to increase in pristine forests. The temporal stability of insect-plant interactions, quantified by the inverse of the coefficient of among-year variations of herbivore population densities and of birch foliar damage, showed a negative correlation with forest disturbance. We conclude that climate differently affects insect herbivory in heavily stressed versus pristine forests, and that herbivorous insects demonstrate diverse responses to environmental disturbance and climate variations. This diversity of responses, in combination with the

  15. Solar ultraviolet-B radiation affects seedling emergence, DNA integrity, plant morphology, growth rate, and attractiveness to herbivore insects in Datura ferox

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballare, C.L.; Scopel, A.L.; Stapleton, A.E.

    1996-01-01

    To study functional relationships between the effects of solar ultraviolet-B radiation (UV0B) on different aspects of the physiology of a wild plant, we carried out exclusion experiments in the field with the summer annual Datura ferrox L. Solar UV-B incident over Buenos Aires reduced daytime seedling emergence, inhibited stem elongation and leaf expansion, and tended to reduce biomass accumulation during early growth. However, UV-B had no effect on calculated net assimilation rate. Using a monoclonal antibody specific to the cyclobutane-pyrimidine dimer (CPD), we found that plants receiving full sunlight had more CPDs per unit of DNA than plants shielded from solar UV-B, but the positive correlation between UV-B and CPD burden tended to level off at high (near solar) UV-B levels. At our field site, Datura plants were consumed by leaf beetles (Coleoptera), and the proportion of plants attacked by insects declined with the amount of UV-B received during growth. Field experiments showed that plant exposure to solar UV-B reduced the likelihood of leaf beetle attack by one-half. Our results highlight the complexities associated with scaling plant responses to solar UV-B, because they show: (a) a lack of correspondence between UV-B effects on net assimilation rate and whole-plant growth rate, (b) nonlinear UV-B dose-response curves, and (c) UV-B effects of plant attractiveness to natural herbivores. 56 refs., 7 figs

  16. Comparative genomic analysis of the microbiome [corrected] of herbivorous insects reveals eco-environmental adaptations: biotechnology applications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weibing Shi

    Full Text Available Metagenome analysis of the gut symbionts of three different insects was conducted as a means of comparing taxonomic and metabolic diversity of gut microbiomes to diet and life history of the insect hosts. A second goal was the discovery of novel biocatalysts for biorefinery applications. Grasshopper and cutworm gut symbionts were sequenced and compared with the previously identified metagenome of termite gut microbiota. These insect hosts represent three different insect orders and specialize on different food types. The comparative analysis revealed dramatic differences among the three insect species in the abundance and taxonomic composition of the symbiont populations present in the gut. The composition and abundance of symbionts was correlated with their previously identified capacity to degrade and utilize the different types of food consumed by their hosts. The metabolic reconstruction revealed that the gut metabolome of cutworms and grasshoppers was more enriched for genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and transport than wood-feeding termite, whereas the termite gut metabolome was enriched for glycosyl hydrolase (GH enzymes relevant to lignocellulosic biomass degradation. Moreover, termite gut metabolome was more enriched with nitrogen fixation genes than those of grasshopper and cutworm gut, presumably due to the termite's adaptation to the high fiber and less nutritious food types. In order to evaluate and exploit the insect symbionts for biotechnology applications, we cloned and further characterized four biomass-degrading enzymes including one endoglucanase and one xylanase from both the grasshopper and cutworm gut symbionts. The results indicated that the grasshopper symbiont enzymes were generally more efficient in biomass degradation than the homologous enzymes from cutworm symbionts. Together, these results demonstrated a correlation between the composition and putative metabolic functionality of the gut microbiome and host

  17. 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.

  18. INSECT AS BIOLOGICAL INDICATOR FROM PROTECTED TO THE DISTURB LANDSCAPE IN CENTRAL JAVA INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karuniawan Puji Wicaksono

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In the biological science, invertebrate (especially insect diversity is relatively well known. Yet, little study about their interaction with specific land use or specific system function. With the rapid changes of landscape, biodiversity is also changes in response to human impact; due to each organism have the specific interaction with certain environment. In this research, the assessment of insect order in the different landscape types was conducted using several method of trapping to understand the specific pattern of insect which are inhabited the landscape. The objectives of this research were monitored the Insect diversity, its ecological importance to agro-forestry ecosystem, and compare it with other forest type in this area. Another objective was determined the insect characteristic as the indicator of environmental quality on each land-use system (forest, agro-forestry, plantation and monoculture. Monoculture agriculture has the largest number of Lepidoptera and Hemiptera order (herbivore insect dominated while in agro-forest system has the largest number of Diptera and coleoptera order. Protected forest, plantation forest and agro-forestry showed the similar index number which shows the similar ecological services for the insect as their habitat. However, in the monoculture agriculture, there was an unbalance insect composition and high dominance.

  19. Electron beam treatment parameters for control of stored product insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cleghorn, D.A.; Nablo, S.V.; Ferro, D.N.; Hagstrum, D.W.

    2002-01-01

    The fluidized bed process (EBFB) has been evaluated for the disinfestation of cereal grains. The various life stages from egg to adult have been studied on the 225 kV pilot as a function of surface dose. Three of the most common pests were selected: the rice weevil (S. oryzae), the lesser grain borer (R. dominica) and the red flour beetle (T. castaneum). The major challenge to this process lies in those 'protected' life-stages active deeply within the endosperm of the grain kernel. The rice weevil is such an internal feeder in which the larvae develop through several molts during several weeks before pupation and adult emergence. Product velocities up to 2000 m/min have been used for infested hard winter wheat at dose levels up to 1000 Gy. Detailed depth of penetration studies at three life stages of S. oryzae larvae were conducted at 225-700 kV and demonstrated effective mortality at 400 kVx200 Gy. Mortality data are also presented for the radiation labile eggs of these insects as well as the (sterile) adults, which typically lived for several weeks before death. These results are compared with earlier 60 Co gamma-ray studies on these same insects. Based upon these studies, the effectiveness of the fluidized bed process employing self-shielded electron beam equipment for insect control in wheat/rice at sub-kilogray dose levels has been demonstrated

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. An EAR-motif-containing ERF transcription factor affects herbivore-induced signaling, defense and resistance in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jing; Ju, Hongping; Zhou, Guoxin; Zhu, Chuanshu; Erb, Matthias; Wang, Xiaopeng; Wang, Peng; Lou, Yonggen

    2011-11-01

    Ethylene responsive factors (ERFs) are a large family of plant-specific transcription factors that are involved in the regulation of plant development and stress responses. However, little to nothing is known about their role in herbivore-induced defense. We discovered a nucleus-localized ERF gene in rice (Oryza sativa), OsERF3, that was rapidly up-regulated in response to feeding by the rice striped stem borer (SSB) Chilo suppressalis. Antisense and over-expression of OsERF3 revealed that it positively affects transcript levels of two mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and two WRKY genes as well as concentrations of jasmonate (JA), salicylate (SA) and the activity of trypsin protease inhibitors (TrypPIs). OsERF3 was also found to mediate the resistance of rice to SSB. On the other hand, OsERF3 was slightly suppressed by the rice brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens (Stål) and increased susceptibility to this piercing sucking insect, possibly by suppressing H(2)O(2) biosynthesis. We propose that OsERF3 affects early components of herbivore-induced defense responses by suppressing MAPK repressors and modulating JA, SA, ethylene and H(2)O(2) pathways as well as plant resistance. Our results also illustrate that OsERF3 acts as a central switch that gears the plant's metabolism towards an appropriate response to chewing or piercing/sucking insects. © 2011 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. Colored and white sectors of petunia flowers display differential resistance to insect herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insect herbivory of crops increases the probability of fungal infection in damaged tissues. Mycotoxins produced by some fungi are harmful to livestock and humans. Increasing plant resistance lowers the levels of fungal infection and mycotoxin levels. The Bt toxin successfully kills only a fractio...

  4. Can soil microbial diversity influence plant metabolites and life history traits of a rhizophagous insect? A demonstration in oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachaise, Tom; Ourry, Morgane; Lebreton, Lionel; Guillerm-Erckelboudt, Anne-Yvonne; Linglin, Juliette; Paty, Chrystelle; Chaminade, Valérie; Marnet, Nathalie; Aubert, Julie; Poinsot, Denis; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Mougel, Christophe

    2017-12-01

    Interactions between plants and phytophagous insects play an important part in shaping the biochemical composition of plants. Reciprocally plant metabolites can influence major life history traits in these insects and largely contribute to their fitness. Plant rhizospheric microorganisms are an important biotic factor modulating plant metabolites and adaptation to stress. While plant-insects or plant-microorganisms interactions and their consequences on the plant metabolite signature are well-documented, the impact of soil microbial communities on plant defenses against phytophagous insects remains poorly known. In this study, we used oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and the cabbage root fly (Delia radicum) as biological models to tackle this question. Even though D. radicum is a belowground herbivore as a larva, its adult life history traits depend on aboveground signals. We therefore tested whether soil microbial diversity influenced emergence rate and fitness but also fly oviposition behavior, and tried to link possible effects to modifications in leaf and root metabolites. Through a removal-recolonization experiment, 3 soil microbial modalities ("high," "medium," "low") were established and assessed through amplicon sequencing of 16S and 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The "medium" modality in the rhizosphere significantly improved insect development traits. Plant-microorganism interactions were marginally associated to modulations of root metabolites profiles, which could partly explain these results. We highlighted the potential role of plant-microbial interaction in plant defenses against Delia radicum. Rhizospheric microbial communities must be taken into account when analyzing plant defenses against herbivores, being either below or aboveground. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  5. 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

  6. Volatiles of Solena amplexicaulis (Lam.) Gandhi Leaves Influencing Attraction of Two Generalist Insect Herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Nupur; Karmakar, Amarnath; Barik, Anandamay

    2016-10-01

    Epilachna vigintioctopunctata Fabr. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Aulacophora foveicollis Lucas (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) are important pests of Solena amplexicaulis (Lam.) Gandhi (Cucurbitaceae), commonly known as creeping cucumber. The profiles of volatile organic compounds from undamaged plants, plants after 48 hr continuous feeding of adult females of either E. vigintioctopunctata or A. foveicollis, by adults of both species, and after mechanical damaging were identified and quantified by GC-MS and GC-FID analyses. Thirty two compounds were detected in volatiles of all treatments. In all plants, methyl jasmonate was the major compound. In Y-shaped glass tube olfactometer bioassays under laboratory conditions, both insect species showed a significant preference for complete volatile blends from insect damaged plants, compared to those of undamaged plants. Neither E. vigintioctopunctata nor A. foveicollis showed any preference for volatiles released by heterospecifically damaged plants vs. conspecifically damaged plants or plants attacked by both species. Epilachna vigintioctopunctata and A. foveicollis showed attraction to three different synthetic compounds, linalool oxide, nonanal, and E-2-nonenal in proportions present in volatiles of insect damaged plants. Both species were attracted by a synthetic blend of 1.64 μg linalool oxide + 3.86 μg nonanal + 2.23 μg E-2-nonenal, dissolved in 20 μl methylene chloride. This combination might be used as trapping tools in pest management strategies.

  7. Sequestration, tissue distribution and developmental transmission of cyanogenic glucosides in a specialist insect herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagrobelny, Mika; Olsen, Carl Erik; Pentzold, Stefan; Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Jørgensen, Kirsten; Bak, Søren; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Motawia, Mohammed Saddik

    2014-01-01

    Considering the staggering diversity of bioactive natural products present in plants, insects are only able to sequester a small number of phytochemicals from their food plants. The mechanisms of how only some phytochemicals are sequestered and how the sequestration process takes place remains largely unknown. In this study the model system of Zygaena filipendulae (Lepidoptera) and their food plant Lotus corniculatus is used to advance the knowledge of insect sequestration. Z. filipendulae larvae are dependent on sequestration of the cyanogenic glucosides linamarin and lotaustralin from their food plant, and have a much lower fitness if reared on plants without these compounds. This study investigates the fate of the cyanogenic glucosides during ingestion, sequestration in the larvae, and in the course of insect ontogeny. To this purpose, double-labeled linamarin and lotaustralin were chemically synthesized carrying two stable isotopes, a (2)H labeled aglucone and a (13)C labeled glucose moiety. In addition, a small amount of (14)C was incorporated into the glucose residue. The isotope-labeled compounds were applied onto cyanogenic L. corniculatus leaves that were subsequently presented to the Z. filipendulae larvae. Following ingestion by the larvae, the destiny of the isotope labeled cyanogenic glucosides was monitored in different tissues of larvae and adults at selected time points, using radio-TLC and LC-MS analyses. It was shown that sequestered compounds are taken up intact, contrary to earlier hypotheses where it was suggested that the compounds would have to be hydrolyzed before transport across the gut. The uptake from the larval gut was highly stereo selective as the β-glucosides were retained while the α-glucosides were excreted and recovered in the frass. Sequestered compounds were rapidly distributed into all analyzed tissues of the larval body, partly retained throughout metamorphosis and transferred into the adult insect where they were

  8. Characterization of Natural and Simulated Herbivory on Wild Soybean (Glycine soja Seib. et Zucc. for Use in Ecological Risk Assessment of Insect Protected Soybean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hidetoshi Goto

    Full Text Available Insect-protected soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr. was developed to protect against foliage feeding by certain Lepidopteran insects. The assessment of potential consequences of transgene introgression from soybean to wild soybean (Glycine soja Seib. et Zucc. is required as one aspect of the environmental risk assessment (ERA in Japan. A potential hazard of insect-protected soybean may be hypothesized as transfer of a trait by gene flow to wild soybean and subsequent reduction in foliage feeding by Lepidopteran insects that result in increased weediness of wild soybean in Japan. To assess this potential hazard two studies were conducted. A three-year survey of wild soybean populations in Japan was conducted to establish basic information on foliage damage caused by different herbivores. When assessed across all populations and years within each prefecture, the total foliage from different herbivores was ≤ 30%, with the lowest levels of defoliation (< 2% caused by Lepidopteran insects. A separate experiment using five levels of simulated defoliation (0%, 10%, 25%, 50% and 100% was conducted to assess the impact on pod and seed production and time to maturity of wild soybean. The results indicated that there was no decrease in wild soybean plants pod or seed number or time to maturity at defoliation rates up to 50%. The results from these experiments indicate that wild soybean is not limited by lepidopteran feeding and has an ability to compensate for defoliation levels observed in nature. Therefore, the potential hazard to wild soybean from the importation of insect-protected soybean for food and feed into Japan is negligible.

  9. 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.

  10. Cost-benefit analysis for biological control programs that target insects pests of eucalypts in urban landscapes of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    T.D. Paine; J.G. Millar; L.M. Hanks; J. Gould; Q. Wang; K. Daane; D.L. Dahlsten; E.G. McPherson

    2015-01-01

    As well as being planted for wind breaks, landscape trees, and fuel wood, eucalypts are also widely used as urban street trees in California. They now are besieged by exotic insect herbivores of four different feeding guilds. The objective of the current analysis was to determine the return on investment from biological control programs that have targeted these pests....

  11. Trans-generational desensitization and within-generational resensitization of a sucrose-best neuron in the polyphagous herbivore Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Ying Ma; Jingjing Li; Qingbo Tang; Xuening Zhang; Xincheng Zhao; Fengming Yan; Joop J. A. van Loon

    2016-01-01

    Dietary exposure of insects to a feeding deterrent substance for hours to days can induce habituation and concomitant desensitization of the response of peripheral gustatory neurons to such a substance. In the present study, larvae of the herbivore Helicoverpa armigera were fed on diets containing either a high, medium or low concentration of sucrose, a major feeding stimulant. The responsiveness of the sucrose-best neuron in the lateral sensilla styloconica on the galea was quantified. Resul...

