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Sample records for lepidopteran herbivores electronic

  1. 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),...

  2. Gut immunity in Lepidopteran insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kai; Yang, Bing; Huang, Wuren; Dobens, Leonard; Song, Hongsheng; Ling, Erjun

    2016-11-01

    Lepidopteran insects constitute one of the largest fractions of animals on earth, but are considered pests in their relationship with man. Key to the success of this order of insects is its ability to digest food and absorb nutrition, which takes place in the midgut. Because environmental microorganisms can easily enter Lepidopteran guts during feeding, the innate immune response guards against pathogenic bacteria, virus and microsporidia that can be devoured with food. Gut immune responses are complicated by both resident gut microbiota and the surrounding peritrophic membrane and are distinct from immune responses in the body cavity, which depend on the function of the fat body and hemocytes. Due to their relevance to agricultural production, studies of Lepidopteran insect midgut and immunity are receiving more attention, and here we summarize gut structures and functions, and discuss how these confer immunity against different microorganisms. It is expected that increased knowledge of Lepidopteran gut immunity may be utilized for pest biological control in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Management of lepidopterans through irradiations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhati, Dheeraj; Parvez, Asif; Kausar, Hina; Srivastava, Meera

    2012-01-01

    Lepidoptera species are the most important pests of major annual and perennial crops, forests, and stored products throughout the world. In the past decade, the increasing hazards of chemical insecticides has prompted research for new avenues of insect control, one such method being population suppression through the release of irradiated sterile mates in the natural population. Lepidopterans are more radio-resistant and as a consequence larger dose of radiation required to completely sterilize them reduces their competitiveness and performance in the field. One approach to reduce the negative effects of radio-resistance in Lepidoptera has been the use of inherited or F1 sterility. F1 sterility involves the mass rearing and release of genetically altered insects to insure that when matings occur in the field, a significant proportion of matings involve a treated, released insect. However, F1 sterility takes advantage of two unique genetic phenomena in Lepidoptera. First, Lepidopteran females generally are much more sensitive to radiation than are males of the same species. This allows the dose of radiation to be adjusted so that treated females are completely sterile and males are partially sterile. Second, when these partially sterile males mate with fertile females the radiation induced deleterious effects are inherited by the F1 generation. As a result, egg hatch is reduced and the resulting (F1) offspring are both highly sterile and predominately male. The lower dose of radiation used in F1 sterility increases the quality and competitiveness of the released insects. In addition, because F1 sterile progeny are produced in the field, the release of partially sterile insects offers greater suppressive potential than the release of fully sterile insects and is more compatible with other pest control mechanisms or strategies. Therefore, a number of factors must be considered in selecting a dose. The species of Lepidoptera investigated on evaluation of population

  4. Lepidopteran insect susceptibility to silver nanoparticles and measurement of changes in their growth, development and physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasur, Jyothsna; Rani, Pathipati Usha

    2015-04-01

    Increased use of nanomaterials in various fields of science has lead for the need to study the impact of nanomaterial on the environment in general and on insect and plant life in particular. We studied the impact of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on growth and feeding responses of two lepidopteran pests of castor plant (Ricinus communis L.) namely Asian armyworm, Spodoptera litura F. and castor semilooper, Achaea janata L. Larvae were fed with PVP coated-AgNPs treated castor leaf at different concentrations and their activity was compared to that of silver nitrate (AgNO3) treated leaf diets. Larval and pupal body weights decreased along with the decrease in the concentrations of AgNPs and AgNO3 in both the test insects. Low amounts of silver were accumulated in the larval guts, but major portion of it was eliminated through the feces. Ultrastructural studies of insect gut cell using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) showed accumulation of silver nanoparticles in cell organelles. Changes in the antioxidative and detoxifying enzymes of the treated larva were estimated. The effect of treatments showed differences in the activities of detoxifying enzymes, carboxylesterases (CarE), glucosidases (Glu) and glutathione S-transferases (GST) in the larval gut. Activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidase were also altered in the larval bodies due to the AgNPs treatments, suggesting that exposure of larvae to nanoparticles induces oxidative stress, which is countered by antioxidant enzymes. Induction of these enzymes may be an effective detoxification mechanism by which the herbivorous insect defends itself against nanoparticle treatment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Molecular characterization of Lepidopteran specific Bacillus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) strains pathogenic to Lepidopteran insects and native to hilly zone soils of Karnataka (India) were explored. 19 strains were isolated from the soils and identified by morphological and microscopic characters. Toxicity level of the Bt isolates was tested by treating third Instar larvae of silkworm ...

  6. Molecular characterization of Lepidopteran specific Bacillus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Guest

    2013-05-15

    May 15, 2013 ... Department of Plant Biotechnology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bangalore, India. Accepted 24 April, 2013. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) strains pathogenic to Lepidopteran insects and native to hilly zone soils of. Karnataka ... In one of the isolates (Bt9), the cry gene was not detected.

  7. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jonathan P; Foster, Rosie; Wilkins, Lucas; Osorio, Daniel; Hartley, Susan E

    2015-01-01

    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.

  10. Microevolutionary dynamics of a macroevolutionary key innovation in a Lepidopteran herbivore

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    Wheat Christopher W

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A molecular population genetics understanding is central to the study of ecological and evolutionary functional genomics. Population genetics identifies genetic variation and its distribution within and among populations, it reveals the demographic history of the populations studied, and can provide indirect insights into historical selection dynamics. Here we use this approach to examine the demographic and selective dynamics acting of a candidate gene involved in plant-insect interactions. Previous work documents the macroevolutionary and historical ecological importance of the nitrile-specifier protein (Nsp, which facilitated the host shift of Pieridae butterflies onto Brassicales host plants ~80 Myr ago. Results Here we assess the microevolutionary dynamics of the Nsp gene by studying the within and among-population variation at Nsp and reference genes in the butterfly Pieris rapae (Small Cabbage White. Nsp exhibits unexpectedly high amounts of amino acid polymorphism, unequally distributed across the gene. The vast majority of genetic variation exists within populations, with little to no genetic differentiation among four populations on two continents. A comparison of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions in 70 randomly chosen genes among P. rapae and its close relative Pieris brassicae (Large Cabbage White finds Nsp to have a significantly relaxed functional constraint compared to housekeeping genes. We find strong evidence for a recent population expansion and no role for strong purifying or directional selection upon the Nsp gene. Conclusions The microevolutionary dynamics of the Nsp gene in P. rapae are dominated by recent population expansion and variation in functional constraint across the repeated domains of the Nsp gene. While the high amounts of amino acid diversity suggest there may be significant functional differences among allelic variants segregating within populations, indirect tests of selection could not conclusively identify a signature of historical selection. The importance of using this information for planning future studies of potential performance and fitness consequences of the observed variation is discussed.

  11. Paleobiology of Herbivorous Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Paul M.

    2014-05-01

    Herbivorous dinosaurs were abundant, species-rich components of Late Triassic-Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems. Obligate high-fiber herbivory evolved independently on several occasions within Dinosauria, through the intermediary step of omnivory. Anatomical character complexes associated with this diet exhibit high levels of convergence and morphological disparity, and may have evolved by correlated progression. Dinosaur faunas changed markedly during the Mesozoic, from early faunas dominated by taxa with simple, uniform feeding mechanics to Cretaceous biomes including diverse sophisticated sympatric herbivores; the environmental and biological drivers causing these changes remain unclear. Isotopic, taphonomic, and anatomical evidence implies that niche partitioning reduced competition between sympatric herbivores, via morphological differentiation, dietary preferences, and habitat selection. Large body size in dinosaur herbivores is associated with low plant productivity, and gave these animals prominent roles as ecosystem engineers. Although dinosaur herbivores lived through several major events in floral evolution, there is currently no evidence for plant-dinosaur coevolutionary interactions.

  12. Contrasting effects of large herbivore grazing on smaller herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, E. S.; Olff, H.; Gleichman, J. M.

    2009-01-01

    Assemblages of large herbivores may compete For food or facilitate one another. However, small vertebrate herbivore species co-occurring with large herbivores may be affected by large herbivore grazing through changes in plant species composition, nutrient content and vegetation structure. These

  13. Edible orthopteran and lepidopteran as protein substitutes in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Experiments was conducted on the use of Zonocerus variegatus (Orthopteran) and Cirina forda (Lepidopteran) as possible protein subtitutes in the feeding of experimental albino rats in the laboratory. The result of the proximate composition of C forda and Z variegatus showed a high crude protein values of 49.70%, 48.6%; ...

  14. Herbivore damage-induced production and specific anti-digestive function of serine and cysteine protease inhibitors in tall goldenrod, Solidago altissima L. (Asteraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Robert F; Halitschke, Rayko; Kessler, André

    2013-05-01

    Plant protease inhibitors (PIs) are among the most well-studied and widely distributed resistance traits that plants use against their herbivore attackers. There are different types of plant PIs which putatively function against the different types of proteases expressed in insect guts. Serine protease inhibitors (SPIs) and cysteine protease inhibitors (CPIs) are hypothesized to differentially function against the predominant gut proteases in lepidopteran and coleopteran herbivores, respectively. Here, we test the hypothesis that tall goldenrod, Solidago altissima, can specifically respond to damage by different herbivores and differentially induce SPIs and CPIs in response to damage by lepidopteran and coleopteran herbivores. Moreover, we ask if the concerted induction of different types of PIs accounts for variation in induced resistance to herbivory. We altered and optimized a rapid and effective existing methodology to quantitatively analyze both SPI and CPI activity simultaneously from a single tissue sample and to use the same plant extracts directly for characterization of inhibitory effects on insect gut protease activity. We found that both SPIs and CPIs are induced in S. altissima in response to damage, regardless of the damaging herbivore species. However, only SPIs were effective against Spodoptera exigua gut proteases. Our data suggest that plant PI responses are not necessarily specific to the identity of the attacking organism but that different components of generally induced defense traits can specifically affect different herbivore species. While providing an efficient and broadly applicable methodology to analyze multiple PIs extracted from the same tissue, this study furthers our understanding of specificity in induced plant resistance.

  15. The underestimated N-glycomes of lepidopteran species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Rhiannon; Hykollari, Alba; Eckmair, Barbara; Malzl, Daniel; Dragosits, Martin; Palmberger, Dieter; Wang, Ping; Wilson, Iain B H; Paschinger, Katharina

    2017-04-01

    Insects are significant to the environment, agriculture, health and biotechnology. Many of these aspects display some relationship to glycosylation, e.g., in case of pathogen binding or production of humanised antibodies; for a long time, it has been considered that insect N-glycosylation potentials are rather similar and simple, but as more species are glycomically analysed in depth, it is becoming obvious that there is indeed a large structural diversity and interspecies variability. Using an off-line LC-MALDI-TOF MS approach, we have analysed the N-glycomes of two lepidopteran species (the cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni and the gypsy moth Lymantria dispar) as well as of the commonly-used T. ni High Five cell line. We detected not only sulphated, glucuronylated, core difucosylated and Lewis-like antennal fucosylated structures, but also the zwitterion phosphorylcholine on antennal GlcNAc residues, a modification otherwise familiar from nematodes; in L. dispar, N-glycans with glycolipid-like antennae containing α-linked N-acetylgalactosamine were also revealed. The lepidopteran glycomes analysed not only display core α1,3-fucosylation, which is foreign to mammals, but also up to 5% anionic and/or zwitterionic glycans previously not found in these species. The occurrence of anionic and zwitterionic glycans in the Lepidoptera data is not only of glycoanalytical and evolutionary interest, but is of biotechnological relevance as lepidopteran cell lines are potential factories for recombinant glycoprotein production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Genomics of adaptation to host-plants in herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Jean-Christophe; d'Alençon, Emmanuelle; Guy, Endrick; Jacquin-Joly, Emmanuelle; Jaquiéry, Julie; Nouhaud, Pierre; Peccoud, Jean; Sugio, Akiko; Streiff, Réjane

    2015-11-01

    Herbivorous insects represent the most species-rich lineages of metazoans. The high rate of diversification in herbivorous insects is thought to result from their specialization to distinct host-plants, which creates conditions favorable for the build-up of reproductive isolation and speciation. These conditions rely on constraints against the optimal use of a wide range of plant species, as each must constitute a viable food resource, oviposition site and mating site for an insect. Utilization of plants involves many essential traits of herbivorous insects, as they locate and select their hosts, overcome their defenses and acquire nutrients while avoiding intoxication. Although advances in understanding insect-plant molecular interactions have been limited by the complexity of insect traits involved in host use and the lack of genomic resources and functional tools, recent studies at the molecular level, combined with large-scale genomics studies at population and species levels, are revealing the genetic underpinning of plant specialization and adaptive divergence in non-model insect herbivores. Here, we review the recent advances in the genomics of plant adaptation in hemipterans and lepidopterans, two major insect orders, each of which includes a large number of crop pests. We focus on how genomics and post-genomics have improved our understanding of the mechanisms involved in insect-plant interactions by reviewing recent molecular discoveries in sensing, feeding, digesting and detoxifying strategies. We also present the outcomes of large-scale genomics approaches aimed at identifying loci potentially involved in plant adaptation in these insects. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Reciprocal Responses in the Interaction between Arabidopsis and the Cell-Content-Feeding Chelicerate Herbivore Spider Mite1[W][OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhurov, Vladimir; Navarro, Marie; Bruinsma, Kristie A.; Arbona, Vicent; Santamaria, M. Estrella; Cazaux, Marc; Wybouw, Nicky; Osborne, Edward J.; Ens, Cherise; Rioja, Cristina; Vermeirssen, Vanessa; Rubio-Somoza, Ignacio; Krishna, Priti; Diaz, Isabel; Schmid, Markus; Gómez-Cadenas, Aurelio; Van de Peer, Yves; Grbić, Miodrag; Clark, Richard M.; Van Leeuwen, Thomas; Grbić, Vojislava

    2014-01-01

    Most molecular-genetic studies of plant defense responses to arthropod herbivores have focused on insects. However, plant-feeding mites are also pests of diverse plants, and mites induce different patterns of damage to plant tissues than do well-studied insects (e.g. lepidopteran larvae or aphids). The two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is among the most significant mite pests in agriculture, feeding on a staggering number of plant hosts. To understand the interactions between spider mite and a plant at the molecular level, we examined reciprocal genome-wide responses of mites and its host Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Despite differences in feeding guilds, we found that transcriptional responses of Arabidopsis to mite herbivory resembled those observed for lepidopteran herbivores. Mutant analysis of induced plant defense pathways showed functionally that only a subset of induced programs, including jasmonic acid signaling and biosynthesis of indole glucosinolates, are central to Arabidopsis’s defense to mite herbivory. On the herbivore side, indole glucosinolates dramatically increased mite mortality and development times. We identified an indole glucosinolate dose-dependent increase in the number of differentially expressed mite genes belonging to pathways associated with detoxification of xenobiotics. This demonstrates that spider mite is sensitive to Arabidopsis defenses that have also been associated with the deterrence of insect herbivores that are very distantly related to chelicerates. Our findings provide molecular insights into the nature of, and response to, herbivory for a representative of a major class of arthropod herbivores. PMID:24285850

  18. Characterization of an ancient lepidopteran lateral gene transfer.

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    David Wheeler

    Full Text Available Bacteria to eukaryote lateral gene transfers (LGT are an important potential source of material for the evolution of novel genetic traits. The explosion in the number of newly sequenced genomes provides opportunities to identify and characterize examples of these lateral gene transfer events, and to assess their role in the evolution of new genes. In this paper, we describe an ancient lepidopteran LGT of a glycosyl hydrolase family 31 gene (GH31 from an Enterococcus bacteria. PCR amplification between the LGT and a flanking insect gene confirmed that the GH31 was integrated into the Bombyx mori genome and was not a result of an assembly error. Database searches in combination with degenerate PCR on a panel of 7 lepidopteran families confirmed that the GH31 LGT event occurred deep within the Order approximately 65-145 million years ago. The most basal species in which the LGT was found is Plutella xylostella (superfamily: Yponomeutoidea. Array data from Bombyx mori shows that GH31 is expressed, and low dN/dS ratios indicates the LGT coding sequence is under strong stabilizing selection. These findings provide further support for the proposition that bacterial LGTs are relatively common in insects and likely to be an underappreciated source of adaptive genetic material.

  19. Sensory basis of lepidopteran migration: Focus on the monarch butterfly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Patrick A.; Reppert, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

    In response to seasonal habitats, migratory lepidopterans, exemplified by the monarch butterfly, have evolved migration to deal with dynamic conditions. During migration, monarchs use orientation mechanisms, exploiting a time-compensated sun compasses and a light-sensitive inclination magnetic compass to facilitate fall migration south. The sun compass is bidirectional with overwintering coldness triggering the change in orientation direction for remigration northward in the spring. The timing of the remigration and milkweed emergence in the southern US have co-evolved for propagation of the migration. Current research is uncovering the anatomical and molecular substrates that underlie migratory-relevant sensory mechanisms with the antennae being critical components. Orientation mechanisms may be detrimentally affected by environmental factors such as climate change and sensory interference from human-generated sources. PMID:25625216

  20. Morphology and diversity of exocrine glands in lepidopteran larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vegliante, Francesca; Hasenfuss, Ivar

    2012-01-01

    The morphology of 21 exocrine glands and 13 supposedly exocrine structures recorded for lepidopteran larvae is reviewed. The epitracheal glands, for which a double role (exocrine and endocrine) has been demonstrated, are examined as well. Function is well known for at least 8 glands but completely unknown for 6 glands, for 10 putative glandular structures, and for the exocrine component of the epitracheal glands. Functional studies on the remaining structures are insufficient; in some cases (mandibular gland and adenosma) homologous glands may play a different role depending on the species, and only a few taxa have been examined. The secretions of 13 glandular types have been analyzed chemically. The histology of 11 glands is known at the ultrastructural level, whereas that of 6 glands and 7 putative glandular structures is completely unknown. Comparative anatomical studies of the osmeterium, adenosma, and Verson's glands may yield useful information for phylogenetic reconstructions. Copyright © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

  1. SPODOBASE : an EST database for the lepidopteran crop pest Spodoptera

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    Sabourault Cécile

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Lepidoptera Spodoptera frugiperda is a pest which causes widespread economic damage on a variety of crop plants. It is also well known through its famous Sf9 cell line which is used for numerous heterologous protein productions. Species of the Spodoptera genus are used as model for pesticide resistance and to study virus host interactions. A genomic approach is now a critical step for further new developments in biology and pathology of these insects, and the results of ESTs sequencing efforts need to be structured into databases providing an integrated set of tools and informations. Description The ESTs from five independent cDNA libraries, prepared from three different S. frugiperda tissues (hemocytes, midgut and fat body and from the Sf9 cell line, are deposited in the database. These tissues were chosen because of their importance in biological processes such as immune response, development and plant/insect interaction. So far, the SPODOBASE contains 29,325 ESTs, which are cleaned and clustered into non-redundant sets (2294 clusters and 6103 singletons. The SPODOBASE is constructed in such a way that other ESTs from S. frugiperda or other species may be added. User can retrieve information using text searches, pre-formatted queries, query assistant or blast searches. Annotation is provided against NCBI, UNIPROT or Bombyx mori ESTs databases, and with GO-Slim vocabulary. Conclusion The SPODOBASE database provides integrated access to expressed sequence tags (EST from the lepidopteran insect Spodoptera frugiperda. It is a publicly available structured database with insect pest sequences which will allow identification of a number of genes and comprehensive cloning of gene families of interest for scientific community. SPODOBASE is available from URL: http://bioweb.ensam.inra.fr/spodobase

  2. Plant Defense against Insect Herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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. Insect herbivory induce several internal signals from the wounded tissues, including calcium ion fluxes, phosphorylation cascades and systemic- and jasmonate signaling. These are perceived in undamaged tissues, which thereafter reinforce their defense by producing different, mostly low molecular weight, 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 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 have adapted to resist plant defenses, and in some cases even sequester the compounds and reuse them in their own defense. Both plant defense and insect adaptation involve metabolic costs, so most plant-insect interactions reach a stand-off, where both host and herbivore survive although their development is suboptimal. PMID:23681010

  3. Plant defense against insect herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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 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...

  4. 76 FR 60448 - Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc.; Determination of Nonregulated Status for Lepidopteran-Resistant Cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-29

    ...] Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc.; Determination of Nonregulated Status for Lepidopteran-Resistant Cotton AGENCY... our determination that a cotton line developed by Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., designated as event... submitted by Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., in its petition for a determination of nonregulated status, our...

  5. Baculovirus cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer photolyases show a close relationship with lepidopteran host homologues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biernat, M.A.; Ros, V.I.D.; Vlak, J.M.; Oers, van M.M.

    2011-01-01

    Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyases repair ultraviolet (UV)-induced DNA damage using blue light. To get insight in the origin of baculovirus CPD photolyase (phr) genes, homologues in the lepidopteran insects Chrysodeixis chalcites, Spodoptera exigua and Trichoplusia ni were identified and

  6. 40 CFR 180.1153 - Lepidopteran pheromones; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... FOOD Exemptions From Tolerances § 180.1153 Lepidopteran pheromones; exemption from the requirement of a... similar synthetic compounds, designated by an unbranched aliphatic chain (between 9 and 18 carbons) ending... rate not to exceed 150 grams active ingredient/acre/year in accordance with good agricultural practices...

  7. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Zheng, S.J.; Zhang, Z.; Heemskerk, N.M.; Cortesero, A.M.; Dicke, M.

    2011-01-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous

  8. Recent advances in plant-herbivore interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Burkepile, Deron E.; Parker, John D.

    2017-01-01

    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 t...

  9. 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

  10. Early leaf miners and the ground plan of the lepidopteran larval trunk: caterpillar morphology of the basal moths Heterobathmia, Eriocrania, and Acanthopteroctetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, Steen

    2013-11-01

    The larval trunk morphology including chaetotaxy, locomotory structures, and trunk musculature of Heterobathmia pseuderiocrania, Eriocrania cicatricella, and Acanthopteroctetes unifascia is described using conventional light, polarization, and scanning electron microscopy. The ground plan morphology of the lepidopteran larva and neolepidopteran caterpillar is discussed in light of the life history succession from free soil dwelling organism to endophagous and finally to a primarily free living, angiosperm associated organism. I suggest that the larval morphology is argued to be strongly influenced by the shift in number of surfaces present in the larval environment. Especially the environment of the endophagous species, where the upper surface of the leaf mine is linked to the presence of dorsal locomotory structures such as the retractable calli and dorsal friction patches is proposed to have had a significant impact on the morphology and locomotory mechnism of the lepidopteran caterpillar. The chaetotaxy of the lepidopteran ground plan is found to be simple, consisting only of primary and secondary tactile setae and segmental proprioceptors. The presumption of Gerasimov ([1935] Zool Anz 112:177-194) that MXD1 of the prothorax is a shifted mesothoracic MD setae is supported. I suggest that the serial arrangement of the proprioceptors MD1, present on all trunk segments except the prothorax, and a trisetous MV group on all the thoracic segments is part of the lepidopteran larval ground plan. The absence of apodeme structures associated with trunk musculature in the nonglossatans suggests that this is an autapomorphic character of the Lepidoptera and it is further found to have been influential in the evolution of the typical caterpillar trunk. The attachments of the thoracic muscles directly to the trunk integument, suggest that the apodemal structures ancestral to the Amphiesmenoptera have been reduced in the Lepidoptera. Within the non-Neolepidoptera, the

  11. Nocturnal herbivore-induced plant volatiles attract the generalist predatory earwig Doru luteipes Scudder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naranjo-Guevara, Natalia; Peñaflor, Maria Fernanda G. V.; Cabezas-Guerrero, Milton F.; Bento, José Maurício S.

    2017-10-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that entomophagous arthropods use herbivore-induced plant volatile (HIPV) blends to search for their prey or host. However, no study has yet focused on the response of nocturnal predators to volatile blends emitted by prey damaged plants. We investigated the olfactory behavioral responses of the night-active generalist predatory earwig Doru luteipes Scudder (Dermaptera: Forficulidae) to diurnal and nocturnal volatile blends emitted by maize plants ( Zea mays) attacked by either a stem borer ( Diatraea saccharalis) or a leaf-chewing caterpillar ( Spodoptera frugiperda), both suitable lepidopteran prey. Additionally, we examined whether the earwig preferred odors emitted from short- or long-term damaged maize. We first determined the earwig diel foraging rhythm and confirmed that D. luteipes is a nocturnal predator. Olfactometer assays showed that during the day, although the earwigs were walking actively, they did not discriminate the volatiles of undamaged maize plants from those of herbivore damaged maize plants. In contrast, at night, earwigs preferred volatiles emitted by maize plants attacked by D. saccharalis or S. frugiperda over undamaged plants and short- over long-term damaged maize. Our GC-MS analysis revealed that short-term damaged nocturnal plant volatile blends were comprised mainly of fatty acid derivatives (i.e., green leaf volatiles), while the long-term damaged plant volatile blend contained mostly terpenoids. We also observed distinct volatile blend composition emitted by maize damaged by the different caterpillars. Our results showed that D. luteipes innately uses nocturnal herbivore-induced plant volatiles to search for prey. Moreover, the attraction of the earwig to short-term damaged plants is likely mediated by fatty acid derivatives.

  12. Research Note Do mammalian herbivores influence invertebrate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We investigated the indirect influence of mammalian herbivores on invertebrates, by utilising long-term mammalian herbivore exclosures in Kruger National Park. The exclosures span three distinct habitat types (crest, footslope and riparian) on a catena. By performing invertebrate collections in the exclosures and in a ...

  13. 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.

  14. Fungal Endophytes: Beyond Herbivore Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamisile, Bamisope S.; Dash, Chandra K.; Akutse, Komivi S.; Keppanan, Ravindran; Wang, Liande

    2018-01-01

    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.

  15. Collapse of the world's largest herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripple, William J; Newsome, Thomas M; Wolf, Christopher; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Everatt, Kristoffer T; Galetti, Mauro; Hayward, Matt W; Kerley, Graham I H; Levi, Taal; Lindsey, Peter A; Macdonald, David W; Malhi, Yadvinder; Painter, Luke E; Sandom, Christopher J; Terborgh, John; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    2015-05-01

    Large wild herbivores are crucial to ecosystems and human societies. We highlight the 74 largest terrestrial herbivore species on Earth (body mass ≥100 kg), the threats they face, their important and often overlooked ecosystem effects, and the conservation efforts needed to save them and their predators from extinction. Large herbivores are generally facing dramatic population declines and range contractions, such that ~60% are threatened with extinction. Nearly all threatened species are in developing countries, where major threats include hunting, land-use change, and resource depression by livestock. Loss of large herbivores can have cascading effects on other species including large carnivores, scavengers, mesoherbivores, small mammals, and ecological processes involving vegetation, hydrology, nutrient cycling, and fire regimes. The rate of large herbivore decline suggests that ever-larger swaths of the world will soon lack many of the vital ecological services these animals provide, resulting in enormous ecological and social costs.

  16. Recent advances in plant-herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkepile, Deron E; Parker, John D

    2017-01-01

    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, we conclude by

  17. Recent advances in plant-herbivore interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkepile, Deron E.; Parker, John D.

    2017-01-01

    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, we conclude by

  18. Herbivore space use influences coral reef recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eynaud, Yoan; McNamara, Dylan E; Sandin, Stuart A

    2016-06-01

    Herbivores play an important role in marine communities. On coral reefs, the diversity and unique feeding behaviours found within this functional group can have a comparably diverse set of impacts in structuring the benthic community. Here, using a spatially explicit model of herbivore foraging, we explore how the spatial pattern of grazing behaviours impacts the recovery of a reef ecosystem, considering movements at two temporal scales-short term (e.g. daily foraging patterns) and longer term (e.g. monthly movements across the landscape). Model simulations suggest that more spatially constrained herbivores are more effective at conferring recovery capability by providing a favourable environment to coral recruitment and growth. Results also show that the composition of food available to the herbivore community is linked directly to the pattern of space use by herbivores. To date, most studies of variability among the impacts of herbivore species have considered the diversity of feeding modes and mouthparts. Our work provides a complementary view of spatial patterns of foraging, revealing that variation in movement behaviours alone can affect patterns of benthic change, and thus broadens our view of realized links between herbivore diversity and reef recovery.

  19. A lepidopteran-specific gene family encoding valine-rich midgut proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jothini Odman-Naresh

    Full Text Available Many lepidopteran larvae are serious agricultural pests due to their feeding activity. Digestion of the plant diet occurs mainly in the midgut and is facilitated by the peritrophic matrix (PM, an extracellular sac-like structure, which lines the midgut epithelium and creates different digestive compartments. The PM is attracting increasing attention to control lepidopteran pests by interfering with this vital function. To identify novel PM components and thus potential targets for insecticides, we performed an immunoscreening with anti-PM antibodies using an expression library representing the larval midgut transcriptome of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. We identified three cDNAs encoding valine-rich midgut proteins of M. sexta (MsVmps, which appear to be loosely associated with the PM. They are members of a lepidopteran-specific family of nine VMP genes, which are exclusively expressed in larval stages in M. sexta. Most of the MsVMP transcripts are detected in the posterior midgut, with the highest levels observed for MsVMP1. To obtain further insight into Vmp function, we expressed MsVMP1 in insect cells and purified the recombinant protein. Lectin staining and glycosidase treatment indicated that MsVmp1 is highly O-glycosylated. In line with results from qPCR, immunoblots revealed that MsVmp1 amounts are highest in feeding larvae, while MsVmp1 is undetectable in starving and molting larvae. Finally using immunocytochemistry, we demonstrated that MsVmp1 localizes to the cytosol of columnar cells, which secrete MsVmp1 into the ectoperitrophic space in feeding larvae. In starving and molting larvae, MsVmp1 is found in the gut lumen, suggesting that the PM has increased its permeability. The present study demonstrates that lepidopteran species including many agricultural pests have evolved a set of unique proteins that are not found in any other taxon and thus may reflect an important adaptation in the highly specialized lepidopteran

  20. Keystone Herbivores and the Evolution of Plant Defenses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, Erik H.; Kessler, André

    2016-01-01

    Plants need to defend themselves against a diverse and dynamic herbivore community. Such communities may be shaped by keystone herbivores that through their feeding alter the plant phenotype as well as the likelihood of attack by other herbivores. Here, we discuss such herbivores that have a

  1. Foraging behaviour of parasitoids in multi-herbivore communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijk, de M.

    2016-01-01

    Foraging behaviour of parasitoids in multi-herbivore communities Parasitic wasps, or parasitoids, use herbivore-induced plant volatiles and infochemicals produced directly by the herbivore to locate their herbivorous hosts. This process could be interrupted by the presence of

  2. Complexities in a Plant-Herbivore Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajni SHARMA

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A simple host-parasite type model has been considered to study the interaction of certain plants and herbivores. The two dimensional discrete time model utilizes leaf and herbivore biomass as state variables. The parameter space consists of the growth rate of the host population and a parameter describing the damage inflicted by herbivores. Perceptive bifurcation diagrams, which give insightful results, have been present here showing chaos and complexity in the system during evolution. Measure of complexity and chaos in the system be explained by performing numerical calculations and obtaining Lyapunov exponents, topological entropies and correlation dimension. Results are displayed through interesting graphics.

  3. 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.

  4. Variation in composition of predator-attracting allelochemicals emitted by herbivore-infested plants: relative influence of plant and herbivore.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takabayashi, J.; Dicke, M.; Posthumus, M.A.

    1991-01-01

    During foraging, natural enemies of herbivores may employ volatile allelochemicals that originate from an interaction of the herbivore and its host plant. The composition of allelochemical blends emitted by herbivore-infested plants is known to be affected by both the herbivore and the plant. Our

  5. 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.