  12. 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

  13. Insect density-plant density relationships: a modified view of insect responses to resource concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Petter; Löfstedt, Christer; Hambäck, Peter A

    2013-12-01

    Habitat area is an important predictor of spatial variation in animal densities. However, the area often correlates with the quantity of resources within habitats, complicating our understanding of the factors shaping animal distributions. We addressed this problem by investigating densities of insect herbivores in habitat patches with a constant area but varying numbers of plants. Using a mathematical model, predictions of scale-dependent immigration and emigration rates for insects into patches with different densities of host plants were derived. Moreover, a field experiment was conducted where the scaling properties of odour-mediated attraction in relation to the number of odour sources were estimated, in order to derive a prediction of immigration rates of olfactory searchers. The theoretical model predicted that we should expect immigration rates of contact and visual searchers to be determined by patch area, with a steep scaling coefficient, μ = -1. The field experiment suggested that olfactory searchers should show a less steep scaling coefficient, with μ ≈ -0.5. A parameter estimation and analysis of published data revealed a correspondence between observations and predictions, and density-variation among groups could largely be explained by search behaviour. Aphids showed scaling coefficients corresponding to the prediction for contact/visual searchers, whereas moths, flies and beetles corresponded to the prediction for olfactory searchers. As density responses varied considerably among groups, and variation could be explained by a certain trait, we conclude that a general theory of insect responses to habitat heterogeneity should be based on shared traits, rather than a general prediction for all species.

  14. How insects overcome two-component plant chemical defence: plant β-glucosidases as the main target for herbivore adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Rook, Fred; Bak, Søren

    2014-08-01

    Insect herbivory is often restricted by glucosylated plant chemical defence compounds that are activated by plant β-glucosidases to release toxic aglucones upon plant tissue damage. Such two-component plant defences are widespread in the plant kingdom and examples of these classes of compounds are alkaloid, benzoxazinoid, cyanogenic and iridoid glucosides as well as glucosinolates and salicinoids. Conversely, many insects have evolved a diversity of counteradaptations to overcome this type of constitutive chemical defence. Here we discuss that such counter-adaptations occur at different time points, before and during feeding as well as during digestion, and at several levels such as the insects’ feeding behaviour, physiology and metabolism. Insect adaptations frequently circumvent or counteract the activity of the plant β-glucosidases, bioactivating enzymes that are a key element in the plant’s two-component chemical defence. These adaptations include host plant choice, non-disruptive feeding guilds and various physiological adaptations as well as metabolic enzymatic strategies of the insect’s digestive system. Furthermore, insect adaptations often act in combination, may exist in both generalists and specialists, and can act on different classes of defence compounds. We discuss how generalist and specialist insects appear to differ in their ability to use these different types of adaptations: in generalists, adaptations are often inducible, whereas in specialists they are often constitutive. Future studies are suggested to investigate in detail how insect adaptations act in combination to overcome plant chemical defences and to allow ecologically relevant conclusions.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Multi-scale responses to warming in an experimental insect metacommunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grainger, Tess Nahanni; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2017-12-01

    In metacommunities, diversity is the product of species interactions at the local scale and dispersal between habitat patches at the regional scale. Although warming can alter both species interactions and dispersal, the combined effects of warming on these two processes remains uncertain. To determine the independent and interactive effects of warming-induced changes to local species interactions and dispersal, we constructed experimental metacommunities consisting of enclosed milkweed patches seeded with five herbivorous milkweed specialist insect species. We treated metacommunities with two levels of warming (unwarmed and warmed) and three levels of connectivity (isolated, low connectivity, high connectivity). Based on metabolic theory, we predicted that if plant resources were limited, warming would accelerate resource drawdown, causing local insect declines and increasing both insect dispersal and the importance of connectivity to neighboring patches for insect persistence. Conversely, given abundant resources, warming could have positive local effects on insects, and the risk of traversing a corridor to reach a neighboring patch could outweigh the benefits of additional resources. We found support for the latter scenario. Neither resource drawdown nor the weak insect-insect associations in our system were affected by warming, and most insect species did better locally in warmed conditions and had dispersal responses that were unchanged or indirectly affected by warming. Dispersal across the matrix posed a species-specific risk that led to declines in two species in connected metacommunities. Combined, this scaled up to cause an interactive effect of warming and connectivity on diversity, with unwarmed metacommunities with low connectivity incurring the most rapid declines in diversity. Overall, this study demonstrates the importance of integrating the complex outcomes of species interactions and spatial structure in understanding community response to climate

  19. Age and size at maturity: a quantitative review of diet-induced reaction norms in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teder, Tiit; Vellau, Helen; Tammaru, Toomas

    2014-11-01

    Optimality models predict that diet-induced bivariate reaction norms for age and size at maturity can have diverse shapes, with the slope varying from negative to positive. To evaluate these predictions, we perform a quantitative review of relevant data, using a literature-derived database of body sizes and development times for over 200 insect species. We show that bivariate reaction norms with a negative slope prevail in nearly all taxonomic and ecological categories of insects as well as in some other ectotherm taxa with comparable life histories (arachnids and amphibians). In insects, positive slopes are largely limited to species, which feed on discrete resource items, parasitoids in particular. By contrast, with virtually no meaningful exceptions, herbivorous and predatory insects display reaction norms with a negative slope. This is consistent with the idea that predictable resource depletion, a scenario selecting for positively sloped reaction norms, is not frequent for these insects. Another source of such selection-a positive correlation between resource levels and juvenile mortality rates-should similarly be rare among insects. Positive slopes can also be predicted by models which integrate life-history evolution and population dynamics. As bottom-up regulation is not common in most insect groups, such models may not be most appropriate for insects. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  20. 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.

  1. Endure and call for help

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucas Gomes Marques Barbosa, Dani; Dicke, Marcel; Kranenburg, Twan; Aartsma, Yavanna; Beek, van Teris A.; Huigens, Martinus E.; Loon, van Joop J.A.

    2017-01-01

    Plants have evolved inducible resistance and tolerance mechanisms against insect herbivores. Resistance mechanisms that affect herbivorous insects directly can be effective against generalist herbivores, but will not deter specialist herbivores from attacking the plant. Tolerance mechanisms and

  2. An amino acid substitution inhibits specialist herbivore production of an antagonist effector and recovers insect-induced plant defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plants respond to insect herbivory through the production of biochemicals that function as either direct defenses or indirect defenses via the attraction of natural enemies. Curiously, attack by even closely related insect pests can result in distinctive levels of induced plant defenses. Despite the...

  3. Sequestration, tissue distribution and developmental transmission of cyanogenic glucosides in a specialist insect herbivore

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zagrobelny, Mika; Olsen, Carl Erik; Pentzold, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Considering the staggering diversity of bioactive natural products present in plants, insects are only able to sequester a small number of phytochemicals from their food plants. The mechanisms of how only some phytochemicals are sequestered and how the sequestration process takes place remains la...

  4. Wide Ranging Insect Infestation of the Pioneer Mangrove Sonneratia alba by Two Insect Species along the Kenyan Coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisha Mrabu Jenoh

    Full Text Available Insect infestation of mangroves currently threatens mangrove forest health and management. In the Western Indian Ocean region, little is known about insect damage to mangroves despite the fact that numerous infestations have occurred. In Kenya, infestations of Sonneratia alba have persisted for almost two decades, yet the taxonomic identity of the infesting pest(s, the extent of infestation, the pests' biology, the impacts of infestation on host and the ecosystem, the host's defensive strategies to the infestation are poorly understood. S. alba is a ubiquitous, pioneer mangrove species of the Indo-Pacific, occurring along the waterfront in a variety of mangrove ecosystem settings. Our main objectives were to identify the pest(s responsible for the current dieback of S. alba in Kenya, and to determine the extent of infestation. To identify the pests responsible for infestation, we trapped emergent insects and reared larvae in the laboratory. To determine the overall extent of infestation within the S. alba zone, we assessed nine sites along the entire Kenyan coastline for the presence or absence of infested mangroves. Insect infestation in two mangrove embayments (Gazi and Mida was quantified in depth. Two wood-boring insects were identified: a metarbelid moth (Lepidoptera, Cossoidea of undescribed genus and the beetle Bottegia rubra (Cerambycidae, Lamiinae.The metarbelid moth infests mangroves in both northern (from Ngomeni to Kiunga and southern regions (from Vanga to Mtwapa of the Kenyan coast. B. rubra appeared in low density in Gazi, and in high density in Mida, Kilifi, and Ngomeni, with densities gradually decreasing northward. Insect infestation levels reached 18% in Gazi and 25% of S. alba stands in Mida. Our results indicate that B. rubra has the ability to infest young mangrove trees and expand its range, posing a danger to rehabilitation efforts where plantations have been established. Thus, there is great need for forest managers to

  5. 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.

  6. Early transcriptome analyses of Z-3-Hexenol-treated zea mays revealed distinct transcriptional networks and anti-herbivore defense potential of green leaf volatiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurgen Engelberth

    Full Text Available Green leaf volatiles (GLV, which are rapidly emitted by plants in response to insect herbivore damage, are now established as volatile defense signals. Receiving plants utilize these molecules to prime their defenses and respond faster and stronger when actually attacked. To further characterize the biological activity of these compounds we performed a microarray analysis of global gene expression. The focus of this project was to identify early transcriptional events elicited by Z-3-hexenol (Z-3-HOL as our model GLV in maize (Zea mays seedlings. The microarray results confirmed previous studies on Z-3-HOL -induced gene expression but also provided novel information about the complexity of Z-3-HOL -induced transcriptional networks. Besides identifying a distinct set of genes involved in direct and indirect defenses we also found significant expression of genes involved in transcriptional regulation, Ca(2+-and lipid-related signaling, and cell wall reinforcement. By comparing these results with those obtained by treatment of maize seedlings with insect elicitors we found a high degree of correlation between the two expression profiles at this early time point, in particular for those genes related to defense. We further analyzed defense gene expression induced by other volatile defense signals and found Z-3-HOL to be significantly more active than methyl jasmonate, methyl salicylate, and ethylene. The data presented herein provides important information on early genetic networks that are activated by Z-3-HOL and demonstrates the effectiveness of this compound in the regulation of typical plant defenses against insect herbivores in maize.

  7. Antagonistic interactions between plant competition and insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schädler, Martin; Brandl, Roland; Haase, Josephine

    2007-06-01

    Interspecific competition between plants and herbivory by specialized insects can have synergistic effects on the growth and performance of the attacked host plant. We tested the hypothesis that competition between plants may also negatively affect the performance of herbivores as well as their top-down effect on the host plant. In such a case, the combined effects of competition and herbivory may be less than expected from a simple multiplicative response. In other words, competition and herbivory may interact antagonistically. In a greenhouse experiment, Poa annua was grown in the presence or absence of a competitor (either Plantago lanceolata or Trifolium repens), as well as with or without a Poa-specialist aphid herbivore. Both competition and herbivory negatively affected Poa growth. Competition also reduced aphid density on Poa. This effect could in part be explained by changes in the biomass and the nitrogen content of Poa shoots. In treatments with competitors, reduced aphid densities alleviated the negative effect of herbivory on above- and belowground Poa biomass. Hence, we were able to demonstrate an antagonistic interaction between plant-plant interspecific competition and herbivory. However, response indices suggested that antagonistic interactions between competition and herbivory were contingent on the identity of the competitor. We found the antagonistic effect only in treatments with T. repens as the competitor. We conclude that both competitor identity and the herbivore's ability to respond with changes in its density or activity to plant competition affect the magnitude and direction (synergistic vs. antagonistic) of the interaction between competition and herbivory on plant growth.

  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. Contribution to the study of the insect fauna of some conifer species in the region of Western Traras (Tlemcen - Algeria)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichane, M.; Bouchikhi Tani, Z.; Khelil, M.A.

    2013-01-01

    Within the framework of the study of Biocenotic insects related to conifer species in Traras, the Western region of Tlemcen, a comprehensive knowledge of the insect fauna hosted by the Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensisMill.), Thuya Barbary (Tetraclinis articulata(Vahl) Masters)) and Cypress green(Cupressus sempervirensL) is essential. The various methods used for capturing insects allowed the collection of a large number of species, but a large number still remains unknown. These species are distributed among 10 orders of which the most important are the Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera. Through this list of insects and the nature of their food, six diets to which these species belong were identified. The most representative are herbivores, auxiliaries and borers. This inventory allows the compilation of a list of insects harmful to the conifer species studied in this region. They total species including 9 phytophagous, 8 xylophagous, 7 seed-eating species, 5 opophages and one gall species. The auxiliaries are present with 26 species. (author)

  10. Differential performance and parasitism of caterpillars on maize inbred lines with distinctly different herbivore-induced volatile emissions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Degen

    Full Text Available Plant volatiles induced by insect feeding are known to attract natural enemies of the herbivores. Six maize inbred lines that showed distinctly different patterns of volatile emission in laboratory assays were planted in randomized plots in the Central Mexican Highlands to test their ability to recruit parasitic wasps under field conditions. The plants were artificially infested with neonate larvae of the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda, and two of its main endoparasitoids, Campoletis sonorensis and Cotesia marginiventris, were released in the plots. Volatiles were collected from equally treated reference plants in the neighbourhood of the experimental field. The cumulative amount of 36 quantified volatile compounds determined for each line was in good accordance with findings from the laboratory; there was an almost 15-fold difference in total emission between the two extreme lines. We found significant differences among the lines with respect to the numbers of armyworms recovered from the plants, their average weight gain and parasitism rates. Average weight of the caterpillars was negatively correlated with the average total amount of volatiles released by the six inbred lines. However, neither total volatile emission nor any specific single compound within the blend could explain the differential parasitism rates among the lines, with the possible exception of (E-2-hexenal for Campoletis sonorensis and methyl salicylate for Cotesia marginiventris. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles and/or correlates thereof contribute to reducing insect damage of maize plants through direct plant defence and enhanced attraction of parasitoids, alleged indirect defence. The potential to exploit these volatiles for pest control deserves to be further evaluated.

  11. Shifts in Plant Assemblages Reduce the Richness of Galling Insects Across Edge-Affected Habitats in the Atlantic Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Danielle G; Santos, Jean C; Oliveira, Marcondes A; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2016-10-01

    Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on specialist herbivores have been rarely addressed. Here we examine the structure of plant and galling insect assemblages in a fragmented landscape of the Atlantic forest to verify a potential impoverishment of these assemblages mediated by edge effects. Saplings and galling insects were recorded once within a 0.1-ha area at habitat level, covering forest interior stands, forest edges, and small fragments. A total of 1,769 saplings from 219 tree species were recorded across all three habitats, with differences in terms of sapling abundance and species richness. Additionally, edge-affected habitats exhibited reduced richness of both host-plant and galling insects at plot and habitat spatial scale. Attack levels also differed among forest types at habitat spatial scale (21.1% of attacked stems in forest interior, 12.4% in small fragments but only 8.5% in forest edges). Plot ordination resulted in three clearly segregated clusters: one formed by forest interior, one by small fragments, and another formed by edge plots. Finally, the indicator species analysis identified seven and one indicator plant species in forest interior and edge-affected habitats, respectively. Consequently, edge effects lead to formation of distinct taxonomic groups and also an impoverished assemblage of plants and galling insects at multiple spatial scales. The results of the present study indicate that fragmentation-related changes in plant assemblages can have a cascade effects on specialist herbivores. Accordingly, hyperfragmented landscapes may not be able to retain an expressive portion of tropical biodiversity. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Chemical Cues in Tritrophic Interaction on Biocontrol of Insect Pest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurindah Nurindah

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Tritrophic interaction among host plant-herbivore-parasitoid involves chemical cues. The infested plant by herbivores has been reacted to produce volatiles which is a cue used by the herbivore parasitoids for host location. These volatiles can be developed to enhance natural control of insect pests, especially by optimally use of parasitoids. Egg parasitoids are biocontrol agents that play an important role in natural control of herbivores. This research used a tritrophic interaction model of rice plant-brown plant hopper (BPH-egg parasitoid of BPH. Research on analysis of chemical cues in tritrophic interactions was aimed to identify volatiles that are used by the parasitoid to find its host. The volatiles that effectively affect the parasitoid orientation behavior could be developed into a parasitoid attractant. Extraction of volatiles as the egg parasitoid cues was done using soxhlet, and identification of the volatiles using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS. Bioassay of the volatiles on the BPH parasitoid orientation behavior was performed using Y-tube olfactometry. The volatiles that are used for host location cues by the parasitoid affect the parasitoid orientation behavior by showing the preference of the parasitoid females to the odor of volatile. Volatiles extracted from BPH-egg-infested plants and uninfested plants contain alcohol, hydrocarbon, and ester compounds. Based on the difference of the compound composition of both extractions, five compounds of long-chain hydrocarbon, both branched and unsaturated compounds are the main volatile components which caused positive orientation behavior of the egg parasitoid. The egg parasitoids showed positive behavior orientation toward the volatiles extracted from BPH-egg-infested plant. Those hydrocarbon compounds are potential materials to be developed into bio attractants of BPH egg parasitoid.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. An amino acid substitution inhibits specialist herbivore production of a competitive antagonist effector and recovers insect-induced plant defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plants respond to insect herbivory through the production of biochemicals that function as either direct defenses or indirect defenses via the attraction of natural enemies. Curiously, attack by even closely related insect pests can result in distinctive levels of induced plant defenses. Despite the...

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. How common is ecological speciation in plant-feeding insects? A 'Higher' Nematinae perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nyman Tommi

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological speciation is a process in which a transiently resource-polymorphic species divides into two specialized sister lineages as a result of divergent selection pressures caused by the use of multiple niches or environments. Ecology-based speciation has been studied intensively in plant-feeding insects, in which both sympatric and allopatric shifts onto novel host plants could speed up diversification. However, while numerous examples of species pairs likely to have originated by resource shifts have been found, the overall importance of ecological speciation in relation to other, non-ecological speciation modes remains unknown. Here, we apply phylogenetic information on sawflies belonging to the 'Higher' Nematinae (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae to infer the frequency of niche shifts in relation to speciation events. Results Phylogenetic trees reconstructed on the basis of DNA sequence data show that the diversification of higher nematines has involved frequent shifts in larval feeding habits and in the use of plant taxa. However, the inferred number of resource shifts is considerably lower than the number of past speciation events, indicating that the majority of divergences have occurred by non-ecological allopatric speciation; based on a time-corrected analysis of sister species, we estimate that a maximum of c. 20% of lineage splits have been triggered by a change in resource use. In addition, we find that postspeciational changes in geographic distributions have led to broad sympatry in many species having identical host-plant ranges. Conclusion Our analysis indicates that the importance of niche shifts for the diversification of herbivorous insects is at present implicitly and explicitly overestimated. In the case of the Higher Nematinae, employing a time correction for sister-species comparisons lowered the proportion of apparent ecology-based speciation events from c. 50-60% to around 20%, but such corrections are

  19. 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)

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. Differential physiological responses of dalmatian toadflax, Linaria dalmatica L. Miller, to injury from two insect biological control agents: Implications for decision-making in biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert K. D. Peterson; Sharlene E. Sing; David K. Weaver

    2005-01-01

    Successful biological control of invasive weeds with specialist herbivorous insects is predicated on the assumption that the injury stresses the weeds sufficiently to cause reductions in individual fitness. Because plant gas exchange directly impacts growth and fitness, characterizing how injury affects these primary processes may provide a key indicator of...

  3. Studying Plant–Insect Interactions with Solid Phase Microextraction: Screening for Airborne Volatile Emissions Response of Soybeans to the Soybean Aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingshuang Cai

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Insects trigger plants to release volatile compounds that mediate the interaction with both pest and beneficial insects. Soybean aphids (Aphis glycines induces soybean (Glycine max leaves to produce volatiles that attract predators of the aphid. In this research, we describe the use of solid-phase microextraction (SPME for extraction of volatiles from A. glycines-infested plant. Objectives were to (1 determine if SPME can be used to collect soybean plant volatiles and to (2 use headspace SPME-GC-MS approach to screen compounds associated with A. glycines-infested soybeans, grown in the laboratory and in the field, to identify previously known and potentially novel chemical markers of infestation. A total of 62 plant volatiles were identified, representing 10 chemical classes. 39 compounds had not been found in previous studies of soybean volatile emissions. 3-hexen-1-ol, dimethyl nonatriene, indole, caryophyllene, benzaldehyde, linalool, methyl salicylate (MeSA, benzene ethanol, and farnesene were considered herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs. For reproductive field-grown soybeans, three compounds were emitted in greater abundance from leaves infested with A. glycines, cis-3-hexen-1-ol acetate, MeSA and farnesene. In summary, SPME can detect the emission of HIPVs from plants infested with insect herbivores.

  4. Interspecific competition influences the organization of a diverse sessile insect community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelissen, Tatiana; de Carvalho Guimarães, Carla Daniele; Rodrigues Viana, João Paulo; Silva, Bárbara

    2013-10-01

    Interspecific competition has played a major role in determining the effects of species interactions in terrestrial communities and the perception of its role on shaping population dynamics and community structure has changed throughout the years. In this study, we evaluated the existence of interspecific competition in the herbivore community of the dioecious plant Baccharis pseudomyriocephala (Asteraceae), which holds a diverse community of gall-forming insects. Sixty plants were studied and gall richness and abundance among plants were evaluated. To address whether a plant already occupied by a gall species is preferred or avoided by another gall species, null models were used for all 60 plants combined and for male and female plants separately. Our results have shown that the 11 species of gall-formers found on B. pseudomyriocephala co-occur less than expected by chance alone, indicating that interspecific competition might be an important force structuring the insect community in this tropical host plant, regardless of plant gender.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Guide for dosimetry for sterile insect release programs. 2. ed.

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-01-01

    This guide outlines dosimetric procedures to be followed for the radiation sterilization of live insects for use in pest management programs. The primary use of irradiated, reproductively sterile insects is in the Sterile Insect Technique, where large numbers of sterile insects are released into the field to mate with and thus control pest populations of the same species. A secondary use of sterile insects is as benign hosts for rearing insect parasitoids. The procedures outlined in this guide will help ensure that insects processed with ionizing radiation from gamma, electron, or X-ray sources receive absorbed doses within a predetermined range. Information on effective dose ranges for specific applications of insect sterilization, or on methodology for determining effective dose ranges, is not within the scope of this guide. Note: Dosimetry is only one component of a total quality control program to ensure that irradiated insects are adequately sterilized and sufficiently competitive or otherwise suitable for their intended purpose. This guide covers dosimetry in the irradiation of insects for these types of irradiators: self-contained dry-storage 137 Cs or 60 Co irradiators, large-scale gamma irradiators, and electron accelerators. Additional, detailed information on dosimetric procedures to be followed in installation qualification, operational qualification, performance qualification, and routine product processing can be found in ISO/ASTM Practices 51608 (X-ray [bremsstrahlung] facilities), 51649 (electron beam facilities), 51702 (large-scale gamma facilities), and ASTM Practice E 2116 (self-contained dry-storage gamma facilities). The absorbed dose for insect sterilization is typically within the range of 20 Gy to 600 Gy

  8. Herbivore impacts on marsh production depend upon a compensatory continuum mediated by salinity stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  9. Plant Tolerance: A Unique Approach to Control Hemipteran Pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Kyle G; Chapman, Kaitlin; Louis, Joe; Heng-Moss, Tiffany; Sarath, Gautam

    2016-01-01

    Plant tolerance to insect pests has been indicated to be a unique category of resistance, however, very little information is available on the mechanism of tolerance against insect pests. Tolerance is distinctive in terms of the plant's ability to withstand or recover from herbivore injury through growth and compensatory physiological processes. Because plant tolerance involves plant compensatory characteristics, the plant is able to harbor large numbers of herbivores without interfering with the insect pest's physiology or behavior. Some studies have observed that tolerant plants can compensate photosynthetically by avoiding feedback inhibition and impaired electron flow through photosystem II that occurs as a result of insect feeding. Similarly, the up-regulation of peroxidases and other oxidative enzymes during insect feeding, in conjunction with elevated levels of phytohormones can play an important role in providing plant tolerance to insect pests. Hemipteran insects comprise some of the most economically important plant pests (e.g., aphids, whiteflies), due to their ability to achieve high population growth and their potential to transmit plant viruses. In this review, results from studies on plant tolerance to hemipterans are summarized, and potential models to understand tolerance are presented.

  10. Differential Response of a Local Population of Entomopathogenic Nematodes to Non-Native Herbivore Induced Plant Volatiles (HIPV) in the Laboratory and Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, Monique J; Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar; Alborn, Hans T; Koppenhöfer, Albrecht M

    2016-12-01

    Recent work has shown the potential for enhanced efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) through their attraction to herbivore induced plant volatiles. However, there has been little investigation into the utilization of these attractants in systems other than in those in which they were identified. We compared (E)-β-caryophyllene and pregeijerene in the highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) agroecosystem in their ability to enhance the attraction of EPN to and efficacy against the system's herbivore, oriental beetle (Anomala orientalis). The relative attractiveness of (E)-β-caryophyllene and pregeijerene to a local isolate of the EPN species Steinernema glaseri was tested in a six-arm olfactometer in the laboratory to gather baseline values of attraction to the chemicals alone in sand substrate before field tests. A similar arrangement was used in a V. corymbosum field by placing six cages with assigned treatments and insect larvae with and without compound into the soil around the base of 10 plants. The cages were removed after 72 h, and insect baits were retrieved and assessed for EPN infection. The lab results indicate that in sand alone (E)-β-caryophyllene is significantly more attractive than pregeijerene to the local S. glaseri isolate Conversely, there was no difference in attractiveness in the field study, but rather, native S. glaseri were more attracted to cages with G. mellonella larvae, no larvae, and cages with the blank control and G. mellonella larvae.

  11. Plant strengtheners enhance parasitoid attraction to herbivore-damaged cotton via qualitative and quantitative changes in induced volatiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobhy, Islam S; Erb, Matthias; Turlings, Ted C J

    2015-05-01

    Herbivore-damaged plants release a blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that differs from undamaged plants. These induced changes are known to attract the natural enemies of the herbivores and therefore are expected to be important determinants of the effectiveness of biological control in agriculture. One way of boosting this phenomenon is the application of plant strengtheners, which has been shown to enhance parasitoid attraction in maize. It is unclear whether this is also the case for other important crops. The plant strengtheners BTH [benzo (1,2,3) thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester] and laminarin were applied to cotton plants, and the effects on volatile releases and the attraction of three hymenopteran parasitoids, Cotesia marginiventris, Campoletis sonorensis and Microplitis rufiventris, were studied. After treated and untreated plants were induced by real or simulated caterpillar feeding, it was found that BTH treatment increased the attraction of the parasitoids, whereas laminarin had no significant effect. BTH treatment selectively increased the release of two homoterpenes and reduced the emission of indole, the latter of which had been shown to interfere with parasitoid attraction in earlier studies. Canonical variate analyses of the data show that the parasitoid responses were dependent on the quality rather than the quantity of volatile emission in this tritrophic interaction. Overall, these results strengthen the emerging paradigm that induction of plant defences with chemical elicitors such as BTH could provide a sustainable and environmentally friendly strategy for biological control of pests by enhancing the attractiveness of cultivated plants to natural enemies of insect herbivores. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Light- induced electron transfer and ATP synthesis in a carotene synthesizing insect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valmalette, Jean Christophe; Dombrovsky, Aviv; Brat, Pierre; Mertz, Christian; Capovilla, Maria; Robichon, Alain

    2012-08-01

    A singular adaptive phenotype of a parthenogenetic insect species (Acyrthosiphon pisum) was selected in cold conditions and is characterized by a remarkable apparition of a greenish colour. The aphid pigments involve carotenoid genes well defined in chloroplasts and cyanobacteria and amazingly present in the aphid genome, likely by lateral transfer during evolution. The abundant carotenoid synthesis in aphids suggests strongly that a major and unknown physiological role is related to these compounds beyond their canonical anti-oxidant properties. We report here that the capture of light energy in living aphids results in the photo induced electron transfer from excited chromophores to acceptor molecules. The redox potentials of molecules involved in this process would be compatible with the reduction of the NAD+ coenzyme. This appears as an archaic photosynthetic system consisting of photo-emitted electrons that are in fine funnelled into the mitochondrial reducing power in order to synthesize ATP molecules.

  13. 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.

  14. Plant growth regulator-mediated anti-herbivore responses of cabbage (Brassica oleracea) against cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Ian M; Samara, R; Renaud, J B; Sumarah, M W

    2017-09-01

    Plant elicitors can be biological or chemical-derived stimulators of jasmonic acid (JA) or salicylic acid (SA) pathways shown to prime the defenses in many crops. Examples of chemical elicitors of the JA and SA pathways include methyl-jasmonate and 1,2,3-benzothiadiazole-7-carbothioate (BTH or the commercial plant activator Actigard 50WG, respectively). The use of specific elicitors has been observed to affect the normal interaction between JA and SA pathways causing one to be upregulated and the other to be suppressed, often, but not always, at the expense of the plant's herbivore or pathogen defenses. The objective of this study was to determine whether insects feeding on Brassica crops might be negatively affected by SA inducible defenses combined with an inhibitor of detoxification and anti-oxidant enzymes that regulate the insect response to the plant's defenses. The relative growth rate of cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) fed induced cabbage Brassica oleraceae leaves with the inhibitor, quercetin, was significantly less than those fed control cabbage with and without the inhibitor. The reduced growth was related to the reduction of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) by the combination of quercetin and increased levels of indole glucosinolates in the cabbage treated with BTH at 2.6× the recommended application rate. These findings may offer a novel combination of elicitor and synergist that can provide protection from plant disease and herbivores in cabbage and other Brassica crops. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The role of small woodland remnants on ground dwelling insect conservation in Chaco Serrano, Central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, María Laura; Fernández, María Guadalupe; Molina, Silvia Itati; Valladares, Graciela

    2013-01-01

    Many terrestrial ecosystems are changing due to extensive land use and habitat fragmentation, posing a major threat to biodiversity. In this study, the effects of patch size, isolation, and edge/interior localization on the ground dwelling insect communities in the Chaco Serrano woodland remnants in central Argentina were examined. Sampling was carried out in December 2003 and March 2004 in nine remnants (0.57 to 1000 hectares) using pitfall traps. In total, 7071 individuals representing 12 orders and 79 families were recorded. The taxonomic composition of these communities was linked to remnant size. Insect abundance increased (as did their richness, albeit marginally) as remnant area decreased, with no significant effects of isolation or edge/interior localization on abundance, richness, or diversity. No differential area effects were observed when abundance and richness of predators, scavengers, and herbivores were compared. Thus, ground insect communities in fragmented Chaco Serrano seem to respond mainly to patch level, rather than to within-patch (edge effects) or landscape (isolation) level variables. These results suggest that small Chaco Serrano remnants, by supporting larger ground-dwelling insect assemblages, may play an important role from a conservation viewpoint.

  16. 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.

  17. Genetic differentiation associated with host plants and geography among six widespread lineages of South American Blepharoneura fruit flies (Tephritidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropical herbivorous insects are astonishingly diverse and many are highly host-specific. Much evidence suggests that herbivorous insect diversity is a function of host-plant diversity; yet, the diversity of some lineages exceeds the diversity of plants. Although most lineages of herbivorous fruit f...

  18. Phytophagous insects of giant hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae) in invaded areas of Europe and in its native area of the Caucasus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Steen Ole; Hattendorf, Jan; Wittenberg, Ruediger

    2006-01-01

    Giant hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae), was introduced from the Caucasus into Western Europe more than 150 years ago and later became all invasive weed which created major problems for European authorities. Phytophagous insects were collected in the native range of the giant hogweed (...... herbivores were restricted to a few taxonomic groups, especially within the Hemiptera, and were particularly abundant oil this weed....

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. Insect attraction versus plant defense: young leaves high in glucosinolates stimulate oviposition by a specialist herbivore despite poor larval survival due to high saponin content.