  6. Mechanisms of plant defense against insect herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    War, Abdul Rashid; Paulraj, Michael Gabriel; Ahmad, Tariq; Buhroo, Abdul Ahad; Hussain, Barkat; Ignacimuthu, Savarimuthu; Sharma, Hari Chand

    2012-01-01

    Plants respond to herbivory through various morphological, biochemicals, and molecular mechanisms to counter/offset the effects of herbivore attack. The biochemical mechanisms of defense against the herbivores are wide-ranging, highly dynamic, and are mediated both by direct and indirect defenses. The defensive compounds are either produced constitutively or in response to plant damage, and affect feeding, growth, and survival of herbivores. In addition, plants also release volatile organic compounds that attract the natural enemies of the herbivores. These strategies either act independently or in conjunction with each other. However, our understanding of these defensive mechanisms is still limited. Induced resistance could be exploited as an important tool for the pest management to minimize the amounts of insecticides used for pest control. Host plant resistance to insects, particularly, induced resistance, can also be manipulated with the use of chemical elicitors of secondary metabolites, which confer resistance to insects. By understanding the mechanisms of induced resistance, we can predict the herbivores that are likely to be affected by induced responses. The elicitors of induced responses can be sprayed on crop plants to build up the natural defense system against damage caused by herbivores. The induced responses can also be engineered genetically, so that the defensive compounds are constitutively produced in plants against are challenged by the herbivory. Induced resistance can be exploited for developing crop cultivars, which readily produce the inducible response upon mild infestation, and can act as one of components of integrated pest management for sustainable crop production. PMID:22895106

  7. Lepidopterans and their parasitoids on okra plants in Riberão Preto (SP, Brazil Lepidópteros e seus parasitoides em cultura de quiabo em Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogéria Inês Rosa Lara

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to identify the defoliating lepidopterans and their parasitoids occurring on okra plants in the district of Riberão Preto city (SP. Brazil. Caterpillars were collected by hand from an experimental field of okra, in March and April, 2009. They were placed individually on Petri dishes lined with wet filter paper, containing shredded okra leaves, and kept in a climactic chamber (25±1°C, 12:12h light/dark photoperiod, RH 70±10% until the emergence of lepidopterans and/or parasitoids. In all, 63 lepidopterans were obtained: three species of Noctuidae, Anomis flava (Fabricius, Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith and Pseudoplusia includens (Walker; one of Pieridae, Ascia monuste orseis (Godart, and an unidentified species of Tortricidae. One unidentified tachinid fly (Diptera and the Hymenoptera parasitoids Copidosoma floridanum (Ashmead (Encyrtidae and Euplectrus sp. (Eulophidae emerged from A. flava, while C. floridanum and an unidentified tachinid, from P. includens. This is the first report of an association between the herbivores S. frugiperda, P. includens and A. monuste orceis, the parasitoids C. floridanum and Euplectrus sp. on okra plants.Este estudo objetivou identificar lepidópteros desfolhadores e seus parasitoides em cultura de quiabo em Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil. As lagartas foram coletadas através de catação manual entre março e abril de 2009, individualizadas em placas de Petri forradas com papel filtro umedecido contendo pedaços de folhas de quiabo e mantidas sob condições controladas (25±1°C, 12 horas de fotofase, 70±10% de UR até a obtenção dos adultos de lepidópteros e/ou de seus parasitoides. Foram obtidos 63 adultos de lepidópteros: três espécies de Noctuidae, Anomis flava (Fabricius, Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith, Pseudoplusia includens (Walker, uma de Pieridae, Ascia monuste orseis (Godart e uma de Tortricidae não identificada. Uma espécie não identificada de taquinídeo (Diptera e os

  8. Contrasting effects of landscape composition on crop yield mediated by specialist herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Alvarez, Ricardo; Nault, Brian A; Poveda, Katja

    2018-04-04

    Landscape composition not only affects a variety of arthropod-mediated ecosystem services, but also disservices, such as herbivory by insect pests that may have negative effects on crop yield. Yet, little is known about how different habitats influence the dynamics of multiple herbivore species, and ultimately their collective impact on crop production. Using cabbage as a model system, we examined how landscape composition influenced the incidence of three specialist cruciferous pests (aphids, flea beetles, and leaf-feeding Lepidoptera), lepidopteran parasitoids, and crop yield across a gradient of landscape composition in New York, USA. We expected that landscapes with a higher proportion of cropland and lower habitat diversity would lead to an increase in pest pressure of the specialist herbivores and a reduction in crop yield. However, results indicated that neither greater cropland area nor lower landscape diversity influenced pest pressure or yield. Rather, pest pressure and yield were best explained by the presence of non-crop habitats (i.e., meadows) in the landscape. Specifically, cabbage was infested with fewer Lepidoptera in landscapes with a higher proportion of meadows likely resulting from increased parasitism. Conversely, cabbage was infested with more flea beetles and aphids as the proportion of meadows in the landscape increased, suggesting that these pests benefit from non-crop habitats. Furthermore, path analysis confirmed that these landscape-mediated effects on pest populations can have either positive or negative cascading effects on crop yield. Our findings illustrate how different pest species within the same cropping system show contrasting responses to landscape composition with respect to both the direction and spatial scale of the relationship. Such tradeoffs resulting from the complex interaction between multiple-pests, natural enemies, and landscape composition must be considered, if we are to manage landscapes for pest suppression

  9. Host plant-specific remodeling of midgut physiology in the generalist insect herbivore Trichoplusia ni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herde, Marco; Howe, Gregg A

    2014-07-01

    Species diversity in terrestrial ecosystems is influenced by plant defense compounds that alter the behavior, physiology, and host preference of insect herbivores. Although it is established that insects evolved the ability to detoxify specific allelochemicals, the mechanisms by which polyphagous insects cope with toxic compounds in diverse host plants are not well understood. Here, we used defended and non-defended plant genotypes to study how variation in chemical defense affects midgut responses of the lepidopteran herbivore Trichoplusia ni, which is a pest of a wide variety of native and cultivated plants. The genome-wide midgut transcriptional response of T. ni larvae to glucosinolate-based defenses in the crucifer Arabidopsis thaliana was characterized by strong induction of genes encoding Phase I and II detoxification enzymes. In contrast, the response of T. ni to proteinase inhibitors and other jasmonate-regulated defenses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) was dominated by changes in the expression of digestive enzymes and, strikingly, concomitant repression of transcripts encoding detoxification enzymes. Unbiased proteomic analyses of T. ni feces demonstrated that tomato defenses remodel the complement of T.ni digestive enzymes, which was associated with increased amounts of serine proteases and decreased lipase protein abundance upon encountering tomato defense chemistry. These collective results indicate that T. ni adjusts its gut physiology to the presence of host plant-specific chemical defenses, and further suggest that plants may exploit this digestive flexibility as a defensive strategy to suppress the production of enzymes that detoxify allelochemicals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Root herbivore identity matters in plant-mediated interactions between root and shoot herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wurst, S.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Plants are simultaneously attacked by a multitude of herbivores that affect plant responses and plant-mediated interactions in a variety of ways. So far, studies on indirect interactions between below- and aboveground herbivores have almost exclusively focused on interactions between only one root

  11. Keystone Herbivores and the Evolution of Plant Defenses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelman, Erik H; Kessler, André

    2016-06-01

    Plants need to defend themselves against a diverse and dynamic herbivore community. Such communities may be shaped by keystone herbivores that through their feeding alter the plant phenotype as well as the likelihood of attack by other herbivores. Here, we discuss such herbivores that have a large effect on the interaction network structure with associated fitness consequences for the plant, as dominant agents of selection on plant defense traits. Merging the keystone herbivore concept with plant fitness and trait selection frameworks will provide an approach to identify which herbivores drive selection in complex multispecies interactions in natural and agricultural systems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. An anti-herbivore defense mutualism under elevated CO2 levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marks, S.; Lincoln, D.E. (Winthrop Univ., Rock Hill, SC (United States))

    1994-06-01

    Previous studies have shown that insects typically consume more when fed leaf tissue grown under CO2 enrichment, but with few negative effects on growth. On the other hand, Lepidopteran larvae fed tissue infected with Balansiae fungal endophytes (which produce toxic alkaloids) typically eat less but suffer negative effects on growth and survival. This study was carried out to see how these two factors would interact to affect consumption and growth of Fall Armyworm larvae (Spodoptera frugiperda). Infected and uninfected ramets of a single genotype of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) were grown under CO2 concentrations of 400 and 700 ul/L. Larvae had increased relative growth in the high CO2 treatment, but decreased growth when fed infected tissue. Relative consumption of leaf tissue was greater in the high CO2 treatment, but was not effected by infection. CO2 level, infection, and their interaction all significantly reduced the efficiency of conversion of food ingested (ECI). It appears that tall fescue may not be as well defended against herbivores under CO2 enrichment, although insects may still avoid and be negatively effected by endophyte infected plants.

  13. Incompatibility between plant-derived defensive chemistry and immune response of two sphingid herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampert, Evan C; Bowers, M Deane

    2015-01-01

    Herbivorous insects use several different defenses against predators and parasites, and tradeoffs among defensive traits may occur if these traits are energetically demanding. Chemical defense and immune response potentially can interact, and both can be influenced by host plant chemistry. Two closely related caterpillars in the lepidopteran family Sphingidae are both attacked by the same specialist endoparasitoid species but have mostly non-overlapping host plant ranges that differ in secondary chemistry. Ceratomia catalpae is a specialist on Catalpa and also will feed on Chilopsis, which both produce iridoid glycosides. Ceratomia undulosa consumes members of the Oleaceae, which produce seco-iridoid glycosides. Immune response of the two species on a typical host plant species (Catalpa bignonioides for C. catalpa; Fraxinus americana for C. undulosa) was compared using a melanization assay, and did not differ. In a second experiment, the iridoid glycoside catalpol was added to the diets of both insects, and growth rate, mass, chemical defense, and immune response were evaluated. Increased dietary catalpol weakened the immune response of C. undulosa and altered the development rate of C. catalpae by prolonging the third instar and accelerating the fourth instar. Catalpol sequestration was negatively correlated with immune response of C. catalpae, while C. undulosa was unable to sequester catalpol. These results show that immune response can be negatively influenced by increasing concentrations of sequestered defensive compounds.

  14. Natural bounds on herbivorous coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoey, Andrew S.; Williams, Gareth J.; Williams, Ivor D.

    2016-01-01

    Humans are an increasingly dominant driver of Earth's biological communities, but differentiating human impacts from natural drivers of ecosystem state is crucial. Herbivorous fish play a key role in maintaining coral dominance on coral reefs, and are widely affected by human activities, principally fishing. We assess the relative importance of human and biophysical (habitat and oceanographic) drivers on the biomass of five herbivorous functional groups among 33 islands in the central and western Pacific Ocean. Human impacts were clear for some, but not all, herbivore groups. Biomass of browsers, large excavators, and of all herbivores combined declined rapidly with increasing human population density, whereas grazers, scrapers, and detritivores displayed no relationship. Sea-surface temperature had significant but opposing effects on the biomass of detritivores (positive) and browsers (negative). Similarly, the biomass of scrapers, grazers, and detritivores correlated with habitat structural complexity; however, relationships were group specific. Finally, the biomass of browsers and large excavators was related to island geomorphology, both peaking on low-lying islands and atolls. The substantial variability in herbivore populations explained by natural biophysical drivers highlights the need for locally appropriate management targets on coral reefs. PMID:27881745

  15. Diversity and abundance of lepidopteran populations from selected crops of district faisalabad, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maalik, S.; Rana, S.A.; Khan, H.A.; Ashfaq, M.

    2012-01-01

    Lepidopterans are represented by one of the most diverse group of insects. They are phytophagous as well as pollinators at the same time. During present study four crops i.e Wheat, Fodder, Brassica and Vegetables were sampled to assess the diversity and abundance of Lepidopteran populations. A total of 2811 specimens belonging to 14 species and 6 families were recorded. Pieris brassicae (29.46%) was the dominant species followed by Trichoplusia ni (19.28%), Helicoverpa Zea (11.78%), Helicoverpa armigera (11.60%), Spodoptera exigua (6.65%), Psedoplusia includes (5.09%), Spodoptera litura (3.81%), Agrotis ipsilon (4.87%), Plutella xylostella (2.92%), Lymatria dispar (2.24%), Pieris rapae (0.92%), Galleria mellonella (0.71%), Evergestris rimosalis (0.53%) and Menduca sexta (0.14%). Significant differences were observed among different crops by applying Shannon Diversity Index and T- test. CA (Cluster analysis) represented the species association with different crops. Majority of the species showed association with Vegetables and Fodder and least association was observed with Wheat. Such types of studies are necessary to design integrated pest management programs to control these pests. (author)

  16. Cry1F resistance among lepidopteran pests: a model for improved resistance management?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez, Ana M; Vellichirammal, Neetha Nanoth; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis; Siegfried, Blair D

    2016-06-01

    The Cry1Fa protein from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is known for its potential to control lepidopteran pests, especially through transgenic expression in maize and cotton. The maize event TC1507 expressing the cry1Fa toxin gene became commercially available in the United States in 2003 for the management of key lepidopteran pests including the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis, and the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda. A high-dose/refuge strategy has been widely adopted to delay evolution of resistance to event TC1507 and other transgenic Bt crops. Efficacy of this strategy depends on the crops expressing a high dose of the Bt toxin to targeted pests and adjacent refuges of non-Bt host plants serving as a source of abundant susceptible insects. While this strategy has proved effective in delaying O. nubilalis resistance, field-evolved resistance to event TC1507 has been reported in S. frugiperda populations in Puerto Rico, Brazil, and the southeastern United States. This paper examines available information on resistance to Cry1Fa in O. nubilalis and S. frugiperda and discusses how this information identifies opportunities to refine resistance management recommendations for Bt maize. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Differences in Nicotine Metabolism of Two Nicotiana attenuata Herbivores Render Them Differentially Susceptible to a Common Native Predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Pavan; Rathi, Preeti; Schöttner, Matthias; Baldwin, Ian T.; Pandit, Sagar

    2014-01-01

    Background Nicotiana attenuata is attacked by larvae of both specialist (Manduca sexta) and generalist (Spodoptera exigua) lepidopteran herbivores in its native habitat. Nicotine is one of N. attenuata's important defenses. M. sexta is highly nicotine tolerant; whether cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated oxidative detoxification and/or rapid excretion is responsible for its exceptional tolerance remains unknown despite five decades of study. Recently, we demonstrated that M. sexta uses its nicotine-induced CYP6B46 to efflux midgut-nicotine into the hemolymph, facilitating nicotine exhalation that deters predatory wolf spiders (Camptocosa parallela). S. exigua's nicotine metabolism is uninvestigated. Methodology/Principal Findings We compared the ability of these two herbivores to metabolize, tolerate and co-opt ingested nicotine for defense against the wolf spider. In addition, we analyzed the spider's excretion to gain insights into its nicotine metabolism. Contrary to previous reports, we found that M. sexta larvae neither accumulate the common nicotine oxides (cotinine, cotinine N-oxide and nicotine N-oxide) nor excrete them faster than nicotine. In M. sexta larvae, ingestion of nicotine as well as its oxides increases the accumulation of CYP6B46 transcripts. In contrast, S. exigua accumulates nicotine oxides and exhales less (66%) nicotine than does M. sexta. Spiders prefer nicotine-fed S. exigua over M. sexta, a preference reversed by topical or headspace nicotine supplementation, but not ingested or topically-coated nicotine oxides, suggesting that externalized nicotine but not the nicotine detoxification products deter spider predation. The spiders also do not accumulate nicotine oxides. Conclusions Nicotine oxidation reduces S. exigua's headspace-nicotine and renders it more susceptible to predation by spiders than M. sexta, which exhales unmetabolized nicotine. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that generalist herbivores incur costs of

  18. Plant defense against herbivores: chemical aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mithöfer, Axel; Boland, Wilhelm

    2012-01-01

    Plants have evolved a plethora of different chemical defenses covering nearly all classes of (secondary) metabolites that represent a major barrier to herbivory: Some are constitutive; others are induced after attack. Many compounds act directly on the herbivore, whereas others act indirectly via the attraction of organisms from other trophic levels that, in turn, protect the plant. An enormous diversity of plant (bio)chemicals are toxic, repellent, or antinutritive for herbivores of all types. Examples include cyanogenic glycosides, glucosinolates, alkaloids, and terpenoids; others are macromolecules and comprise latex or proteinase inhibitors. Their modes of action include membrane disruption, inhibition of nutrient and ion transport, inhibition of signal transduction processes, inhibition of metabolism, or disruption of the hormonal control of physiological processes. Recognizing the herbivore challenge and precise timing of plant activities as well as the adaptive modulation of the plants' metabolism is important so that metabolites and energy may be efficiently allocated to defensive activities.

  19. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-06

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants.

  20. 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

  1. Testing Two Methods that Relate Herbivorous Insects to Host Plants

    OpenAIRE

    White, Peter J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Insect herbivores are integral to terrestrial ecosystems. They provide essential food for higher trophic levels and aid in nutrient cycling. In general, research tends to relate individual insect herbivore species to host plant identity, where a species will show preference for one host over another. In contrast, insect herbivore assemblages are often related to host plant richness where an area with a higher richness of hosts will also have a higher richness of herbivores. In this study, the...

  2. Restoring lepidopteran diversity in a tropical dry forest: relative importance of restoration treatment, tree identity and predator pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lizet Solis-Gabriel

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Tropical dry forests (TDFs have been widely transformed by human activities worldwide and the ecosystem services they provide are diminishing. There has been an urgent call for conservation and restoration of the degraded lands previously occupied by TDFs. Restoration experiences aim to recover species diversity and ecological functions. Different restoration strategies have been used to maximize plant performance including weeding, planting or using artificial mulching. In this investigation, we evaluated whether different restoration practices influence animal arrival and the reestablishment of biotic interactions. We particularly evaluated lepidopteran larvae diversity and caterpillar predation on plants established under different restoration treatments (mulching, weeding and control in the Pacific West Coast of México. This study corroborated the importance of plant host identity for lepidopteran presence in a particular area. Lepidopteran diversity and herbivory rates were not affected by the restoration treatment but they were related to tree species. In contrast, caterpillar predation marks were affected by restoration treatment, with a greater number of predation marks in control plots, while caterpillar predation marks among plant species were not significantly different. This study highlights the importance of considering the introduction of high plant species diversity when planning TDF restoration to maximize lepidopteran diversity and ecosystem functioning.

  3. Invasive insect herbivores as disrupters of chemically-mediated tritrophic interactions: effects of herbivore density and parasitoid learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive species of insect herbivores have the potential to interfere with native multitrophic interactions when they invade new environments. For instance, exotic herbivores can affect the chemical cues emitted by plants and disrupt attraction of natural enemies mediated by herbivore-induced plant ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. Complexity and variability of gut commensal microbiota in polyphagous lepidopteran larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoshu Tang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The gut of most insects harbours nonpathogenic microorganisms. Recent work suggests that gut microbiota not only provide nutrients, but also involve in the development and maintenance of the host immune system. However, the complexity, dynamics and types of interactions between the insect hosts and their gut microbiota are far from being well understood. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To determine the composition of the gut microbiota of two lepidopteran pests, Spodoptera littoralis and Helicoverpa armigera, we applied cultivation-independent techniques based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing and microarray. The two insect species were very similar regarding high abundant bacterial families. Different bacteria colonize different niches within the gut. A core community, consisting of Enterococci, Lactobacilli, Clostridia, etc. was revealed in the insect larvae. These bacteria are constantly present in the digestion tract at relatively high frequency despite that developmental stage and diet had a great impact on shaping the bacterial communities. Some low-abundant species might become dominant upon loading external disturbances; the core community, however, did not change significantly. Clearly the insect gut selects for particular bacterial phylotypes. CONCLUSIONS: Because of their importance as agricultural pests, phytophagous Lepidopterans are widely used as experimental models in ecological and physiological studies. Our results demonstrated that a core microbial community exists in the insect gut, which may contribute to the host physiology. Host physiology and food, nevertheless, significantly influence some fringe bacterial species in the gut. The gut microbiota might also serve as a reservoir of microorganisms for ever-changing environments. Understanding these interactions might pave the way for developing novel pest control strategies.

  6. Herbivore pressure increases toward the equator

    OpenAIRE

    Salazar, Diego; Marquis, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    Increases in species diversity and density from higher to lower latitudes are well documented. Nevertheless, the consequences of these changes in diversity for structuring ecological communities and influencing biotic evolution are largely unknown. It is widely believed that this increase in species diversity is associated with increased intensity of ecological interactions closer to the equator. For plant–herbivore interactions in particular, the predictions are that, at lower latitudes, pla...

  7. Can inducible resistance in plants cause herbivore aggregations? Spatial patterns in an inducible plant/herbivore model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Kurt E; Inouye, Brian D; Underwood, Nora

    2015-10-01

    Many theories regarding the evolution of inducible resistance in plants have an implicit spatial component, but most relevant population dynamic studies ignore spatial dynamics. We examined a spatially explicit model of plant inducible resistance and herbivore population dynamics to explore how realistic features of resistance and herbivore responses influence spatial patterning. Both transient and persistent spatial patterns developed in all models examined, where patterns manifested as wave-like aggregations of herbivores and variation in induction levels. Patterns arose when herbivores moved away from highly induced plants, there was a lag between damage and deployment of induced resistance, and the relationship between herbivore density and strength of the induction response had a sigmoid shape. These mechanisms influenced pattern formation regardless of the assumed functional relationship between resistance and herbivore recruitment and mortality. However, in models where induction affected herbivore mortality, large-scale herbivore population cycles driven by the mortality response often co-occurred with smaller scale spatial patterns driven by herbivore movement. When the mortality effect dominated, however, spatial pattern formation was completely replaced by spatially synchronized herbivore population cycles. Our results present a new type of ecological pattern formation driven by induced trait variation, consumer behavior, and time delays that has broad implications for the community and evolutionary ecology of plant defenses.

  8. Application of high-resolution DNA melting for genotyping in lepidopteran non-model species: Ostrinia furnacalis (Crambidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FengBo Li

    Full Text Available Development of an ideal marker system facilitates a better understanding of the genetic diversity in lepidopteran non-model organisms, which have abundant species, but relatively limited genomic resources. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs discovered within single-copy genes have proved to be desired markers, but SNP genotyping by current techniques remain laborious and expensive. High resolution melting (HRM curve analysis represents a simple, rapid and inexpensive genotyping method that is primarily confined to clinical and diagnostic studies. In this study, we evaluated the potential of HRM analysis for SNP genotyping in the lepidopteran non-model species Ostrinia furnacalis (Crambidae. Small amplicon and unlabeled probe assays were developed for the SNPs, which were identified in 30 females of O. furnacalis from 3 different populations by our direct sequencing. Both assays were then applied to genotype 90 unknown female DNA by prior mixing with known wild-type DNA. The genotyping results were compared with those that were obtained using bi-directional sequencing analysis. Our results demonstrated the efficiency and reliability of the HRM assays. HRM has the potential to provide simple, cost-effective genotyping assays and facilitates genotyping studies in any non-model lepidopteran species of interest.

  9. PRELIMINARY STUDY ON EUBLEMMA SP. (EUBLEMMINAE: A LEPIDOPTERAN PREDATOR OF COCCUS VIRIDIS (HEMIPTERA: COCCIDAE ON COFFEE PLANTS IN BANDARLAMPUNG, INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indriyati .

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Preliminary study on Eublemma sp. (Eublemminae: a Lepidopteran predator of Coccus viridis (Hemiptera: Coccidae on coffee plants in Bandarlampung, Indonesia. The objectives of this study were 1 to identify a Lepidopteran predator of the soft green scale Coccus viridis and 2 to present preliminary data on the predator’s feeding rate. Some coffee leaves where eggs of the Lepidopteran predator have been laid in C. viridis colonies were taken from the field and observed in the laboratory. The predator’s growth and development was noted and the specimens were identified up to generic level based on the caterpillar morphology. Ten coffee leaves each with certain number of C. viridis were also collected from the field, transferred to the laboratory, and each was inoculated with one starved caterpillar that had just formed its protective casing. The number of surviving C. viridis was counted daily. This study reveals that the caterpillar, identified as Eublemma sp. Is found to feed obligately on C. viridis. The predation rate of Eublemma sp. in laboratory is 97 + 11 scales / caterpillar.

  10. Collapse of the world?s largest herbivores

    OpenAIRE

    Ripple, William J.; Newsome, Thomas M.; Wolf, Christopher; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Everatt, Kristoffer T.; Galetti, Mauro; Hayward, Matt W.; Kerley, Graham I. H.; Levi, Taal; Lindsey, Peter A.; Macdonald, David W.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Painter, Luke E.; Sandom, Christopher J.; Terborgh, John

    2015-01-01

    Large wild herbivores are crucial to ecosystems and human societies. We highlight the 74 largest terrestrial herbivore species on Earth (body mass ≥100 kg), the threats they face, their important and often overlooked ecosystem effects, and the conservation efforts needed to save them and their predators from extinction. Large herbivores are generally facing dramatic population declines and range contractions, such that ~60% are threatened with extinction. Nearly all threatened species are in ...

  11. Diet dependent metabolic responses in three generalist insect herbivores Spodoptera spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, A; Walker, W B; Vogel, H; Chattington, S; Larsson, M C; Anderson, P; Heckel, D G; Schlyter, F

    2016-04-01

    Adaption to dietary changes is critical in the evolution of host plant ranges in polyphagous insects. We compared three taxa of lepidopteran herbivores from the predominantly generalist genus Spodoptera showing different degrees of polyphagy: Spodoptera littoralis, with a broad host range including both mono- and dicotyledonous plants, and two Spodoptera frugiperda strains [Corn (i.e. maize) (C) and Rice (R)] adapted primarily to different grass species. When feeding on maize we show a lower performance in the broad generalist taxon compared to the grass adapted taxa. Among these taxa, the maize adapted S. frugiperda C-strain generally performed better than the R-strain on maize leaves. On artificial pinto diet, all taxa performed well. Our RNA-Seq analysis of midgut transcriptomes from 3rd instar larvae feeding on maize showed broader transcriptional readjustments in the generalist S. littoralis compared to grass adapted S. frugiperda strains. Substantial alteration in the expression levels of midgut physiological function related transcripts, such as digestive and detoxifying enzymes, transporters, immunity, and peritrophic membrane associated transcripts, existed in all taxa. We found high background expression of UDP-glucosyl transferases, which are known to neutralize maize leaf toxins, in the maize adapted S. frugiperda C-strain, contributing to its fitness on maize compared to the R-strain. Our findings provide evidence for divergent diet specific response of digestive physiology within these Spodoptera taxa. Unexpectedly, the C- and R-strains of S. frugiperda fed on the same diet showed large differences in expression patterns between these two closely related taxa. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Forest insects and climate change: long-term trends in herbivore damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klapwijk, Maartje J; Csóka, György; Hirka, Anikó; Björkman, Christer

    2013-10-01

    Long-term data sets, covering several decades, could help to reveal the effects of observed climate change on herbivore damage to plants. However, sufficiently long time series in ecology are scarce. The research presented here analyzes a long-term data set collected by the Hungarian Forest Research Institute over the period 1961-2009. The number of hectares with visible defoliation was estimated and documented for several forest insect pest species. This resulted in a unique time series that provides us with the opportunity to compare insect damage trends with trends in weather patterns. Data were analyzed for six lepidopteran species: Thaumetopoea processionea, Tortrix viridana, Rhyacionia buoliana, Malacosoma neustria, Euproctis chrysorrhoea, and Lymantria dispar. All these species exhibit outbreak dynamics in Hungary. Five of these species prefer deciduous tree species as their host plants, whereas R. buoliana is a specialist on Pinus spp. The data were analyzed using general linear models and generalized least squares regression in relation to mean monthly temperature and precipitation. Temperature increased considerably, especially over the last 25 years (+1.6°C), whereas precipitation exhibited no trend over the period. No change in weather variability over time was observed. There was increased damage caused by two species on deciduous trees. The area of damage attributed to R. buoliana decreased over the study period. There was no evidence of increased variability in damage. We conclude that species exhibiting a trend toward outbreak-level damage over a greater geographical area may be positively affected by changes in weather conditions coinciding with important life stages. Strong associations between the geographical extent of severe damage and monthly temperature and precipitation are difficult to confirm, studying the life-history traits of species could help to increase understanding of responses to climate change.

  13. Optimal control and cold war dynamics between plant and herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Candace; Ellner, Stephen P; Holden, Matthew H

    2013-08-01

    Herbivores eat the leaves that a plant needs for photosynthesis. However, the degree of antagonism between plant and herbivore may depend critically on the timing of their interactions and the intrinsic value of a leaf. We present a model that investigates whether and when the timing of plant defense and herbivore feeding activity can be optimized by evolution so that their interactions can move from antagonistic to neutral. We assume that temporal changes in environmental conditions will affect intrinsic leaf value, measured as potential carbon gain. Using optimal-control theory, we model herbivore evolution, first in response to fixed plant strategies and then under coevolutionary dynamics in which the plant also evolves in response to the herbivore. In the latter case, we solve for the evolutionarily stable strategies of plant defense induction and herbivore hatching rate under different ecological conditions. Our results suggest that the optimal strategies for both plant and herbivore are to avoid direct conflict. As long as the plant has the capability for moderately lethal defense, the herbivore will modify its hatching rate to avoid plant defenses, and the plant will never have to use them. Insights from this model offer a possible solution to the paradox of sublethal defenses and provide a mechanism for stable plant-herbivore interactions without the need for natural enemy control.

  14. Area-wide integration of lepidopteran F1 sterility and augmentative biological control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carpenter, James E.

    2000-01-01

    Area-wide pest management (APM) and integrated pest management (IPM) originated from two different efforts to combine two or more control techniques into programmes in which each method could synergise the effectiveness of others and thus create a level of pest control that was greater than that of a single technique (Perkins 1982). Since then, the concept of APM has evolved to include many aspects of IPM and often is now referred to as area-wide IPM. Still, the element of total population management is central to this approach of insect pest management. In support of APM, Knipling (1998) stated that of the insect pests that were of major concern to agriculture before the newer classes of insecticides were available, most are still pests today, the major exceptions being the screw-worm fly and the boll weevil in the southeastern US cotton growing region. Knipling also noted that both of these pest species were subjected to area-wide suppression programmes. In response to the USDA IPM Initiative (USDA 1993, 1994) which seeks to achieve the national goal of having 75% of the crop acres under IPM by the year 2000, the Agricultural Research Service developed an Area-wide IPM Programme. This programme combines environmentally-sound pest control techniques with the advantages of APM and develops partnerships with other federal, state, local and private sector entities. Technologies such as the integration of lepidopteran F 1 sterility and augmentative biological control may be considered for future programmes

  15. Engineered repressible lethality for controlling the pink bollworm, a lepidopteran pest of cotton.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil I Morrison

    Full Text Available The sterile insect technique (SIT is an environmentally friendly method of pest control in which insects are mass-produced, irradiated and released to mate with wild counterparts. SIT has been used to control major pest insects including the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella Saunders, a global pest of cotton. Transgenic technology has the potential to overcome disadvantages associated with the SIT, such as the damaging effects of radiation on released insects. A method called RIDL (Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal is designed to circumvent the need to irradiate insects before release. Premature death of insects' progeny can be engineered to provide an equivalent to sterilisation. Moreover, this trait can be suppressed by the provision of a dietary antidote. In the pink bollworm, we generated transformed strains using different DNA constructs, which showed moderate-to-100% engineered mortality. In permissive conditions, this effect was largely suppressed. Survival data on cotton in field cages indicated that field conditions increase the lethal effect. One strain, called OX3402C, showed highly penetrant and highly repressible lethality, and was tested on host plants where its larvae caused minimal damage before death. These results highlight a potentially valuable insecticide-free tool against pink bollworm, and indicate its potential for development in other lepidopteran pests.