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    Francisco R Badenes-Perez

    Full Text Available Glucosinolates are plant secondary metabolites used in plant defense. For insects specialized on Brassicaceae, such as the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae, glucosinolates act as "fingerprints" that are essential in host plant recognition. Some plants in the genus Barbarea (Brassicaceae contain, besides glucosinolates, saponins that act as feeding deterrents for P. xylostella larvae, preventing their survival on the plant. Two-choice oviposition tests were conducted to study the preference of P. xylostella among Barbarea leaves of different size within the same plant. P. xylostella laid more eggs per leaf area on younger leaves compared to older ones. Higher concentrations of glucosinolates and saponins were found in younger leaves than in older ones. In 4-week-old plants, saponins were present in true leaves, while cotyledons contained little or no saponins. When analyzing the whole foliage of the plant, the content of glucosinolates and saponins also varied significantly in comparisons among plants that were 4, 8, and 12 weeks old. In Barbarea plants and leaves of different ages, there was a positive correlation between glucosinolate and saponin levels. This research shows that, in Barbarea plants, ontogenetical changes in glucosinolate and saponin content affect both attraction and resistance to P. xylostella. Co-occurrence of a high content of glucosinolates and saponins in the Barbarea leaves that are most valuable for the plant, but are also the most attractive to P. xylostella, provides protection against this specialist herbivore, which oviposition behavior on Barbarea seems to be an evolutionary mistake.

  10. Insect Attraction versus Plant Defense: Young Leaves High in Glucosinolates Stimulate Oviposition by a Specialist Herbivore despite Poor Larval Survival due to High Saponin Content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badenes-Perez, Francisco R.; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Heckel, David G.

    2014-01-01

    Glucosinolates are plant secondary metabolites used in plant defense. For insects specialized on Brassicaceae, such as the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), glucosinolates act as “fingerprints” that are essential in host plant recognition. Some plants in the genus Barbarea (Brassicaceae) contain, besides glucosinolates, saponins that act as feeding deterrents for P. xylostella larvae, preventing their survival on the plant. Two-choice oviposition tests were conducted to study the preference of P. xylostella among Barbarea leaves of different size within the same plant. P. xylostella laid more eggs per leaf area on younger leaves compared to older ones. Higher concentrations of glucosinolates and saponins were found in younger leaves than in older ones. In 4-week-old plants, saponins were present in true leaves, while cotyledons contained little or no saponins. When analyzing the whole foliage of the plant, the content of glucosinolates and saponins also varied significantly in comparisons among plants that were 4, 8, and 12 weeks old. In Barbarea plants and leaves of different ages, there was a positive correlation between glucosinolate and saponin levels. This research shows that, in Barbarea plants, ontogenetical changes in glucosinolate and saponin content affect both attraction and resistance to P. xylostella. Co-occurrence of a high content of glucosinolates and saponins in the Barbarea leaves that are most valuable for the plant, but are also the most attractive to P. xylostella, provides protection against this specialist herbivore, which oviposition behavior on Barbarea seems to be an evolutionary mistake. PMID:24752069

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. Effect of Light Availability on the Interaction between Maritime Pine and the Pine Weevil: Light Drives Insect Feeding Behavior But Also the Defensive Capabilities of the Host

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    Estefanía Suárez-Vidal

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Light is a major environmental factor that may determine the interaction between plants and herbivores in several ways, including top-down effects through changes in herbivore behavior and bottom-up effects mediated by alterations of plant physiology. Here we explored the relative contribution of these two regulation processes to the outcome of the interaction of pine trees with a major forest pest, the pine weevil (Hylobius abietis. We studied to what extent light availability influence insect feeding behavior and/or the ability of pines to produce induced defenses in response to herbivory. For this purpose, 3-year old Pinus pinaster plants from three contrasting populations were subjected to 6 days of experimental herbivory by the pine weevil under two levels of light availability (complete darkness or natural sunlight independently applied to the plant and to the insect in a fully factorial design. Light availability strongly affected the pine weevil feeding behavior. The pine weevil fed more and caused larger feeding scars in darkness than under natural sunlight. Besides, under the more intense levels of weevil damage (i.e., those registered with insects in darkness, light availability also affected the pine’s ability to respond to insect feeding by producing induced resin defenses. These results were consistent across the three studied populations despite they differed in weevil susceptibility and inducibility of defenses. Morocco was the most damaged population and the one that induced more defensive compounds. Overall, results indicate that light availability modulates the outcome of the pine–weevil interactions through both bottom-up and top-down regulation mechanisms.

  15. Phytophagous insects on native and non-native host plants: combining the community approach and the biogeographical approach.

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    Kim Meijer

    Full Text Available During the past centuries, humans have introduced many plant species in areas where they do not naturally occur. Some of these species establish populations and in some cases become invasive, causing economic and ecological damage. Which factors determine the success of non-native plants is still incompletely understood, but the absence of natural enemies in the invaded area (Enemy Release Hypothesis; ERH is one of the most popular explanations. One of the predictions of the ERH, a reduced herbivore load on non-native plants compared with native ones, has been repeatedly tested. However, many studies have either used a community approach (sampling from native and non-native species in the same community or a biogeographical approach (sampling from the same plant species in areas where it is native and where it is non-native. Either method can sometimes lead to inconclusive results. To resolve this, we here add to the small number of studies that combine both approaches. We do so in a single study of insect herbivory on 47 woody plant species (trees, shrubs, and vines in the Netherlands and Japan. We find higher herbivore diversity, higher herbivore load and more herbivory on native plants than on non-native plants, generating support for the enemy release hypothesis.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Diversity of galling insects in Styrax pohlii (Styracaceae): edge effect and use as bioindicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Araújol, Walter Santos; Julião, Genimar Rebouças; Ribeiro, Bárbara Araújo; Silva, Isadora Portes Abraham; dos Santos, Benedito Baptista

    2011-12-01

    Impacts of forest fragmentation and edge effect on plant-herbivores interactions are relatively unknown, and the relationships between galling insects and their host plants are very susceptible to environmental variations. The goal of our study was to test the edge effect hypothesis for galling insects associated with Styrax pohlii (Styracaceae) host plant. Samplings were conducted at a fragment of semi-deciduous forest in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. Thirty host plant individuals (15 at fragment edge and 15 in its interior) were sampled in July of 2007; in each plant, 10 apical branches were collected at the top, middle and bottom crown levels. Our results supported the prediction of greater richness of gall morphotypes in the edge habitat compared with remnant interior. In a similar way, gall abundance and frequency of attacked leaves were also greater in the fragment edge. These findings consequently suggest a positive response of galling insect diversity to edge effect; in the Saint-Hilaire forest, this effect probably operates through the changes in microclimatic conditions of edge habitats, which results in an increased hygrothermal stress, a determinant factor to distribution patterns of galling insects. We also concluded that these organisms could be employed as biological indicators (i) because of their host-specificity, (ii) they are sensitive to changes in plant quality, and (iii) present dissimilar and specific responses to local variation in habitat conditions.

  2. 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.

  3. Herbivore-induced poplar cytochrome P450 enzymes of the CYP71 family convert aldoximes to nitriles which repel a generalist caterpillar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irmisch, Sandra; Clavijo McCormick, Andrea; Günther, Jan; Schmidt, Axel; Boeckler, Gerhard Andreas; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Unsicker, Sybille B; Köllner, Tobias G

    2014-12-01

    Numerous plant species emit volatile nitriles upon herbivory, but the biosynthesis as well as the relevance of these nitrogenous compounds in plant-insect interactions remains unknown. Populus trichocarpa has been shown to produce a complex blend of nitrogenous volatiles, including aldoximes and nitriles, after herbivore attack. The aldoximes were previously reported to be derived from amino acids by the action of cytochrome P450 enzymes of the CYP79 family. Here we show that nitriles are derived from aldoximes by another type of P450 enzyme in P. trichocarpa. First, feeding of deuterium-labeled phenylacetaldoxime to poplar leaves resulted in incorporation of the label into benzyl cyanide, demonstrating that poplar volatile nitriles are derived from aldoximes. Then two P450 enzymes, CYP71B40v3 and CYP71B41v2, were characterized that produce aliphatic and aromatic nitriles from their respective aldoxime precursors. Both possess typical P450 sequence motifs but do not require added NADPH or cytochrome P450 reductase for catalysis. Since both enzymes are expressed after feeding by gypsy moth caterpillars, they are likely to be involved in herbivore-induced volatile nitrile emission in P. trichocarpa. Olfactometer experiments showed that these volatile nitriles have a strong repellent activity against gypsy moth caterpillars, suggesting they play a role in induced direct defense against poplar herbivores. © 2014 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Role of tomato lipoxygenase D in wound-induced jasmonate biosynthesis and plant immunity to insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Liuhua; Zhai, Qingzhe; Wei, Jianing; Li, Shuyu; Wang, Bao; Huang, Tingting; Du, Minmin; Sun, Jiaqiang; Kang, Le; Li, Chang-Bao; Li, Chuanyou

    2013-01-01

    In response to insect attack and mechanical wounding, plants activate the expression of genes involved in various defense-related processes. A fascinating feature of these inducible defenses is their occurrence both locally at the wounding site and systemically in undamaged leaves throughout the plant. Wound-inducible proteinase inhibitors (PIs) in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) provide an attractive model to understand the signal transduction events leading from localized injury to the systemic expression of defense-related genes. Among the identified intercellular molecules in regulating systemic wound response of tomato are the peptide signal systemin and the oxylipin signal jasmonic acid (JA). The systemin/JA signaling pathway provides a unique opportunity to investigate, in a single experimental system, the mechanism by which peptide and oxylipin signals interact to coordinate plant systemic immunity. Here we describe the characterization of the tomato suppressor of prosystemin-mediated responses8 (spr8) mutant, which was isolated as a suppressor of (pro)systemin-mediated signaling. spr8 plants exhibit a series of JA-dependent immune deficiencies, including the inability to express wound-responsive genes, abnormal development of glandular trichomes, and severely compromised resistance to cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and Botrytis cinerea. Map-based cloning studies demonstrate that the spr8 mutant phenotype results from a point mutation in the catalytic domain of TomLoxD, a chloroplast-localized lipoxygenase involved in JA biosynthesis. We present evidence that overexpression of TomLoxD leads to elevated wound-induced JA biosynthesis, increased expression of wound-responsive genes and, therefore, enhanced resistance to insect herbivory attack and necrotrophic pathogen infection. These results indicate that TomLoxD is involved in wound-induced JA biosynthesis and highlight the application potential of this gene for crop protection against insects and

  5. Role of tomato lipoxygenase D in wound-induced jasmonate biosynthesis and plant immunity to insect herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liuhua Yan

    Full Text Available In response to insect attack and mechanical wounding, plants activate the expression of genes involved in various defense-related processes. A fascinating feature of these inducible defenses is their occurrence both locally at the wounding site and systemically in undamaged leaves throughout the plant. Wound-inducible proteinase inhibitors (PIs in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum provide an attractive model to understand the signal transduction events leading from localized injury to the systemic expression of defense-related genes. Among the identified intercellular molecules in regulating systemic wound response of tomato are the peptide signal systemin and the oxylipin signal jasmonic acid (JA. The systemin/JA signaling pathway provides a unique opportunity to investigate, in a single experimental system, the mechanism by which peptide and oxylipin signals interact to coordinate plant systemic immunity. Here we describe the characterization of the tomato suppressor of prosystemin-mediated responses8 (spr8 mutant, which was isolated as a suppressor of (prosystemin-mediated signaling. spr8 plants exhibit a series of JA-dependent immune deficiencies, including the inability to express wound-responsive genes, abnormal development of glandular trichomes, and severely compromised resistance to cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera and Botrytis cinerea. Map-based cloning studies demonstrate that the spr8 mutant phenotype results from a point mutation in the catalytic domain of TomLoxD, a chloroplast-localized lipoxygenase involved in JA biosynthesis. We present evidence that overexpression of TomLoxD leads to elevated wound-induced JA biosynthesis, increased expression of wound-responsive genes and, therefore, enhanced resistance to insect herbivory attack and necrotrophic pathogen infection. These results indicate that TomLoxD is involved in wound-induced JA biosynthesis and highlight the application potential of this gene for crop protection against

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Sterilizing insects with ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakri, A.; Mehta, K.; Lance, D.R.

    2005-01-01

    Exposure to ionizing radiation is currently the method of choice for rendering insects reproductively sterile for area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programmes that integrate the sterile insect technique (SIT). Gamma radiation from isotopic sources (cobalt-60 or caesium-137) is most often used, but high-energy electrons and X-rays are other practical options. Insect irradiation is safe and reliable when established safety and quality-assurance guidelines are followed. The key processing parameter is absorbed dose, which must be tightly controlled to ensure that treated insects are sufficiently sterile in their reproductive cells and yet able to compete for mates with wild insects. To that end, accurate dosimetry (measurement of absorbed dose) is critical. Irradiation data generated since the 1950s, covering over 300 arthropod species, indicate that the dose needed for sterilization of arthropods varies from less than 5 Gy for blaberid cockroaches to 300 Gy or more for some arctiid and pyralid moths. Factors such as oxygen level, and insect age and stage during irradiation, and many others, influence both the absorbed dose required for sterilization and the viability of irradiated insects. Consideration of these factors in the design of irradiation protocols can help to find a balance between the sterility and competitiveness of insects produced for programmes that release sterile insects. Many programmes apply 'precautionary' radiation doses to increase the security margin of sterilization, but this overdosing often lowers competitiveness to the point where the overall induced sterility in the wild population is reduced significantly. (author)

  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. 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.

  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. Arabidopsis thaliana resistance to insects, mediated by an earthworm-produced organic soil amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoza, Yasmin J

    2011-02-01

    Vermicompost is an organic soil amendment produced by earthworm digestion of organic waste. Studies show that plants grown in soil amended with vermicompost grow faster, are more productive and are less susceptible to a number of arthropod pests. In light of these studies, the present study was designed to determine the type of insect resistance (antixenosis or antibiosis) present in plants grown in vermicompost-amended potting soil. Additionally, the potential role of microarthropods, entomopathogenic organisms and non-pathogenic microbial flora found in vermicompost on insect resistance induction was investigated. Findings show that vermicompost from two different sources (Raleigh, North Carolina, and Portland, Oregon) were both effective in causing Arabidopsis plants to be resistant to the generalist herbivore Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). However, while the Raleigh (Ral) vermicompost plant resistance was expressed as both non-preference (antixenosis) and milder (lower weight and slower development) toxic effect (antibiosis) resistance, Oregon (OSC) vermicompost plant resistance was expressed as acute antibiosis, resulting in lower weights and higher mortality rates. Vermicompost causes plants to have non-preference (antixenosis) and toxic (antibiosis) effects on insects. This resistance affects insect development and survival on plants grown in vermicompost-amended soil. Microarthropods and entomopathogens do not appear to have a role in the resistance, but it is likely that resistance is due to interactions between the microbial communities in vermicompost with plant roots, as is evident from vermicompost sterilization assays conducted in this study. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. 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.

  15. Transcriptional profile and differential fitness in a specialist milkweed insect across host plants varying in toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birnbaum, Stephanie S L; Rinker, David C; Gerardo, Nicole M; Abbot, Patrick

    2017-12-01

    Interactions between plants and herbivorous insects have been models for theories of specialization and co-evolution for over a century. Phytochemicals govern many aspects of these interactions and have fostered the evolution of adaptations by insects to tolerate or even specialize on plant defensive chemistry. While genomic approaches are providing new insights into the genes and mechanisms insect specialists employ to tolerate plant secondary metabolites, open questions remain about the evolution and conservation of insect counterdefences, how insects respond to the diversity defences mounted by their host plants, and the costs and benefits of resistance and tolerance to plant defences in natural ecological communities. Using a milkweed-specialist aphid (Aphis nerii) model, we test the effects of host plant species with increased toxicity, likely driven primarily by increased secondary metabolites, on aphid life history traits and whole-body gene expression. We show that more toxic plant species have a negative effect on aphid development and lifetime fecundity. When feeding on more toxic host plants with higher levels of secondary metabolites, aphids regulate a narrow, targeted set of genes, including those involved in canonical detoxification processes (e.g., cytochrome P450s, hydrolases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases and ABC transporters). These results indicate that A. nerii marshal a variety of metabolic detoxification mechanisms to circumvent milkweed toxicity and facilitate host plant specialization, yet, despite these detoxification mechanisms, aphids experience reduced fitness when feeding on more toxic host plants. Disentangling how specialist insects respond to challenging host plants is a pivotal step in understanding the evolution of specialized diet breadths. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. The role of female search behaviour in determining host plant range in plant feeding insects: a test of the information processing hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    Janz, N.; Nylin, S.