  16. New Bacillus thuringiensis toxin combinations for biological control of lepidopteran larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elleuch, Jihen; Zghal, Raida Zribi; Jemaà, Mohamed; Azzouz, Hichem; Tounsi, Slim; Jaoua, Samir

    2014-04-01

    Cyt1Aa from Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis is known by its synergistical activity with B. thuringiensis and Bacillus sphaericus toxins. It is able to improve dipteran specific toxins activity and can prevent or overcome larval resistance to those proteins. The objective of the current study was to investigate the possible improvement of larvicidal activity of B. thuringiensis kurstaki expressing heterogeneous proteins Cyt1A and P20. cyt1A98 and p20 genes encoding the cytolytic protein (Cyt1A98) and the accessory protein (P20), respectively, were introduced individually and in combination into B. thuringiensis kurstaki strain BNS3. Immunoblot analysis evidenced the expression of these genes in the recombinant strains and hinted that P20 acts as molecular chaperone protecting Cyt1A98 from proteolytic attack in BNS3. The toxicities of recombinant strains were studied and revealed that BNS3pHTp20 exhibited higher activity than that of the negative control (BNS3pHTBlue) toward Ephestia kuehniella, but not toward Spodoptera littoralis. When expressed in combination with P20, Cyt1A98 enhanced BNS3 activity against E. kuehniella and S. littoralis. Thus, Cyt1Aa protein could enhance lepidopteran Cry insecticidal activity and would prevent larval resistance to the most commercialized B. thuringiensis kurstaki toxins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Assessing risks of pesticides targeting lepidopteran pests in cruciferous ecosystems to eggs parasitoid, Trichogramma brassicae (Bezdenko

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.P. Thubru

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Lethal and sub lethal effects of fresh and old residues of azadirachtin, spinosad, Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Bt var. k, and deltamethrin, were evaluated at their recommended field doses against adult and immature stages of Trichogramma brassicae under in vitro conditions. The experiments were carried out at the Entomology section of Division of Crop Protection, ICAR Research Complex for NEH region, Umiam, Meghalaya, in 2012–2013. The effects of different pesticides were determined by bioassays using the residual film method, the diet contamination method, the pupal dip method and the topical application technique. The four pesticides were found harmful to adult T. brassicae after ingestion, however surface contact bioassays revealed that Bt var. k was the least toxic pesticide. Except Bt var. k, other three pesticides were found harmful also to the immature stages of T. brassicae and significantly affected parasitism potential, adult emergence, longevity of adults, and sex ratio of the progeny. Deltamethrin and azadirachtin were the most harmful, even after 15 days of application. Spinosad was found to be relatively safe to T. brassicae after 15 days of application. As Bt appeared to be the least toxic pesticide for T. brassicae, it could be used for the management of severe infestations of lepidopteran pests in cruciferous ecosystems.If essential, spinosad may be used 15 days after parasitoid release, thus minimizing the chances of parasitoid exposure. Keywords: Azadirachtin, Bacillus thuringiensis, Deltamethrin, Spinosad

  18. Two lepidopteran pests and damage on the cones of Abies koreana (Pinaceae in Jeju Island, Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Min Shin

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, we report two lepidopteran pests and their damage on the cones of Abies koreana E. H. Wilson from Mt. Halla, Jeju, South Korea: Cydia kamijoi Oku and Dioryctria abietella (Denis & Schiffermüller. The former is new to Korea, and the latter is well known as an insect pest on cones of various coniferous trees. Larvae of these species bore into the immature cones of the host tree. Damaged cones can be easily distinguished by reddish brown frass piled around the holes that were made by the moths, and the cones that are severely damaged become crooked and eventually are folded in half. The average damage rate on the cones was 75.3±2.34% from the survey sites in 2014, but the insect damage could not be found again from the sites as the host did not bear any cones in 2015. Descriptions and images of C. kamijoi and D. abietella are provided along with a list of host species and distribution.

  19. Functional expression of lepidopteran-selective neurotoxin in baculovirus: potential for effective pest management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajendra, Wudayagiri; Hackett, Kevin J; Buckley, Ellen; Hammock, Bruce D

    2006-02-01

    Recombinant baculovirus expressing insect-selective neurotoxins derived from venomous animals are considered as an attractive alternative to chemical insecticides for efficient insect control agents. Recently we identified and characterized a novel lepidopteran-selective toxin, Buthus tamulus insect-selective toxin (ButaIT), having 37 amino acids and eight half cysteine residues from the venom of the South Indian red scorpion, Mesobuthus tamulus. The synthetic toxin gene containing the ButaIT sequence in frame to the bombyxin signal sequence was engineered into a polyhedrin positive Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV) genome under the control of the p10 promoter. Toxin expression in the haemolymph of infected larvae of Heliothis virescens and also in an insect cell culture system was confirmed by western blot analysis using antibody raised against the GST-ButaIT fusion protein. The recombinant NPV (ButaIT-NPV) showed enhanced insecticidal activity on the larvae of Heliothis virescens as evidenced by a significant reduction in median survival time (ST50) and also a greater reduction in feeding damage as compared to the wild-type AcMNPV.

  20. High susceptibility of Bt maize to aphids enhances the performance of parasitoids of lepidopteran pests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina A Faria

    Full Text Available Concerns about possible undesired environmental effects of transgenic crops have prompted numerous evaluations of such crops. So-called Bt crops receive particular attention because they carry bacteria-derived genes coding for insecticidal proteins that might negatively affect non-target arthropods. Here we show a remarkable positive effect of Bt maize on the performance of the corn leaf aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis, which in turn enhanced the performance of parasitic wasps that feed on aphid honeydew. Within five out of six pairs that were evaluated, transgenic maize lines were significantly more susceptible to aphids than their near-isogenic equivalents, with the remaining pair being equally susceptible. The aphids feed from the phloem sieve element content and analyses of this sap in selected maize lines revealed marginally, but significantly higher amino acid levels in Bt maize, which might partially explain the observed increased aphid performance. Larger colony densities of aphids on Bt plants resulted in an increased production of honeydew that can be used as food by beneficial insects. Indeed, Cotesia marginiventris, a parasitoid of lepidopteran pests, lived longer and parasitized more pest caterpillars in the presence of aphid-infested Bt maize than in the presence of aphid-infested isogenic maize. Hence, depending on aphid pest thresholds, the observed increased susceptibility of Bt maize to aphids may be either a welcome or an undesirable side effect.

  1. 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

  2. Endophyte mediated plant-herbivore interactions or cross resistance to fungi and insect herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kari Saikkonen; Marjo Helander

    2012-01-01

    Endophytic fungi are generally considered to be plant mutualists that protect the host plant from pathogens and herbivores. Defensive mutualism appears to hold true particularly for seed-transmitted, alkaloid producing, grass endophytes. However, we propose that the mutualistic nature of plant-endophyte interactions via enhanced plant resistance to pathogens and...

  3. Tannins in plant-herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbehenn, Raymond V; Peter Constabel, C

    2011-09-01

    Tannins are the most abundant secondary metabolites made by plants, commonly ranging from 5% to 10% dry weight of tree leaves. Tannins can defend leaves against insect herbivores by deterrence and/or toxicity. Contrary to early theories, tannins have no effect on protein digestion in insect herbivores. By contrast, in vertebrate herbivores tannins can decrease protein digestion. Tannins are especially prone to oxidize in insects with high pH guts, forming semiquinone radicals and quinones, as well as other reactive oxygen species. Tannin toxicity in insects is thought to result from the production of high levels of reactive oxygen species. Tannin structure has an important effect on biochemical activity. Ellagitannins oxidize much more readily than do gallotannins, which are more oxidatively active than most condensed tannins. The ability of insects to tolerate ingested tannins comes from a variety of biochemical and physical defenses in their guts, including surfactants, high pH, antioxidants, and a protective peritrophic envelope that lines the midgut. Most work on the ecological roles of tannins has been correlative, e.g., searching for negative associations between tannins and insect performance. A greater emphasis on manipulative experiments that control tannin levels is required to make further progress on the defensive functions of tannins. Recent advances in the use of molecular methods has permitted the production of tannin-overproducing transgenic plants and a better understanding of tannin biosynthetic pathways. Many research areas remain in need of further work, including the effects of different tannin types on different types of insects (e.g., caterpillars, grasshoppers, sap-sucking insects). Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Herbivore regulation of plant abundance in aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Kevin A; O'Hare, Matthew T; McDonald, Claire; Searle, Kate R; Daunt, Francis; Stillman, Richard A

    2017-05-01

    Herbivory is a fundamental process that controls primary producer abundance and regulates energy and nutrient flows to higher trophic levels. Despite the recent proliferation of small-scale studies on herbivore effects on aquatic plants, there remains limited understanding of the factors that control consumer regulation of vascular plants in aquatic ecosystems. Our current knowledge of the regulation of primary producers has hindered efforts to understand the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems, and to manage such ecosystems effectively. We conducted a global meta-analysis of the outcomes of plant-herbivore interactions using a data set comprised of 326 values from 163 studies, in order to test two mechanistic hypotheses: first, that greater negative changes in plant abundance would be associated with higher herbivore biomass densities; second, that the magnitude of changes in plant abundance would vary with herbivore taxonomic identity. We found evidence that plant abundance declined with increased herbivore density, with plants eliminated at high densities. Significant between-taxa differences in impact were detected, with insects associated with smaller reductions in plant abundance than all other taxa. Similarly, birds caused smaller reductions in plant abundance than echinoderms, fish, or molluscs. Furthermore, larger reductions in plant abundance were detected for fish relative to crustaceans. We found a positive relationship between herbivore species richness and change in plant abundance, with the strongest reductions in plant abundance reported for low herbivore species richness, suggesting that greater herbivore diversity may protect against large reductions in plant abundance. Finally, we found that herbivore-plant nativeness was a key factor affecting the magnitude of herbivore impacts on plant abundance across a wide range of species assemblages. Assemblages comprised of invasive herbivores and native plant assemblages were associated with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-13

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Seasonality of fibrolytic enzyme activity in herbivore microbial ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fibre (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature and is hydrolysed by gut micro-organisms of herbivores because they can produce a set of extracellular enzymes. This study examined seasonal changes in the fibrolytic enzyme activity of microbial ecosystems of five herbivores ...

  9. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klink, van R.; Plas, van der F.; Noordwijk, C.G.E.; Wallis de Vries, M.F.; Olff, H.

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Benthic cover and fishing intensity appear to influence the biomass of herbivorous fish communities more on the reefs of Andavadoaka, highlighting the importance of Marine Protected Areas to protect both corals and fish. Keywords: Herbivorous fish, biomass, coral cover, algal turf, fishing, Marine Protected Areas.

  11. A Coevolutionary Arms Race: Understanding Plant-Herbivore Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becklin, Katie M.

    2008-01-01

    Plants and insects share a long evolutionary history characterized by relationships that affect individual, population, and community dynamics. Plant-herbivore interactions are a prominent feature of this evolutionary history; it is by plant-herbivore interactions that energy is transferred from primary producers to the rest of the food web. Not…

  12. 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.

  13. Role of neonicotinyl insecticides in Washington apple integrated pest management. Part I. Control of lepidopteran pests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunner, J. F.; Beers, E. H.; Dunley, J. E.; Doerr, M.; Granger, K.

    2005-01-01

    Three neonicotinyl insecticides, acetamiprid, thiacloprid and clothianidin, were evaluated for their impact on four species of lepidopteran pests of apple in Washington, the codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), the Pandemis leafroller, Pandemis pyrusana Kearfott, and the obliquebanded leafroller, Choristoneura rosaceana (Harris), and Lacanobia subjuncta (Grote & Robinson). None of the neonicotinyl insecticides demonstrated sufficient activity against P. pyrusana, C. rosaceana, or L. subjuncta to warrant field trials. Conversely, all had some activity against one or more stages of C. pomonella. Acetamiprid was highly toxic to larvae in laboratory bioassays, and had relatively long activity of field-aged residues (21 days). It also showed some toxicity to C. pomonella eggs (via topical exposure) and adults. Acetamiprid provided the highest level of fruit protection from C. pomonella attack in field trials conducted over five years in experimental orchards with extremely high codling moth pressure. Thiacloprid performed similarly in bioassays, but fruit protection in field trials was slightly lower than acetamiprid. Clothianidin showed moderate to high toxicity in bioassays, depending on the C. pomonella stage tested, but poor fruit protection from attack in field trials. None of the neonicotinyl insecticides were as toxic to larvae or effective in protecting fruit as the current standard organophosphate insecticide used for C. pomonella control, azinphosmethyl. However, both acetamiprid and thiacloprid should provide acceptable levels of C. pomonella control in commercial orchards where densities are much lower than in the experimental orchards used for our trials. The advantages and disadvantages of the neonicotinyl insecticides as replacements for the organophosphate insecticides and their role in a pest management system for Washington apple orchards are discussed. Abbreviation: MFR Maximum field rate PMID:16341246

  14. Mitochondrial genome of Abraxas suspecta (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) and comparative analysis with other Lepidopterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Y U; Zhang, Jiawei; Li, Qingqing; Liang, Dan; Abbas, Muhammad Nadeem; Qian, Cen; Wang, Lei; Wei, Guoqing; Zhu, Bao-Jian; Liu, Chao-Liang

    2017-04-20

    In this study, a complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) sequence of Abraxas suspecta (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) is isolated and characterized. The complete DNA is 15,547 bp length and contains 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 23 putative transfer RNA (tRNA) genes including an extra tRNAAsn (AUU), 13 protein-coding genes and an adenine (A) + thymine (T)-rich region. The nucleotide composition and gene organization are identical to those of other lepidopteran, except for the presence of an extra copy of trnN (AUU). Of the 38 genes, twenty-five genes (9 PCGs and 16 tRNAs) are encoded by heavy strand (H-strand), while thirteen are encoded by light strand (L-strand). Among the 13 PCGs, 12 PCGs employ ATN as initiation codon, while cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) utilizes CGA as initiation codon. Four of the 13 PCGs have the incomplete termination codon T, while the remainder terminated with the canonical stop codon. All tRNA genes are folded into the typical clover-leaf structure of mitochondrial tRNAs, except for the tRNASer (AGN) gene, in which the DHU arm fails to form a stable stem-loop structure. The A+T-rich region is 532 bp long, and contains some conserved regions, including 'ATAGA' motif followed by a 17bp poly-T stretch, a microsatellite-like element (AT)8(AAT)3 and also a poly-A element. A short Phylogenetic analysis based on 13 PCGs using maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) revealed that A. suspecta resides in the Geometridae family. We present the method and approach to use moths as model organisms for further genetic and evolutionary biology studies.

  15. Fungal virulence in a lepidopteran model is an emergent property with deterministic features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Solache, Monica A; Izquierdo-Garcia, David; Smith, Cameron; Bergman, Aviv; Casadevall, Arturo

    2013-04-30

    ABSTRACT Virulence has been proposed to be an emergent property, which by definition implies that it is not reducible to its components, but this application of a philosophical concept to the host-microbe interaction has not been experimentally tested. The goals of our study were to analyze the correlation of the phenotype with the ability to cause disease and to determine the dynamics of an experimental cryptococcal infection in Galleria mellonella and Acanthamoeba castellanii. By studying the outcome of infection as host death, we showed that the dynamics of virulence in the G. mellonella/Cryptococcus neoformans interaction follow a predictable pattern. We also found that the experimental temperature and not the presence of virulence factors was a critical parameter defining the pathogenic potential of cryptococcal species. Our results established that cryptococcal species not considered pathogenic could be pathogens given suitable conditions. Our results support the idea that virulence is an emergent property that cannot be easily predicted by a reductionist approach and yet it behaves as a deterministic system in a lepidopteran cryptococcal infection. These findings provide a road map for evaluating whether host-microbe interactions in other systems are chaotic, deterministic, or stochastic, including those with public health importance. Virulence is a complex phenotype that cannot be easily studied by analyzing its individual components in isolation. By studying the outcome of infection as the death of the host, we found that a given microbial phenotype does not necessarily correlate with its ability to cause disease and that the presence of so-called virulence factors does not predict pathogenicity, consistent with the notion that virulence is an emergent property. This paper reports that the dynamics of virulence in Galleria mellonella larvae infected with the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans follows a predictable pattern. Establishing that virulence is an

  16. Physiological and biochemical effect of neem and other Meliaceae plants secondary metabolites against Lepidopteran insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senthil-Nathan eSengottayan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This review described the physiological and biochemical effects of various secondary metabolites from Meliaceae against major Lepidopteran insect pest including, Noctuidae and Pyralidae. The biochemical effect of major Meliaceae secondary metabolites were discussed more in this review. Several enzymes based on food materials have critical roles in nutritional indices (food utilization of the insect pest population. Several research work has been referred and the effect of Meliaceae secondary metabolites on feeding parameters of insects by demonstrating food consumption, approximate digestibility of consumed food, efficiency of converting the ingested food to body substance, efficiency of converting digested food to body substance and consumption index was reviewed in detail. Further how the digestive enzymes including a-Amylases, α and β- glucosidases (EC 3.2.1.1, lipases (EC 3.1.1 Proteases, serine, cysteine, and aspartic proteinases affected by the Meliaceae secondary metabolites was reviewed. Further effect of Meliaceae secondary metabolites on detoxifying enzymes have been found to react against botanical insecticides including general esterases (EST, glutathione S-transferase (GST and phosphatases was reviewed. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP, E.C.3.1.3.1 and acid phosphatase (ACP, E.C.3.1.3.2 are hydrolytic enzymes, which hydrolyze phosphomonoesters under alkaline or acid conditions, respectively. These enzymes were affected by the secondary metabolites treatment. The detailed mechanism of action was further explained in this review. Acethylcholine esterase (AChE is a key enzyme that terminates nerve impulses by catalyzing the hydrolysis of neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, in the nervous system of various organisms. How the AChE activity was altered by the Meliaceae secondary metabolites reviewed in detail.

  17. Isolation and characterization of a new Bacillus thuringiensis strain with a promising toxicity against Lepidopteran pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boukedi, Hanen; Sellami, Sameh; Ktari, Sonia; Belguith-Ben Hassan, Najeh; Sellami-Boudawara, Tahya; Tounsi, Slim; Abdelkefi-Mesrati, Lobna

    2016-01-01

    Insecticides derived from Bacillus thuringiensis are gaining worldwide importance as environmentally desirable alternatives to chemicals for the control of pests in public health and agriculture. Isolation and characterization of new strains with higher and broader spectrum of activity is an ever growing field. In the present work, a novel Tunisian B. thuringiensis isolate named BLB459 was characterized and electrophoresis assay showed that among a collection of 200 B. thuringiensis strains, the plasmid profile of BLB459 was distinctive. SmaI-PFGE typing confirmed the uniqueness of the DNA pattern of this strain, compared with BUPM95 and HD1 reference strains. PCR and sequencing assays revealed that BLB459 harbored three cry genes (cry30, cry40 and cry54) corresponding to the obtained molecular sizes in the protein pattern. Interestingly, PCR-RFLP assay demonstrated the originality of the BLB459 cry30-type gene compared to the other published cry30 genes. Insecticidal bioassays showed that BLB459 spore-crystal suspension was highly toxic to both Ephestia kuehniella and Spodoptera littoralis with LC50 values of about 64 (53-75) and 80 (69-91) μg of toxin cm(-2), respectively, comparing with that of the commercial strain HD1 used as reference. Important histopathological effects of BLB459 δ-endotoxins on the two tested larvae midguts were detected, traduced by the vacuolization of the apical cells, the damage of microvilli, and the disruption of epithelial cells. These results proved that BLB459 strain could be of a great interest for lepidopteran biocontrol. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. Repetitive flanking sequences challenge microsatellite marker development: a case study in the lepidopteran Melanargia galathea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Max; Csencsics, Daniela; Gugerli, Felix

    2016-11-01

    Microsatellite DNA families (MDF) are stretches of DNA that share similar or identical sequences beside nuclear simple-sequence repeat (nSSR) motifs, potentially causing problems during nSSR marker development. Primers positioned within MDFs can bind several times within the genome and might result in multiple banding patterns. It is therefore common practice to exclude MDF loci in the course of marker development. Here, we propose an approach to deal with multiple primer-binding sites by purposefully positioning primers within the detected repetitive element. We developed a new protocol to determine the family type and the primer position in relation to MDFs using the software packages repark and repeatmasker together with an in-house R script. We re-evaluated newly developed nSSR markers for the lepidopteran Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) and explored the implications of our results with regard to published data sets of the butterfly Euphydryas aurinia, the grasshopper Stethophyma grossum, the conifer Pinus cembra and the crucifer Arabis alpina. For M. galathea, we show that it is not only possible to develop reliable nSSR markers for MDF loci, but even to benefit from their presence in some cases: We used one unlabelled primer, successfully binding within an MDF, for two different loci in a multiplex PCR, combining this family primer with uniquely binding and fluorescently labelled primers outside of MDFs, respectively. As MDFs are abundant in many taxa, we propose to consider these during nSSR marker development in taxa concerned. Our new approach might help in reducing the number of tested primers during nSSR marker development. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Collapse of the world’s largest herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripple, William J.; Newsome, Thomas M.; Wolf, Christopher; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Everatt, Kristoffer T.; Galetti, Mauro; Hayward, Matt W.; Kerley, Graham I. H.; Levi, Taal; Lindsey, Peter A.; Macdonald, David W.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Painter, Luke E.; Sandom, Christopher J.; Terborgh, John; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    2015-01-01

    Large wild herbivores are crucial to ecosystems and human societies. We highlight the 74 largest terrestrial herbivore species on Earth (body mass ≥100 kg), the threats they face, their important and often overlooked ecosystem effects, and the conservation efforts needed to save them and their predators from extinction. Large herbivores are generally facing dramatic population declines and range contractions, such that ~60% are threatened with extinction. Nearly all threatened species are in developing countries, where major threats include hunting, land-use change, and resource depression by livestock. Loss of large herbivores can have cascading effects on other species including large carnivores, scavengers, mesoherbivores, small mammals, and ecological processes involving vegetation, hydrology, nutrient cycling, and fire regimes. The rate of large herbivore decline suggests that ever-larger swaths of the world will soon lack many of the vital ecological services these animals provide, resulting in enormous ecological and social costs. PMID:26601172

  20. 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...... 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...... indirectly, influenced the spatial distribution of herbivores. Additionally, snow distribution directly affected the distribution of herbivores, and hence, in turn, affected the plant community by selective feeding and locally reducing the standing biomass of forage plants. Although only few moth larvae were...

  1. Complete nucleotide sequence and organization of the mitogenome of the red-spotted apollo butterfly, Parnassius bremeri (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) and comparison with other lepidopteran insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Man Il; Baek, Jee Yeon; Kim, Min Jee; Jeong, Heon Cheon; Kim, Ki-Gyoung; Bae, Chang Hwan; Han, Yeon Soo; Jin, Byung Rae; Kim, Iksoo

    2009-10-31

    The 15,389-bp long complete mitogenome of the endangered red-spotted apollo butterfly, Parnassius bremeri (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) was determined in this study. The start codon for the COI gene in insects has been extensively discussed, and has long remained a matter of some controversy. Herein, we propose that the CGA (arginine) sequence functions as the start codon for the COI gene in lepidopteran insects, on the basis of complete mitogenome sequences of lepidopteran insects, including P. bremeri, as well as additional sequences of the COI start region from a diverse taxonomic range of lepidopteran species (a total of 53 species from 15 families). In our extensive search for a tRNA-like structure in the A+T-rich region, one tRNA(Trp)-like sequence and one tRNA(Leu) (UUR)-like sequence were detected in the P. bremeri A+T-rich region, and one or more tRNA-like structures were detected in the A+T-rich region of the majority of other sequenced lepidopteran insects, thereby indicating that such features occur frequently in the lepidopteran mitogenomes. Phylogenetic analysis using the concatenated 13 amino acid sequences and nucleotide sequences of PCGs of the four macrolepidopteran superfamilies together with the Tortricoidea and Pyraloidea resulted in the successful recovery of a monophyly of Papilionoidea and a monophyly of Bombycoidea. However, the Geometroidea were unexpectedly identified as a sister group of the Bombycoidea, rather than the Papilionoidea.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbivore induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) serve as specific cues to higher trophic levels. Novel, exotic herbivores entering foodwebs with a common co-existence history may disrupt the native infochemical network due to changes in HIPV profiles. Here we analyzed HIPV blends of native Brassica rapa p...

  4. Reduction of herbivore density as a tool for reduction of herbivore browsing on palatable tree species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kamler, Jiří; Homolka, Miloslav; Barančeková, Miroslava; Krojerová-Prokešová, Jarmila

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 129, č. 2 (2010), s. 155-162 ISSN 1612-4669 R&D Projects: GA ČR GP206/03/P134; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : herbivore impact * habitat use * forest regeneration * spruce * beech * rowan Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.942, year: 2010

  5. Host plant defense signaling in response to a coevolved herbivore combats introduced herbivore attack

    OpenAIRE

    Woodard, Anastasia M; Ervin, Gary N; Marsico, Travis D

    2012-01-01

    Defense-free space resulting from coevolutionarily naïve host plants recently has been implicated as a factor facilitating invasion success of some insect species. Host plants, however, may not be entirely defenseless against novel herbivore threats. Volatile chemical-mediated defense signaling, which allows plants to mount specific, rapid, and intense responses, may play a role in systems experiencing novel threats. Here we investigate defense responses of host plants to a native and exotic ...

  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. Indirect plant defense against insect herbivores: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aljbory, Zainab; Chen, Ming-Shun

    2018-02-01

    Plants respond to herbivore attack by launching 2 types of defenses: direct defense and indirect defense. Direct defense includes all plant traits that increase the resistance of host plants to insect herbivores by affecting the physiology and/or behavior of the attackers. Indirect defense includes all traits that by themselves do not have significant direct impact on the attacking herbivores, but can attract natural enemies of the herbivores and thus reduce plant loss. When plants recognize herbivore-associated elicitors, they produce and release a blend of volatiles that can attract predators, parasites, and other natural enemies. Known herbivore-associated elicitors include fatty acid-amino acid conjugates, sulfur-containing fatty acids, fragments of cell walls, peptides, esters, and enzymes. Identified plant volatiles include terpenes, nitrogenous compounds, and indoles. In addition, constitive traits including extrafloral nectars, food bodies, and domatia can be further induced to higher levels and attract natural enemies as well as provide food and shelter to carnivores. A better understanding of indirect plant defense at global and componential levels via advanced high throughput technologies may lead to utilization of indirect defense in suppression of herbivore damage to plants. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  8. Efficacy of pyramided Bt proteins Cry1F, Cry1A.105, and cry2Ab2 expressed in Smartstax corn hybrids against lepidopteran insect pests in the northern United States.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rule, D.M.; Nolting, S.P.; Prasfika, P.L.; Storer, N.P.; Hopkins, B.W.; Scherder, E.J.A.; Siebert, M.W.; Hendrix, W.H.

    2014-01-01

    Commercial field corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids transformed to express some or all of the lepidopteran insect-resistant traits present in SmartStax corn hybrids were evaluated for insecticidal efficacy against a wide range of lepidopteran corn pests common to the northern United States, during 2008 to

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...... 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Characterization of lepidopteran-specific cry1 and cry2 gene harbouring native Bacillus thuringiensis isolates toxic against Helicoverpa armigera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Showkat Ahmad Lone

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt based biopesticides are feasible alternatives to chemical pesticides. Here, we present the distribution of lepidopteran-specific cry1 and cry2 genes in native B. thuringiensis. Forty four out of 86 colonies were found to harbour crystals by phase contrast microscopy exhibiting a Bt index of 0.51. PCR analysis resulted in the amplification of cry1 in 24 and cry2 in 14 isolates. Twelve of the isolates showed presence of both cry1 and cry2, while 18 isolates did not show presence of either of the genes. Toxicity screening using spore-crystal mixtures against 2nd instar larvae of Helicoverpa armigera revealed that the isolates (50% were either mildly toxic or not toxic (36.36%, and only 13.63% were toxic. The results are interesting, particularly so because the same isolates were previously reported to contain lepidopteran specific vip3A genes also, hence can complement the toxicity of the isolates harbouring vip3A genes.

  14. 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.

  15. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing large African herbivore movements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Phytohormone mediation of interactions between herbivores and plant pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Selenium hyperaccumulation offers protection from cell disruptor herbivores

    OpenAIRE

    Quinn, Colin F; Freeman, John L; Reynolds, Ray JB; Cappa, Jennifer J; Fakra, Sirine C; Marcus, Matthew A; Lindblom, Stormy D; Quinn, Erin K; Bennett, Lindsay E; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth AH

    2010-01-01

    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 pe...

  18. 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

  19. Herbivorous Insects Diversity at Miscanthus × Giganteus in Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanovska Tatyana

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Miscanthus × giganteus is considered as a perspective energy crop for biomass production in Ukraine where its commercial production has been observed. The herbivorous pest may pose a risk of yield reduction when an energy crop is growing on monoculture. The herbivorous diversity, species composition and potential damage associated with growing M. × giganteus were studied on seven experimental sites at three locations in Ukraine. The different life stages of herbivorous insects from seven orders representing thirteen families were found on M. × giganteus during the herbivorous survey and most of the insects had a pest status. Research indicated that crop was an alternate host for key cereal pest the Hessian fly Mayetiola destructor (Say (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae. A comparative analysis of the biodiversity of herbivorous insects across research locations was done using statistical analysis. It was found that site location played a significant role in the level of biodiversity and an increase in the insect’s herbivores diversity was associated with the type of researched lands. The massive scale commercial use of M. × giganteus should take into account a responsible consideration of the benefits and risks associated with that crop in order to protect agroecosystems.

  20. Related herbivore species show similar temporal dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchet, F G; Roslin, T; Kimura, M T; Huotari, T; Kaartinen, R; Gripenberg, S; Tack, A J M

    2018-02-08

    1.Within natural communities, different taxa display different dynamics in time. Why this is the case we do not fully know. This thwarts our ability to predict changes in community structure, which is important for both the conservation of rare species in natural communities and for the prediction of pest outbreaks in agriculture. 2.Species sharing phylogeny, natural enemies and/or life history traits have been hypothesized to share similar temporal dynamics. We operationalized these concepts into testing whether feeding guild, voltinism, similarity in parasitoid community, and/or phylogenetic relatedness explained similarities in temporal dynamics among herbivorous community members. 3.Focusing on two similar data sets from different geographical regions (Finland and Japan), we used asymmetric eigenvector maps as temporal variables to characterize species- and community-level dynamics of specialist insect herbivores on oak (Quercus). We then assessed whether feeding guild, voltinism, similarity in parasitoid community, and/or phylogenetic relatedness explained similarities in temporal dynamics among taxa. 4.Species-specific temporal dynamics varied widely, ranging from directional decline or increase to more complex patterns. Phylogeny was a clear predictor of similarity in temporal dynamics at the Finnish site, whereas for the Japanese site, the data were uninformative regarding a phylogenetic imprint. Voltinism, feeding guild and parasitoid overlap explained little variation at either location. Despite the rapid temporal dynamics observed at the level of individual species, these changes did not translate into any consistent temporal changes at the community level in either Finland or Japan. 5.Overall, our findings offer no direct support for the notion that species sharing natural enemies and/or life history traits would be characterised by similar temporal dynamics, but reveal a strong imprint of phylogenetic relatedness. As this phylogenetic signal cannot be

  1. Can inducible resistance in plants cause herbivore aggregations? Spatial patterns in an inducible plant/herbivore model

    OpenAIRE

    Anderson, KE; Inouye, BD; Underwood, N

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 by the Ecological Society of America. Many theories regarding the evolution of inducible resistance in plants have an implicit spatial component, but most relevant population dynamic studies ignore spatial dynamics. We examined a spatially explicit model of plant inducible resistance and herbivore population dynamics to explore how realistic features of resistance and herbivore responses influence spatial patterning. Both transient and persistent spatial patterns developed in all model...

  2. Bt pollen dispersal and Bt kernel mosaics: integrity of non-Bt refugia for lepidopteran resistance management in maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkness, Eric C; Hutchison, W D

    2012-10-01

    Field trials were conducted at Rosemount, MN in 2009 and 2010, to measure pollen movement from Bt corn to adjacent blocks of non-Bt refuge corn. As the use of Bt corn hybrids continues to increase in the United States, and new insect resistance management (IRM) plans are implemented, it is necessary to measure the efficacy of these IRM plans. In Minnesota, the primary lepidopteran pests of corn include the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) and corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). The primary IRM plan in transgenic corn is the use of hybrids expressing a high dose of insecticidal proteins and an insect refuge containing hybrids not expressing insecticidal proteins that produce susceptible insects. Wind-assisted pollen movement in corn occurs readily, and is the primary method of pollination for corn. The combination of pollen movement and viability determines the potential for cross pollination of refuge corn. In 2009 and 2010, cross pollination occurred with the highest frequency on the north and east sides of Bt corn fields, but was found at some level in all directions. Highest levels of cross pollination (75%) were found within the first four rows (3 m) of non-Bt corn adjacent to Bt corn, and in general decreasing levels of cross pollination were found the further the non-Bt corn was planted from the Bt corn. A mosaic of Bt cross-pollinated kernels was found throughout the ear, but in both years the ear tip had the highest percentage of cross-pollinated kernels; this pattern may be linked to the synchrony of pollen shed and silking between Bt and non-Bt corn hybrids. The dominant wind direction in both years was from WNW. However, in both years, there were also prevailing winds from SSW and WSW. Further studies are needed to quantify Bt levels in cross-pollinated kernels, measure the Bt dose of such kernels and associated lepidopteran pest survival, and measure the impact of Bt pollen on lepidopteran pests, particularly when considering the

  3. Contact chemosensation of phytochemicals by insect herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burse, Antje

    2017-01-01

    Contact chemosensation, or tasting, is a complex process governed by nonvolatile phytochemicals that tell host-seeking insects whether they should accept or reject a plant. During this process, insect gustatory receptors (GRs) contribute to deciphering a host plant's metabolic code. GRs recognise many different classes of nonvolatile compounds; some GRs are likely to be narrowly tuned and others, broadly tuned. Although primary and/or secondary plant metabolites influence the insect's feeding choice, their decoding by GRs is challenging, because metabolites in planta occur in complex mixtures that have additive or inhibitory effects; in diverse forms composed of structurally unrelated molecules; and at different concentrations depending on the plant species, its tissue and developmental stage. Future studies of the mechanism of insect herbivore GRs will benefit from functional characterisation taking into account the spatio-temporal dynamics and diversity of the plant's metabolome. Metabolic information, in turn, will help to elucidate the impact of single ligands and complex natural mixtures on the insect's feeding choice. PMID:28485430

  4. Plant and herbivore ontogeny interact to shape the preference, performance and chemical defense of a specialist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintero, Carolina; Bowers, M Deane

    2018-01-30

    The amount of damage that herbivorous insects impose on plants varies as a function of plant ontogenetic trajectories in tissue quality and defenses, and the herbivores' own developmental trajectories in body size, mandible shape and detoxification enzymes, among others. However, little is known about how host plant and herbivore ontogeny interact. Using four ontogenetic stages of Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae) and three to five larval stages of the specialist caterpillar Junonia coenia (Nymphalidae), we evaluated how ontogenies in both of these trophic levels shape: (i) caterpillar feeding choice, (ii) performance, and (iii) sequestration of plant allelochemicals. Plant physical (leaf toughness) and chemical (iridoid glycosides) defenses increased, while nutritional quality (water and nitrogen content) decreased, as plants aged. These plant ontogenetic trajectories strongly altered the behavior and physiology of this specialist herbivore, but the magnitude of the response varied with larval stage. In feeding experiments, while first instar larvae showed little preference among plant stages, older larvae significantly preferred juvenile over reproductive stages. In turn, larval consumption increased and digestive efficiency decreased, potentially explaining their decrease in relative growth rate, as larvae and host plant aged, but differences were greater for younger than older caterpillars. Finally, sequestration of plant allelochemicals increased through plant and larval development; however, the major differences due to diet occurred earlier during larval development. Our results highlight that changes in plant ontogeny most strongly influence early herbivore instars, emphasizing the need to consider the developmental stage of both trophic levels to better understand temporal variation in herbivore damage.

  5. Recovering More than Tree Cover: Herbivores and Herbivory in a Restored Tropical Dry Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Intense and chronic disturbance may arrest natural succession, reduce environmental quality and lead to ecological interaction losses. Where natural succession does not occur, ecological restoration aims to accelerate this process. While plant establishment and diversity is promoted by restoration, few studies have evaluated the effect of restoration activities on ecological processes and animal diversity. This study assessed herbivory and lepidopteran diversity associated with two pioneer tree species growing in 4-year-old experimental restoration plots in a tropical dry forest at Sierra de Huautla, in Morelos, Mexico. The study was carried out during the rainy season of 2010 (July-October) in eleven 50 x 50 m plots in three different habitats: cattle-excluded, cattle-excluded with restoration plantings, and cattle grazing plots. At the beginning of the rainy season, 10 juveniles of Heliocarpus pallidus (Malvaceae) and Ipomoea pauciflora (Convolvulaceae) were selected in each plot (N = 110 trees). Herbivory was measured in 10 leaves per plant at the end of the rainy season. To evaluate richness and abundance of lepidopteran larvae, all plants were surveyed monthly. Herbivory was similar among habitats and I. pauciflora showed a higher percentage of herbivory. A total of 868 lepidopteran larvae from 65 morphospecies were recorded. The family with the highest number of morphospecies (9 sp.) was Geometridae, while the most abundant family was Saturnidae, with 427 individuals. Lepidopteran richness and abundance were significantly higher in H. pallidus than in I. pauciflora. Lepidopteran richness was significantly higher in the cattle-excluded plots, while abundance was significantly higher in the non-excluded plots. After four years of cattle exclusion and the establishment of plantings, lepidopteran richness increased 20 –fold in the excluded plots compared to the disturbed areas, whereas herbivory levels were equally high in both restored and disturbed sites

  6. Recovering more than tree cover: herbivores and herbivory in a restored tropical dry forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris Juan-Baeza

    Full Text Available Intense and chronic disturbance may arrest natural succession, reduce environmental quality and lead to ecological interaction losses. Where natural succession does not occur, ecological restoration aims to accelerate this process. While plant establishment and diversity is promoted by restoration, few studies have evaluated the effect of restoration activities on ecological processes and animal diversity. This study assessed herbivory and lepidopteran diversity associated with two pioneer tree species growing in 4-year-old experimental restoration plots in a tropical dry forest at Sierra de Huautla, in Morelos, Mexico. The study was carried out during the rainy season of 2010 (July-October in eleven 50 x 50 m plots in three different habitats: cattle-excluded, cattle-excluded with restoration plantings, and cattle grazing plots. At the beginning of the rainy season, 10 juveniles of Heliocarpus pallidus (Malvaceae and Ipomoea pauciflora (Convolvulaceae were selected in each plot (N = 110 trees. Herbivory was measured in 10 leaves per plant at the end of the rainy season. To evaluate richness and abundance of lepidopteran larvae, all plants were surveyed monthly. Herbivory was similar among habitats and I. pauciflora showed a higher percentage of herbivory. A total of 868 lepidopteran larvae from 65 morphospecies were recorded. The family with the highest number of morphospecies (9 sp. was Geometridae, while the most abundant family was Saturnidae, with 427 individuals. Lepidopteran richness and abundance were significantly higher in H. pallidus than in I. pauciflora. Lepidopteran richness was significantly higher in the cattle-excluded plots, while abundance was significantly higher in the non-excluded plots. After four years of cattle exclusion and the establishment of plantings, lepidopteran richness increased 20 -fold in the excluded plots compared to the disturbed areas, whereas herbivory levels were equally high in both restored and

  7. Recovering more than tree cover: herbivores and herbivory in a restored tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juan-Baeza, Iris; Martínez-Garza, Cristina; Del-Val, Ek

    2015-01-01

    Intense and chronic disturbance may arrest natural succession, reduce environmental quality and lead to ecological interaction losses. Where natural succession does not occur, ecological restoration aims to accelerate this process. While plant establishment and diversity is promoted by restoration, few studies have evaluated the effect of restoration activities on ecological processes and animal diversity. This study assessed herbivory and lepidopteran diversity associated with two pioneer tree species growing in 4-year-old experimental restoration plots in a tropical dry forest at Sierra de Huautla, in Morelos, Mexico. The study was carried out during the rainy season of 2010 (July-October) in eleven 50 x 50 m plots in three different habitats: cattle-excluded, cattle-excluded with restoration plantings, and cattle grazing plots. At the beginning of the rainy season, 10 juveniles of Heliocarpus pallidus (Malvaceae) and Ipomoea pauciflora (Convolvulaceae) were selected in each plot (N = 110 trees). Herbivory was measured in 10 leaves per plant at the end of the rainy season. To evaluate richness and abundance of lepidopteran larvae, all plants were surveyed monthly. Herbivory was similar among habitats and I. pauciflora showed a higher percentage of herbivory. A total of 868 lepidopteran larvae from 65 morphospecies were recorded. The family with the highest number of morphospecies (9 sp.) was Geometridae, while the most abundant family was Saturnidae, with 427 individuals. Lepidopteran richness and abundance were significantly higher in H. pallidus than in I. pauciflora. Lepidopteran richness was significantly higher in the cattle-excluded plots, while abundance was significantly higher in the non-excluded plots. After four years of cattle exclusion and the establishment of plantings, lepidopteran richness increased 20 -fold in the excluded plots compared to the disturbed areas, whereas herbivory levels were equally high in both restored and disturbed sites

  8. Does Aphid Infestation Interfere with Indirect Plant Defense against Lepidopteran Caterpillars in Wild Cabbage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yehua; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Chamontri, Surachet; Dicke, Marcel; Gols, Rieta

    2017-05-01

    Attraction of parasitoids to plant volatiles induced by multiple herbivory depends on the specific combinations of attacking herbivore species, especially when their feeding modes activate different defense signalling pathways as has been reported for phloem feeding aphids and tissue feeding caterpillars. We studied the effects of pre-infestation with non-host aphids (Brevicoryne brassicae) for two different time periods on the ability of two parasitoid species to discriminate between volatiles emitted by plants infested by host caterpillars alone and those emitted by plants infested with host caterpillars plus aphids. Using plants originating from three chemically distinct wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea) populations, Diadegma semiclausum switched preference for dually infested plants to preference for plants infested with Plutella xylostella hosts alone when the duration of pre-aphid infestation doubled from 7 to 14 days. Microplitis mediator, a parasitoid of Mamestra brassicae caterpillars, preferred dually-infested plants irrespective of aphid-infestation duration. Separation of the volatile blends emitted by plants infested with hosts plus aphids or with hosts only was poor, based on multivariate statistics. However, emission rates of individual compounds were often reduced in plants infested with aphids plus hosts compared to those emitted by plants infested with hosts alone. This effect depended on host caterpillar species and plant population and was little affected by aphid infestation duration. Thus, the interactive effect of aphids and hosts on plant volatile production and parasitoid attraction can be dynamic and parasitoid specific. The characteristics of the multi-component volatile blends that determine parasitoid attraction are too complex to be deduced from simple correlative statistical analyses.

  9. Cost of inbreeding in resistance to herbivores in Datura stramonium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello-Bedoy, Rafael; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2010-05-01

    Experiments show that inbred progenies are frequently more damaged by herbivores than outcrossed progenies, suggesting that selfing is costly when herbivores are present and can increase the magnitude of inbreeding depression in survival and reproductive components of fitness. The present study assesses whether inbreeding increases herbivory and estimates the magnitude of inbreeding depression on reproductive components of fitness in the annual plant Datura stramonium. Two experiments were performed under natural conditions of herbivory to assess the effect of inbreeding on plant damage in D. stramonium. In the first experiment, outcrossed progeny was generated using foreign pollen donors, whereas inbred progeny was produced by self-pollination. In both groups, survival, herbivore damage and reproductive components of fitness were measured. In the second experiment, inbred and outcrossed progenies were produced using only local pollen donors, and only damage by herbivores was measured. Despite yearly variation in damage caused by the same specialist herbivores, inbred progeny suffered consistently more damage than outcrossed progeny. There was a significant inbreeding depression for fruit number (delta = 0.3), seed number per fruit (delta = 0.19) and seed number per plant (delta = 0.43). Furthermore, significant genetic variation amongst families in the magnitude of inbreeding depression was observed. The results suggest that the plant's mating system modified the pattern of herbivory by specialist insects in D. stramonium. Inbred plants suffer not only from the genetic cost of low vigour but also from greater damage by herbivores. The mechanism by which inbreeding reduces plant resistance to herbivores remains unknown but is an interesting area for future research.

  10. Plant volatile eliciting FACs in lepidopteran caterpillars, fruit flies, and crickets: a convergent evolution or phylogenetic inheritance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshinaga, Naoko; Abe, Hiroaki; Morita, Sayo; Yoshida, Tetsuya; Aboshi, Takako; Fukui, Masao; Tumlinson, James H; Mori, Naoki

    2014-01-01

    Fatty acid amino acid conjugates (FACs), first identified in lepidopteran caterpillar spit as elicitors of plant volatile emission, also have been reported as major components in gut tracts of Drosophila melanogaster and cricket Teleogryllus taiwanemma. The profile of FAC analogs in these two insects was similar to that of tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, showing glutamic acid conjugates predominantly over glutamine conjugates. The physiological function of FACs is presumably to enhance nitrogen assimilation in Spodoptera litura larvae, but in other insects it is totally unknown. Whether these insects share a common synthetic mechanism of FACs is also unclear. In this study, the biosynthesis of FACs was examined in vitro in five lepidopteran species (M. sexta, Cephonodes hylas, silkworm, S. litura, and Mythimna separata), fruit fly larvae and T. taiwanemma. The fresh midgut tissues of all of the tested insects showed the ability to synthesize glutamine conjugates in vitro when incubated with glutamine and sodium linolenate. Such direct conjugation was also observed for glutamic acid conjugates in all the insects but the product amount was very small and did not reflect the in vivo FAC patterns in each species. In fruit fly larvae, the predominance of glutamic acid conjugates could be explained by a shortage of substrate glutamine in midgut tissues, and in M. sexta, a rapid hydrolysis of glutamine conjugates has been reported. In crickets, we found an additional unique biosynthetic pathway for glutamic acid conjugates. T. taiwanemma converted glutamine conjugates to glutamic acid conjugates by deaminating the side chain of the glutamine moiety. Considering these findings together with previous results, a possibility that FACs in these insects are results of convergent evolution cannot be ruled out, but it is more likely that the ancestral insects had the glutamine conjugates and crickets and other insects developed glutamic acid conjugates in a different way.

  11. Plant volatile eliciting FACs in lepidopteran caterpillars, fruit flies, and crickets: a convergent evolution or phylogenetic inheritance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshinaga, Naoko; Abe, Hiroaki; Morita, Sayo; Yoshida, Tetsuya; Aboshi, Takako; Fukui, Masao; Tumlinson, James H.; Mori, Naoki

    2013-01-01

    Fatty acid amino acid conjugates (FACs), first identified in lepidopteran caterpillar spit as elicitors of plant volatile emission, also have been reported as major components in gut tracts of Drosophila melanogaster and cricket Teleogryllus taiwanemma. The profile of FAC analogs in these two insects was similar to that of tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, showing glutamic acid conjugates predominantly over glutamine conjugates. The physiological function of FACs is presumably to enhance nitrogen assimilation in Spodoptera litura larvae, but in other insects it is totally unknown. Whether these insects share a common synthetic mechanism of FACs is also unclear. In this study, the biosynthesis of FACs was examined in vitro in five lepidopteran species (M. sexta, Cephonodes hylas, silkworm, S. litura, and Mythimna separata), fruit fly larvae and T. taiwanemma. The fresh midgut tissues of all of the tested insects showed the ability to synthesize glutamine conjugates in vitro when incubated with glutamine and sodium linolenate. Such direct conjugation was also observed for glutamic acid conjugates in all the insects but the product amount was very small and did not reflect the in vivo FAC patterns in each species. In fruit fly larvae, the predominance of glutamic acid conjugates could be explained by a shortage of substrate glutamine in midgut tissues, and in M. sexta, a rapid hydrolysis of glutamine conjugates has been reported. In crickets, we found an additional unique biosynthetic pathway for glutamic acid conjugates. T. taiwanemma converted glutamine conjugates to glutamic acid conjugates by deaminating the side chain of the glutamine moiety. Considering these findings together with previous results, a possibility that FACs in these insects are results of convergent evolution cannot be ruled out, but it is more likely that the ancestral insects had the glutamine conjugates and crickets and other insects developed glutamic acid conjugates in a different way. PMID

  12. Bt Jute Expressing Fused δ-Endotoxin Cry1Ab/Ac for Resistance to Lepidopteran Pests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Shuvobrata; Sarkar, Chirabrata; Saha, Prosanta; Gotyal, Bheemanna S.; Satpathy, Subrata; Datta, Karabi; Datta, Swapan K.

    2018-01-01

    Jute (Corchorus sp.) is naturally occurring, biodegradable, lignocellulosic-long, silky, golden shiny fiber producing plant that has great demands globally. Paper and textile industries are interested in jute because of the easy availability, non-toxicity and high yield of cellulosic biomass produced per acre in cultivation. Jute is the major and most industrially used bast fiber-producing crop in the world and it needs protection from insect pest infestation that decreases its yield and quality. Single locus integration of the synthetically fused cry1Ab/Ac gene of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in Corchorus capsularis (JRC 321) by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated shoot tip transformation provided 5 potent Bt jute lines BT1, BT2, BT4, BT7 and BT8. These lines consistently expressed the Cry1Ab/Ac endotoxin ranging from 0.16 to 0.35 ng/mg of leaf, in the following generations (analyzed upto T4). The effect of Cry1Ab/Ac endotoxin was studied against 3 major Lepidopteran pests of jute- semilooper (Anomis sabulifera Guenee), hairy caterpillar (Spilarctia obliqua Walker) and indigo caterpillar (Spodoptera exigua Hubner) by detached leaf and whole plant insect bioassay on greenhouse-grown transgenic plants. Results confirm that larvae feeding on transgenic plants had lower food consumption, body size, body weight and dry weight of excreta compared to non-transgenic controls. Insect mortality range among transgenic feeders was 66–100% for semilooper and hairy caterpillar and 87.50% for indigo caterpillar. Apart from insect resistance, the transgenic plants were at par with control plants in terms of agronomic parameters and fiber quality. Hence, these Bt jutes in the field would survive Lepidopteran pest infestation, minimize harmful pesticide usage and yield good quality fiber. PMID:29354143

  13. Bt Jute Expressing Fused δ-Endotoxin Cry1Ab/Ac for Resistance to Lepidopteran Pests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuvobrata Majumder

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Jute (Corchorus sp. is naturally occurring, biodegradable, lignocellulosic-long, silky, golden shiny fiber producing plant that has great demands globally. Paper and textile industries are interested in jute because of the easy availability, non-toxicity and high yield of cellulosic biomass produced per acre in cultivation. Jute is the major and most industrially used bast fiber-producing crop in the world and it needs protection from insect pest infestation that decreases its yield and quality. Single locus integration of the synthetically fused cry1Ab/Ac gene of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt in Corchorus capsularis (JRC 321 by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated shoot tip transformation provided 5 potent Bt jute lines BT1, BT2, BT4, BT7 and BT8. These lines consistently expressed the Cry1Ab/Ac endotoxin ranging from 0.16 to 0.35 ng/mg of leaf, in the following generations (analyzed upto T4. The effect of Cry1Ab/Ac endotoxin was studied against 3 major Lepidopteran pests of jute- semilooper (Anomis sabulifera Guenee, hairy caterpillar (Spilarctia obliqua Walker and indigo caterpillar (Spodoptera exigua Hubner by detached leaf and whole plant insect bioassay on greenhouse-grown transgenic plants. Results confirm that larvae feeding on transgenic plants had lower food consumption, body size, body weight and dry weight of excreta compared to non-transgenic controls. Insect mortality range among transgenic feeders was 66–100% for semilooper and hairy caterpillar and 87.50% for indigo caterpillar. Apart from insect resistance, the transgenic plants were at par with control plants in terms of agronomic parameters and fiber quality. Hence, these Bt jutes in the field would survive Lepidopteran pest infestation, minimize harmful pesticide usage and yield good quality fiber.

  14. Plant volatile eliciting FACs in lepidopteran caterpillars, fruit flies and crickets: a convergent evolution or phylogenetic inheritance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoko eYoshinaga

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Fatty acid amino acid conjugates (FACs, first identified in lepidopteran caterpillar spit as elicitors of plant volatile emission, also have been reported as major components in gut tracts of Drosophila melanogaster and cricket Teleogryllus taiwanemma. The profile of FAC analogs in these two insects was similar to that of tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, showing glutamic acid conjugates predominantly over glutamine conjugates. The physiological function of FACs is presumably to enhance nitrogen assimilation in Spodoptera litura larvae, but in other insects it is totally unknown. Whether these insects share a common synthetic mechanism of FACs is also unclear. In this study, the biosynthesis of FACs was examined in vitro in five lepidopteran species (M. sexta, Cephonodes hylas, silkworm, S. litura, and Mythimna separata, fruit fly larvae and T. taiwanemma. The fresh midgut tissues of all of the tested insects showed the ability to synthesize glutamine conjugates in vitro when incubated with glutamine and sodium linolenate. Such direct conjugation was also observed for glutamic acid conjugates in all the insects but the product amount was very small and did not reflect the in vivo FAC patterns in each species. In fruit fly larvae, the predominance of glutamic acid conjugates could be explained by a shortage of substrate glutamine in midgut tissues, and in M. sexta, a rapid hydrolysis of glutamine conjugates has been reported. In crickets, we found an additional unique biosynthetic pathway for glutamic acid conjugates. T. taiwanemma converted glutamine conjugates to glutamic acid conjugates by deaminating the side chain of the glutamine moiety. Considering these findings together with previous results, a possibility that FACs in these insects are results of convergent evolution can not be ruled out, but it is more likely that the ancestral insects had the glutamine conjugates and crickets and other insects developed glutamic acid conjugates in a

  15. Exposure of unwounded plants to chemical cues associated with herbivores leads to exposure-dependent changes in subsequent herbivore attack.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John L Orrock

    Full Text Available Although chemical predator cues often lead to changes in the anti-predator behavior of animal prey, it is not clear whether non-volatile herbivore kairomones (i.e. incidental chemical cues produced by herbivore movement or metabolism but not produced by an attack trigger the induction of defense in plants prior to attack. I found that unwounded plants (Brassica nigra that were regularly exposed to kairomones from snails (mucus and feces produced during movement of Helix aspersa subsequently experienced reduced rates of attack by snails, unlike unwounded plants that received only one initial early exposure to snail kairomones. A follow-up experiment found that mucus alone did not affect snail feeding on previously harvested B. oleracea leaves, suggesting that changes in herbivory on B. nigra were due to changes in plant quality. The finding that chemicals associated with herbivores leads to changes in palatability of unwounded plants suggests that plants eavesdrop on components of non-volatile kairomones of their snail herbivores. Moreover, this work shows that the nature of plant exposure matters, supporting the conclusion that plants that have not been attacked or wounded nonetheless tailor their use of defenses based on incidental chemical information associated with herbivores and the timing with which cues of potential attack are encountered.

  16. Exposure of unwounded plants to chemical cues associated with herbivores leads to exposure-dependent changes in subsequent herbivore attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrock, John L

    2013-01-01

    Although chemical predator cues often lead to changes in the anti-predator behavior of animal prey, it is not clear whether non-volatile herbivore kairomones (i.e. incidental chemical cues produced by herbivore movement or metabolism but not produced by an attack) trigger the induction of defense in plants prior to attack. I found that unwounded plants (Brassica nigra) that were regularly exposed to kairomones from snails (mucus and feces produced during movement of Helix aspersa) subsequently experienced reduced rates of attack by snails, unlike unwounded plants that received only one initial early exposure to snail kairomones. A follow-up experiment found that mucus alone did not affect snail feeding on previously harvested B. oleracea leaves, suggesting that changes in herbivory on B. nigra were due to changes in plant quality. The finding that chemicals associated with herbivores leads to changes in palatability of unwounded plants suggests that plants eavesdrop on components of non-volatile kairomones of their snail herbivores. Moreover, this work shows that the nature of plant exposure matters, supporting the conclusion that plants that have not been attacked or wounded nonetheless tailor their use of defenses based on incidental chemical information associated with herbivores and the timing with which cues of potential attack are encountered.

  17. 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 ex....... However, as interactive impacts also differed among environments and parasite manipulation methods, this suggests that the ability of plants to compensate such losses may depend on environmental conditions and probably also overall infection load.......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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    indirectly, influenced the spatial distribution of herbivores. Additionally, snow distribution directly affected the distribution of herbivores, and hence, in turn, affected the plant community by selective feeding and locally reducing the standing biomass of forage plants. Although only few moth larvae were...... observed at Zackenberg, these had in some cases important local effects owing to their foraging on up to 60% of the flower stands on individual mountain avens. UV-B radiation induces plants to produce secondary plant metabolites, which protects tissues against UV-B damage. This results in lower production......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...

  19. Gut microbes of mammalian herbivores facilitate intake of plant toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Weiss, Robert B; Cox, James; Dale, Colin; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-10-01

    The foraging ecology of mammalian herbivores is strongly shaped by plant secondary compounds (PSCs) that defend plants against herbivory. Conventional wisdom holds that gut microbes facilitate the ingestion of toxic plants; however, this notion lacks empirical evidence. We investigated the gut microbiota of desert woodrats (Neotoma lepida), some populations of which specialise on highly toxic creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). Here, we demonstrate that gut microbes are crucial in allowing herbivores to consume toxic plants. Creosote toxins altered the population structure of the gut microbiome to facilitate an increase in abundance of genes that metabolise toxic compounds. In addition, woodrats were unable to consume creosote toxins after the microbiota was disrupted with antibiotics. Last, ingestion of toxins by naïve hosts was increased through microbial transplants from experienced donors. These results demonstrate that microbes can enhance the ability of hosts to consume PSCs and therefore expand the dietary niche breadth of mammalian herbivores. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Genetic variation in anti-herbivore chemical defenses in an invasive plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plants produce a variety of secondary metabolites such as flavonoids (qualitative defense) or tannins (quantitative defense), that vary in effectiveness against different herbivores. Because invasive plants experience different herbivore interactions in their introduced versus native ranges, they ma...

  1. Above- and belowground insect herbivores differentially affect soil nematode communities in species-rich plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deyn, de G.B.; Ruijven, van J.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Interactions between above- and belowground invertebrate herbivores alter plant diversity, however, little is known on how these effects may influence higher trophic level organisms belowground. Here we explore whether above- and belowground invertebrate herbivores which alter plant community

  2. 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,...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Ballhorn

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

  4. Selenium hyperaccumulation offers protection from cell disruptor herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Colin F; Freeman, John L; Reynolds, Ray J B; Cappa, Jennifer J; Fakra, Sirine C; Marcus, Matthew A; Lindblom, Stormy D; Quinn, Erin K; Bennett, Lindsay E; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2010-08-27

    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). 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. This is the first reported study investigating the protective effect of hyperaccumulated Se against cell

  5. 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

  6. Selenium hyperaccumulation offers protection from cell disruptor herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    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 protective effect of

  7. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. Warming impact on herbivore population composition affects top-down control by predators

    OpenAIRE

    Ying-Jie Wang; Takefumi Nakazawa; Chuan-Kai Ho

    2017-01-01

    Understanding warming impact on herbivores facilitates predicting plant/crop dynamics in natural/agricultural systems. However, it remains unclear how warming will affect herbivore population size and population composition, consequently altering herbivore colonization in a tri-trophic system (plant-herbivore-predator or crop-pest-biocontrol agent). We studied a soybean-aphid-lady beetle system, by conducting (1) a laboratory warming experiment to examine warming impact (+2??C or +4??C) on th...

  9. Species? and site?specific impacts of an invasive herbivore on tree survival in mixed forests

    OpenAIRE

    Holland, E. Penelope; Gormley, Andrew M.; Pech, Roger P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Invasive herbivores are often managed to limit their negative impact on plant populations, but herbivore density ? plant damage relationships are notoriously spatially and temporally variable. Site and species characteristics (both plant and herbivore) must be considered when assessing the potential for herbivore damage, making it difficult to set thresholds for efficient management. Using the invasive brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula in New Zealand as a case study, we paramete...

  10. Complex evolutionary dynamics of massively expanded chemosensory receptor families in an extreme generalist chelicerate herbivore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ngoc, P.C.T.; Greenhalgh, R.; Dermauw, W.; Rombauts, S.; Bajda, S.; Zhurov, V.; Grbić, M.; Van de Peer, Y.; Van Leeuwen, T.; Rouzé, P.; Clark, R.M.

    2016-01-01

    While mechanisms to detoxify plant produced, anti-herbivore compounds have been associated with plant host use by herbivores, less is known about the role of chemosensory perception in their life histories. This is especially true for generalists, including chelicerate herbivores that evolved

  11. 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

  12. In-silico determination of insecticidal potential of Vip3Aa-Cry1Ac fusion protein against Lepidopteran targets using molecular docking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aftab eAhmad

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Study and research of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis transgenic plants have opened new ways to combat insect pests. Over the decades, however, insect pests, especially the Lepidopteran, have developed tolerance against Bt delta-endotoxins. Such issues can be addressed through the development of novel toxins with greater toxicity and affinity against a broad range of insect receptors. In this computational study, functional domains of Bacillus thuringiensis crystal delta-endotoxin (Cry1Ac insecticidal protein and vegetative insecticidal protein (Vip3Aa have been fused to develop a broad-range Vip3Aa-Cry1Ac fusion protein. Cry1Ac and Vip3Aa are non-homologous insecticidal proteins possessing receptors against different targets within the midgut of insects. The insecticidal proteins were fused to broaden the insecticidal activity. Molecular docking analysis of the fusion protein against aminopeptidase-N (APN and cadherin receptors of five Lepidopteran insects (Agrotis ipsilon, Helicoverpa armigera, Pectinophora gossypiella, Spodoptera exigua and Spodoptera litura revealed that the Ser290, Ser293, Leu337, Thr340 and Arg437 residues of the fusion protein are involved in the interaction with insect receptors. The Helicoverpa armigera cadherin receptor, however, showed no interaction, which might be due to either loss or burial of interactive residues inside the fusion protein. These findings revealed that the Vip3Aa-Cry1Ac fusion protein has a strong affinity against Lepidopteran insect receptors and hence has a potential to be an efficient broad-range insecticidal protein.

  13. Controlled-release of Bacillus thurigiensis formulations encapsulated in light-resistant colloidosomal microcapsules for the management of lepidopteran pests of Brassica crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oumar Bashir

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis (B. t. based formulations have been widely used to control lepidopteran pests in agriculture and forestry. One of their weaknesses is their short residual activity when sprayed in the field. Using Pickering emulsions, mixtures of spores and crystals from three B. t. serovars were successfully encapsulated in colloïdosomal microparticles (50 μm using innocuous chemicals (acrylic particles, sunflower oil, iron oxide nanoparticles, ethanol and water. A pH trigger mechanism was incorporated within the particles so that B. t. release occurred only at pH > 8.5 which corresponds to the midgut pH of the target pests. Laboratory assays performed on Trichoplusia ni (T. ni larvae demonstrated that the microencapsulation process did not impair B. t. bioactivity. The best formulations were field-tested on three key lepidopteran pests that attack Brassica crops, i.e., the imported cabbageworm, the cabbage looper and the diamondback moth. After 12 days, the mean number of larvae was significantly lower in microencapsulated formulations than in a commercial B. t. formulation, and the effect of microencapsulated formulations was comparable to a chemical pesticide (lambda-cyhalothrin. Therefore, colloïdosomal microcapsule formulations successfully extend the bioactivity of B. t. for the management of lepidopteran pests of Brassica crops.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith Villa-Galaviz

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

  15. Local adaptation in oviposition choice of a specialist herbivore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wei, Xianqin; Vrieling, Klaas; Mulder, Patrick P.J.; Klinkhamer, Peter G.L.