    1997-01-01

    Recent theoretical studies have suggested that host range in herbivorous insects may be more restricted by constraints on information processing on the ovipositing females than by trade-offs in larval feeding efficiency. We have investigated if females from polyphagous species have to pay for their ability to localize and evaluate plants from different species with a lower ability to discriminate between conspecific host plants with differences in quality. Females of the monophagous butterfli...

  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. Evolution of the Insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaldi, David; Engel, Michael S.

    2005-05-01

    This book chronicles the complete evolutionary history of insects--their living diversity and relationships as well as 400 million years of fossils. Introductory sections cover the living species diversity of insects, methods of reconstructing evolutionary relationships, basic insect structure, and the diverse modes of insect fossilization and major fossil deposits. Major sections then explore the relationships and evolution of each order of hexapods. The volume also chronicles major episodes in the evolutionary history of insects from their modest beginnings in the Devonian and the origin of wings hundreds of millions of years before pterosaurs and birds to the impact of mass extinctions and the explosive radiation of angiosperms on insects, and how they evolved into the most complex societies in nature. Whereas other volumes focus on either living species or fossils, this is the first comprehensive synthesis of all aspects of insect evolution. Illustrated with 955 photo- and electron- micrographs, drawings, diagrams, and field photos, many in full color and virtually all of them original, this reference will appeal to anyone engaged with insect diversity--professional entomologists and students, insect and fossil collectors, and naturalists. David Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel have collectively published over 200 scientific articles and monographs on the relationships and fossil record of insects, including 10 articles in the journals Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. David Grimaldi is curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York. David Grimaldi has traveled in 40 countries on 6 continents, collecting and studying recent species of insects and conducting fossil excavations. He is the author of Amber: Window to the Past (Abrams, 2003). Michael S. Engel is an assistant professor in the

  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. Variation in plant-mediated interactions between rhizobacteria and caterpillars: potential role of soil composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pangesti, N.P.D.; Pineda Gomez, A.M.; Dicke, M.; Loon, van J.J.A.

    2015-01-01

    Selected strains of non-pathogenic rhizobacteria can trigger induced systemic resistance (ISR) in plants against aboveground insect herbivores. However, the underlying mechanisms of plant-mediated interactions between rhizobacteria and herbivorous insects are still poorly understood. Using

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Ant-plant mutualism: a dietary by-product of a tropical ant's macronutrient requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcila Hernández, Lina M; Sanders, Jon G; Miller, Gabriel A; Ravenscraft, Alison; Frederickson, Megan E

    2017-12-01

    Many arboreal ants depend on myrmecophytic plants for both food and shelter; in return, these ants defend their host plants against herbivores, which are often insects. Ant-plant and other mutualisms do not necessarily involve the exchange of costly rewards or services; they may instead result from by-product benefits, or positive outcomes that do not entail a cost for one or both partners. Here, we examined whether the plant-ant Allomerus octoarticulatus pays a short-term cost to defend their host plants against herbivores, or whether plant defense is a by-product benefit of ant foraging for insect prey. Because the food offered by ant-plants is usually nitrogen-poor, arboreal ants may balance their diets by consuming insect prey or associating with microbial symbionts to acquire nitrogen, potentially shifting the costs and benefits of plant defense for the ant partner. To determine the effect of ant diet on an ant-plant mutualism, we compared the behavior, morphology, fitness, stable isotope signatures, and gaster microbiomes of A. octoarticulatus ants nesting in Cordia nodosa trees maintained for nearly a year with or without insect herbivores. At the end of the experiment, ants from herbivore exclosures preferred protein-rich baits more than ants in the control (i.e., herbivores present) treatment. Furthermore, workers in the control treatment were heavier than in the herbivore-exclusion treatment, and worker mass predicted reproductive output, suggesting that foraging for insect prey directly increased ant colony fitness. The gaster microbiome of ants was not significantly affected by the herbivore exclusion treatment. We conclude that the defensive behavior of some phytoecious ants is a by-product of their need for external protein sources; thus, the consumption of insect herbivores by ants benefits both the ant colony and the host plant. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The effect of plant identity and the level of plant decay on molecular gut content analysis in a herbivorous soil insect

    OpenAIRE

    Wallinger, Corinna; Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Peter, Eva; Dresch, Philipp; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Plant roots represent an important food source for soil-dwelling animals, but tracking herbivore food choices below-ground is difficult. Here, we present an optimized PCR assay for the detection of plant DNA in the guts of invertebrates, using general plant primers targeting the trnT-F chloroplast DNA region. Based on this assay, we assessed the influence of plant identity on the detectability of ingested plant DNA in Agriotes click beetle larvae. Six different plant species were fed to the i...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Quantitative variations in the essential oil of Minthostachys mollis (Kunth.) Griseb. in response to insects with different feeding habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banchio, Erika; Zygadlo, Julio; Valladares, Graciela R

    2005-08-24

    Plants display a diverse array of inducible changes in secondary metabolites following insect herbivory. Herbivores differ in their feeding behavior, physiology, and mode of attachment to the leaf surface, and such variations might be reflected in the induced responses of damaged plants. Induced changes were analyzed for Minthostachys mollis, a Lamiaceae with medicinal and aromatic uses, and four species of folivore insects with different feeding habits (chewing, scraping, sap-sucking, and puncturing). In M. mollis leaves experimentally exposed to the insects, levels of the two dominant monoterpenes pulegone and menthone were assessed 24 and 48 h after wounding. Menthone content generally decreased in the essential oil of damaged leaves, whereas pulegone concentration increased in all treatments. These changes occurred also in the adjacent undamaged leaves, suggesting a systemic response. The relatively uniform response to different kinds of damage could be attributable to the presence of such a strongly active compound as pulegone in the essential oil of M. mollis. The effects of wounding on essential oil concentration may be significant from a commercial point of view.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Slow food: insect prey and chitin induce phytohormone accumulation and gene expression in carnivorous Nepenthes plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilamujiang, Ayufu; Reichelt, Michael; Mithöfer, Axel

    2016-08-01

    Carnivorous Nepenthes plants use modified leaves forming pitfall traps to capture and digest prey, mainly insects, for additional nutrient supply. These traps, so called pitchers, contain a plant-derived fluid composed of many hydrolytic enzymes and defence-related proteins. In this study, the prey-induced induction of corresponding genes of those proteins and a role for phytohormones in this process was analysed. Tissue from insect prey-fed, chitin- and phytohormone-challenged pitchers was harvested and analysed for selected gene expressions by a quantitative PCR technique. Phytohormone levels were determined by LC-MS/MS. Nepenthesin proteolytic activities were measured in the digestive fluid using a fluorescence substrate. Insect prey in the pitchers induced the accumulation of phytohormones such as jasmonates as well as the transcription of studied genes encoding a chitinase 3 and a protease (nepenthesin I), whereas a defence-related protein (PR-1) gene was not induced. Treatment with chitin as a component of the insects' exoskeleton triggered the accumulation of jasmonates, the expression of nepenthesin I and chitinase 3 genes similar to jasmonic acid treatment, and induced protease activity in the fluid. All detectable responses were slowly induced. The results suggest that upon insect prey catch a sequence of signals is initiated: (1) insect-derived chitin, (2) jasmonate as endogenous phytohormone signal, (3) the induction of digestive gene expression and (4) protein expression. This resembles a similar hierarchy of events as described from plant pathogen/herbivore interactions, supporting the idea that carnivory evolved from plant defences. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Testing for the effects and consequences of mid paleogene climate change on insect herbivory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten Wappler

    Full Text Available The Eocene, a time of fluctuating environmental change and biome evolution, was generally driven by exceptionally warm temperatures. The Messel (47.8 Ma and Eckfeld (44.3 Ma deposits offer a rare opportunity to take a census of two, deep-time ecosystems occurring during a greenhouse system. An understanding of the long-term consequences of extreme warming and cooling events during this interval, particularly on angiosperms and insects that dominate terrestrial biodiversity, can provide insights into the biotic consequences of current global climatic warming.We compare insect-feeding damage within two middle Eocene fossil floras, Messel and Eckfeld, in Germany. From these small lake deposits, we studied 16,082 angiosperm leaves and scored each specimen for the presence or absence of 89 distinctive and diagnosable insect damage types (DTs, each of which was allocated to a major functional feeding group, including four varieties of external foliage feeding, piercing- and-sucking, leaf mining, galling, seed predation, and oviposition. Methods used for treatment of presence-absence data included general linear models and standard univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques.Our results show an unexpectedly high diversity and level of insect feeding than comparable, penecontemporaneous floras from North and South America. In addition, we found a higher level of herbivory on evergreen, rather than deciduous taxa at Messel. This pattern is explained by a ca. 2.5-fold increase in atmospheric CO(2 that overwhelmed evergreen antiherbivore defenses, subsequently lessened during the more ameliorated levels of Eckfeld times. These patterns reveal important, previously undocumented features of plant-host and insect-herbivore diversification during the European mid Eocene.

  15. Testing for the effects and consequences of mid paleogene climate change on insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wappler, Torsten; Labandeira, Conrad C; Rust, Jes; Frankenhäuser, Herbert; Wilde, Volker

    2012-01-01

    The Eocene, a time of fluctuating environmental change and biome evolution, was generally driven by exceptionally warm temperatures. The Messel (47.8 Ma) and Eckfeld (44.3 Ma) deposits offer a rare opportunity to take a census of two, deep-time ecosystems occurring during a greenhouse system. An understanding of the long-term consequences of extreme warming and cooling events during this interval, particularly on angiosperms and insects that dominate terrestrial biodiversity, can provide insights into the biotic consequences of current global climatic warming. We compare insect-feeding damage within two middle Eocene fossil floras, Messel and Eckfeld, in Germany. From these small lake deposits, we studied 16,082 angiosperm leaves and scored each specimen for the presence or absence of 89 distinctive and diagnosable insect damage types (DTs), each of which was allocated to a major functional feeding group, including four varieties of external foliage feeding, piercing- and-sucking, leaf mining, galling, seed predation, and oviposition. Methods used for treatment of presence-absence data included general linear models and standard univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques. Our results show an unexpectedly high diversity and level of insect feeding than comparable, penecontemporaneous floras from North and South America. In addition, we found a higher level of herbivory on evergreen, rather than deciduous taxa at Messel. This pattern is explained by a ca. 2.5-fold increase in atmospheric CO(2) that overwhelmed evergreen antiherbivore defenses, subsequently lessened during the more ameliorated levels of Eckfeld times. These patterns reveal important, previously undocumented features of plant-host and insect-herbivore diversification during the European mid Eocene.

  16. Ionizing radiation for insect control in grain and grain products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tilton, E.W.; Brower, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    A technical review summarizes and discusses information on various aspects of the use of ionizing radiation for the control of insect infestation in grains and grain products. Topics include: the effects of ionizing radiation on insects infesting stored-grain products; the 2 main types of irradiators (electron accelerators; radioisotopes (e.g.: Co-60; Cs-137); dosimetry systems and methodology; variations in radiation resistance by stored-product pests; the proper selection of radiation dose; the effects of combining various treatments (temperature, infrared/microwave radiation, hypoxia, chemicals) with ionizing radiation; sublethal radiation for controlling bulk grain insects; the feeding capacity of irradiated insects; the susceptibility of insecticide-resistant insects to ionizing radiation; and the possible resistance of insects to ionizing radiation. Practical aspects of removing insects from irradiated grain also are discussed

  17. Importance of Secondary Metabolites for Leaf Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. N. EKİZ

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae are one of the most diverse families of herbivorous insects. Many of them are important agricultural pests and cause remarkable loss of crop and money as well. Plant leaves and roots are primary food source of both larva and adults of leaf beetles. Plants produce many secondary metabolites in reaction to herbivore insects. It is a well-known phenomenon that quantity and variety of secondary metabolites in plant leaves may change in response to insect attacks. Herbivore insects have to deal with such defensive secondary chemicals and overcome either by detoxifying or storing them. Accordingly, many specialist herbivores coevolved with their host plant. Certain phenolic glycosides may reduce leaf beetle feeding. Condensed tannins are anti-herbivore defenses against leaf chewing beetles, including leaf beetles. Flavonoid compounds are feeding deterrents for many flea leaf beetles. Cinnamic acid derivatives are other known feeding deterrents for leaf beetles. Secondary metabolites quantity and nutritional quality of host plants are not only important for feeding but also for providing enemy-free space and suitable oviposition sites.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Plant responses to multiple herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Yehua

    2016-01-01

    This thesis explores whether aphid-infestation interferes with the plant response to chewing herbivores and whether this impacts performance and behaviour of individual chewing insect herbivores and their natural enemies, as well as the entire insect community. I investigated this using three

  2. 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.

  3. Urban warming drives insect pest abundance on street trees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily K Meineke

    Full Text Available Cities profoundly alter biological communities, favoring some species over others, though the mechanisms that govern these changes are largely unknown. Herbivorous arthropod pests are often more abundant in urban than in rural areas, and urban outbreaks have been attributed to reduced control by predators and parasitoids and to increased susceptibility of stressed urban plants. These hypotheses, however, leave many outbreaks unexplained and fail to predict variation in pest abundance within cities. Here we show that the abundance of a common insect pest is positively related to temperature even when controlling for other habitat characteristics. The scale insect Parthenolecanium quercifex was 13 times more abundant on willow oak trees in the hottest parts of Raleigh, NC, in the southeastern United States, than in cooler areas, though parasitism rates were similar. We further separated the effects of heat from those of natural enemies and plant quality in a greenhouse reciprocal transplant experiment. P. quercifex collected from hot urban trees became more abundant in hot greenhouses than in cool greenhouses, whereas the abundance of P. quercifex collected from cooler urban trees remained low in hot and cool greenhouses. Parthenolecanium quercifex living in urban hot spots succeed with warming, and they do so because some demes have either acclimatized or adapted to high temperatures. Our results provide the first evidence that heat can be a key driver of insect pest outbreaks on urban trees. Since urban warming is similar in magnitude to global warming predicted in the next 50 years, pest abundance on city trees may foreshadow widespread outbreaks as natural forests also grow warmer.

  4. 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.

  5. ESR signals of irradiated insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ukai, Mitsuko; Kameya, Hiromi; Imamura, Taro; Miyanoshita, Akihiro; Todoriki, Setsuko; Shimoyama, Yuhei

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of irradiated insects using Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectroscopy was reported. The insects were maize weevil, red flour beetle, Indian meal moth and cigarette beetle that are hazardous to crops. The ESR spectra were consisted of a singlet at g=2 and a sextet centered at the similar g-value. The singlet signal is due to an organic free radical. The sextet signal is attributable to the hyperfine interactions from Mn 2+ ions. Upon irradiation, new signals were not detected. The relaxation times, T 1 and T 2 , showed no variations before and after irradiation. (author)

  6. Leaf quality and insect herbivory in model tropical plant communities after long-term exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnone, J A; Zaller, J G; Körner, Ch; Ziegler, C; Zandt, H

    1995-09-01

    Results from laboratory feeding experiments have shown that elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide can affect interactions between plants and insect herbivores, primarily through changes in leaf nutritional quality occurring at elevated CO 2 . Very few data are available on insect herbivory in plant communities where insects can choose among species and positions in the canopy in which to feed. Our objectives were to determine the extent to which CO 2 -induced changes in plant communities and leaf nutritional quality may affect herbivory at the level of the entire canopy. We introduced equivalent populations of fourth instar Spodoptera eridania, a lepidopteran generalist, to complex model ecosystems containing seven species of moist tropical plants maintained under low mineral nutrient supply. Larvae were allowed to feed freely for 14 days, by which time they had reached the seventh instar. Prior to larval introductions, plant communities had been continuously exposed to either 340 μl CO 2 l -1 or to 610 μl CO 2 l -1 for 1.5 years. No major shifts in leaf nutritional quality [concentrations of N, total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC), sugar, and starch; ratios of: C/N, TNC/N, sugar/N, starch/N; leaf toughness] were observed between CO 2 treatments for any of the species. Furthermore, no correlations were observed between these measures of leaf quality and leaf biomass consumption. Total leaf area and biomass of all plant communities were similar when caterpillars were introduced. However, leaf biomass of some species was slightly greater-and for other species slightly less (e.g. Cecropia peltata)-in communities exposed to elevated CO 2 . Larvae showed the strongest preference for C. peltata leaves, the plant species that was least abundant in all communites, and fed relatively little on plants species which were more abundant. Thus, our results indicate that leaf tissue quality, as described by these parameters, is not necessarily affected by elevated CO 2 under

  7. 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...