    2017-01-01

    Specialist herbivores feed on a restricted number of related plant species and may suffer food shortage if overexploitation leads to periodic defoliation of their food plants. The density, size and quality of food plants are important factors that determine the host plant choice of specialist

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  17. The selenium status of grazing herbivores in different regions of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Unknown

    The selenium status of grazing herbivores in different regions of Southern Africa. J. B. J. van Ryssen. Dept of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, University of Pretoria, 0002 Pretoria, South Africa. E-mail:jvryssen@postino.up.ac.za. Although a substantial amount of information is available on the selenium status of grazing animals ...

  18. Plant invasions, generalist herbivores, and novel defense weapons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urs Schaffner; Wendy M. Ridenour; Vera C. Wolf; Thomas Bassett; Caroline Muller; Heinz Muller-Scharer; Steve Sutherland; Christopher J. Lortie; Ragan M. Callaway

    2011-01-01

    One commonly accepted mechanism for biological invasions is that species, after introduction to a new region, leave behind their natural enemies and therefore increase in distribution and abundance. However, which enemies are escaped remains unclear. Escape from specialist invertebrate herbivores has been examined in detail, but despite the profound effects of...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borer, Elizabeth T. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota; et al, et al

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles1,2 and herbivore communities3–7 are affecting global biodiversity dramatically2. 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 systems8,9. 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.

  20. African Wildlife Policy : Protecting Wildlife Herbivores on Private Game Ranches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kinyua, P.; Kooten, van G.C.; Bulte, E.H.

    2000-01-01

    In large parts of Africa, wildlife herbivores spill over onto private lands, competing with domestic livestock for forage resources. To encourage private landowners to take into account the externality benefits of wildlife, game cropping is increasingly considered as an important component of

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ecological theory can help range scientists to understand the determinants of ecological animal density or, in range management terms, 'carrying capacity'. The relation between the relative density of resources and herbivore density is illustrated by regressions of the ecological density of kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) on ...

  2. Lines around fragments: effects of fencing on large herbivores ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lines around fragments: effects of fencing on large herbivores. Randall B Boone, N Thompson Hobbs. Abstract. People construct fences to delineate land ownership and to control access to land. Fences accomplish several purposes, notable among these are containing livestock or wildlife raised for profit or subsistence, ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relation between the relative density of resources and herbivore density is illustrated by regressions of the ecological density of kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) on the relative density of habitat patches within landscapes for a semi-arid savanna. Habitat suitability models were used to isolate patches of suitable kudu ...

  4. Aquatic herbivores facilitate the emission of methane from wetlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Modeling herbivorous animal digestive system as 3- continuous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Modeling herbivorous animal digestive system as 3- continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) and 1-plug flow reactor (PFR) in series with specific reference to ... This shows the efficiency of each reactor at converting the purely lignocellulosics substrates to useful products like protein, vitamin, fatty acid and the bye-products.

  6. Error management in plant allocation to herbivore defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrock, John L; Sih, Andy; Ferrari, Maud C O; Karban, Richard; Preisser, Evan L; Sheriff, Michael J; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2015-08-01

    Herbivores can greatly reduce plant fitness. Error management theory (EMT) predicts the evolution of adaptive plant defensive strategies that err towards making less-costly errors so as to avoid making rare, costly errors. EMT provides a common framework for understanding observed levels of variation in plant defense among and within species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Nitrogen transfer between herbivores and their forage species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sjogersten, Sofie; Kuijper, Dries P. J.; van der Wal, Rene; Loonen, Maarten J. J. E.; Huiskes, Ad H. L.; Woodin, Sarah J.

    Herbivores may increase the productivity of forage plants; however, this depends on the return of nutrients from faeces to the forage plants. The aim of this study was to test if nitrogen (N) from faeces is available to forage plants and whether the return of nutrients differs between plant species

  8. Nitrogen transfer between herbivores and their forage species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sjögersten, S.; Kuijper, D.; Van der Wal, R.; Loonen, M.J.J.E.; Huiskes, A.H.L.; Woodin, S.J.

    2010-01-01

    Herbivores may increase the productivity of forage plants; however, this depends on the return of nutrients from faeces to the forage plants. The aim of this study was to test if nitrogen (N) from faeces is available to forage plants and whether the return of nutrients differs between plant species

  9. Estimation of grazing by herbivores from analysis of dung | Mabinya ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The two acids can also be recovered from the dung of various herbivores and their presence can be used as evidence of grazing by animals such as cattle, hippopotamus and warthogs. The reduced presence of these compounds in the dung of goats supports the fact that goats both graze and browse. Analysis of the dung ...

  10. Modeling herbivorous animal digestive system as 3- continuous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    2010-12-27

    Dec 27, 2010 ... Herbivores contain microflora in their guts which digest lignocellulosics in their stomachs and intestines by secreting the essential enzymes that perform the function so efficiently that the guts of these animals have been described as the best fermentation tanks known. Hippopotamus amphibious,.

  11. Dietary patterns of two herbivorous rodents: Otomys unisulcatus and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1990-06-05

    Jun 5, 1990 ... Differences and overlap in the diets of two sympatric, herbivorous rodents Otomys unisulcatus and. Parotomys brantsii ... overlap between rodent's diets are a function of food availability in the different habitats. It is suggested ..... preference for perennials, as reported for Thomomys bottae. (Gettinger 1984).

  12. The impact of herbivores in a Mongolian forest steppe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staalduinen, M.A. van

    2005-01-01

    Herbivores play a key role in the sustainability of steppe grasslands through their influence on the structural and functional properties of the ecosystem. Their grazing often leads to changes in vegetation structure, species composition and abundance, plant productivity and plant nitrogen cycling.

  13. The root herbivore history of the soil affects the productivity of a grassland plant community and determines plant response to new root herbivore attack.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

    Full Text Available Insect root herbivores can alter plant community structure by affecting the competitive ability of single plants. However, their effects can be modified by the soil environment. Root herbivory itself may induce changes in the soil biota community, and it has recently been shown that these changes can affect plant growth in a subsequent season or plant generation. However, so far it is not known whether these root herbivore history effects (i are detectable at the plant community level and/or (ii also determine plant species and plant community responses to new root herbivore attack. The present greenhouse study determined root herbivore history effects of click beetle larvae (Elateridae, Coleoptera, genus Agriotes in a model grassland plant community consisting of six common species (Achillea millefolium, Plantago lanceolata, Taraxacum officinale, Holcus lanatus, Poa pratensis, Trifolium repens. Root herbivore history effects were generated in a first phase of the experiment by growing the plant community in soil with or without Agriotes larvae, and investigated in a second phase by growing it again in the soils that were either Agriotes trained or not. The root herbivore history of the soil affected plant community productivity (but not composition, with communities growing in root herbivore trained soil producing more biomass than those growing in untrained soil. Additionally, it influenced the response of certain plant species to new root herbivore attack. Effects may partly be explained by herbivore-induced shifts in the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The root herbivore history of the soil proved to be a stronger driver of plant growth on the community level than an actual root herbivore attack which did not affect plant community parameters. History effects have to be taken into account when predicting the impact of root herbivores on grasslands.

  14. 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

  15. Herbivores modify the carbon cycle in a warming arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahoon, S. M.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.; Post, E.

    2009-12-01

    Typically, our studies of arctic terrestrial ecosystem responses to changes in climate focus on abiotic drivers (i.e. warming or added rain or added snow) and subsequent biogeochemical cycles and plant physiological performance. However, many arctic systems, such as those in western Greenland, are home ranges for large herbivores such as muskoxen and caribou. In order to fully understand how tundra landscapes in Greenland will respond to change, experiments are needed that allow us to quantify whether abiotic (climate warming) and or biotic (presence or absence of herbivores) drivers or their combinations regulate ecosystem function and structure. Here we present the results of two consecutive field seasons in western Greenland in which we quantified the interactive effects of local herbivore foraging and simulated climate warming on ecosystem C and N cycling and leaf level physiology. Large exclosure fences were erected in 2002, and ITEX passive warming chambers were established in 2003 within and adjacent to the fences. We performed weekly CO2 flux measurements during the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons which we normalized to a common irradiance by generating light-response curves at all plots (n=9). Although we observed interannual variability in soil moisture and average daily air temperature, browsing by herbivores was a key factor in the seasonal carbon dynamics. By physically removing leaves and upper stems, caribou and muskoxen altered the community composition, reduced leaf area and in turn decreased gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP), regardless of the warming treatment. Neither herbivory nor warming significantly affected ecosystem respiration rates. Thus the reduction in net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was primarily driven by reductions in GEP associated with leaf area removal by grazers. Our results indicate that the biotic influence from large herbivores can significantly influence carbon-derived climatic feedbacks and can no longer be overlooked in

  16. Climate change disproportionately increases herbivore over plant or parasitoid biomass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio de Sassi

    Full Text Available All living organisms are linked through trophic relationships with resources and consumers, the balance of which determines overall ecosystem stability and functioning. Ecological research has identified a multitude of mechanisms that contribute to this balance, but ecologists are now challenged with predicting responses to global environmental changes. Despite a wealth of studies highlighting likely outcomes for specific mechanisms and subsets of a system (e.g., plants, plant-herbivore or predator-prey interactions, studies comparing overall effects of changes at multiple trophic levels are rare. We used a combination of experiments in a grassland system to test how biomass at the plant, herbivore and natural enemy (parasitoid levels responds to the interactive effects of two key global change drivers: warming and nitrogen deposition. We found that higher temperatures and elevated nitrogen generated a multitrophic community that was increasingly dominated by herbivores. Moreover, we found synergistic effects of the drivers on biomass, which differed across trophic levels. Both absolute and relative biomass of herbivores increased disproportionately to that of plants and, in particular, parasitoids, which did not show any significant response to the treatments. Reduced parasitism rates mirrored the profound biomass changes in the system. These findings carry important implications for the response of biota to environmental changes; reduced top-down regulation is likely to coincide with an increase in herbivory, which in turn is likely to cascade to other fundamental ecosystem processes. Our findings also provide multitrophic data to support the general concern of increasing herbivore pest outbreaks in a warmer world.

  17. Characterization of Tunisian Bacillus thuringiensis strains with abundance of kurstaki subspecies harbouring insecticidal activities against the lepidopteran insect Ephestia kuehniella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saadaoui, Imen; Al-Thani, Roda; Al-Saadi, Fatma; Belguith-Ben Hassan, Najeh; Abdelkefi-Mesrati, Lobna; Schultz, Patrick; Rouis, Souad; Jaoua, Samir

    2010-12-01

    The study of 257 crystal-producing Bacillus thuringiensis isolates from bioinsecticide free soil samples collected from different sites in Tunisia, was performed by PCR amplification, using six primer pairs specific for cry1, cry2, cry3, cry4, and vip3A genes, by the investigation of strain plasmid pattern, crystal morphology and delta-endotoxin content and by the assessment of insecticidal activities against the lepidopteran insect Ephestia kuehniella. Based on plasmid pattern study, 11 representative strains of the different classes were subjected to morphological and molecular analyses. The comparison of the PFGE fingerprints confirmed the heterogeneity of these strains. B. thuringiensis kurstaki strains, harbouring at the same time the genes cry1A, cry2, cry1Ia, and vip3A, were the most abundant (65.4%). 33.34% of the new isolates showed particular delta-endotoxin profiles but no PCR products with the used primer sets. B. thuringiensis israelensis was shown to be also very rare among the Tunisian B. thuringiensis isolates diversity. These findings could have considerable impacts for the set up of new pest control biological agents.

  18. Reduced levels of membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase are common to lepidopteran strains resistant to Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis; Karumbaiah, Lohitash; Jakka, Siva Rama Krishna; Ning, Changming; Liu, Chenxi; Wu, Kongming; Jackson, Jerreme; Gould, Fred; Blanco, Carlos; Portilla, Maribel; Perera, Omaththage; Adang, Michael

    2011-03-01

    Development of insect resistance is one of the main concerns with the use of transgenic crops expressing Cry toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Identification of biomarkers would assist in the development of sensitive DNA-based methods to monitor evolution of resistance to Bt toxins in natural populations. We report on the proteomic and genomic detection of reduced levels of midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (mALP) as a common feature in strains of Cry-resistant Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera frugiperda when compared to susceptible larvae. Reduced levels of H. virescens mALP protein (HvmALP) were detected by two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) analysis in Cry-resistant compared to susceptible larvae, further supported by alkaline phosphatase activity assays and Western blotting. Through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) we demonstrate that the reduction in HvmALP protein levels in resistant larvae are the result of reduced transcript amounts. Similar reductions in ALP activity and mALP transcript levels were also detected for a Cry1Ac-resistant strain of H. armigera and field-derived strains of S. frugiperda resistant to Cry1Fa. Considering the unique resistance and cross-resistance phenotypes of the insect strains used in this work, our data suggest that reduced mALP expression should be targeted for development of effective biomarkers for resistance to Cry toxins in lepidopteran pests.

  19. Body size phenotypes are heritable and mediate fecundity but not fitness in the lepidopteran frugivore Cydia pomonella

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J.

    2012-06-01

    The inheritance and functional roles of quantitative traits are central concerns of evolutionary ecology. We report two sets of experiments that investigated the heritability and reproductive consequences of body size phenotypes in a globally distributed lepidopteran frugivore, Cydia pomonella (L.). In our first set of experiments, we tested the hypotheses that (1) body size is heritable and (2) parental body size mediates egg production and offspring survival. Midparent-offspring regression analyses revealed that body mass is highly heritable for females and moderately heritable for males. The contribution of fathers to estimates of additive genetic variance was slightly greater than for mothers. Egg production increased with mean parental size, but offspring survival rates were equivalent. Based on this result, we tested two additional hypotheses in a second set of experiments: (3) male size moderates female egg production and egg fertility and (4) egg production, egg fertility, and offspring survival rate are influenced by female mating opportunities. Females paired with large males produced more eggs and a higher proportion of fertile eggs than females paired with small males. Females with multiple mating opportunities produced more fertile eggs than females paired with a single male. However, egg production and offspring survival rates were unaffected by the number of mating opportunities. Our experiments demonstrate that body mass is heritable in C. pomonella and that size phenotypes may mediate fecundity but not fitness. We conclude that male size can influence egg production and fertility, but female mate choice also plays a role in determining egg fertility.

  20. The genetic architecture of ecological adaptation: intraspecific variation in host plant use by the lepidopteran crop pest Chloridea virescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppenheim, Sara J; Gould, Fred; Hopper, Keith R

    2018-03-01

    Intraspecific variation in ecologically important traits is a cornerstone of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. The evolution and maintenance of this variation depends on genetic architecture, which in turn determines responses to natural selection. Some models suggest that traits with complex architectures are less likely to respond to selection than those with simple architectures, yet rapid divergence has been observed in such traits. The simultaneous evolutionary lability and genetic complexity of host plant use in the Lepidopteran subfamily Heliothinae suggest that architecture may not constrain ecological adaptation in this group. Here we investigate the response of Chloridea virescens, a generalist that feeds on diverse plant species, to selection for performance on a novel host, Physalis angulata (Solanaceae). P. angulata is the preferred host of Chloridea subflexa, a narrow specialist on the genus Physalis. In previous experiments, we found that the performance of C. subflexa on P. angulata depends on many loci of small effect distributed throughout the genome, but whether the same architecture would be involved in the generalist's adoption of P. angulata was unknown. Here we report a rapid response to selection in C. virescens for performance on P. angulata, and establish that the genetic architecture of intraspecific variation is quite similar to that of the interspecific differences in terms of the number, distribution, and effect sizes of the QTL involved. We discuss the impact of genetic architecture on the ability of Heliothine moths to respond to varying ecological selection pressures.

  1. [Bacillus thuringiensis: general aspects. An approach to its use in the biological control of lepidopteran insects behaving as agricultural pests].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauka, Diego H; Benintende, Graciela B

    2008-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is the most widely applied biological pesticide used to control insects that affect agriculture and forestry and which transmit human and animal pathogens. During the past decades B. thuringiensis has been the subject of intensive research. These efforts have yielded considerable data about the relationships between the structure, mechanism of action, and genetics of their pesticidal crystal proteins. As a result, a coherent picture of these relationships has emerged. Other studies have focused on the ecological role of the B. thuringiensis crystal proteins and their performance in agricultural and other natural settings. With this knowledge as background and the help of biotechnological tools, researchers are now reporting promising results in the development of more useful toxins, recombinant bacteria, new formulations and transgenic plants that express pesticidal activity, in order to assure that these products are utilized with the best efficiency and benefit. This article is an attempt to integrate all these recent developments in the study of B. thuringiensis into a context of biological control of lepidopteran insect pest of agricultural importance.

  2. Reduced levels of membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase are common to lepidopteran strains resistant to Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes

    Full Text Available Development of insect resistance is one of the main concerns with the use of transgenic crops expressing Cry toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Identification of biomarkers would assist in the development of sensitive DNA-based methods to monitor evolution of resistance to Bt toxins in natural populations. We report on the proteomic and genomic detection of reduced levels of midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (mALP as a common feature in strains of Cry-resistant Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera frugiperda when compared to susceptible larvae. Reduced levels of H. virescens mALP protein (HvmALP were detected by two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE analysis in Cry-resistant compared to susceptible larvae, further supported by alkaline phosphatase activity assays and Western blotting. Through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR we demonstrate that the reduction in HvmALP protein levels in resistant larvae are the result of reduced transcript amounts. Similar reductions in ALP activity and mALP transcript levels were also detected for a Cry1Ac-resistant strain of H. armigera and field-derived strains of S. frugiperda resistant to Cry1Fa. Considering the unique resistance and cross-resistance phenotypes of the insect strains used in this work, our data suggest that reduced mALP expression should be targeted for development of effective biomarkers for resistance to Cry toxins in lepidopteran pests.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Márcio 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 plants 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.

  5. 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)

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Ecological immunology mediated by diet in herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Michael S; Mason, Peri A; Smilanich, Angela M

    2014-11-01

    A rapidly advancing area of ecological immunology concerns the effects of diet on animals' immunological responses to parasites and pathogens. Here, we focus on diet-mediated ecological immunology in herbivorous insects, in part because these organisms commonly experience nutritional limitations from their diets of plants. Nutritional immunology highlights nutrient-based trade-offs between immunological and other physiological processes as well as trade-offs among distinct immunological processes. This field reveals that nutrition influences the quality and quantity of immunological defense in herbivorous insects, and conversely that nutritional intake by herbivorous insects can be an adaptive response to the specific types of immune-challenge they face in the context of other physiological processes. Because the diets of herbivores challenge them physiologically with plants' secondary metabolites, another area of study analyzes constraints on immunological defense imposed by secondary metabolites of plants in the diets of herbivorous insects. Alternatively, some herbivores can use secondary metabolites as medicine against parasites or pathogens. Animal-medication theory makes an important contribution to ecological immunology by distinguishing prophylactic and therapeutic mechanisms of anti-parasite defense. Integrating ideas from animal-medication and nutritional immunology, we outline a conceptual framework in which the immunological role of the diet consists of mechanisms of prophylaxis, therapy, compensation, and combinations thereof. Then, we use this framework to organize findings from our own research on diet-mediated ecological immunology of woolly bear caterpillars. We show evidence that the woolly bear caterpillar, Grammia incorrupta (Hy. Edwards) (Lepidoptera, Erebidae, and Arctiinae), can employ both diet-mediated prophylaxis and therapy. First, increased consumption of carbohydrate-biased food prior to immune-challenge increased its melanization

  10. Plant population size and isolation affect herbivory of Silene latifolia by the specialist herbivore Hadena bicruris and parasitism of the herbivore by parasitoids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elzinga, J.A.; Turin, H.; Van Damme, J.M.M.; Biere, A.

    2005-01-01

    Communicated by Christian Koerner Abstract Habitat fragmentation can affect levels of herbivory in plant populations if plants and herbivores are differentially affected by fragmentation. Moreover, if herbivores are top–down controlled by predators or parasitoids, herbivory may also be affected by

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Tritrophic Interactions: Microbe-Mediated Plant Effects on Insect Herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Ikkei; Rosa, Cristina; Tan, Ching-Wen; Felton, Gary W

    2017-08-04

    It is becoming abundantly clear that the microbes associated with plants and insects can profoundly influence plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on recent findings and propose directions for future research that involve microbe-induced changes to plant defenses and nutritive quality as well as the consequences of these changes for the behavior and fitness of insect herbivores. Insect (herbivore and parasitoid)-associated microbes can favor or improve insect fitness by suppressing plant defenses and detoxifying defensive phytochemicals. Phytopathogens can influence or manipulate insect behavior and fitness by altering plant quality and defense. Plant-beneficial microbes can promote plant growth and influence plant nutritional and phytochemical composition that can positively or negatively influence insect fitness. Lastly, we suggest that entomopathogens have the potential to influence plant defenses directly as endophytes or indirectly by altering insect physiology.

  15. Associations among coral reef macroalgae influence feeding by herbivorous fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loffler, Z.; Bellwood, D. R.; Hoey, A. S.

    2015-03-01

    Benthic macroalgae often occur in close association with other macroalgae, yet the implications of such associations on coral reefs are unclear. We selected three pairs of commonly associated macroalgae on inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef and exposed them, either independently or paired, to herbivore assemblages. Pairing the palatable alga Acanthophora with the calcified and chemically defended Galaxaura resulted in a 69 % reduction in the consumption of Acanthophora, but had no effect on the consumption of Galaxaura. The reduced consumption of Acanthophora was related to 53-85 % reductions in the feeding rates of two herbivorous fish species, Kyphosus vaigiensis and Siganus doliatus. Neither Acanthophora nor Sargassum were afforded protection when paired with the brown macroalga Turbinaria. Although limited to one of the three species pairings, such associations between algae may allow the ecological persistence of palatable species in the face of intense herbivory, enhancing macroalgal diversity on coral reefs.

  16. 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...... observed at Zackenberg, these had in some cases important local effects owing to their foraging on up to 60% of the flower stands on individual mountain avens. UV-B radiation induces plants to produce secondary plant metabolites, which protects tissues against UV-B damage. This results in lower production...... of anti-herbivore defenses and improves the nutritional quality of the food plants. Zackenberg data on the relationship between variation in density of collared lemmings in winter and UV-B radiation indirectly supports this mechanism, which was originally proposed on the basis of a positive relationship...

  17. 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.

  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. PMID:26731567

  19. 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.

  20. Distribution of herbivorous fish is frozen by low temperature

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Positive selection of digestive Cys proteases in herbivorous Coleoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorster, Juan; Rasoolizadeh, Asieh; Goulet, Marie-Claire; Cloutier, Conrad; Sainsbury, Frank; Michaud, Dominique

    2015-10-01

    Positive selection is thought to contribute to the functional diversification of insect-inducible protease inhibitors in plants in response to selective pressures exerted by the digestive proteases of their herbivorous enemies. Here we assessed whether a reciprocal evolutionary process takes place on the insect side, and whether ingestion of a positively selected plant inhibitor may translate into a measurable rebalancing of midgut proteases in vivo. Midgut Cys proteases of herbivorous Coleoptera, including the major pest Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), were first compared using a codon-based evolutionary model to look for the occurrence of hypervariable, positively selected amino acid sites among the tested sequences. Hypervariable sites were found, distributed within -or close to- amino acid regions interacting with Cys-type inhibitors of the plant cystatin protein family. A close examination of L. decemlineata sequences indicated a link between their assignment to protease functional families and amino acid identity at positively selected sites. A function-diversifying role for positive selection was further suggested empirically by in vitro protease assays and a shotgun proteomic analysis of L. decemlineata Cys proteases showing a differential rebalancing of protease functional family complements in larvae fed single variants of a model cystatin mutated at positively selected amino acid sites. These data confirm overall the occurrence of hypervariable, positively selected amino acid sites in herbivorous Coleoptera digestive Cys proteases. They also support the idea of an adaptive role for positive selection, useful to generate functionally diverse proteases in insect herbivores ingesting functionally diverse, rapidly evolving dietary cystatins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

    2016-06-29

    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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Macroevolution and the biological diversity of plants and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futuyma, Douglas J; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2009-10-27

    Terrestrial biodiversity is dominated by plants and the herbivores that consume them, and they are one of the major conduits of energy flow up to higher trophic levels. Here, we address the processes that have generated the spectacular diversity of flowering plants (>300,000 species) and insect herbivores (likely >1 million species). Long-standing macroevolutionary hypotheses have postulated that reciprocal evolution of adaptations and subsequent bursts of speciation have given rise to much of this biodiversity. We critically evaluate various predictions based on this coevolutionary theory. Phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states has revealed evidence for escalation in the potency or variety of plant lineages' chemical defenses; however, escalation of defense has been moderated by tradeoffs and alternative strategies (e.g., tolerance or defense by biotic agents). There is still surprisingly scant evidence that novel defense traits reduce herbivory and that such evolutionary novelty spurs diversification. Consistent with the coevolutionary hypothesis, there is some evidence that diversification of herbivores has lagged behind, but has nevertheless been temporally correlated with that of their host-plant clades, indicating colonization and radiation of insects on diversifying plants. However, there is still limited support for the role of host-plant shifts in insect diversification. Finally, a frontier area of research, and a general conclusion of our review, is that community ecology and the long-term evolutionary history of plant and insect diversification are inexorably intertwined.

  7. Pathogens and insect herbivores drive rainforest plant diversity and composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagchi, Robert; Gallery, Rachel E; Gripenberg, Sofia; Gurr, Sarah J; Narayan, Lakshmi; Addis, Claire E; Freckleton, Robert P; Lewis, Owen T

    2014-02-06

    Tropical forests are important reservoirs of biodiversity, but the processes that maintain this diversity remain poorly understood. The Janzen-Connell hypothesis suggests that specialized natural enemies such as insect herbivores and fungal pathogens maintain high diversity by elevating mortality when plant species occur at high density (negative density dependence; NDD). NDD has been detected widely in tropical forests, but the prediction that NDD caused by insects and pathogens has a community-wide role in maintaining tropical plant diversity remains untested. We show experimentally that changes in plant diversity and species composition are caused by fungal pathogens and insect herbivores. Effective plant species richness increased across the seed-to-seedling transition, corresponding to large changes in species composition. Treating seeds and young seedlings with fungicides significantly reduced the diversity of the seedling assemblage, consistent with the Janzen-Connell hypothesis. Although suppressing insect herbivores using insecticides did not alter species diversity, it greatly increased seedling recruitment and caused a marked shift in seedling species composition. Overall, seedling recruitment was significantly reduced at high conspecific seed densities and this NDD was greatest for the species that were most abundant as seeds. Suppressing fungi reduced the negative effects of density on recruitment, confirming that the diversity-enhancing effect of fungi is mediated by NDD. Our study provides an overall test of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and demonstrates the crucial role that insects and pathogens have both in structuring tropical plant communities and in maintaining their remarkable diversity.

  8. Diversity and stability of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibaut, Loic M; Connolly, Sean R; Sweatman, Hugh P A

    2012-04-01

    Biodiversity may provide insurance against ecosystem collapse by stabilizing assemblages that perform particular ecological functions (the "portfolio effect"). However, the extent to which this occurs in nature and the importance of different mechanisms that generate portfolio effects remain controversial. On coral reefs, herbivory helps maintain coral dominated states, so volatility in levels of herbivory has important implications for reef ecosystems. Here, we used an extensive time series of abundances on 35 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia to quantify the strength of the portfolio effect for herbivorous fishes. Then, we disentangled the contributions of two mechanisms that underlie it (compensatory interactions and differential responses to environmental fluctuations ["response diversity"]) by fitting a community-dynamic model that explicitly includes terms for both mechanisms. We found that portfolio effects operate strongly in herbivorous fishes, as shown by nearly independent fluctuations in abundances over time. Moreover, we found strong evidence for high response diversity, with nearly independent responses to environmental fluctuations. In contrast, we found little evidence that the portfolio effect in this system was enhanced by compensatory ecological interactions. Our results show that portfolio effects are driven principally by response diversity for herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. We conclude that portfolio effects can be very strong in nature and that, for coral reefs in particular, response diversity may help maintain herbivory above the threshold levels that trigger regime shifts.

  9. Chemically rich seaweeds poison corals when not controlled by herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasher, Douglas B; Hay, Mark E

    2010-05-25

    Coral reefs are in dramatic global decline, with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. It is unclear, however, whether seaweeds harm corals directly or colonize opportunistically following their decline and then suppress coral recruitment. In the Caribbean and tropical Pacific, we show that, when protected from herbivores, approximately 40 to 70% of common seaweeds cause bleaching and death of coral tissue when in direct contact. For seaweeds that harmed coral tissues, their lipid-soluble extracts also produced rapid bleaching. Coral bleaching and mortality was limited to areas of direct contact with seaweeds or their extracts. These patterns suggest that allelopathic seaweed-coral interactions can be important on reefs lacking herbivore control of seaweeds, and that these interactions involve lipid-soluble metabolites transferred via direct contact. Seaweeds were rapidly consumed when placed on a Pacific reef protected from fishing but were left intact or consumed at slower rates on an adjacent fished reef, indicating that herbivory will suppress seaweeds and lower frequency of allelopathic damage to corals if reefs retain intact food webs. With continued removal of herbivores from coral reefs, seaweeds are becoming more common. This occurrence will lead to increasing frequency of seaweed-coral contacts, increasing allelopathic suppression of remaining corals, and continuing decline of reef corals.

  10. A gene-based linkage map for Bicyclus anynana butterflies allows for a comprehensive analysis of synteny with the lepidopteran reference genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia Beldade

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Lepidopterans (butterflies and moths are a rich and diverse order of insects, which, despite their economic impact and unusual biological properties, are relatively underrepresented in terms of genomic resources. The genome of the silkworm Bombyx mori has been fully sequenced, but comparative lepidopteran genomics has been hampered by the scarcity of information for other species. This is especially striking for butterflies, even though they have diverse and derived phenotypes (such as color vision and wing color patterns and are considered prime models for the evolutionary and developmental analysis of ecologically relevant, complex traits. We focus on Bicyclus anynana butterflies, a laboratory system for studying the diversification of novelties and serially repeated traits. With a panel of 12 small families and a biphasic mapping approach, we first assigned 508 expressed genes to segregation groups and then ordered 297 of them within individual linkage groups. We also coarsely mapped seven color pattern loci. This is the richest gene-based map available for any butterfly species and allowed for a broad-coverage analysis of synteny with the lepidopteran reference genome. Based on 462 pairs of mapped orthologous markers in Bi. anynana and Bo. mori, we observed strong conservation of gene assignment to chromosomes, but also evidence for numerous large- and small-scale chromosomal rearrangements. With gene collections growing for a variety of target organisms, the ability to place those genes in their proper genomic context is paramount. Methods to map expressed genes and to compare maps with relevant model systems are crucial to extend genomic-level analysis outside classical model species. Maps with gene-based markers are useful for comparative genomics and to resolve mapped genomic regions to a tractable number of candidate genes, especially if there is synteny with related model species. This is discussed in relation to the identification of

  11. Herbivore diet breadth mediates the cascading effects of carnivores in food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Singer, Michael S.; Lichter-Marck, Isaac H.; Farkas, Timothy E.; Aaron, Eric; Whitney, Kenneth D.; Mooney, Kailen A.

    2014-01-01

    Predicting the impact of carnivores on plants has challenged community and food web ecologists for decades. At the same time, the role of predators in the evolution of herbivore dietary specialization has been an unresolved issue in evolutionary ecology. Here, we integrate these perspectives by testing the role of herbivore diet breadth as a predictor of top-down effects of avian predators on herbivores and plants in a forest food web. Using experimental bird exclosures to study a complex co...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Can the Evolution of Plant Defense Lead to Plant-Herbivore Mutualism?

    OpenAIRE

    de Mazancourt, C.; Loreau, M.; Dieckmann, U.

    2001-01-01

    Moderate rates of herbivory can enhance primary production. This hypothesis has led to a controversy as to whether such positive effects can result in mutualistic interactions between plants and herbivores. We present a model for the ecology and evolution of plant-herbivore systems to address this question. In this model, herbivores have a positive indirect effect on plants through recycling of a limiting nutrient. Plants can evolve but are constrained by a trade-off between growth and antihe...

  15. Evolution and spatial structure interact to influence plant–herbivore population and community dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Hartvigsen, G.; Levin, S.

    1997-01-01

    An individual-based model of plant–herbivore interactions was developed to test the potentially interactive effects of explicit space and coevolution on population and community dynamics. Individual plants and herbivores resided in cells on a lattice and carried linked interaction genes. Interaction strength between individual plants and herbivores depended on concordance between these genes (gene-for-gene coevolution). Mating and dispersal among individuals were controlled spatially within v...

  16. Salicylic Acid, a Plant Defense Hormone, Is Specifically Secreted by a Molluscan Herbivore

    OpenAIRE

    Kästner, Julia; von Knorre, Dietrich; Himanshu, Himanshu; Erb, Matthias; Baldwin, Ian T.; Meldau, Stefan; Williams, Jeffrey Graham

    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 muc...

  17. Phylogenetics and genetic diversity of the Cotesia flavipes complex of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), biological control agents of lepidopteran stemborers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muirhead, Kate A; Murphy, Nicholas P; Sallam, Nader; Donnellan, Stephen C; Austin, Andrew D

    2012-06-01

    The Cotesia flavipes complex of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) are economically important for the biological control of lepidopteran stemboring pests associated with gramineous crops. Some members of the complex successfully parasitize numerous stemborer pest species, however certain geographic populations have demonstrated variation in the range of hosts that they parasitize. In addition, the morphology of the complex is highly conserved and considerable confusion surrounds the identity of species and host-associated biotypes. We generated nucleotide sequence data for two mtDNA genes (COI, 16S) and three anonymous nuclear loci (CfBN, CfCN, CfEN) for the C. flavipes complex. To analyze genetic variation and relationships among populations we used (1) concatenated mtDNA and nDNA data, (2) a nDNA multilocus network approach, and (3) two species tree inference methods, i.e. Bayesian estimation of species trees (BEST) and Bayesian inference of species trees from multilocus data with (*)BEAST. All phylogenetic analyses provide strong support for monophyly of the complex and the presence of at least four species, C. chilonis (from China and Japan), C. sesamiae (from Africa), C. flavipes (originating from the Indo-Asia region but introduced into Africa and the New World), and C. nonagriae (from Australia and Papua New Guinea). Haplotype diversity of geographic populations relates to historical biogeographic barriers and biological control introductions, and reflects previous reports of ecological variation in these species. Strong discordance was found between the mitochondrial and nuclear markers in the Papua New Guinea haplotypes, which may be an outcome of hybridization and introgression of C. flavipes and C. nonagriae. The position of Cotesia flavipes from Japan was not well supported in any analysis and was the sister taxon to C. nonagriae (mtDNA, (*)BEAST), C. flavipes (nDNA) or C. flavipes+C. nonagriae (BEST) and, may represent a cryptic species. The

  18. Construction and sequence sampling of deep-coverage, large-insert BAC libraries for three model lepidopteran species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Shaying

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Manduca sexta, Heliothis virescens, and Heliconius erato represent three widely-used insect model species for genomic and fundamental studies in Lepidoptera. Large-insert BAC libraries of these insects are critical resources for many molecular studies, including physical mapping and genome sequencing, but not available to date. Results We report the construction and characterization of six large-insert BAC libraries for the three species and sampling sequence analysis of the genomes. The six BAC libraries were constructed with two restriction enzymes, two libraries for each species, and each has an average clone insert size ranging from 152–175 kb. We estimated that the genome coverage of each library ranged from 6–9 ×, with the two combined libraries of each species being equivalent to 13.0–16.3 × haploid genomes. The genome coverage, quality and utility of the libraries were further confirmed by library screening using 6~8 putative single-copy probes. To provide a first glimpse into these genomes, we sequenced and analyzed the BAC ends of ~200 clones randomly selected from the libraries of each species. The data revealed that the genomes are AT-rich, contain relatively small fractions of repeat elements with a majority belonging to the category of low complexity repeats, and are more abundant in retro-elements than DNA transposons. Among the species, the H. erato genome is somewhat more abundant in repeat elements and simple repeats than those of M. sexta and H. virescens. The BLAST analysis of the BAC end sequences suggested that the evolution of the three genomes is widely varied, with the genome of H. virescens being the most conserved as a typical lepidopteran, whereas both genomes of H. erato and M. sexta appear to have evolved significantly, resulting in a higher level of species- or evolutionary lineage-specific sequences. Conclusion The high-quality and large-insert BAC libraries of the insects, together

  19. Functional interpretation of a non-gut hemocoelic tissue aminopeptidase N (APN in a lepidopteran insect pest Achaea janata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thuirei Jacob Ningshen

    Full Text Available Insect midgut membrane-anchored aminopeptidases N (APNs are Zn(++ dependent metalloproteases. Their primary role in dietary protein digestion and also as receptors in Cry toxin-induced pathogenesis is well documented. APN expression in few non-gut hemocoelic tissues of lepidopteran insects has also been reported but their functions are widely unknown. In the present study, we observed specific in vitro interaction of Cry1Aa toxin with a 113 kDa AjAPN1 membrane protein of larval fat body, Malpighian tubule and salivary gland of Achaea janata. Analyses of 3D molecular structure of AjAPN1, the predominantly expressed APN isoform in these non-gut hemocoelic tissues of A. janata showed high structural similarity to the Cry1Aa toxin binding midgut APN of Bombyx mori, especially in the toxin binding region. Structural similarity was further substantiated by in vitro binding of Cry1Aa toxin. RNA interference (RNAi resulted in significant down-regulation of AjAPN1 transcript and protein expression in fat body and Malpighian tubule but not in salivary gland. Consequently, reduced AjAPN1 expression resulted in larval mortality, larval growth arrest, development of lethal larval-pupal intermediates, development of smaller pupae and emergence of viable defective adults. In vitro Cry1Aa toxin binding analysis of non-gut hemocoelic tissues of AjAPN1 knockdown larvae showed reduced interaction of Cry1Aa toxin with the 113 kDa AjAPN1 protein, correlating well with the significant silencing of AjAPN1 expression. Thus, our observations suggest AjAPN1 expression in non-gut hemocoelic tissues to play important physiological role(s during post-embryonic development of A. janata. Though specific interaction of Cry1Aa toxin with AjAPN1 of non-gut hemocoelic tissues of A. janata was demonstrated, evidences to prove its functional role as a Cry1Aa toxin receptor will require more in-depth investigation.

  20. Involvement of the processing step in the susceptibility/tolerance of two lepidopteran larvae to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dammak, Mariam; Khedher, Saoussen Ben; Boukedi, Hanen; Chaib, Ikbel; Laarif, Asma; Tounsi, Slim

    2016-02-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A toxins are known for their effectiveness against lepidopteran insects. In this study, the entomopathogenic activity of Cry1Aa was investigated against two lepidopteran larvae causing serious threat to various crops, Spodoptera littoralis and Tuta absoluta. Contrarily to S. littoralis, which showed low susceptibility to Cry1Aa (40% mortality with 1μg/cm(2)), T. absoluta was very sensitive to this delta-endotoxin (LC50 of 95.8ng/cm(2)). The different steps in the mode of action of this toxin on the two larvae were studied with the aim to understand the origin of their difference of susceptibility. Activation of the 130kDa Cry1Aa protein by T. absoluta larvae juice generated a 65kDa active toxin, whereas S. littoralis gut juice led to a complete degradation of the protoxin. The study of the interaction of the brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) with purified biotinylated Cry1Aa toxin revealed six and seven toxin binding proteins in T. absoluta and S. littoralis BBMV, respectively. Midgut histopathology of Cry1Aa fed larvae demonstrated approximately similar damage caused by the toxin in the two larvae midguts. These results suggest that the activation step was strongly involved in the difference of susceptibility of the two larvae to Cry1Aa. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. The stoichiometry of nutrient release by terrestrial herbivores and its ecosystem consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Judith; Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Veldhuis, Michiel P.; Veen, G. F.; Olde Venterink, Harry; Vanni, Michael J.

    2017-04-01

    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.

  3. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pashalidou, F.G.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Survey of conspecific herbivore-induced volatiles from apple as possible attractants for Pandemis pyrusana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies were conducted to identify volatiles released by apple, Malus domestica Borkhausen, foliage subjected to herbivore feeding. The volatiles released upon herbivore attack could be attractive to adult leafroller, Pandemis pyrusana Kearfott when combined with acetic acid. First, volatiles relea...

  6. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Integration of danger peptide signals with herbivore-associated molecular pattern signaling amplifies anti-herbivore defense responses in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinya, Tomonori; Yasuda, Shigetaka; Hyodo, Kiwamu; Tani, Rena; Hojo, Yuko; Fujiwara, Yuka; Hiruma, Kei; Ishizaki, Takuma; Fujita, Yasunari; Saijo, Yusuke; Galis, Ivan

    2018-03-07

    Plant defense against herbivores is modulated by herbivore-associated molecular patterns (HAMPs) from oral secretions (OS) and/or saliva of insects. Furthermore, feeding wounds initiate plant self-damage responses modulated by danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) such as immune defense-promoting plant elicitor peptides (Peps). While temporal and spatial co-existence of both patterns during herbivory implies a possibility of their close interaction, the molecular mechanisms remain undetermined. Here we report that exogenous application of rice (Oryza sativa) peptides (OsPeps) can elicit multiple defense responses in rice cell cultures. Specific activation of OsPROPEP3 gene transcripts in rice leaves by wounding and OS treatments further suggests a possible involvement of the OsPep3 peptide in rice-herbivore interactions. Correspondingly, we found that simultaneous application of OsPep3 and Mythimna loreyi OS significantly amplifies an array of defense responses in rice cells, including mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, and generation of defense-related hormones and metabolites. The induction of OsPROPEP3/4 by OsPep3 points to a positive auto-feedback loop in OsPep signaling which may contribute to additional enhancement of defense signal(s). Finally, the overexpression of the OsPep receptor OsPEPR1 increases the sensitivity of rice plants not only to the cognate OsPeps but also to OS signals. Our findings collectively suggest that HAMP-DAMP signal integration provides a critical step in the amplification of defense signaling in plants. © 2018 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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 Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fatouros, N.E.; Lucas-Barbosa, D.; Weldegergis, B.T.; Pashalidou, F.G.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.; Harvey, J.A.; Gols, R.; Huigens, M.E.

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their

  15. Inhibition of lipoxygenase affects induction of both direct and indirect plant defences against herbivorous insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinsma, M.; Broekhoven, S.; Poelman, E.H.; Posthumus, M.A.; Müller, M.J.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.

    2010-01-01

    Herbivore-induced plant defences influence the behaviour of insects associated with the plant. For biting–chewing herbivores the octadecanoid signal-transduction pathway has been suggested to play a key role in induced plant defence. To test this hypothesis in our plant—herbivore—parasitoid

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. An ecological cost of plant defence : attractiveness of bitter cucumber plants to natural enemies of herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agrawal, A.A.; Janssen, A.; Bruin, J.; Posthumus, M.A.; Sabelis, M.W.

    2002-01-01

    Plants produce defences that act directly on herbivores and indirectly via the attraction of natural enemies of herbivores. We examined the pleiotropic effects of direct chemical defence production on indirect defence employing near-isogenic varieties of cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus) that differ

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Among rodents and rhinos: interplay between small mammals and large herbivores in a South African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagenah, N.

    2006-01-01

    Keywords:African savanna, biodiversity, Dichrostachys cinerea , different-sized herbivores, fire, herbivore interactions, murid rodents, spatial heterogeneity

    Mankind has

  4. 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

  5. Differences in effects of pyrrolizidine alkaloids on five generalist insect herbivore species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Macel, M.; Bruinsma, M.; Dijkstra, S.M.; Ooijendijk, T.; Niemeyer, T.; Klinkhamer, P.G.L.

    2005-01-01

    The evolution of the diversity in plant secondary compounds is often thought to be driven by insect herbivores, although there is little empirical evidence for this assumption. To investigate whether generalist insect herbivores could play a role in the evolution of the diversity of related

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Habitat selection by large herbivores in relation to fire at the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fire significantly influenced bontebok habitat use equally during the old and new burning regimes. Herbivores did not distinguish between the two predominant vegetation types at Bontebok National Park. However, previously disturbed areas with Cynodon dactylon lawns were favoured by most herbivores despite not being ...

  9. Herbivore trampling as an alternative pathway for explaining differences in nitrogen mineralization in moist grasslands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schrama, M.; Heijning, P.; Bakker, J.P.; van Wijnen, H.J.; Berg, M.P.; Olff, H.

    2013-01-01

    Studies addressing the role of large herbivores on nitrogen cycling in grasslands have suggested that the direction of effects depends on soil fertility. Via selection for high quality plant species and input of dung and urine, large herbivores have been shown to speed up nitrogen cycling in fertile

  10. Herbivore trampling as an alternative pathway for explaining differences in nitrogen mineralization in moist grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schrama, Maarten; Heijning, Pieter; Bakker, Jan P.; van Wijnen, Harm J.; Berg, Matty; Olff, Han

    Studies addressing the role of large herbivores on nitrogen cycling in grasslands have suggested that the direction of effects depends on soil fertility. Via selection for high quality plant species and input of dung and urine, large herbivores have been shown to speed up nitrogen cycling in fertile

  11. Aboveground vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore impact on net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands : Ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Risch, Anita C.; Schütz, 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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Risch, A.C.; Schütz, Martin; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L.; Putten, Van Der W.H.; Duyts, Henk; Raschein, Ursina; Gwiazdowicz, D.J.; Busse, M.D.; Page-Dumroese, D.S.; Zimmermann, Stephan

    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

  13. Plant defense against herbivorous pests: exploiting resistance and tolerance traits for sustainable crop protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn Mitchell

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity in managed and natural vegetation. In response to attack, plants have evolved a range of defenses to reduce the threat of injury and loss of productivity. Crop losses from damage caused by arthropod pests can exceed 15% annually. Crop domestication and selection for improved yield and quality can alter the defensive capability of the crop, increasing reliance on artificial crop protection. Sustainable agriculture, however, depends on reduced chemical inputs. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify plant defensive traits for crop improvement. Plant defense can be divided into resistance and tolerance strategies. Plant traits that confer herbivore resistance typically prevent or reduce herbivore damage through expression of traits that deter pests from settling, attaching to surfaces, feeding and reproducing, or that reduce palatability. Plant tolerance of herbivory involves expression of traits that limit the negative impact of herbivore damage on productivity and yield. Identifying the defensive traits expressed by plants to deter herbivores or limit herbivore damage, and understanding the underlying defense mechanisms, is crucial for crop scientists to exploit plant defensive traits in crop breeding. In this review, we assess the traits and mechanisms underpinning herbivore resistance and tolerance, and conclude that physical defense traits, plant vigor and herbivore-induced plant volatiles show considerable utility in pest control, along with mixed species crops. We highlight emerging approaches for accelerating the identification of plant defensive traits and facilitating their deployment to improve the future sustainability of crop protection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26274491

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Herbivore impact on moss depth, soil temperature and arctic plant growth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wal, R; Loonen, MJJE

    We provide evidence for a mechanism by which herbivores may influence plant abundance in arctic ecosystems, These systems are commonly dominated by mosses, the thickness of which influences the amount of heat reaching the soil surface. Herbivores can reduce the thickness of the moss layer by means

  18. 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

  19. Plant chemical defense against herbivores and pathogens: generalized defense or trade-offs?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biere, A.; Marak, H.B.; Van Damme, J.M.M.

    2004-01-01

    Plants are often attacked by multiple enemies, including pathogens and herbivores. While many plant secondary metabolites show specific effects toward either pathogens or herbivores, some can affect the performance of both these groups of natural enemies and are considered to be generalized defense

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warneke, Alexandria M; Long, Jeremy D

    2015-01-01

    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.

  1. Effects of large herbivores on murid rodents in a South African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagenah, Nicole; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Olff, Han

    Our study presents experimentally based results on how large herbivore species affect savanna vegetation and thus murid rodents in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We permanently excluded groups of large herbivore guilds of various body sizes (ranging from white rhino to

  2. Effects of mammalian herbivore declines on plant communities: observations and experiments in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Hillary S; McCauley, Douglas J; Helgen, Kristofer M; Goheen, Jacob R; Otárola-Castillo, Erik; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M; Young, Truman P; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2013-07-01

    1. Herbivores influence the structure and composition of terrestrial plant communities. However, responses of plant communities to herbivory are variable and depend on environmental conditions, herbivore identity and herbivore abundance. As anthropogenic impacts continue to drive large declines in wild herbivores, understanding the context dependence of herbivore impacts on plant communities becomes increasingly important. 2. Exclosure experiments are frequently used to assess how ecosystems reorganize in the face of large wild herbivore defaunation. Yet in many landscapes, declines in large wildlife are often accompanied by other anthropogenic activities, especially land conversion to livestock production. In such cases, exclosure experiments may not reflect typical outcomes of human-driven extirpations of wild herbivores. 3. Here, we examine how plant community responses to changes in the identity and abundance of large herbivores interact with abiotic factors (rainfall and soil properties). We also explore how effects of wild herbivores on plant communities differ between large-scale herbivore exclosures and landscape sites where anthropogenic activity has caused wildlife declines, often accompanied by livestock increases. 4. Abiotic context modulated the responses of plant communities to herbivore declines with stronger effect sizes in lower-productivity environments. Also, shifts in plant community structure, composition and species richness following wildlife declines differed considerably between exclosure experiments and landscape sites in which wild herbivores had declined and were often replaced by livestock. Plant communities in low wildlife landscape sites were distinct in both composition and physical structure from both exclosure and control sites in experiments. The power of environmental (soil and rainfall) gradients in influencing plant response to herbivores was also greatly dampened or absent in the landscape sites. One likely explanation for

  3. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savanna plant community composition explained by total herbivory more than herbivore type.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    The widespread replacement of wild ungulate herbivores by domestic livestock in African savannas is composed of two interrelated phenomena: (1) loss or reduction in numbers of individual wildlife species or guilds and (2) addition of livestock to the system. Each can have important implications for plant community dynamics. Yet very few studies have experimentally addressed the individual, combined, and potentially interactive effects of wild vs. domestic herbivore species on herbaceous plant communities within a single system. Additionally, there is little information about whether, and in which contexts, livestock might functionally replace native herbivore wildlife or, alternatively, have fundamentally different effects on plant species composition. The Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment, which has been running since 1995, is composed of six treatment combinations of mega-herbivores, meso-herbivore ungulate wildlife, and cattle. We sampled herbaceous vegetation 25 times between 1999 and 2013. We used partial redundancy analysis and linear mixed models to assess effects of herbivore treatments on overall plant community composition and key plant species. Plant communities in the six different herbivore treatments shifted directionally over time and diverged from each other substantially by 2013. Plant community composition was strongly related (R 2  = 0.92) to residual plant biomass, a measure of herbivore utilization. Addition of any single herbivore type (cattle, wildlife, or mega-herbivores) caused a shift in plant community composition that was proportional to its removal of plant biomass. These results suggest that overall herbivory pressure, rather than herbivore type or complex interactions among different herbivore types, was the main driver of changes in plant community composition. Individual plant species, however, did respond most strongly to either wild ungulates or cattle. Although these results suggest considerable functional similarity between

  4. Cycads: their evolution, toxins, herbivores and insect pollinators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Dietrich; Wink, Michael; Sporer, Frank; Lounibos, Philip

    2002-06-01

    Palaeobiological evidence indicates that gymnosperms were wind-pollinated and that insect pollination began in angiosperms in the Lower Cretaceous (ca. 135 mya) leading to close associations between higher plants and their pollinators. Cycads, which were widespread and pervasive throughout the Mesozoic (250-65 mya) are among the most primitive living seed-plants found today. Because pollination by beetles and by thrips has now been detected in several modern cycads, it is attractive to speculate that some insects and cycads had already developed similar mutualistic interactions in the Triassic (250-205 mya), long before the advent of angiosperms. We also draw attention to another key factor in this insect-plant relationship, namely secondary, defensive plant substances which must always have controlled interspecific interactions. Cycads mainly produce toxic azoglucosides and neurotoxic non-protein amino acids (e.g. BMAA), which apparently are crucial elements in the development and maintenance of mutualism (pollination) and parasitism (herbivory) by cycad-linked herbivores. We now add new results on the uptake and storage of the main toxin, cycasin, of the Mexican cycad Zamia furfuracea by its pollinator, the weevil Rhopalotria mollis, and by a specialist herbivore of Zamia integrifolia, the aposematic Atala butterfly Eumaeus atala.

  5. Adaptive divergence in resistance to herbivores in Datura stramonium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Castillo

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Adaptive divergence in resistance to herbivores in Datura stramonium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Guillermo; Valverde, Pedro L; Cruz, Laura L; Hernández-Cumplido, Johnattan; Andraca-Gómez, Guadalupe; Fornoni, Juan; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Olmedo-Vicente, Erika; Flores-Ortiz, César M; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novotny, Vojtech; Miller, Scott E; Hulcr, Jiri; Drew, Richard A I; Basset, Yves; Janda, Milan; Setliff, Gregory P; Darrow, Karolyn; Stewart, Alan J A; Auga, John; Isua, Brus; Molem, Kenneth; Manumbor, Markus; Tamtiai, Elvis; Mogia, Martin; Weiblen, George D

    2007-08-09

    Recent advances in understanding insect communities in tropical forests have contributed little to our knowledge of large-scale patterns of insect diversity, because incomplete taxonomic knowledge of many tropical species hinders the mapping of their distribution records. This impedes an understanding of global biodiversity patterns and explains why tropical insects are under-represented in conservation biology. Our study of approximately 500 species from three herbivorous guilds feeding on foliage (caterpillars, Lepidoptera), wood (ambrosia beetles, Coleoptera) and fruit (fruitflies, Diptera) found a low rate of change in species composition (beta diversity) across 75,000 square kilometres of contiguous lowland rainforest in Papua New Guinea, as most species were widely distributed. For caterpillars feeding on large plant genera, most species fed on multiple host species, so that even locally restricted plant species did not support endemic herbivores. Large plant genera represented a continuously distributed resource easily colonized by moths and butterflies over hundreds of kilometres. Low beta diversity was also documented in groups with differing host specificity (fruitflies and ambrosia beetles), suggesting that dispersal limitation does not have a substantial role in shaping the distribution of insect species in New Guinea lowland rainforests. Similar patterns of low beta diversity can be expected in other tropical lowland rainforests, as they are typically situated in the extensive low basins of major tropical rivers similar to the Sepik-Ramu region of New Guinea studied here.

  8. Niche segregation between wild and domestic herbivores in Chilean Patagonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esperanza C Iranzo

    Full Text Available Competition arises when two co-occuring species share a limiting resource. Potential for competition is higher when species have coexisted for a short time, as it is the case for herbivores and livestock introduced in natural systems. Sheep, introduced in the late 19(th century in Patagonia, bear a great resemblance in size and diet to the guanaco, the main native herbivore in Patagonia. In such circumstances, it could be expected that the two species compete and one of them could be displaced. We investigated spatial overlap and habitat selection by coexisting sheep and guanaco in winter and in summer. Additionally, we studied habitat selection of the guanaco in a control situation free from sheep, both in summer and winter. We also determined overlap between species in areas with different intensity of use (named preferred and marginal areas in order to further detect the potential level of competition in the case of overlapping. Guanaco and sheep showed significantly different habitat preferences through all seasons, in spite of their spatial overlap at landscape scale. Additionally, the habitat used by guanaco was similar regardless of the presence or absence of livestock, which further indicates that sheep is not displacing guanaco where they coexist. These results suggest that habitat segregation between guanaco and sheep is due to a differential habitat selection and not to a competitive displacement process. Therefore, the potential for competition is considered low, contrary to what has been previously observed, although this could be a density-dependent result.

  9. Coexisting generalist herbivores occupy unique nutritional feeding niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behmer, Spencer T.; Joern, Anthony

    2008-01-01

    A mainstay of ecological theory and practice is that coexisting species use different resources, leading to the local development of biodiversity. However, a problem arises for understanding coexistence of multiple species if they share critical resources too generally. Here, we employ an experimental framework grounded in nutritional physiology to show that closely related, cooccurring and generalist-feeding herbivores (seven grasshopper species in the genus Melanoplus; Orthoptera: Acrididae) eat protein and carbohydrate in different absolute amounts and ratios even if they eat the same plant taxa. The existence of species-specific nutritional niches provides a cryptic mechanism that helps explain how generalist herbivores with broadly overlapping diets might coexist. We also show that performance by grasshoppers allowed to mix their diets and thus regulate their protein–carbohydrate intake matched optimal performance peaks generated from no-choice treatments. These results indicate the active nature of diet selection to achieve balanced diets and provide buffering capacity in the face of variable food quality. Our empirical findings and experimental approach can be extended to generate and test predictions concerning the intensity of biotic interactions between species, the relative abundance of species, yearly fluctuations in population size, and the nature of interactions with natural enemies in tritrophic niche space. PMID:18238894

  10. Herbivores alter the fitness benefits of a plant-rhizobium mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Katy D.; Lau, Jennifer A.

    2011-03-01

    Mutualisms are best understood from a community perspective, since third-party species have the potential to shift the costs and benefits in interspecific interactions. We manipulated plant genotypes, the presence of rhizobium mutualists, and the presence of a generalist herbivore and assessed the performance of all players in order to test whether antagonists might alter the fitness benefits of plant-rhizobium mutualism, and vice versa how mutualists might alter the fitness consequences of plant-herbivore antagonism. We found that plants in our experiment formed more associations with rhizobia (root nodules) in the presence of herbivores, thereby increasing the fitness benefits of mutualism for rhizobia. In contrast, the effects of rhizobia on herbivores were weak. Our data support a community-dependent view of these ecological interactions, and suggest that consideration of the aboveground herbivore community can inform ecological and evolutionary studies of legume-rhizobium interactions.

  11. Herbivore-induced indirect defense of Arabidopsis : ecogenomic approach to the role of infochemicals in parasitoid attraction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snoeren, T.A.L.

    2009-01-01

    Plants defend themselves against herbivorous insects with the induced production of volatiles that attract the enemies of the herbivores. In this thesis I used an ecogenomic approach to study the role of signal-transduction pathways that regulate the induction of herbivore-induced plant volatiles

  12. 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

  13. Convergence of trophic interaction strengths in grassland food webs through metabolic scaling of herbivore biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Price, Jessica R

    2011-11-01

    1. Food web theory hypothesizes that trophic interaction strengths of consumers should vary with consumer metabolic body mass (mass(0·75) ) rather than simply with consumer body mass (mass(1·0) ) owing to constraints on consumption imposed by metabolic demand for and metabolic capacity to process nutrients and energy. Accordingly, species with similar metabolic body masses should have similar trophic interaction strengths. 2. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by assembling food webs comprised of species of arthropod predators, small sap-feeding and large leaf-chewing insect herbivores and herbaceous plants in a New England, USA meadow grassland. The experiment comprised of a density-matching treatment where herbivore species were stocked into field mesocosms at equal densities to quantify baseline species identity and metabolic body mass effects. The experiment also comprised of a metabolic biomass-matching treatment where smaller sap-feeding herbivore (SH) species were stocked into mesocosms such that the product of their density and metabolic body mass (metabolic biomass) was equal to the large herbivore (LH) species. We compared the magnitude of the direct effects of herbivore species on plants in the different treatments. We also compared the magnitude of indirect effects between predators and plants mediated by herbivores in the different treatments. 3. Consistent with the hypothesis, we found that increasing metabolic biomass translated into a 9-14-fold increase in magnitude of herbivore direct effects and up to a fivefold increase in indirect effects on plants. Moreover, metabolic biomass matching caused interaction strengths among herbivore species to converge. This result came about through increases in the herbivore mean effects as well as decreases in variation in effects among treatment replicates as herbivore metabolic biomass increased. 4. We found, however, that herbivore feeding mode rather than herbivore metabolic biomass explained

  14. Large herbivores facilitate savanna tree establishment via diverse and indirect pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Keesing, Felicia; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2010-03-01

    1. Savanna ecosystems are defined largely by tree-grass mixtures, and tree establishment is a key driver of community structure and ecosystem function in these systems. The factors controlling savanna tree establishment are understudied, but likely involve some combination of seed, microsite and predator/fire limitation. In African savannas, suppression and killing of adult trees by large mammals like elephants (Loxodonta africana Blumenbach, 1797) and giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis Linnaeus, 1758) can maintain tree-grass co-dominance, although the impacts of even these conspicuous herbivores on tree establishment also are poorly understood. 2. We combined seed addition and predator exclusion experiments with a large-scale, long-term field manipulation of large herbivores to investigate the relative importance of seeds, microsites and predators in limiting establishment of a monodominant tree (Acacia drepanolobium Sjostedt) in a Kenyan savanna. 3. Both wild and domestic (i.e. cattle; Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758) large herbivores facilitated tree establishment by suppressing abundances of rodents, the most important seed and seedling predators. However, this indirect, positive effect of wild herbivores was negated by wild herbivores' suppression of seed production. Cattle did not have this direct, negative impact; rather, they further assisted tree establishment by reducing cover of understorey grasses. Thus, the impacts of both groups of large herbivores on tree establishment were largely routed through other taxa, with a negligible net effect of wild herbivores and a positive net effect of cattle on tree establishment. 4. The distinction between the (positive) net effect of cattle and (neutral) net effect of wild herbivores is due to the inclusion of browsers and mixed feeders within the assemblage of wild herbivores. Browsing by wild herbivores limited seed production, which reduced tree recruitment; grazing by cattle was more pronounced than that by wild

  15. Aspects of a two-pasture — herbivore model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Åge Riseth

    2004-04-01

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

  16. Bioaccumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and several alternative halogenated flame retardants in a small herbivorous food chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    She, Ya-Zhe; Wu, Jiang-Ping; Zhang, Ying; Peng, Ying; Mo, Ling; Luo, Xiao-Jun; Mai, Bi-Xian

    2013-03-01

    Little is known about the bioaccumulation behavior of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) in plants and in herbivores. In the present study, PBDEs and several alternative HFRs (AHFRs) were examined in a small herbivorous food chain (paddy soils-rice plant-apple snails) from an electronic waste recycling site in South China. Mean concentrations of total PBDEs were 40.5, 1.81, and 5.54 ng/g dry weight in the soils, rice plant, and apple snails, respectively. Levels of total AHFRs in the samples were comparable to or even higher than those of PBDEs. The calculated plant to soil concentration ratios for most AHFRs (0.05-3.40) were higher than those for PBDEs (0.02-0.23), indicating the greater bioavailability of the AHFRs in the rice plant. All PBDE congeners and Dechlorane Plus (DP) isomers were biomagnified from the rice plant to apple snails, with mean biomagnification factors (BMFs) of 1.1-5.0. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Selection mosaic exerted by specialist and generalist herbivores on chemical and physical defense of Datura stramonium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Guillermo; Cruz, Laura L; Tapia-López, Rosalinda; Olmedo-Vicente, Erika; Olmedo-Vicente, Eika; Carmona, Diego; Anaya-Lang, Ana Luisa; Fornoni, Juan; Andraca-Gómez, Guadalupe; Valverde, Pedro L; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2014-01-01

    Selection exerted by herbivores is a major force driving the evolution of plant defensive characters such as leaf trichomes or secondary metabolites. However, plant defense expression is highly variable among populations and identifying the sources of this variation remains a major challenge. Plant populations are often distributed across broad geographic ranges and are exposed to different herbivore communities, ranging from generalists (that feed on diverse plant species) to specialists (that feed on a restricted group of plants). We studied eight populations of the plant Datura stramonium usually eaten by specialist or generalist herbivores, in order to examine whether the pattern of phenotypic selection on secondary compounds (atropine and scopolamine) and a physical defense (trichome density) can explain geographic variation in these traits. Following co-evolutionary theory, we evaluated whether a more derived alkaloid (scopolamine) confers higher fitness benefits than its precursor (atropine), and whether this effect differs between specialist and generalist herbivores. Our results showed consistent directional selection in almost all populations and herbivores to reduce the concentration of atropine. The most derived alkaloid (scopolamine) was favored in only one of the populations, which is dominated by a generalist herbivore. In general, the patterns of selection support the existence of a selection mosaic and accounts for the positive correlation observed between atropine concentration and plant damage by herbivores recorded in previous studies.