  8. Using a botanical garden to assess factors influencing the colonization of exotic woody plants by phyllophagous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirichenko, Natalia; Kenis, M

    2016-09-01

    The adoption of exotic plants by indigenous herbivores in the region of introduction can be influenced by numerous factors. A botanical garden in Western Siberia was used to test various hypotheses on the adaptation of indigenous phyllophagous insects to exotic plants invasions, focusing on two feeding guilds, external leaf chewers and leaf miners. A total of 150 indigenous and exotic woody plant species were surveyed for insect damage, abundance and species richness. First, exotic woody plants were much less damaged by chewers and leaf miners than native plants, and the leaf miners' species richness was much lower on exotic than native plants. Second, exotic woody plants having a congeneric species in the region of introduction were more damaged by chewers and hosted a more abundant and species-rich community of leaf miners than plants without native congeneric species. Third, damage by chewers significantly increased with the frequency of planting of exotic host plants outside the botanical garden, and leaf miners' abundance and species richness significantly increased with residence time in the garden. Finally, no significant relationship was found between insect damage or abundance and the origin of the exotic plants. Besides the ecological implications of the results, this study also illustrates the potential of botanical gardens to test ecological hypotheses on biological invasions and insect-plant interactions on a large set of plant species.

  9. Genetic variation in plant chemistry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geem, van Moniek

    2016-01-01

    Plants form the basis of many food webs and are consumed by a wide variety of organisms, including herbivorous insects. Over the course of evolution, plants have evolved mechanisms to defend themselves against herbivory, whereas herbivorous insects have evolved counter-mechanisms to overcome

  10. Climate change and genetically modified insecticidal plants. Plant-herbivore interactions and secondary chemistry of Bt Cry1Ac-toxin producing oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) under elevated CO{sub 2} or O{sub 3}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Himanen, S.

    2008-07-01

    Transgenic insect-resistant plants producing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline endotoxins are the first commercial applications of genetically modified crops and their use has steadily expanded over the last ten years. Together with the expanding agricultural use of transgenic crops, climate change is predicted to be among the major factors affecting agriculture in the coming years. Plants, herbivores and insects of higher trophic levels are all predicted to be affected by the current atmospheric climate change. However, only very few studies to date have addressed the sustained use and herbivore interactions of Bt-producing plants under the influence of these abiotic factors. The main objective of this study was to comparatively assess the performance of a Bt Cry1Ac toxin-producing oilseed rape line and its non-transgenic parent line in terms of vegetative growth and allocation to secondary defence compounds (glucosinolates and volatile terpenoids), and the performance of Bt-target and nontarget insect herbivores as well as tritrophic interaction functioning on these lines. For this, several growth chamber experiments with vegetative stage non-Bt and Bt plants facing exposures to doubled atmospheric CO{sub 2} level alone or together with increased temperature and different regimes of elevated O{sub 3} were conducted. The main hypothesis of this work was that Bt-transgenic plants have reduced performance or allocation to secondary compounds due to the cost of producing Bt toxin under changed abiotic environments. The Bt-transgenic oilseed rape line exhibited slightly delayed vegetative growth and had increased nitrogen and reduced carbon content compared to the non-transgenic parent line, but the physiological responses (i.e. biomass gain and photosynthesis) of the plant lines to CO{sub 2} and O{sub 3} enhancements were equal. Two aphid species, non-susceptible to Bt Cry1Ac, showed equal performance and reproduction on both plant lines under elevated CO{sub 2

  11. The impact of resource limitation and the phenology of parasitoid attack on the duration of insect herbivore outbreaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umbanhowar, James; Hastings, Alan

    2002-11-01

    Fluctuations in resource quality and quantity, and changes in mortality due to predators and parasites are thought to be of prime importance in the regular fluctuations of forest insects. We examine how food limitation and parasitoids with different phenologies of attack regulate the population cycles of insect hosts. Our analysis of the limit cycle of a model with a biologically realistic form of density dependence in the host yields two novel predictions. First, outbreaks will typically last for only 2 generations after parasitoids begin to reduce the host population below the maximum density. Second, host growth rate is important in determining cycle length only when parasitoids attack before the impacts of resource limitation affect the host. The robustness of these predictions are tested using a more general form of density dependence in the host, revealing that our predictions are valid as long as density dependence in the host is not too overcompensatory.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Link between defoliation and light treatments on root vitality of five understory shrubs with different resistance to insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karolewski, Piotr; Zadworny, Marcin; Mucha, Joanna; Napierała-Filipiak, Anna; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2010-08-01

    Understory shrubs are frequently attacked by insect herbivores. However, very little is known regarding possible interactions between light condition, defoliation (D) and fine root vitality (% live roots) and metabolic activity, and whether different plant strategies (compensation, trade-off and equilibrium) to defoliation depend on individual species light requirements. To explore the response of roots to such conditions, an experiment was established in which we experimentally removed 50% of leaves in 1-year-old seedlings of Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea, Prunus serotina, Frangula alnus and Corylus avellana grown in 15% and full sunlight. On average, defoliation leads to a 15% reduction in fine root (vitality (% live roots). However, a statistically significant reduction in root vitality after defoliation was detected only in those species that are less herbivorized in nature (48% in S. nigra and 5% in C. sanguinea). On average, shade conditions (L) resulted in 18% decline in root vitality, and the effects of defoliation were also 22% higher than for plants grown in full light. Root vitality in both treatments (D and L) was significantly correlated with their dry mass, concentration of total phenol (TPh) and carbon to nitrogen ratio, and negatively correlated with nitrogen, soluble carbohydrates, starch and total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC). To a large extent, root vitality and chemistry varied by species. Higher root vitality was related to higher concentrations of phenolics, more than to N and TNC concentrations. Concentrations of phenolics also differed significantly between defoliated plants and controls. However, in defoliated plants, an increase in TPh was observed only in two species, which belong to two different groups in light requirements and susceptibility to insect grazing (C. sanguinea and P. serotina). This study indicated that higher vitality of roots occurred in species that are characterized by higher insect defoliation under natural

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Dose rate effects on survival of two insect species which commonly infest stored corn

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adem, E.; Uribe, R.M.; Watters, F.L.

    1979-01-01

    A study of the dose rate effects on survival of two species of insects which commonly infest commercial maize in Mexico was undertaken using 60 Co γ radiation and 1.0 MeV electrons, to determine whether an optimum dose rate exists for the irradiation of grain infested with these insects. Experiments have shown that the effectiveness of γ and electron irradiation were not influenced by dose rates from 10 to 120 Gy/min for 60 Co and 35 to 300 Gy/min for electrons when the insects were irradiated at 2500 Gy. Survival curves for each species are presented for both types of radiation. (author)

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Tree diversity promotes insect herbivory in subtropical forests of south-east China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuldt, Andreas; Baruffol, Martin; Böhnke, Martin; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Lang, Anne C; Nadrowski, Karin; von Oheimb, Goddert; Voigt, Winfried; Zhou, Hongzhang; Assmann, Thorsten; Fridley, Jason

    2010-07-01

    1.Insect herbivory can strongly affect ecosystem processes, and its relationship with plant diversity is a central topic in biodiversity-functioning research. However, very little is known about this relationship from complex ecosystems dominated by long-lived individuals, such as forests, especially over gradients of high plant diversity.2.We analysed insect herbivory on saplings of 10 tree and shrub species across 27 forest stands differing in age and tree species richness in an extraordinarily diverse subtropical forest ecosystem in China. We tested whether plant species richness significantly influences folivory in these highly diverse forests or whether other factors play a more important role at such high levels of phytodiversity.3.Leaf damage was assessed on 58 297 leaves of 1284 saplings at the end of the rainy season in 2008, together with structural and abiotic stand characteristics.4.Species-specific mean damage of leaf area ranged from 3% to 16%. Herbivory increased with plant species richness even after accounting for potentially confounding effects of stand characteristics, of which stand age-related aspects most clearly covaried with herbivory. Intraspecific density dependence or other abiotic factors did not significantly influence overall herbivory across forest stands.5.Synthesis.The positive herbivory-plant diversity relationship indicates that effects related to hypotheses of resource concentration, according to which a reduction in damage by specialized herbivores might be expected as host plant concentration decreases with increasing plant diversity, do not seem to be major determinants for overall herbivory levels in our phytodiverse subtropical forest ecosystem. We discuss the potential role of host specificity of dominant herbivores, which are often expected to show a high degree of specialization in many (sub)tropical forests. In the forest system we studied, a much higher impact of polyphagous species than traditionally assumed might

  3. Host-Associated Differentiation: The Gape-and-Pinch Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen B. Heard

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecological speciation via host shifting has contributed to the astonishing diversity of phytophagous insects. The importance for host shifting of trait differences between alternative host plants is well established, but much less is known about trait variation within hosts. I outline a conceptual model, the “gape-and-pinch” (GAP model, of insect response to host-plant trait variation during host shifting and host-associated differentiation. I offer four hypotheses about insect use of plant trait variation on two alternative hosts, for insects at different stages of host-associated differentiation. Collectively, these hypotheses suggest that insect responses to plant trait variation can favour or oppose critical steps in herbivore diversification. I provide statistical tools for analysing herbivore trait-space use, demonstrate their application for four herbivores of the goldenrods Solidago altissima and S. gigantea, and discuss their broader potential to advance our understanding of diet breadth and ecological speciation in phytophagous insects.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Signal signature and transcriptome changes of Arabidopsis during pathogen and insect attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vos, Martin; Van Oosten, Vivian R; Van Poecke, Remco M P; Van Pelt, Johan A; Pozo, Maria J; Mueller, Martin J; Buchala, Antony J; Métraux, Jean-Pierre; Van Loon, L C; Dicke, Marcel; Pieterse, Corné M J

    2005-09-01

    Plant defenses against pathogens and insects are regulated differentially by cross-communicating signaling pathways in which salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET) play key roles. To understand how plants integrate pathogen- and insect-induced signals into specific defense responses, we monitored the dynamics of SA, JA, and ET signaling in Arabidopsis after attack by a set of microbial pathogens and herbivorous insects with different modes of attack. Arabidopsis plants were exposed to a pathogenic leaf bacterium (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato), a pathogenic leaf fungus (Alternaria brassicicola), tissue-chewing caterpillars (Pieris rapae), cell-content-feeding thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), or phloem-feeding aphids (Myzus persicae). Monitoring the signal signature in each plant-attacker combination showed that the kinetics of SA, JA, and ET production varies greatly in both quantity and timing. Analysis of global gene expression profiles demonstrated that the signal signature characteristic of each Arabidopsis-attacker combination is orchestrated into a surprisingly complex set of transcriptional alterations in which, in all cases, stress-related genes are overrepresented. Comparison of the transcript profiles revealed that consistent changes induced by pathogens and insects with very different modes of attack can show considerable overlap. Of all consistent changes induced by A. brassicicola, Pieris rapae, and E occidentalis, more than 50% also were induced consistently by P. syringae. Notably, although these four attackers all stimulated JA biosynthesis, the majority of the changes in JA-responsive gene expression were attacker specific. All together, our study shows that SA, JA, and ET play a primary role in the orchestration of the plant's defense response, but other regulatory mechanisms, such as pathway cross-talk or additional attacker-induced signals, eventually shape the highly complex attacker-specific defense response.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A Herbivore Tag-and-Trace System Reveals Contact- and Density-Dependent Repellence of a Root Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bont, Zoe; Arce, Carla; Huber, Meret; Huang, Wei; Mestrot, Adrien; Sturrock, Craig J; Erb, Matthias

    2017-03-01

    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 position in relation to their preferred host plant, Taraxacum officinale, using a commercial metal detector. This method was validated and used to study the influence of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) on the foraging of M. melolontha. TA-G is stored in the latex of T. officinale and protects the roots from herbivory. Using behavioral arenas with TA-G deficient and control plants, we tested the impact of physical root access and plant distance on the effect of TA-G on M. melolontha. The larvae preferred TA-G deficient plants to control plants, but only when physical root contact was possible and the plants were separated by 5 cm. Melolontha melolontha showed no preference for TA-G deficient plants when the plants were grown 15 cm apart, which may indicate a trade-off between the cost of movement and the benefit of consuming less toxic food. We demonstrate that M. melolontha integrates host plant quality and distance into its foraging patterns and suggest that plant chemistry affects root herbivore behavior in a plant-density dependent manner.

  15. Microarray analysis of kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis bark following challenge by the sucking insect Hemiberlesia lataniae (Hemiptera: Diaspididae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Garry Hill

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Both commercial and experimental genotypes of kiwifruit (Actinidia spp. exhibit large differences in response to insect pests. An understanding of the vine's physiological response to insect feeding and its genetic basis will be important in assisting the development of varieties with acceptable levels of pest resistance. This experiment describes transcriptome changes observed in the bark of kiwifruit 2 and 7 days after the commencement of feeding by the armored scale insect pest, Hemiberlesia lataniae. Using a cDNA microarray consisting of 17,512 unigenes, we measured transcriptome changes and analyzed these into functional ontology categories using MapMan. Results are available in the GEO database GSE73922 and are described fully in Ref. Hill et al. (2015 [1]. After 7 days, transcripts associated with photosynthesis were down-regulated and secondary metabolism was up-regulated. Differential expression of transcripts associated with stress response was consistent with a defense response involving both effector and herbivore-triggered immunities, with predominant involvement of the salicylic acid phytohormonal pathway. This hypothesis was supported by the results of two laboratory experiments. The methods described here could be further adapted and applied to the study of plant responses to a wide range of sessile sucking pests.

  16. 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.

  17. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P Donovan

    Full Text Available Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  18. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Michael P; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C; Johnson, Kirk R; Peppe, Daniel J

    2014-01-01

    Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma) in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Beneficial effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean yield mediated by reduced insect herbivory under field conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazza, Carlos A; Giménez, Patricia I; Kantolic, Adriana G; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2013-03-01

    Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B: 280-315 nm) has damaging effects on cellular components and macromolecules. In plants, natural levels of UV-B can reduce leaf area expansion and growth, which can lead to reduced productivity and yield. UV-B can also have important effects on herbivorous insects. Owing to the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol, current models predict that clear-sky levels of UV-B radiation will decline during this century in response to ozone recovery. However, because of climate change and changes in land use practices, future trends in UV doses are difficult to predict. In the experiments reported here, we used an exclusion approach to study the effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean crops, which are extensively grown in many areas of the world that may be affected by future variations in UV-B radiation. In a first experiment, performed under normal management practices (which included chemical pest control), we found that natural levels of UV-B radiation reduced soybean yield. In a second experiment, where no pesticides were applied, we found that solar UV-B significantly reduced insect herbivory and, surprisingly, caused a concomitant increase in crop yield. Our data support the idea that UV-B effects on agroecosystems are the result of complex interactions involving multiple trophic levels. A better understanding of the mechanisms that mediate the anti-herbivore effect of UV-B radiation may be used to design crop varieties with improved adaptation to the cropping systems that are likely to prevail in the coming decades in response to agricultural intensification. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2012.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Insect community responses to climate and weather across elevation gradients in the Sagebrush Steppe, eastern Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Rohde, Ashley T.