  19. Selection mosaic exerted by specialist and generalist herbivores on chemical and physical defense of Datura stramonium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Castillo

    Full Text Available Selection exerted by herbivores is a major force driving the evolution of plant defensive characters such as leaf trichomes or secondary metabolites. However, plant defense expression is highly variable among populations and identifying the sources of this variation remains a major challenge. Plant populations are often distributed across broad geographic ranges and are exposed to different herbivore communities, ranging from generalists (that feed on diverse plant species to specialists (that feed on a restricted group of plants. We studied eight populations of the plant Datura stramonium usually eaten by specialist or generalist herbivores, in order to examine whether the pattern of phenotypic selection on secondary compounds (atropine and scopolamine and a physical defense (trichome density can explain geographic variation in these traits. Following co-evolutionary theory, we evaluated whether a more derived alkaloid (scopolamine confers higher fitness benefits than its precursor (atropine, and whether this effect differs between specialist and generalist herbivores. Our results showed consistent directional selection in almost all populations and herbivores to reduce the concentration of atropine. The most derived alkaloid (scopolamine was favored in only one of the populations, which is dominated by a generalist herbivore. In general, the patterns of selection support the existence of a selection mosaic and accounts for the positive correlation observed between atropine concentration and plant damage by herbivores recorded in previous studies.

  20. Herbivore community promotes trait evolution in a leaf beetle via induced plant response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utsumi, Shunsuke; Ando, Yoshino; Roininen, Heikki; Takahashi, Jun-ichi; Ohgushi, Takayuki

    2013-03-01

    Several recent studies have emphasised that community composition alters species trait evolution. Here, we demonstrate that differences in composition of local herbivore communities lead to divergent trait evolution of the leaf beetle Plagiodera versicolora through plant-mediated indirect interactions. Our field surveys, genetic analyses and community-manipulation experiments show that herbivore community composition determines the degree of herbivore-induced regrowth of willows (Salicaceae), which in turn, promotes the divergent evolution of feeding preference in the leaf beetle from exclusive preference for new leaves to a lack of preference among leaf-age types. Regrowth intensity depends both on the differential response of willows to different herbivore species and the integration of those herbivore species in the community. Because herbivore-induced regrowth involves phenological changes in new leaf production, leaf beetle populations develop divergent feeding preferences according to local regrowth intensity. Therefore, herbivore community composition shapes the selection regime for leaf beetle evolution through trait-mediated indirect interactions. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  1. Plants eavesdrop on cues produced by snails and induce costly defenses that affect insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrock, John L; Connolly, Brian M; Choi, Won-Gyu; Guiden, Peter W; Swanson, Sarah J; Gilroy, Simon

    2018-03-01

    Although induced defenses are widespread in plants, the degree to which plants respond to herbivore kairomones (incidental chemicals that herbivores produce independent of herbivory), the costs and benefits of responding to cues of herbivory risk, and the ecological consequences of induced defenses remain unclear. We demonstrate that undamaged tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum, induce defenses in response to a kairomone (locomotion mucus) of snail herbivores (Helix aspersa). Induced defense had significant costs and benefits for plants: plants exposed to snail mucus or a standard defense elicitor (methyl jasmonate, MeJA) exhibited slower growth, but also experienced less herbivory by an insect herbivore (Spodoptera exigua). We also find that kairomones from molluscan herbivores lead to deleterious effects on insect herbivores mediated through changes in plant defense, i.e., mucus-induced defenses of Solanum lycopersicum-reduced growth of S. exigua. These results suggest that incidental cues of widespread generalist herbivores might be a mechanism creating variation in plant growth, plant defense, and biotic interactions.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miresmailli, Saber; Isman, Murray B

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The α1,6-fucosyltransferase gene (fut8) from the Sf9 lepidopteran insect cell line: insights into fut8 evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juliant, Sylvie; Harduin-Lepers, Anne; Monjaret, François; Catieau, Béatrice; Violet, Marie-Luce; Cérutti, Pierre; Ozil, Annick; Duonor-Cérutti, Martine

    2014-01-01

    The core alpha1,6-fucosyltransferase (FUT8) catalyzes the transfer of a fucosyl moiety from GDP-fucose to the innermost asparagine-linked N-acetylglucosamine residue of glycoproteins. In mammals, this glycosylation has an important function in many fundamental biological processes and although no essential role has been demonstrated yet in all animals, FUT8 amino acid (aa) sequence and FUT8 activity are very well conserved throughout the animal kingdom. We have cloned the cDNA and the complete gene encoding the FUT8 in the Sf9 (Spodoptera frugiperda) lepidopteran cell line. As in most animal genomes, fut8 is a single-copy gene organized in different exons. The open reading frame contains 12 exons, a characteristic that seems to be shared by all lepidopteran fut8 genes. We chose to study the gene structure as a way to characterize the evolutionary relationships of the fut8 genes in metazoans. Analysis of the intron-exon organization in 56 fut8 orthologs allowed us to propose a model for fut8 evolution in metazoans. The presence of a highly variable number of exons in metazoan fut8 genes suggests a complex evolutionary history with many intron gain and loss events, particularly in arthropods, but not in chordata. Moreover, despite the high conservation of lepidoptera FUT8 sequences also in vertebrates and hymenoptera, the exon-intron organization of hymenoptera fut8 genes is order-specific with no shared exons. This feature suggests that the observed intron losses and gains may be linked to evolutionary innovations, such as the appearance of new orders.

  5. The α1,6-fucosyltransferase gene (fut8 from the Sf9 lepidopteran insect cell line: insights into fut8 evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie Juliant

    Full Text Available The core alpha1,6-fucosyltransferase (FUT8 catalyzes the transfer of a fucosyl moiety from GDP-fucose to the innermost asparagine-linked N-acetylglucosamine residue of glycoproteins. In mammals, this glycosylation has an important function in many fundamental biological processes and although no essential role has been demonstrated yet in all animals, FUT8 amino acid (aa sequence and FUT8 activity are very well conserved throughout the animal kingdom. We have cloned the cDNA and the complete gene encoding the FUT8 in the Sf9 (Spodoptera frugiperda lepidopteran cell line. As in most animal genomes, fut8 is a single-copy gene organized in different exons. The open reading frame contains 12 exons, a characteristic that seems to be shared by all lepidopteran fut8 genes. We chose to study the gene structure as a way to characterize the evolutionary relationships of the fut8 genes in metazoans. Analysis of the intron-exon organization in 56 fut8 orthologs allowed us to propose a model for fut8 evolution in metazoans. The presence of a highly variable number of exons in metazoan fut8 genes suggests a complex evolutionary history with many intron gain and loss events, particularly in arthropods, but not in chordata. Moreover, despite the high conservation of lepidoptera FUT8 sequences also in vertebrates and hymenoptera, the exon-intron organization of hymenoptera fut8 genes is order-specific with no shared exons. This feature suggests that the observed intron losses and gains may be linked to evolutionary innovations, such as the appearance of new orders.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Savanna tree density, herbivores, and the herbaceous community: bottom-up vs. top-down effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riginos, Corinna; Grace, James B

    2008-08-01

    Herbivores choose their habitats both to maximize forage intake and to minimize their risk of predation. For African savanna herbivores, the available habitats range in woody cover from open areas with few trees to dense, almost-closed woodlands. This variation in woody cover or density can have a number of consequences for herbaceous species composition, cover, and productivity, as well as for ease of predator detection and avoidance. Here, we consider two alternative possibilities: first, that tree density affects the herbaceous vegetation, with concomitant "bottom-up" effects on herbivore habitat preferences; or, second, that tree density affects predator visibility, mediating "top-down" effects of predators on herbivore habitat preferences. We sampled sites spanning a 10-fold range of tree densities in an Acacia drepanolobium-dominated savanna in Laikipia, Kenya, for variation in (1) herbaceous cover, composition, and species richness; (2) wild and domestic herbivore use; and (3) degree of visibility obstruction by the tree layer. We then used structural equation modeling to consider the potential influences that tree density may have on herbivores and herbaceous community properties. Tree density was associated with substantial variation in herbaceous species composition and richness. Cattle exhibited a fairly uniform use of the landscape, whereas wild herbivores, with the exception of elephants, exhibited a strong preference for areas of low tree density. Model results suggest that this was not a response to variation in herbaceous-community characteristics, but rather a response to the greater visibility associated with more open places. Elephants, in contrast, preferred areas with higher densities of trees, apparently because of greater forage availability. These results suggest that, for all but the largest species, top-down behavioral effects of predator avoidance on herbivores are mediated by tree density. This, in turn, appears to have cascading effects

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Insect herbivores can choose microclimates to achieve nutritional homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clissold, Fiona J; Coggan, Nicole; Simpson, Stephen J

    2013-06-01

    The interaction between temperature and diet quality can affect the life history of ectotherms. The rate and ratio at which protein and carbohydrate are obtained from food are important aspects of diet quality, and insects have a well-developed capacity to adjust their feeding behaviour and post-ingestive physiology to regulate intake and allocation of these nutrients. If the supply of protein and carbohydrate varies with temperature (e.g. via effects on intake, digestion or metabolism), then herbivorous insects can use thermoregulatory behaviour to help achieve nutritional homeostasis. When fed the host grass Triticum aestivum, Locusta migratoria nymphs absorbed and allocated protein and carbohydrate to growth with the same efficiency at 38°C as at 32°C; however, at the higher temperature, they ingested more food. In contrast, when feeding on Themeda triandra, the nymphs absorbed carbohydrate with higher efficiency at 32°C, and protein at 38°C. Using synthetic diets, we induced either a protein or a carbohydrate deficiency in experimental insects and showed that locusts placed in a thermal gradient following a meal of T. triandra selected 32°C when deprived of carbohydrate, and 38°C when deprived of protein. This capacity to use thermoregulatory behaviour to redress an imposed nutritional imbalance improved with experience of feeding on T. triandra. As predicted, locusts fed T. aestivum always chose higher temperatures, irrespective of nutritional state. Our results have consequences for understanding host-plant choice by herbivores and interpreting the effects of changed environmental temperatures and microclimate on animal-plant interactions.

  12. 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)

  13. Pyrrolizidine alkaloid variation in Jacobaea hybrids: influence on resistance against generalist and specialist insect herbivores

    OpenAIRE

    Cheng, Dandan

    2012-01-01

    Plants produce a vast array of secondary metabolites (SMs). Some hypotheses were put forward to explain the diversity of structurally related SMs within the framework of plant defense against herbivores:1) SMs could be Selectively Neutral; 2) SM diversity is a result of the “Arms Race” between plants and the herbivores; 3) Plants benefit from the SM diversity because of the Synergistic Effects among the SMs; 4) The SM diversity may be a response to the Selection from Multiple Herbivores. In t...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muposhi, Victor K; Gandiwa, Edson; Chemura, Abel; Bartels, Paul; Makuza, Stanley M; Madiri, Tinaapi H

    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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Cogni

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. The bulldozer herbivore: how animals benefit from elephant modifying an African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kohi, E.

    2013-01-01

    Herbivore-vegetation interactions are important structuring forces in savanna that modify the availability and quality of forage resources. Elephant for example, are known for their ability to change the vegetation structure through toppling trees, uprooting, snapping, debarking and breaking

  19. Evaluation of wild herbivore faeces from South Africa as a potential source of hydrolytically active microorganisms

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ndlela, LL

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available local nature reserve in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Soil samples adjacent to faecal collection sites and faeces from a domestic herbivore, the Nguni cow, were included as controls. Hydrolase and dehydrogenase activity in faecal matter and soil...

  20. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  1. Monitoring large herbivore diversity at different scales: comparing direct and indirect methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cromsigt, J.P.G.M.; Rensburg, S.J.; Etienne, R.S.; Olff, H.

    2009-01-01

    Monitoring of large herbivores is central to research and management activities in many protected areas. Monitoring programs were originally developed to estimate (trends in) population sizes of individual species. However, emphasis is shifting increasingly towards conservation of diversity and

  2. Monitoring large herbivore diversity at different scales : comparing direct and indirect methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cromsigt, Joris P. G. M.; van Rensburg, Susan J.; Etienne, Rampal S.; Olff, Han

    Monitoring of large herbivores is central to research and management activities in many protected areas. Monitoring programs were originally developed to estimate (trends in) population sizes of individual species. However, emphasis is shifting increasingly towards conservation of diversity and

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Plant sex effects on insect herbivores and biological control in a Short Rotation Coppice willow

    OpenAIRE

    Moritz, Kim K.; Bjorkman, Christer; Parachnowitsch, Amy L.; Stenberg, Johan A.

    2017-01-01

    In the wild, plant sex can affect plant-herbivore interactions and higher trophic levels, including natural enemies of the herbivores. However, the possibility of manipulating plant sex to improve biological control and reduce herbivory in domesticated dioecious crops remains unexplored. The dioecious bioenergy crop, Salix viminalis, is often planted in monoclonal, and thus monosexual, fields. We investigated whether using plant clones of either sex, or mixing plants of both sexes, reduced th...

  7. Monitoring Herbivorous Fishes as Indicators of Coral Reef Resilience in American Samoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heenan, Adel; Williams, Ivor D.

    2013-01-01

    Resilience-based management aims to promote or protect processes and species that underpin an ecosystem's capacity to withstand and recover from disturbance. The management of ecological processes is a developing field that requires reliable indicators that can be monitored over time. Herbivory is a key ecological process on coral reefs, and pooling herbivorous fishes into functional groups based on their feeding mode is increasingly used as it may quantify herbivory in ways that indicate resilience. Here we evaluate whether the biomass estimates of these herbivore functional groups are good predictors of reef benthic assemblages, using data from 240 sites from five island groups in American Samoa. Using an information theoretic approach, we assembled a candidate set of linear and nonlinear models to identify the relations between benthic cover and total herbivore and non-herbivore biomass and the biomass of the aforementioned functional groups. For each benthic substrate type considered (encrusting algae, fleshy macroalgae, hard coral and turf algae), the biomass of herbivorous fishes were important explanatory variables in predicting benthic cover, whereas biomass of all fishes combined generally was not. Also, in all four cases, variation in cover was best explained by the biomass of specific functional groups rather than by all herbivores combined. Specifically: 1) macroalgal and turf algal cover decreased with increasing biomass of ‘grazers/detritivores’; and 2) cover of encrusting algae increased with increasing biomass of ‘grazers/detritivores’ and browsers. Furthermore, hard coral cover increased with the biomass of large excavators/bio-eroders (made up of large-bodied parrotfishes). Collectively, these findings emphasize the link between herbivorous fishes and the benthic community and demonstrate support for the use of functional groups of herbivores as indicators for resilience-based monitoring. PMID:24223183

  8. Tree diversity promotes generalist herbivore community patterns in a young subtropical forest experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiayong; Bruelheide, Helge; Chen, Xufei; Eichenberg, David; Kröber, Wenzel; Xu, Xuwen; Xu, Liting; Schuldt, Andreas

    2017-02-01

    Stand diversification is considered a promising management approach to increasing the multifunctionality and ecological stability of forests. However, how tree diversity affects higher trophic levels and their role in regulating forest functioning is not well explored particularly for (sub)tropical regions. We analyzed the effects of tree species richness, community composition, and functional diversity on the abundance, species richness, and beta diversity of important functional groups of herbivores and predators in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment in south-east China. Tree species richness promoted the abundance, but not the species richness, of the dominant, generalist herbivores (especially, adult leaf chewers), probably through diet mixing effects. In contrast, tree richness did not affect the abundance of more specialized herbivores (larval leaf chewers, sap suckers) or predators (web and hunting spiders), and only increased the species richness of larval chewers. Leaf chemical diversity was unrelated to the arthropod data, and leaf morphological diversity only positively affected oligophagous herbivore and hunting spider abundance. However, richness and abundance of all arthropods showed relationships with community-weighted leaf trait means (CWM). The effects of trait diversity and CWMs probably reflect specific nutritional or habitat requirements. This is supported by the strong effects of tree species composition and CWMs on herbivore and spider beta diversity. Although specialized herbivores are generally assumed to determine herbivore effects in species-rich forests, our study suggests that generalist herbivores can be crucial for trophic interactions. Our results indicate that promoting pest control through stand diversification might require a stronger focus on identifying the best-performing tree species mixtures.

  9. Ecological consequences of plant hybridization in willows: inheritance patterns of secondary compounds and herbivore foraging behaviour

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hallgren, P. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Umeaa (Sweden). Dept. of Animal Ecology

    2002-07-01

    Segregation of genetic variation into species is traditionally viewed as the principal unit of evolution while intraspecific hybridization was regarded as a mistake in nature. Nevertheless, intraspecific hybridization is common between many plant species and recent studies have suggested that hybridization may be beneficial to individuals. hybridization is also of interest as it influence species that are interacting with the hybridising species, for example herbivores that need to decide whether or not to forage on hybrids between host plants and non-host plants. To understand how herbivores are influenced by hybridization, and how herb ivory influences hybrid plants, I have studied the inheritance of plant resistance characters, foraging preference and performance of herbivores (leaf beetles and voles) and the degree of herbivore damage on pure and hybrid willows. The studied willow species, Salix caprea, S. repens and S. aurita differ in secondary metabolite composition. The results show that both studied groups of secondary metabolites, phenolic glucosides and condensed tannins, are additively inherited in hybrids between S. repens and S. caprea, while condensed tannins axe equal in S. caprea, S. aurita and hybrids between the two parental species. There is no common response of the studied herbivore community. Instead, it seems that specialist herbivores either discriminate against hybrids and non-host parental species or do not separate between hybrids and host parental species. In contrast, generalists usually show either intermediate preference for hybrids, or do not discriminate between hybrids and parental species. One generalist species shows a preference that indicates a breakdown in resistance. When adding together the effects of all herbivores, it appears that herbivores inflict more damage to hybrids than parental species.

  10. 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.

  11. Among rodents and rhinos: interplay between small mammals and large herbivores in a South African savanna

    OpenAIRE

    Hagenah, N.

    2006-01-01

    Keywords:African savanna, biodiversity, Dichrostachys cinerea , different-sized herbivores, fire, herbivore interactions, murid rodents, spatial heterogeneityMankind has caused species extinction of many groups of organisms through the transformation and fragmentation of once continuous natural habitats. In order to protect and restore natural biodiversity hotspots such as the African savannas we need to understand the determinants of their community structure and species diversity. Evidence ...

  12. Herbivores alter plant-wind interactions by acting as a point mass on leaves and by removing leaf tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kothari, Adit R; Burnett, Nicholas P

    2017-09-01

    In nature, plants regularly interact with herbivores and with wind. Herbivores can wound and alter the structure of plants, whereas wind can exert aerodynamic forces that cause the plants to flutter or sway. While herbivory has many negative consequences for plants, fluttering in wind can be beneficial for plants by facilitating gas exchange and loss of excess heat. Little is known about how herbivores affect plant motion in wind. We tested how the mass of an herbivore resting on a broad leaf of the tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera , and the damage caused by herbivores, affected the motion of the leaf in wind. For this, we placed mimics of herbivores on the leaves, varying each herbivore's mass or position, and used high-speed video to measure how the herbivore mimics affected leaf movement and reconfiguration at two wind speeds inside a laboratory wind tunnel. In a similar setup, we tested how naturally occurring herbivore damage on the leaves affected leaf movement and reconfiguration. We found that the mass of an herbivore resting on a leaf can change that leaf's orientation relative to the wind and interfere with the ability of the leaf to reconfigure into a smaller, more streamlined shape. A large herbivore load slowed the leaf's fluttering frequency, while naturally occurring damage from herbivores increased the leaf's fluttering frequency. We conclude that herbivores can alter the physical interactions between wind and plants by two methods: (1) acting as a point mass on the plant while it is feeding and (2) removing tissue from the plant. Altering a plant's interaction with wind can have physical and physiological consequences for the plant. Thus, future studies of plants in nature should consider the effect of herbivory on plant-wind interactions, and vice versa.

  13. Ecosystem implications of conserving endemic versus eradicating introduced large herbivores in the Galapagos Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Gibbs, James P.; Campbell, Karl; Yackulic, Charles B.; Blake, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Restoration of damaged ecosystems through invasive species removal and native species conservation is an increasingly common practice in biodiversity conservation. Estimating the degree of ecosystem response attributable specifically to eradication of exotic herbivores versus restoration of native herbivores is often difficult and is complicated by concurrent temporal changes in other factors, especially climate. We investigated the interactive impacts of native mega-herbivores (giant tortoises) and the eradication of large alien herbivores (goats) on vegetation productivity across the Galapagos Archipelago. We examined archipelago-wide patterns of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as a proxy for vegetation productivity between 2001 and 2015 and evaluated how goat and historical and current tortoise occurrence influenced productivity. We used a breakpoint analysis to detect change in trends in productivity from five targeted areas following goat eradication. We found a positive association between tortoise occurrence and vegetation productivity and a negative association with goat occurrence. We also documented an increase in plant productivity following goat removal with recovery higher in moister regions than in arid region, potentially indicating an alternate stable state has been created in the latter. Climate variation also contributed to the detected improvement in productivity following goat eradication, sometimes obscuring the effect of eradication but more usually magnifying it by up to 300%. Our work offers perspectives regarding the effectiveness and outcomes of eradicating introduced herbivores and re-introducing native herbivores, and the merits of staging them simultaneously in order to restore critical ecosystem processes such as vegetation productivity.

  14. 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.

  15. Herbivore diet breadth mediates the cascading effects of carnivores in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Michael S; Lichter-Marck, Isaac H; Farkas, Timothy E; Aaron, Eric; Whitney, Kenneth D; Mooney, Kailen A

    2014-07-01

    Predicting the impact of carnivores on plants has challenged community and food web ecologists for decades. At the same time, the role of predators in the evolution of herbivore dietary specialization has been an unresolved issue in evolutionary ecology. Here, we integrate these perspectives by testing the role of herbivore diet breadth as a predictor of top-down effects of avian predators on herbivores and plants in a forest food web. Using experimental bird exclosures to study a complex community of trees, caterpillars, and birds, we found a robust positive association between caterpillar diet breadth (phylodiversity of host plants used) and the strength of bird predation across 41 caterpillar and eight tree species. Dietary specialization was associated with increased enemy-free space for both camouflaged (n = 33) and warningly signaled (n = 8) caterpillar species. Furthermore, dietary specialization was associated with increased crypsis (camouflaged species only) and more stereotyped resting poses (camouflaged and warningly signaled species), but was unrelated to caterpillar body size. These dynamics in turn cascaded down to plants: a metaanalysis (n = 15 tree species) showed the beneficial effect of birds on trees (i.e., reduced leaf damage) decreased with the proportion of dietary specialist taxa composing a tree species' herbivore fauna. We conclude that herbivore diet breadth is a key functional trait underlying the trophic effects of carnivores on both herbivores and plants.

  16. Herbivore physiological response to predation risk and implications for ecosystem nutrient dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawlena, Dror; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2010-08-31

    The process of nutrient transfer through an ecosystem is an important determinant of production, food-chain length, and species diversity. The general view is that the rate and efficiency of nutrient transfer up the food chain is constrained by herbivore-specific capacity to secure N-rich compounds for survival and production. Using feeding trials with artificial food, we show, however, that physiological stress-response of grasshopper herbivores to spider predation risk alters the nature of the nutrient constraint. Grasshoppers facing predation risk had higher metabolic rates than control grasshoppers. Elevated metabolism accordingly increased requirements for dietary digestible carbohydrate-C to fuel-heightened energy demands. Moreover, digestible carbohydrate-C comprises a small fraction of total plant tissue-C content, so nutrient transfer between plants and herbivores accordingly becomes more constrained by digestible plant C than by total plant C:N. This shift in herbivore diet to meet the altered nutrient requirement increased herbivore body C:N content, the C:N content of the plant community from which grasshoppers select their diet, and grasshopper fecal C:N content. Chronic predation risk thus alters the quality of animal and plant tissue that eventually enters the detrital pool to become decomposed. Our results demonstrate that herbivore physiology causes C:N requirements and nutrient intake to become flexible, thereby providing a mechanism to explain context dependence in the nature of trophic control over nutrient transfer in ecosystems.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-David, M.; Shochat, E.; Adams, L.

    2001-01-01

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

  19. Warming impact on herbivore population composition affects top-down control by predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying-Jie; Nakazawa, Takefumi; Ho, Chuan-Kai

    2017-04-19

    Understanding warming impact on herbivores facilitates predicting plant/crop dynamics in natural/agricultural systems. However, it remains unclear how warming will affect herbivore population size and population composition, consequently altering herbivore colonization in a tri-trophic system (plant-herbivore-predator or crop-pest-biocontrol agent). We studied a soybean-aphid-lady beetle system, by conducting (1) a laboratory warming experiment to examine warming impact (+2 °C or +4 °C) on the aphid population size and composition (alate proportion), and (2) a field colonization experiment to examine whether the warming-induced effect subsequently interacts with predators (lady beetles) in affecting aphid colonization. The results showed that warming affected the initial aphid population composition (reduced alate proportion) but not population size; this warming-induced effect strengthened the top-down control by lady beetles and slowing aphid colonization. In other words, biocontrol on crop pests by predators could improve under 2-4 °C warming. Furthermore, aphid colonization was affected by an interaction between the alate proportion and predator (lady beetle) presence. This study suggests that warming affects herbivore population composition and likely mediates top-down control on herbivore colonization by predators. This mechanism may be crucial but underappreciated in climate change ecology because population composition (wing form, sex ratio, age/body size structure) shifts in many species under environmental change.

  20. Herbivore-Induced Changes in Cotton Modulates Reproductive Behavior in the Moth Spodoptera littoralis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Zakir

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Plants produce chemical defense compounds to resist herbivore attack either by repelling the herbivores or attracting natural enemies of the herbivores. We have previously shown that volatile compounds from cotton released in response to herbivory by conspecifics reduce oviposition in cotton leafworm moth Spodoptera littoralis. It remained, however, unclear whether herbivore-induced changes also affect moth pre-mating and mating behaviors. In this study we examined the effect of herbivore-induced changes in cotton on reproductive behaviors i.e., female calling, male attraction and investment, and mating behavior in S. littoralis. We found a reduction in the number of females calling i.e., females releasing pheromone, in the presence of cotton plants damaged by larvae of S. littoralis compared to undamaged plants. Females also spent significantly less time calling and showed a delay in calling in the presence of damaged plants. Furthermore, males exhibited significantly delayed activation and reduced attraction toward female sex pheromone in the presence of damaged plants. We also found that mating success and the number of matings were significantly reduced in the presence of damaged plants whereas male investment i.e., spermatophore weight, was not affected. Thus, our study provides evidence that herbivory by conspecifics on host plants affect pre-mating and mating behaviors in an insect herbivore.

  1. 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.

  2. Vertebrate herbivores influence soil nematodes by modifying plant communities.

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    Veen, G F; Olff, Han; Duyts, Henk; van der Putten, Wim H

    2010-03-01

    Abiotic soil properties, plant community composition, and herbivory all have been reported as important factors influencing the composition of soil communities. However, most studies thus far have considered these factors in isolation, whereas they strongly interact in the field. Here, we study how grazing by vertebrate herbivores influences the soil nematode community composition of a floodplain grassland while we account for effects of grazing on plant community composition and abiotic soil properties. Nematodes are the most ubiquitous invertebrates in the soil. They include a variety of feeding types, ranging from microbial feeders to herbivores and carnivores, and they perform key functions in soil food webs. Our hypothesis was that grazing affects nematode community structure and composition through altering plant community structure and composition. Alternatively, we tested whether the effects of grazing may, directly or indirectly, run via changes in soil abiotic properties. We used a long-term field experiment containing plots with and without vertebrate grazers (cattle and rabbits). We compared plant and nematode community structure and composition, as well as a number of key soil abiotic properties, and we applied structural equation modeling to investigate four possible pathways by which grazing may change nematode community composition. Aboveground grazing increased plant species richness and reduced both plant and nematode community heterogeneity. There was a positive relationship between plant and nematode diversity indices. Grazing decreased the number of bacterial-feeding nematodes, indicating that in these grasslands, top-down control of plant production by grazing leads to bottom-up control in the basal part of the bacterial channel of the soil food web. According to the structural equation model, grazing had a strong effect on soil abiotic properties and plant community composition, whereas plant community composition was the main determinant of

  3. Target and non-target toxicity of botanical insecticide derived from Couroupita guianensis L. flower against generalist herbivore, Spodoptera litura Fab. and an earthworm, Eisenia foetida Savigny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novel chemistries in botanical insecticides may provide alternatives to, or development of synthetic insecticides suitable for controlling the Lepidopteran pests, like Spodoptera litura (F.). Many botanical chemistries are biodegradable, and have lower mammalian toxicity. Eight natural chemical comp...

  4. 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.

  5. Increased Exploration Capacity Promotes Group Fission in Gregarious Foraging Herbivores.

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    Sophie Lardy

    Full Text Available Many gregarious species display rapid fission-fusion dynamics with individuals frequently leaving their groups to reunite or to form new ones soon after. The adaptive value of such ephemeral associations might reflect a frequent tilt in the balance between the costs and benefits of maintaining group cohesion. The lack of information on the short-term advantages of group fission, however, hampers our understanding of group dynamics. We investigated the effect of group fission on area-restricted search, a search tactic that is commonly used when food distribution is spatially autocorrelated. Specifically, we determine if roe deer (Capreolus capreolus improve key aspects of their extensive search mode immediately after fission. We found that groups indeed moved faster and farther over time immediately after than before fission. This gain was highest for the smallest group that resulted from fission, which was more likely to include the fission's initiator. Sex of group members further mediated the immediate gain in search capacity, as post-fission groups moved away at farthest rate when they were only comprised of males. Our study suggests that social conflicts during the extensive search mode can promote group fission and, as such, can be a key determinant of group fission-fusion dynamics that are commonly observed in gregarious herbivores.