    2016-11-17

    Executive SummaryIn this study, the U.S. Geological Survey investigated the use of insects as bioindicators of climate change in sagebrush steppe shrublands and grasslands in the Upper Columbia Basin. The research was conducted in the Stinkingwater and Pueblo mountain ranges in eastern Oregon on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.We used a “space-for-time” sampling design that related insect communities to climate and weather along elevation gradients. We analyzed our insect dataset at three levels of organization: (1) whole-community, (2) feeding guilds (detritivores, herbivores, nectarivores, parasites, and predators), and (3) orders within nectarivores (i.e., pollinators). We captured 59,517 insects from 176 families and 10 orders at the Pueblo Mountains study area and 112,305 insects from 185 families and 11 orders at the Stinkingwater Mountains study area in 2012 and 2013. Of all the individuals captured at the Stinkingwater Mountains study area, 77,688 were from the family Cecidomyiidae (Diptera, gall gnats).We found that the composition of insect communities was associated with variability in long-term (30-yr) temperature and interannual fluctuations in temperature. We found that captures of certain fly, bee, moth, and butterfly pollinators were more strongly associated with some climate and vegetation variables than others. We found that timing of emergence, as measured by first detection of families, was associated with elevation. When analyzed by feeding guilds, we found that all guilds emerged later at high elevations except for detritivores, which emerged earlier at high elevations. The abundance of most taxa varied through time, mostly in response to temperature and precipitation. Of the pollinators, bees (particularly, Halictidae and Megachilidae) peaked in abundance in late June and early July, whereas butterflies and moths peaked in August. Flies peaked in abundance in July.Overall, our interpretation of these patterns is that

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Induced parasitoid attraction by Arabidopsis thaliana : involvement of the octadecanoid and the salicylic acid pathway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poecke, van M.P.; Dicke, M.

    2002-01-01

    Plants can use indirect defence mechanisms to protect themselves against herbivorous insects. An example of such an indirect defence mechanism is the emission of volatiles by plants induced by herbivore feeding. These volatiles can attract the natural enemies of these herbivores, for example,

  17. Reconstructing community assembly in time and space reveals enemy escape in a Western Palearctic insect community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Graham N; Lohse, Konrad; Nicholls, James A; Fuentes-Utrilla, Pablo; Sinclair, Frazer; Schönrogge, Karsten; Csóka, György; Melika, George; Nieves-Aldrey, Jose-Luis; Pujade-Villar, Juli; Tavakoli, Majide; Askew, Richard R; Hickerson, Michael J

    2012-03-20

    How geographically widespread biological communities assemble remains a major question in ecology. Do parallel population histories allow sustained interactions (such as host-parasite or plant-pollinator) among species, or do discordant histories necessarily interrupt them? Though few empirical data exist, these issues are central to our understanding of multispecies evolutionary dynamics. Here we use hierarchical approximate Bayesian analysis of DNA sequence data for 12 herbivores and 19 parasitoids to reconstruct the assembly of an insect community spanning the Western Palearctic and assess the support for alternative host tracking and ecological sorting hypotheses. We show that assembly occurred primarily by delayed host tracking from a shared eastern origin. Herbivores escaped their enemies for millennia before parasitoid pursuit restored initial associations, with generalist parasitoids no better able to track their hosts than specialists. In contrast, ecological sorting played only a minor role. Substantial turnover in host-parasitoid associations means that coevolution must have been diffuse, probably contributing to the parasitoid generalism seen in this and similar systems. Reintegration of parasitoids after host escape shows these communities to have been unsaturated throughout their history, arguing against major roles for parasitoid niche evolution or competition during community assembly. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Insect Cell Culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oers, van M.M.; Lynn, D.E.

    2010-01-01

    Insect cell cultures are widely used in studies on insect cell physiology, developmental biology and microbial pathology. In particular, insect cell culture is an indispensable tool for the study of insect viruses. The first continuously growing insect cell cultures were established from

  19. Sterile insect technique and radiation in insect control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    Out of 39 papers and 6 summaries of the poster presentations published in this proceeding series, 23 respectively fall within the INIS subject scope. Four main topics were covered: a review of the sterile insect technique against various insect pests; its application to tsetse flies in eradication programmes; quality control of mass-reared insects for release; and the development of genetic approaches to insect mass rearing and control. Other topics emphasized integrated pest management, computer models and radioisotope labelling

  20. Elevated atmospheric ozone increases concentration of insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ac protein in Bt Brassica napus and reduces feeding of a Bt target herbivore on the non-transgenic parent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Himanen, Sari J.; Nerg, Anne-Marja; Nissinen, Anne; Stewart, C. Neal; Poppy, Guy M.; Holopainen, Jarmo K.

    2009-01-01

    Sustained cultivation of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic crops requires stable transgene expression under variable abiotic conditions. We studied the interactions of Bt toxin production and chronic ozone exposure in Bt cry1Ac-transgenic oilseed rape and found that the insect resistance trait is robust under ozone elevations. Bt Cry1Ac concentrations were higher in the leaves of Bt oilseed rape grown under elevated ozone compared to control treatment, measured either per leaf fresh weight or per total soluble protein of leaves. The mean relative growth rate of a Bt target herbivore, Plutella xylostella L. larvae was negative on Bt plants in all ozone treatments. On the non-transgenic plants, larval feeding damage was reduced under elevated ozone. Our results indicate the need for monitoring fluctuations in Bt toxin concentrations to reveal the potential of ozone exposure for altering dosing of Bt proteins to target and non-target herbivores in field environments experiencing increasing ozone pollution. - Elevated atmospheric ozone can induce fluctuations in insecticidal protein concentrations in transgenic plants

  1. Elevated atmospheric ozone increases concentration of insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ac protein in Bt Brassica napus and reduces feeding of a Bt target herbivore on the non-transgenic parent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Himanen, Sari J. [University of Kuopio, Department of Environmental Science, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio (Finland)], E-mail: sari.himanen@uku.fi; Nerg, Anne-Marja [University of Kuopio, Department of Environmental Science, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio (Finland); Nissinen, Anne [University of Kuopio, Department of Environmental Science, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio (Finland); MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Plant Protection, FIN-31600 Jokioinen (Finland); Stewart, C. Neal [University of Tennessee, Department of Plant Sciences, Knoxville, TN 37996-4561 (United States); Poppy, Guy M. [University of Southampton, School of Biological Sciences, Southampton SO16 7PX (United Kingdom); Holopainen, Jarmo K. [University of Kuopio, Department of Environmental Science, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio (Finland)

    2009-01-15

    Sustained cultivation of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic crops requires stable transgene expression under variable abiotic conditions. We studied the interactions of Bt toxin production and chronic ozone exposure in Bt cry1Ac-transgenic oilseed rape and found that the insect resistance trait is robust under ozone elevations. Bt Cry1Ac concentrations were higher in the leaves of Bt oilseed rape grown under elevated ozone compared to control treatment, measured either per leaf fresh weight or per total soluble protein of leaves. The mean relative growth rate of a Bt target herbivore, Plutella xylostella L. larvae was negative on Bt plants in all ozone treatments. On the non-transgenic plants, larval feeding damage was reduced under elevated ozone. Our results indicate the need for monitoring fluctuations in Bt toxin concentrations to reveal the potential of ozone exposure for altering dosing of Bt proteins to target and non-target herbivores in field environments experiencing increasing ozone pollution. - Elevated atmospheric ozone can induce fluctuations in insecticidal protein concentrations in transgenic plants.

  2. 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.

  3. Adaptation to toxic hosts as a factor in the evolution of insecticide resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alyokhin, Andrei; Chen, Yolanda H

    2017-06-01

    Insecticide resistance is a serious economic problem that jeopardizes sustainability of chemical control of herbivorous insects and related arthropods. It can be viewed as a specific case of adaptation to toxic chemicals, which has been driven in large part, but not exclusively, by the necessity for insect pests to tolerate defensive compounds produced by their host plants. Synthetic insecticides may simply change expression of specific sets of detoxification genes that have evolved due to ancestral associations with host plants. Feeding on host plants with more abundant or novel secondary metabolites has even been shown to prime insect herbivores to tolerate pesticides. Clear understanding of basic evolutionary processes is important for achieving lasting success in managing herbivorous arthropods. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Crop domestication, global human-mediated migration, and the unresolved role of geography in pest control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yolanda H. Chen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Ecological pest management seeks to improve pest control through the manipulation of ecological processes that promote natural enemies and suppress pests. These approaches can involve cultural practices such as reduced tillage, increased use of non-crop plants that provide food and shelter for natural enemies, and intercropping to enhance the abundance and diversity of natural enemies. A major assumption of ecological pest management is that these activities can be equally effective for all insect herbivores. Here, I propose that these strategies may only be effective for a subset of pests and geographic regions because most insect pests have complex evolutionary histories that make them difficult to manage. I discuss how crop domestication and human-mediated migration are major evolutionary events that shape the geography of interactions between plants, herbivores, and natural enemies. Insect herbivores can evolve to be pests through three major modes: 1 herbivores associated with the crop wild ancestor may shift onto the domesticated crop, 2 herbivores may host-shift from native host plants onto an introduced crop, or 3 human-mediated migration can introduce insect pests into new cropping regions. The resulting geographic structure can influence the success of pest management by altering ecological factors such as: species distributions, patterns of biodiversity, community structure, and natural enemy attack rates. I discuss how the different modes of insect pest evolution structure a set of relevant questions and approaches for ecological pest management. By acknowledging how agricultural history and geography shape the ecology and evolution of insect pests, we may collectively develop a better capacity to identify where and how ecological pest management approaches can be most broadly effective.

  5. Climate Change and Insect Pests: Resistance Is Not Futile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Scott N; Züst, Tobias

    2018-05-01

    Chemical signals produced by plants when attacked by herbivores play a crucial role in efficient plant defence. A recent study suggests that herbivore-specific R-gene resistance may be enhanced by elevated atmospheric CO 2 concentrations. Understanding how climate change affects plant resistance to herbivorous pests could be essential for future food security. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Insect biofuel cells using trehalose included in insect hemolymph leading to an insect-mountable biofuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoji, Kan; Akiyama, Yoshitake; Suzuki, Masato; Hoshino, Takayuki; Nakamura, Nobuhumi; Ohno, Hiroyuki; Morishima, Keisuke

    2012-12-01

    In this paper, an insect biofuel cell (BFC) using trehalose included in insect hemolymph was developed. The insect BFC is based on trehalase and glucose oxidase (GOD) reaction systems which oxidize β-glucose obtained by hydrolyzing trehalose. First, we confirmed by LC-MS that a sufficient amount of trehalose was present in the cockroach hemolymph (CHL). The maximum power density obtained using the insect BFC was 6.07 μW/cm(2). The power output was kept more than 10 % for 2.5 h by protecting the electrodes with a dialysis membrane. Furthermore, the maximum power density was increased to 10.5 μW/cm(2) by using an air diffusion cathode. Finally, we succeeded in driving a melody integrated circuit (IC) and a piezo speaker by connecting five insect BFCs in series. The results indicate that the insect BFC is a promising insect-mountable battery to power environmental monitoring micro-tools.

  9. 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

  10. Expression plasticity and evolutionary changes extensively shape the sugar-mimic alkaloid adaptation of non-digestive glucosidase in lepidopteran mulberry-specialist insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaotong; Shi, Liangen; Dai, Xiangping; Chen, Yajie; Xie, Hongqing; Feng, Min; Chen, Yuyin; Wang, Huabing

    2018-05-12

    During the co-evolutionary arms race between plants and herbivores, insects evolved systematic adaptive plasticity to minimise the chemical defence effects of their host plants. Previous studies mainly focused on the expressional plasticity of enzymes in detoxification and digestion. However, the expressional response and adaptive evolution of other fundamental regulators against host phytochemicals are largely unknown. Glucosidase II (GII), which is composed of a catalytic GIIα subunit and a regulatory GIIβ subunit, is an evolutionarily conserved enzyme that regulates glycoprotein folding. In this study, we found that GIIα expression of the mulberry-specialist insect was significantly induced by mulberry leaf extract, 1-Deoxynojirimycin (1-DNJ), whereas GIIβ transcripts were not significantly changed. Moreover, positive selection was detected in GIIα when the mulberry-specialist insects diverged from the lepidopteran order; whereas GIIβ was mainly subjected to purifying selection, thus indicating an asymmetrically selective pressure of GII subunits. In addition, positively selected sites were enriched in the GIIα of mulberry-specialist insects, and located around the 1-DNJ binding sites and in the C-terminal region, which could result in conformational changes that affect catalytic activity and substrate-binding efficiency. These results show that expression plasticity and evolutionary changes extensively shape sugar-mimic alkaloids adaptation of non-digestive glucosidase in lepidopteran mulberry-specialist insects. Our study provides novel insights into a deep understanding of the sequestration and adaptation of phytophagous specialists to host defensive compounds. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Beneficial Insects and Insect Pollinators on Milkweed in South Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insect pollinators are essential for the reproduction of more than two-thirds of the world’s crops, and beneficial insects play an important role in managing pest insects in agricultural farmscapes. These insects depend on nectar for their survival in these farmscapes. The flowers of tropical milkwe...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Tritrophic interactions in wild and cultivated brassicaceous plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gols, R.

    2008-01-01

    Plants have evolved a range of defence traits that prevent or reduce attack by insect herbivores. Direct defence traits hamper or reduce the performance and behaviour of the herbivores, whereas indirect defence promote the efficiency of natural enemies to attack the herbivores. Here, I focused on

  16. 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...

  17. Modulation of flavonoid metabolites in Arabidopsis thaliana through overexpression of the MYB75 transcription factor: role of kaempferol-3,7-dirhamnoside in resistance to the specialist insect herbivore Pieris brassicae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Onkokesung, N.; Reichelt, M.; Doorn, van A.; Schuurink, R.C.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Anthocyanins and flavonols are secondary metabolites that can function in plant defence against herbivores. In Arabidopsis thaliana, anthocyanin and flavonol biosynthesis are regulated by MYB transcription factors. Overexpression of MYB75 (oxMYB75) in Arabidopsis results in increasing anthocyanin

  18. Scale insect larvae preserved in vertebrate coprolites (Le Quesnoy, France, Lower Eocene): paleoecological insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin, Ninon; Foldi, Imre; Godinot, Marc; Petit, Gilles

    2016-10-01

    Coprolites of terrestrial vertebrates from the Sparnacian Le Quesnoy locality (Ypresian, Eocene, MP7, 53 Ma; Oise, France) were examined for possible parasitic helminth eggs. The extraction of the coprolite components was performed by a weak acetolyse and a slide mounting in glycerin. This long examination did not reveal paleoparasite remains, which may be explained through several arguments. However, some pollen grains, some enigmatic components, and two well-preserved first-instar cochineal nymphs (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Coccoidea) were evidenced in coprolites. Identified as Coccidae, these larvae are the earliest stage of the scale insect development ever reported as fossil, revealing the specific environment of preservation that fossilized scats may provide. These observations, combined to the coprolites morphotype, enable to ascribe the fossil scats producer to a small herbivorous mammal present in the deposit (early perissodactyls or Plesiadapidae). Regarding the ecology of extant representatives of Coccidae, this mammal was a likely foliage consumer, and the abundant Juglandaceae and/or Tiliaceae from Le Quesnoy might have lived parasitized by scale insects. These Early Eocene parasites had an already well-established dissemination strategy, with prevalent minute first-instar larvae. The herein performed extraction technique appears well-suited for the study of carbonate coprolites and could certainly be useful for evidencing other kind of microorganisms (including internal parasites).

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. Edible Insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van A.; Dunkel, F.V.

    2016-01-01

    The interest in insects as human food in the Western world is increasingly considered as a viable alternative to other protein sources. In tropical countries it is common practice and about 2000 insect species are eaten. Insects emit low levels of greenhouse gases, need little water, and require

  3. Beauveria bassiana as an endophyte

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McKinnon, Aimee C.; Saari, Susanna Talvikki; Moran-Diez, Maria E.

    2017-01-01

    In the last decade there has been increased focus on the potential of endophytic Beauveria bassiana for the biocontrol of insect herbivores. Generally, detection of endophytes is acknowledged to be problematic and recovery method-dependent. Herein, we critically analyse the methodology reported...... for the detection of B. bassiana as endophytes following experimental inoculation. In light of the methodology, we further review the effects of endophytic B. bassiana on insect herbivores. Our review indicated the need for stringent protocols for surface sterilisation including thorough experimental controls....... For molecular detection protocols by PCR, residual DNA from surface inocula must also be considered. The biocontrol potential of B. bassiana endophytes appears promising although both negative and neutral effects on insect herbivores were reported and there remains ambiguity with respect to the location...

  4. Insects: A nutritional alternative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufour, P. A.

    1981-01-01

    Insects are considered as potential food sources in space. Types of insects consumed are discussed. Hazards of insect ingestion are considered. Insect reproduction, requirements, and raw materials conversion are discussed. Nutrition properties and composition of insects are considered. Preparation of insects as human food is discussed.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. Linking agricultural practices, mycorrhizal fungi, and traits mediating plant-insect interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Nicholas A; Kiers, E Toby; Theis, Nina; Hazzard, Ruth V; Adler, Lynn S

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management has profound effects on soil communities. Activities such as fertilizer inputs can modify the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities, which form important symbioses with the roots of most crop plants. Intensive conventional agricultural management may select for less mutualistic AMF with reduced benefits to host plants compared to organic management, but these differences are poorly understood. AMF are generally evaluated based on their direct growth effects on plants. However, mycorrhizal colonization also may alter plant traits such as tissue nutrients, defensive chemistry, or floral traits, which mediate important plant-insect interactions like herbivory and pollination. To determine the effect of AMF from different farming practices on plant performance and traits that putatively mediate species interactions, we performed a greenhouse study by inoculating Cucumis sativus (cucumber, Cucurbitaceae) with AMF from conventional farms, organic farms, and a commercial AMF inoculum. We measured growth and a suite of plant traits hypothesized to be important predictors of herbivore resistance and pollinator attraction. Several leaf and root traits and flower production were significantly affected by AMF inoculum. Both conventional and organic AMF reduced leaf P content but increased Na content compared to control and commercial AMF. Leaf defenses were unaffected by AMF treatments, but conventional AMF increased root cucurbitacin C, the primary defensive chemical of C. sativus, compared to organic AMF. These effects may have important consequences for herbivore preference and population dynamics. AMF from both organic and conventional farms decreased flower production relative to commercial and control treatments, which may reduce pollinator attraction and plant reproduction. AMF from both farm types also reduced seed germination, but effects on plant growth were limited. Our results suggest that studies only considering AMF

  10. Consuming insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roos, N.; Huis, van A.

    2017-01-01

    How healthy are insects? This is a highly relevant question in view of the global interest in the potential of insects as a sustainable food source in food systems and diets. Edible insects, like other foods, can provide nutrients and dietary energy to meet the requirements of the human body as a

  11. Rhizosphere-associated Pseudomonas induce systemic resistance to herbivores at the cost of susceptibility to bacterial pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haney, Cara H; Wiesmann, Christina L; Shapiro, Lori R; Melnyk, Ryan A; O'Sullivan, Lucy R; Khorasani, Sophie; Xiao, Li; Han, Jiatong; Bush, Jenifer; Carrillo, Juli; Pierce, Naomi E; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2017-10-31

    Plant-associated soil microbes are important mediators of plant defence responses to diverse above-ground pathogen and insect challengers. For example, closely related strains of beneficial rhizosphere Pseudomonas spp. can induce systemic resistance (ISR), systemic susceptibility (ISS) or neither against the bacterial foliar pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pto DC3000). Using a model system composed of root-associated Pseudomonas spp. strains, the foliar pathogen Pto DC3000 and the herbivore Trichoplusia ni (cabbage looper), we found that rhizosphere-associated Pseudomonas spp. that induce either ISS and ISR against Pto DC3000 all increased resistance to herbivory by T. ni. We found that resistance to T. ni and resistance to Pto DC3000 are quantitative metrics of the jasmonic acid (JA)/salicylic acid (SA) trade-off and distinct strains of rhizosphere-associated Pseudomonas spp. have distinct effects on the JA/SA trade-off. Using genetic analysis and transcriptional profiling, we provide evidence that treatment of Arabidopsis with Pseudomonas sp. CH267, which induces ISS against bacterial pathogens, tips the JA/SA trade-off towards JA-dependent defences against herbivores at the cost of a subset of SA-mediated defences against bacterial pathogens. In contrast, treatment of Arabidopsis with the ISR strain Pseudomonas sp. WCS417 disrupts JA/SA antagonism and simultaneously primes plants for both JA- and SA-mediated defences. Our findings show that ISS against the bacterial foliar pathogens triggered by Pseudomonas sp. CH267, which is a seemingly deleterious phenotype, may in fact be an adaptive consequence of increased resistance to herbivory. Our work shows that pleiotropic effects of microbiome modulation of plant defences are important to consider when using microbes to modify plant traits in agriculture. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Specialization and generalization in the diversification of phytophagous insects: tests of the musical chairs and oscillation hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Nate B.; Otto, Sarah P.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary biologists have often assumed that ecological generalism comes at the expense of less intense exploitation of specific resources and that this trade-off will promote the evolution of ecologically specialized daughter species. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach with butterflies as a model system, we test hypotheses that incorporate changes in niche breadth and location into explanations of the taxonomic diversification of insect herbivores. Specifically, we compare the oscillation hypothesis, where speciation is driven by host-plant generalists giving rise to specialist daughter species, to the musical chairs hypothesis, where speciation is driven by host-plant switching, without changes in niche breadth. Contrary to the predictions of the oscillation hypothesis, we recover a negative relationship between host-plant breadth and diversification rate and find that changes in host breadth are seldom coupled to speciation events. By contrast, we present evidence for a positive relationship between rates of host switching and butterfly diversification, consonant with the musical chairs hypothesis. These results suggest that the costs of trophic generalism in plant-feeding insects may have been overvalued and that transitions from generalists to ecological specialists may not be an important driver of speciation in general. PMID:25274368

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. All insects are equal, but some insects are more equal than others

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Arnout R.H.; Steenbekkers, L.P.A.

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: Lack of acceptance of insects as food is considered a barrier against societal adoption of the potentially valuable contribution of insects to human foods. An underlying barrier may be that insects are lumped together as one group, while consumers typically try specific insects. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the ways in which Dutch consumers, with and without insect tasting experience, are more or less willing to eat different insects. Design/methodology/approach: In a ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Affordable Bimodal Optical Sensors to Spread the Use of Automated Insect Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilyas Potamitis

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a novel bimodal optoelectronic sensor based on Fresnel lenses and the associated stereo-recording device that records the wingbeat event of an insect in flight as backscattered and extinction light. We investigate the complementary information of these two sources of biometric evidence and we finally embed part of this technology in an electronic e-trap for fruit flies. The e-trap examines the spectral content of the wingbeat of the insect flying in and reports wirelessly counts and species identity. We design our devices so that they are optimized in terms of detection accuracy and power consumption, but above all, we ensure that they are affordable. Our aim is to make more widespread the use of electronic insect traps that report in virtually real time the level of the pest population from the field straight to a human controlled agency. We have the vision to establish remote automated monitoring for all insects of economic and hygienic importance at large spatial scales, using their wingbeat as biometric evidence. To this end, we provide open access to the implementation details, recordings, and classification code we developed.

  1. 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...

  2. Sap-feeding insects on forest trees along latitudinal gradients in northern Europe: a climate-driven patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Mikhail V; Stekolshchikov, Andrey V; Söderman, Guy; Labina, Eugenia S; Zverev, Vitali; Zvereva, Elena L

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of the latitudinal patterns in biotic interactions, and especially in herbivory, is crucial for understanding the mechanisms that govern ecosystem functioning and for predicting their responses to climate change. We used sap-feeding insects as a model group to test the hypotheses that the strength of plant-herbivore interactions in boreal forests decreases with latitude and that this latitudinal pattern is driven primarily by midsummer temperatures. We used a replicated sampling design and quantitatively collected and identified all sap-feeding insects from four species of forest trees along five latitudinal gradients (750-1300 km in length, ten sites in each gradient) in northern Europe (59 to 70°N and 10 to 60°E) during 2008-2011. Similar decreases in diversity of sap-feeding insects with latitude were observed in all gradients during all study years. The sap-feeder load (i.e. insect biomass per unit of foliar biomass) decreased with latitude in typical summers, but increased in an exceptionally hot summer and was independent of latitude during a warm summer. Analysis of combined data from all sites and years revealed dome-shaped relationships between the loads of sap-feeders and midsummer temperatures, peaking at 17 °C in Picea abies, at 19.5 °C in Pinus sylvestris and Betula pubescens and at 22 °C in B. pendula. From these relationships, we predict that the losses of forest trees to sap-feeders will increase by 0-45% of the current level in southern boreal forests and by 65-210% in subarctic forests with a 1 °C increase in summer temperatures. The observed relationships between temperatures and the loads of sap-feeders differ between the coniferous and deciduous tree species. We conclude that climate warming will not only increase plant losses to sap-feeding insects, especially in subarctic forests, but can also alter plant-plant interactions, thereby affecting both the productivity and the structure of future forest ecosystems. © 2014

  3. Efficiency of Trichome-Based Plant Defense in Phaseolus vulgaris Depends on Insect Behavior, Plant Ontogeny, and Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenlong Xing

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Plant trichomes often function as physical barriers in preventing arthropod feeding and oviposition. Even though insects are frequently reported being entrapped and killed by trichome traps, the actual trapping behavior has not yet been described in detail. Capture experiments showed that capture efficiency during the plant's vegetative stage was considerably higher than in the fruiting and cotyledon stages. The ventral surface of the leaf was more effective in trapping flies than other parts of the plant. Capture-events monitoring showed that the mouthparts, legs, and ovipositor of Liriomyza trifolii adults are the body parts involved in entrapment by surface trichomes on Phaseolus vulgaris plants, and subsequently, deter their ability to feed, walk, and oviposit. Of the three main body parts normally affected, mouthparts was found to be the body part most susceptible to the trichomes. Entrapments were most often caused by landing, followed by puncturing or feeding, and occasionally by walking or fighting. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM and optical microscopy, we determined the susceptible positions of each body part and found that the flies were all trapped by hooked trichomes. This study revealed the process by which leafminer flies are entrapped by surface trichomes of the host plant and evaluated the capture efficiency. The results will contribute to our understanding of physical defenses against herbivores.

  4. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  5. Water Stress Strengthens Mutualism Among Ants, Trees, and Scale Insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G.; Akçay, Erol; Raab, Ted K.; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M.

    2013-01-01

    Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant–plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant–plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism. PMID:24223521

  6. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Akçay, Erol; Raab, Ted K; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-11-01

    Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  7. 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,...

  8. Insects and Scorpions

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... insects or scorpions can be hazardous to outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The health effects of stinging or biting insects or scorpions range ...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. State of Washington Aquatic Plant Management Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-10-01

    endothall (DMA salt); and herbivorous fish, insects , and pathogens. 4. Comments Received from Public Review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement...SNYIAOWMNWAL MANWULATION UIONOGC SSUCTION DREDGE HAND RUMOVA HOTTON SHADING WATER LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS HERBIVOROUS FIS1H INSECTS , PAT1OGIENS, ETC. set...the control of acuatic plants. 52 4. PROBABLE IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED ACTION ON~ THE ENVIRON4MENT 4.01 Impacts on Air Quality, Noise and Traffic. 4.01.1

  14. 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.

  15. Systematic analysis of rice (Oryza sativa) metabolic responses to herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamgir, Kabir Md; Hojo, Yuko; Christeller, John T; Fukumoto, Kaori; Isshiki, Ryutaro; Shinya, Tomonori; Baldwin, Ian T; Galis, Ivan

    2016-02-01

    Plants defend against attack from herbivores by direct and indirect defence mechanisms mediated by the accumulation of phytoalexins and release of volatile signals, respectively. While the defensive arsenals of some plants, such as tobacco and Arabidopsis are well known, most of rice's (Oryza sativa) defence metabolites and their effectiveness against herbivores remain uncharacterized. Here, we used a non-biassed metabolomics approach to identify many novel herbivory-regulated metabolic signatures in rice. Most were up-regulated by herbivore attack while only a few were suppressed. Two of the most prominent up-regulated signatures were characterized as phenolamides (PAs), p-coumaroylputrescine and feruloylputrescine. PAs accumulated in response to attack by both chewing insects, i.e. feeding of the lawn armyworm (Spodoptera mauritia) and the rice skipper (Parnara guttata) larvae, and the attack of the sucking insect, the brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens, BPH). In bioassays, BPH insects feeding on 15% sugar solution containing p-coumaroylputrescine or feruloylputrescine, at concentrations similar to those elicited by heavy BPH attack in rice, had a higher mortality compared to those feeding on sugar diet alone. Our results highlight PAs as a rapidly expanding new group of plant defence metabolites that are elicited by herbivore attack, and deter herbivores in rice and other plants. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Sex Determination, Sex Chromosomes, and Karyotype Evolution in Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackmon, Heath; Ross, Laura; Bachtrog, Doris

    2017-01-01

    Insects harbor a tremendous diversity of sex determining mechanisms both within and between groups. For example, in some orders such as Hymenoptera, all members are haplodiploid, whereas Diptera contain species with homomorphic as well as male and female heterogametic sex chromosome systems or paternal genome elimination. We have established a large database on karyotypes and sex chromosomes in insects, containing information on over 13000 species covering 29 orders of insects. This database constitutes a unique starting point to report phylogenetic patterns on the distribution of sex determination mechanisms, sex chromosomes, and karyotypes among insects and allows us to test general theories on the evolutionary dynamics of karyotypes, sex chromosomes, and sex determination systems in a comparative framework. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that male heterogamety is the ancestral mode of sex determination in insects, and transitions to female heterogamety are extremely rare. Many insect orders harbor species with complex sex chromosomes, and gains and losses of the sex-limited chromosome are frequent in some groups. Haplodiploidy originated several times within insects, and parthenogenesis is rare but evolves frequently. Providing a single source to electronically access data previously distributed among more than 500 articles and books will not only accelerate analyses of the assembled data, but also provide a unique resource to guide research on which taxa are likely to be informative to address specific questions, for example, for genome sequencing projects or large-scale comparative studies. © The American Genetic Association 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. 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.

  18. Do Refuge Plants Favour Natural Pest Control in Maize Crops?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quispe, Reinaldo; Mazón, Marina; Rodríguez-Berrío, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    The use of non-crop plants to provide the resources that herbivorous crop pests’ natural enemies need is being increasingly incorporated into integrated pest management programs. We evaluated insect functional groups found on three refuges consisting of five different plant species each, planted next to a maize crop in Lima, Peru, to investigate which refuge favoured natural control of herbivores considered as pests of maize in Peru, and which refuge plant traits were more attractive to those desirable enemies. Insects occurring in all the plants, including the maize crop itself, were sampled weekly during the crop growing cycle, from February to June 2011. All individuals collected were identified and classified into three functional groups: herbivores, parasitoids, and predators. Refuges were compared based on their effectiveness in enhancing the populations of predator and parasitoid insects of the crop enemies. Refuges A and B were the most effective, showing the highest richness and abundance of both predators and parasitoids, including several insect species that are reported to attack the main insect pests of maize (Spodoptera frugiperda and Rhopalosiphum maidis), as well as other species that serve as alternative hosts of these natural enemies. PMID:28718835

  19. All insects are equal, but some insects are more equal than others