  6. Temperature, food quality and life history traits of herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clissold, Fiona J; Simpson, Stephen J

    2015-10-01

    Population dynamics of herbivorous insects are strongly influenced by temperature and host plant quality; an interaction generally thought to be mediated via effects of temperature on metabolic rate and altered energy requirements. However, recent research suggests the relationship between nutrition, temperature, host plant quality and life history traits that influence insect fitness are more complex than appreciated to date. In the laboratory, rates of development are most strongly influenced by temperature, while growth, body composition, and reproductive output are greatly affected by nutrition, notably the uptake of protein and carbohydrate. However, individual outcomes and consequently population responses in the field are not readily predicted from data on ambient temperatures and host plant chemical composition. The relative amounts of protein and carbohydrate gained from a host plant depends on complex interactions between plant cell structure and leaf chemistry, combined with plasticity in feeding behaviour, microclimate selection, digestive and assimilative physiology. For example, grasshoppers can exploit the temperature dependence of host plant quality to maintain nutritional homeostasis. Consequently, understanding environmental interactions such as leaf defences and patterns of foraging, and predicting the effects of climate change on insect populations, will be complex. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Decoupled form and function in disparate herbivorous dinosaur clades

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. A fusion protein containing a lepidopteran-specific toxin from the South Indian red scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus and snowdrop lectin shows oral toxicity to target insects

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    Fitches Elaine

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite evidence suggesting a role in plant defence, the use of plant lectins in crop protection has been hindered by their low and species-specific insecticidal activity. Snowdrop lectin (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin; GNA is transported to the haemolymph of insects after oral ingestion, and can be used as a basis for novel insecticides. Recombinant proteins containing GNA expressed as a fusion with a peptide or protein, normally only toxic when injected into the insect haemolymph, have the potential to show oral toxicity as a result of GNA-mediated uptake. Results A gene encoding a toxin, ButaIT, from the red scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus was synthesised and assembled into expression constructs. One construct contained ButaIT alone, whereas the other contained ButaIT fused N-terminally to a GNA polypeptide (ButaIT/GNA. Both recombinant proteins were produced using the yeast Pichia pastoris as an expression host, and purified. Recombinant ButaIT and ButaIT/GNA were acutely toxic when injected into larvae of tomato moth (Lacanobia oleracea, causing slow paralysis, leading to mortality or decreased growth. ButaIT/GNA was chronically toxic when fed to L. oleracea larvae, causing decreased survival and weight gain under conditions where GNA alone was effectively non-toxic. Intact ButaIT/GNA was detected in larval haemolymph from insects fed the fusion protein orally, demonstrating transport of the linked polypeptide across the gut. Proteolysis of the fusion protein was also observed. ButaIT/GNA was significantly more toxic that GNA alone when fed to the homopteran Nilaparvata lugens (rice brown planthopper in liquid artificial diet. Conclusion The ButaIT/GNA recombinant fusion protein is toxic to lepidopteran larvae both when injected and when fed orally, showing the utility of GNA as a carrier to transport potentially toxic peptides and proteins across the insect gut. Although ButaIT has been claimed to be lepidopteran

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Herbivore-induced chemical and molecular responses of the kelps Laminaria digitata and Lessonia spicata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritter, Andrés; Cabioch, Léa; Brillet-Guéguen, Loraine; Corre, Erwan; Cosse, Audrey; Dartevelle, Laurence; Duruflé, Harold; Fasshauer, Carina; Goulitquer, Sophie; Thomas, François; Correa, Juan A.; Potin, Philippe; Faugeron, Sylvain; Leblanc, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    Kelps are founding species of temperate marine ecosystems, living in intertidal coastal areas where they are often challenged by generalist and specialist herbivores. As most sessile organisms, kelps develop defensive strategies to restrain grazing damage and preserve their own fitness during interactions with herbivores. To decipher some inducible defense and signaling mechanisms, we carried out metabolome and transcriptome analyses in two emblematic kelp species, Lessonia spicata from South Pacific coasts and Laminaria digitata from North Atlantic, when challenged with their main specialist herbivores. Mass spectrometry based metabolomics revealed large metabolic changes induced in these two brown algae following challenges with their own specialist herbivores. Targeted metabolic profiling of L. spicata further showed that free fatty acid (FFA) and amino acid (AA) metabolisms were particularly regulated under grazing. An early stress response was illustrated by the accumulation of Sulphur containing amino acids in the first twelve hours of herbivory pressure. At latter time periods (after 24 hours), we observed FFA liberation and eicosanoid oxylipins synthesis likely representing metabolites related to stress. Global transcriptomic analysis identified sets of candidate genes specifically induced by grazing in both kelps. qPCR analysis of the top candidate genes during a 48-hours time course validated the results. Most of these genes were particularly activated by herbivore challenge after 24 hours, suggesting that transcriptional reprogramming could be operated at this time period. We demonstrated the potential utility of these genes as molecular markers for herbivory by measuring their inductions in grazed individuals of field harvested L. digitata and L. spicata. By unravelling the regulation of some metabolites and genes following grazing pressure in two kelps representative of the two hemispheres, this work contributes to provide a set of herbivore

  14. Herbivore-induced chemical and molecular responses of the kelps Laminaria digitata and Lessonia spicata.

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    Andrés Ritter

    Full Text Available Kelps are founding species of temperate marine ecosystems, living in intertidal coastal areas where they are often challenged by generalist and specialist herbivores. As most sessile organisms, kelps develop defensive strategies to restrain grazing damage and preserve their own fitness during interactions with herbivores. To decipher some inducible defense and signaling mechanisms, we carried out metabolome and transcriptome analyses in two emblematic kelp species, Lessonia spicata from South Pacific coasts and Laminaria digitata from North Atlantic, when challenged with their main specialist herbivores. Mass spectrometry based metabolomics revealed large metabolic changes induced in these two brown algae following challenges with their own specialist herbivores. Targeted metabolic profiling of L. spicata further showed that free fatty acid (FFA and amino acid (AA metabolisms were particularly regulated under grazing. An early stress response was illustrated by the accumulation of Sulphur containing amino acids in the first twelve hours of herbivory pressure. At latter time periods (after 24 hours, we observed FFA liberation and eicosanoid oxylipins synthesis likely representing metabolites related to stress. Global transcriptomic analysis identified sets of candidate genes specifically induced by grazing in both kelps. qPCR analysis of the top candidate genes during a 48-hours time course validated the results. Most of these genes were particularly activated by herbivore challenge after 24 hours, suggesting that transcriptional reprogramming could be operated at this time period. We demonstrated the potential utility of these genes as molecular markers for herbivory by measuring their inductions in grazed individuals of field harvested L. digitata and L. spicata. By unravelling the regulation of some metabolites and genes following grazing pressure in two kelps representative of the two hemispheres, this work contributes to provide a set of

  15. 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.

  16. Belowground induction by Delia radicum or phytohormones affect aboveground herbivore communities on field-grown broccoli

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    Sandra Prisca Pierre

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Induced plant defence in response to phytophagous insects is a well described phenomenon. However, so far little is known about the effect of induced plant responses on subsequently colonizing herbivores in the field. Broccoli plants were induced in the belowground compartment using (i infestation by the root-herbivore Delia radicum, (ii root application of jasmonic acid (JA or (iii root application of salicylic acid (SA. The abundance of D. radicum and six aboveground herbivores displaying contrasting levels of host specialisation were surveyed for five weeks. Our study showed that the response of herbivores was found to differ from one another, depending on the herbivore species, its degree of specialisation and the root treatment. The abundance of the root herbivore D. radicum and particularly the number of emerging adults was decreased by both phytohormone treatments, while the number of D. radicum eggs was increased on conspecific infested plants. The root infestation exhibited moderate effects on the aboveground community. The abundance of the aphid Brevicoryne brassicae was strongly increased on D. radicum infested plants, but the other species were not impacted. Root hormone applications exhibited a strong effect on the abundance of specialist foliar herbivores. A higher number of B. brassicae and Pieris brassicae and a lower number of Plutella xylostella were found on JA treated plants. On SA treated plants we observed a decrease of the abundance of B. brassicae, Pi. rapae and P. xylostella. Surprisingly, generalist species, Mamestra brassicae and Myzus persicae were not affected by root induction treatments. Finally, root treatments had no significant effect on either glucosinolate profiles of the heads or on plant quality parameters. These results are discussed from the perspective of below- aboveground interactions and adaptations of phytophagous insects to induced plant responses according to their trophic specialisation level.

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

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    Scott Bennett

    2017-09-01

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

  18. Plant systemic induced responses mediate interactions between root parasitic nematodes and aboveground herbivorous insects

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    Mesfin eWondafrash

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Insects and nematodes are the most diverse and abundant groups of multicellular animals feeding on plants on either side of the soil-air interface. Several herbivore-induced responses are systemic, and hence can influence the preference and performance of organisms in other plant organs. Recent studies show that plants mediate interactions between belowground plant parasitic nematodes and aboveground herbivorous insects. Based on the knowledge of plant responses to pathogens, we review the emerging insights on plant systemic responses against root-feeding nematodes and shoot-feeding insects. We discuss the potential mechanisms of plant-mediated indirect interactions between both groups of organisms and point to gaps in our knowledge. Root-feeding nematodes can positively or negatively affect shoot herbivorous insects, and vice versa. The outcomes of the interactions between these spatially separated herbivore communities appear to be influenced by the feeding strategy of the nematodes and the insects, as well as by host plant susceptibility to both herbivores. The potential mechanisms for these interactions include systemic induced plant defence, interference with the translocation and dynamics of locally induced secondary metabolites, and reallocation of plant nutritional reserves. During evolution, plant parasitic nematodes as well as herbivorous insects have acquired effectors that modify plant defence responses and resource allocation patterns to their advantage. However, it is also known that plants under herbivore attack change the allocation of their resources, e.g. for compensatory growth responses, which may affect the performance of other organisms feeding on the plant. Studying the chemical and molecular basis of these interactions will reveal the molecular mechanisms that are involved. Moreover, it will lead to a better understanding of the ecological relevance of aboveground-belowground interactions, as well as support the

  19. A specialist herbivore uses chemical camouflage to overcome the defenses of an ant-plant mutualism.

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    Susan R Whitehead

    Full Text Available Many plants and ants engage in mutualisms where plants provide food and shelter to the ants in exchange for protection against herbivores and competitors. Although several species of herbivores thwart ant defenses and extract resources from the plants, the mechanisms that allow these herbivores to avoid attack are poorly understood. The specialist insect herbivore, Piezogaster reclusus (Hemiptera: Coreidae, feeds on Neotropical bull-horn acacias (Vachellia collinsii despite the presence of Pseudomyrmex spinicola ants that nest in and aggressively defend the trees. We tested three hypotheses for how P. reclusus feeds on V. collinsii while avoiding ant attack: (1 chemical camouflage via cuticular surface compounds, (2 chemical deterrence via metathoracic defense glands, and (3 behavioral traits that reduce ant detection or attack. Our results showed that compounds from both P. reclusus cuticles and metathoracic glands reduce the number of ant attacks, but only cuticular compounds appear to be essential in allowing P. reclusus to feed on bull-horn acacia trees undisturbed. In addition, we found that ant attack rates to P. reclusus increased significantly when individuals were transferred between P. spinicola ant colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that chemical mimicry of colony-specific ant or host plant odors plays a key role in allowing P. reclusus to circumvent ant defenses and gain access to important resources, including food and possibly enemy-free space. This interaction between ants, acacias, and their herbivores provides an excellent example of the ability of herbivores to adapt to ant defenses of plants and suggests that herbivores may play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of mutualisms.

  20. Specialist Insect Herbivore and Light Availability Do Not Interact in the Evolution of an Invasive Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhijie; Pan, Xiaoyun; Zhang, Ziyan; He, Kate S; Li, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Release from specialist insect herbivores may allow invasive plants to evolve traits associated with decreased resistance and increased competitive ability. Given that there may be genetic trade-off between resistance and tolerance, invasive plants could also become more tolerant to herbivores. Although it is widely acknowledged that light availability affects tolerance to herbivores, little information is available for whether the effect of light availability on tolerance differ between the introduced and native populations. We conducted a common garden experiment in the introduced range of Alternanthera philoxeroides using ten invasive US and ten native Argentinean populations at two levels of light availability and in the presence or absence of a specialist stem-boring insect Agasicles hygrophila. Plant biomass (total and storage root biomass), two allocation traits (root/shoot ratio and branch intensity, branches biomass/main stem biomass) and two functional traits (specific stem length and specific leaf area), which are potentially associated with herbivore resistance and light capture, were measured. Overall, we found that A. philoxeroides from introduced ranges had comparable biomass and tolerance to specialist herbivores, lower branch intensity, lower specific stem length and specific leaf area. Moreover, introduced populations displayed higher shade tolerance of storage root biomass and lower plastic response to shading in specific stem length. Finally, light availability had no significant effect on evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores of A. philoxeroides. Our results suggest that post-introduction evolution might have occurred in A. philoxeroides. While light availability did not influence the evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores, increased shade tolerance and release from specialist insects might have contributed to the successful invasion of A. philoxeroides.

  1. Specialist Insect Herbivore and Light Availability Do Not Interact in the Evolution of an Invasive Plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhijie Zhang

    Full Text Available Release from specialist insect herbivores may allow invasive plants to evolve traits associated with decreased resistance and increased competitive ability. Given that there may be genetic trade-off between resistance and tolerance, invasive plants could also become more tolerant to herbivores. Although it is widely acknowledged that light availability affects tolerance to herbivores, little information is available for whether the effect of light availability on tolerance differ between the introduced and native populations. We conducted a common garden experiment in the introduced range of Alternanthera philoxeroides using ten invasive US and ten native Argentinean populations at two levels of light availability and in the presence or absence of a specialist stem-boring insect Agasicles hygrophila. Plant biomass (total and storage root biomass, two allocation traits (root/shoot ratio and branch intensity, branches biomass/main stem biomass and two functional traits (specific stem length and specific leaf area, which are potentially associated with herbivore resistance and light capture, were measured. Overall, we found that A. philoxeroides from introduced ranges had comparable biomass and tolerance to specialist herbivores, lower branch intensity, lower specific stem length and specific leaf area. Moreover, introduced populations displayed higher shade tolerance of storage root biomass and lower plastic response to shading in specific stem length. Finally, light availability had no significant effect on evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores of A. philoxeroides. Our results suggest that post-introduction evolution might have occurred in A. philoxeroides. While light availability did not influence the evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores, increased shade tolerance and release from specialist insects might have contributed to the successful invasion of A. philoxeroides.

  2. Additive effects of physical stress and herbivores on intertidal seaweed biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Susan L; Bracken, Matthew E S; Jones, Emily

    2013-05-01

    Patterns in rocky intertidal seaweed biodiversity influence the resilience and functioning of these important primary producer communities. In turn, seaweed biodiversity patterns are the result of many ecological factors. We determined the influences of thermal and desiccation stress, herbivory, and nutrients on seaweed biodiversity on a northern California rocky shoreline. In a fully crossed design at two tidal heights at wave-protected and exposed sites, we deployed screens to reduce stress, removed herbivores, and added nutrients for 18 months. The treatments reduced temperature, increased relative humidity, decreased herbivore abundances, and increased nitrogen in both seawater and seaweeds. Seaweed abundance and biodiversity (cover, biomass, species richness, diversity, evenness, and community composition) were influenced by tidal height, physical stress, and herbivores. Wave exposure affected all response variables except biomass and evenness. Stress and herbivores had independent additive effects on seaweed abundance and diversity. Physical stress did not make the community as a whole more susceptible to herbivores, and screens had overarching positive effects on seaweed biodiversity even though they also had positive effects on herbivore abundance. Nutrients had virtually no effect on seaweed biodiversity, and we observed no bottom-up effects of nutrient addition on herbivore density or biomass. Small green algae and diatoms were important contributors to overall algal cover and to changes in composition across treatments, but larger macroalgae dominated the species richness response. The striking absence of interactions between stress and herbivory highlights how seaweed communities can respond independently to important drivers of biodiversity. Thus, nonadditive, potentially synergistic effects do not necessarily complicate the understanding of how seaweed biodiversity responds to environmental change.

  3. Odor uniformity among tomato individuals in response to herbivore depends on insect species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia Bautista-Lozada

    Full Text Available Plants produce specific volatile organic compound (VOC blends in response to herbivory. Herbivore-induced blends may prime the plant for future attack or attract carnivorous insects; these responses have been considered adaptive for plants. If herbivores differentially modify the VOC emission among individuals within a group of plants they feed upon, then plant responses to herbivores will not only produce specific blends but also variation in odor among individuals, i.e. individuals smell the same, then having a uniform odor. We investigated the VOC emission variation or uniformity among tomato individuals (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Castlemart in response to moderate wounding by (1 nymphs of the psyllid Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc. (TP; (2 Lepidoptera chewing-feeding larvae of Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (FAW and (3 of Cabbage Looper (Trichoplusia ni Hübner (CL, and (4 mechanical damage (MD. We used a ratio-based analysis to compare the fold-change in concentration from constitutive to induced VOC emission. We also used size and shape analysis to compare the emission of damaged and non-damaged individuals. Aside of finding herbivore-specific blends in line with other studies, we found patterns not described previously. We detected constitutive and induced odor variation among individuals attacked by the same herbivore, with the induced odor uniformity depending on the herbivore identity. We also showed that the fold-change of VOCs from constitutive to induced state differed among individuals independently of the uniformity of the blends before herbivore attack. We discuss our findings in the context of the ecological roles of VOCs in plant-plant and plant-carnivore insects' interactions.

  4. Comments on plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions in two cerrado areas of Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Caldas

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available This work describes some interactions between lepidopteran larvae and braconid parasitoids on a group of plants at two sites. There was no significant difference in parasitoid diversity between the sites (Shannon index, p<0.05, and similarity was 62.5%, estimated through Sorensen's index. The diversity of hosts was also not different (p<0.05, but the similarity of host diversity was only 28.5%. This suggests that the parasitoids have strategies for maintaining similar reproduction rates, population densities and communities in areas with different potential hosts.

  5. Cloning and characterization of a riboflavin-binding hexamerin from the larval fat body of a lepidopteran stored grain pest, Corcyra cephalonica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, V Venkat; Ningshen, Thuirei Jacob; Chaitanya, R K; Senthilkumaran, B; Dutta-Gupta, Aparna

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, a riboflavin-binding hexamerin (RbHex) was cloned and characterized from the larval fat body of Corcyra cephalonica. The complete cDNA (2121bp) encodes a 706-amino acid protein with a molecular mass ~82kDa. Expression of RbHex 82 was predominant in fat body among larval tissues. Further, it is prominently expressed during the last instar larval development. Homology modeling and docking studies predicted riboflavin binding site of the hexamerin. Spectrofluorimetric analysis further confirmed riboflavin release from the hexamerin fraction. Quantitative RT-PCR studies demonstrated hormonal regulation of RbHex 82. 20-Hydroxyecdysone (20HE) had a stimulatory effect on its transcription whereas JH alone did not show any effect. However, JH in the presence of 20HE maintains the RbHex 82 expression which indicates the JH's role as a status quo factor. This study is the first to report the characterization of riboflavin-binding hexamerin in a lepidopteran pest. Further, the possibility of RbHex 82 as a pest control target is discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. Spatial variation in the functional characteristics of herbivorous fish communities and the resilience of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheal, Alistair J; Emslie, Michael; Aaron, MacNeil M; Miller, Ian; Sweatman, Hugh

    2013-01-01

    Many ecosystems face degradation unless factors that underpin their resilience can be effectively managed. In tropical reef ecosystems, grazing by herbivorous fishes can prevent coral-macroalgal phase shifts that commonly signal loss of resilience. However, knowledge of grazing characteristics that most promote resilience is typically experimental, localized, and sparse, which limits broad management applications. Applying sound ecological theory to broad-scale data may provide an alternative basis for ecosystem management. We explore the idea that resilience is positively related to the diversity within and among functional groups of organisms. Specifically, we infer the relative vulnerability of different subregions of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to phase shifts based on functional characteristics of the local herbivorous fish communities. Reef slopes on 92 reefs set in three zones of the continental shelf in eight latitudinal sectors of the GBR were surveyed on multiple occasions between 1995 and 2009. Spatial variation in fish community structure was high and driven primarily by shelf position. Measures of functional diversity, functional redundancy, and abundance were generally higher offshore and lower inshore. Two turbid inshore subregions were considered most vulnerable based on very low measures of herbivore function, and this was supported by the occurrence of phase shifts within one of three subregions. Eleven reefs that resisted phase shifts after major coral mortality included some with very low measures of herbivore function. The fact that phase shifts did not necessarily occur when large herbivores were scarce indicates that other environmental factors compensated to preserve resilience. Estimates of vulnerability based solely on herbivore function may thus prove conservative, but caution is appropriate, since compensatory factors are largely unknown and could be eroded unwittingly by anthropogenic stresses. Our data suggest that managing the threat

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hierro, José L; Clark, Kenneth L; Branch, Lyn C; Villarreal, Diego

    2011-08-01

    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), reduces and increases fire intensity at different stages in its population cycle in the semiarid scrub of Argentina. Specifically, we hypothesized that, when colonies are active, vizcachas create natural fire-breaks through intense grazing, generating over time patches of large unburned shrubs in grazed zones. In contrast, when colonies are abandoned, recovery of fine fuels and previous accumulation of coarse wood on colonies during territorial displays increases fire intensity, creating patches of high shrub mortality. To test these hypotheses, we estimated stem age of the dominant shrub (Larrea divaricata) and measured aboveground biomass in zones actively grazed by vizcachas and in ungrazed zones, and compared densities of live and dead shrubs on abandoned colonies and adjacent zones following fire. In active colonies, age and biomass of shrubs were much greater in grazed than ungrazed zones. In abandoned colonies that had been burnt, density of dead, burned shrubs was higher and density of live shrubs was lower than in adjacent zones. These results support our hypotheses and reveal a new interaction between native herbivores and fire, in which herbivores augment fire intensity by gathering fuel. Our findings indicate that, through opposing effects on fire, native herbivores enhance the heterogeneity of vegetation in woody-dominated ecosystems.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weis, Jerome J

    2016-01-01

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

  13. The impact of domestication on resistance to two generalist herbivores across 29 independent domestication events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turcotte, Martin M; Turley, Nash E; Johnson, Marc T J

    2014-11-01

    The domestication of crops is among the most important innovations in human history. Here, we test the hypothesis that cultivation and artificial selection for increased productivity of crops reduced plant defenses against herbivores. We compared the performance of two economically important generalist herbivores - the leaf-chewing beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) and the phloem-feeding green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) - across 29 crop species and their closely related wild relatives. We also measured putative morphological and chemical defensive traits and correlated them with herbivore performance. We show that, on average, domestication significantly reduced resistance to S. exigua, but not M. persicae, and that most independent domestication events did not cause differences in resistance to either herbivore. In addition, we found that multiple plant traits predicted resistance to S. exigua and M. persicae, and that domestication frequently altered the strength and direction of correlations between these traits and herbivore performance. Our results show that domestication can alter plant defenses, but does not cause strong allocation tradeoffs as predicted by plant defense theory. These results have important implications for understanding the evolutionary ecology of species interactions and for the search for potential resistance traits to be targeted in crop breeding. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. Microbial detoxification in the gut of a specialist avian herbivore, the Greater Sage-Grouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Connelly, John W; Dearing, M Denise; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen

    2016-07-01

    One function of the gut microbiota gaining recent attention, especially in herbivorous mammals and insects, is the metabolism of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs). We investigated whether this function exists within the gut communities of a specialist avian herbivore. We sequenced the cecal metagenome of the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), which specializes on chemically defended sagebrush (Artemisia spp.). We predicted that the cecal metagenome of the sage-grouse would be enriched in genes associated with the metabolism of PSMs when compared to the metagenome of the domestic chicken. We found that representation of microbial genes associated with 'xenobiotic degradation and metabolism' was 3-fold higher in the sage-grouse cecal metagenomes when compared to that of the domestic chicken. Further, we identified a complete metabolic pathway for the degradation of phenol to pyruvate, which was not detected in the metagenomes of the domestic chicken, bovine rumen or 14 species of mammalian herbivores. Evidence of monoterpene degradation (a major class of PSMs in sagebrush) was less definitive, although we did detect genes for several enzymes associated with this process. Overall, our results suggest that the gut microbiota of specialist avian herbivores plays a similar role to the microbiota of mammalian and insect herbivores in degrading PSMs. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. 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.

  16. Responses of insect herbivores and herbivory to habitat fragmentation: a hierarchical meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossetti, María Rosa; Tscharntke, Teja; Aguilar, Ramiro; Batáry, Péter

    2017-02-01

    Loss and fragmentation of natural habitats can lead to alterations of plant-animal interactions and ecosystems functioning. Insect herbivory, an important antagonistic interaction is expected to be influenced by habitat fragmentation through direct negative effects on herbivore community richness and indirect positive effects due to losses of natural enemies. Plant community changes with habitat fragmentation added to the indirect effects but with little predictable impact. Here, we evaluated habitat fragmentation effects on both herbivory and herbivore diversity, using novel hierarchical meta-analyses. Across 89 studies, we found a negative effect of habitat fragmentation on abundance and species richness of herbivores, but only a non-significant trend on herbivory. Reduced area and increased isolation of remaining fragments yielded the strongest effect on abundance and species richness, while specialist herbivores were the most vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. These fragmentation effects were more pronounced in studies with large spatial extent. The strong reduction in herbivore diversity, but not herbivory, indicates how important common generalist species can be in maintaining herbivory as a major ecosystem process. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Phytochemistry predicts habitat selection by an avian herbivore at multiple spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frye, Graham G; Connelly, John W; Musil, David D; Forbey, Jennifer S

    2013-02-01

    Animal habitat selection is a process that functions at multiple, hierarchically. structured spatial scales. Thus multi-scale analyses should be the basis for inferences about factors driving the habitat selection process. Vertebrate herbivores forage selectively on the basis of phytochemistry, but few studies have investigated the influence of selective foraging (i.e., fine-scale habitat selection) on habitat selection at larger scales. We tested the hypothesis that phytochemistry is integral to the habitat selection process for vertebrate herbivores. We predicted that habitats selected at three spatial scales would be characterized by higher nutrient concentrations and lower concentrations of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) than unused habitats. We used the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), an avian herbivore with a seasonally specialized diet of sagebrush, to test our hypothesis. Sage-Grouse selected a habitat type (black sagebrush, Artemisia nova) with lower PSM concentrations than the alternative (Wyoming big sagebrush, A. tridentata wyomingensis). Within black sagebrush habitat, Sage-Grouse selected patches and individual plants within those patches that were higher in nutrient concentrations and lower in PSM concentrations than those not used. Our results provide the first evidence for multi-scale habitat selection by an avian herbivore on the basis of phytochemistry, and they suggest that phytochemistry may be a fundamental driver of habitat selection for vertebrate herbivores.

  18. Positive and negative effects of grass, cattle, and wild herbivores on Acacia saplings in an East African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2007-10-01

    Plant-plant interactions can be a complex mixture of positive and negative interactions, with the net outcome depending on abiotic and community contexts. In savanna systems, the effects of large herbivores on tree-grass interactions have rarely been studied experimentally, though these herbivores are major players in these systems. In African savannas, trees often become more abundant under heavy cattle grazing but less abundant in wildlife preserves. Woody encroachment where cattle have replaced wild herbivores may be caused by a shift in the competitive balance between trees and grasses. Here we report the results of an experiment designed to quantify the positive, negative, and net effects of grasses, wild herbivores, and cattle on Acacia saplings in a Kenyan savanna. Acacia drepanolobium saplings under four long-term herbivore regimes (wild herbivores, cattle, cattle + wild herbivores, and no large herbivores) were cleared of surrounding grass or left with the surrounding grass intact. After two years, grass-removal saplings exhibited 86% more browse damage than control saplings, suggesting that grass benefited saplings by protecting them from herbivory. However, the negative effect of grass on saplings was far greater; grass-removal trees accrued more than twice the total stem length of control trees. Where wild herbivores were present, saplings were browsed more and produced more new stem growth. Thus, the net effect of wild herbivores was positive, possibly due to the indirect effects of lower competitor tree density in areas accessible to elephants. Additionally, colonization of saplings by symbiotic ants tracked growth patterns, and colonized saplings experienced lower rates of browse damage. These results suggest that savanna tree growth and woody encroachment cannot be predicted by grass cover or herbivore type alone. Rather, tree growth appears to depend on a variety of factors that may be acting together or antagonistically at different stages of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turlings, Ted C J; Erb, Matthias

    2018-01-07

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

  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...... feeding on plant growth, (2) the attractiveness of white clover for adult fungus gnat females, and (3) the volatile emission of white clover plants. We observed only marginal effects of WClMV infection on the interaction between fungus gnat larvae and white clover. However, adult fungus gnat females....... This suggests that virus infections may contribute to protecting their hosts by decreasing herbivore infestation rates. Consequently, it is conceivable that viruses play a more beneficial role in plant-herbivore interactions than generally thought....

  1. 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.

  2. A genomic perspective on the generation and maintenance of genetic diversity in herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gloss, Andrew D; Groen, Simon C; Whiteman, Noah K

    2016-11-01

    Understanding the processes that generate and maintain genetic variation within populations is a central goal in evolutionary biology. Theory predicts that some of this variation is maintained as a consequence of adapting to variable habitats. Studies in herbivorous insects have played a key role in confirming this prediction. Here, we highlight theoretical and conceptual models for the maintenance of genetic diversity in herbivorous insects, empirical genomic studies testing these models, and pressing questions within the realm of evolutionary and functional genomic studies. To address key gaps, we propose an integrative approach combining population genomic scans for adaptation, genome-wide characterization of targets of selection through experimental manipulations, mapping the genetic architecture of traits influencing fitness, and functional studies. We also stress the importance of studying the maintenance of genetic variation across biological scales-from variation within populations to divergence among populations-to form a comprehensive view of adaptation in herbivorous insects.

  3. Dynamic Plant-Plant-Herbivore Interactions Govern Plant Growth-Defence Integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Plants downregulate their defences against insect herbivores upon impending competition for light. This has long been considered a resource trade-off, but recent advances in plant physiology and ecology suggest this mechanism is more complex. Here we propose that to understand why plants regulate and balance growth and defence, the complex dynamics in plant-plant competition and plant-herbivore interactions needs to be considered. Induced growth-defence responses affect plant competition and herbivore colonisation in space and time, which has consequences for the adaptive value of these responses. Assessing these complex interactions strongly benefits from advanced modelling tools that can model multitrophic interactions in space and time. Such an exercise will allow a critical re-evaluation why and how plants integrate defence and competition for light. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Jasmonic Acid and Ethylene Signaling Pathways Regulate Glucosinolate Levels in Plants During Rhizobacteria-Induced Systemic Resistance Against a Leaf-Chewing Herbivore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pangesti, Nurmi; Reichelt, Michael; van de Mortel, Judith E.; Kapsomenou, Eleni; Gershenzon, Jonathan; van Loon, Joop J.A.; Dicke, Marcel; Pineda, Ana

    2016-01-01

    Beneficial soil microbes can promote plant growth and induce systemic resistance (ISR) in aboveground tissues against pathogens and herbivorous insects. Despite the increasing interest in microbial-ISR against herbivores, the underlying molecular and chemical mechanisms of this phenomenon remain

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Hyperparasitoids Use Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles to Locate Their Parasitoid Host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelman, Erik H.; Bruinsma, Maaike; Zhu, Feng; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Boursault, Aline E.; Jongema, Yde; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Vet, Louise E. M.; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Dicke, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Plants respond to herbivory with the emission of induced plant volatiles. These volatiles may attract parasitic wasps (parasitoids) that attack the herbivores. Although in this sense the emission of volatiles has been hypothesized to be beneficial to the plant, it is still debated whether this is also the case under natural conditions because other organisms such as herbivores also respond to the emitted volatiles. One important group of organisms, the enemies of parasitoids, hyperparasitoids, has not been included in this debate because little is known about their foraging behaviour. Here, we address whether hyperparasitoids use herbivore-induced plant volatiles to locate their host. We show that hyperparasitoids find their victims through herbivore-induced plant volatiles emitted in response to attack by caterpillars that in turn had been parasitized by primary parasitoids. Moreover, only one of two species of parasitoids affected herbivore-induced plant volatiles resulting in the attraction of more hyperparasitoids than volatiles from plants damaged by healthy caterpillars. This resulted in higher levels of hyperparasitism of the parasitoid that indirectly gave away its presence through its effect on plant odours induced by its caterpillar host. Here, we provide evidence for a role of compounds in the oral secretion of parasitized caterpillars that induce these changes in plant volatile emission. Our results demonstrate that the effects of herbivore-induced plant volatiles should be placed in a community-wide perspective that includes species in the fourth trophic level to improve our understanding of the ecological functions of volatile release by plants. Furthermore, these findings suggest that the impact of species in the fourth trophic level should also be considered when developing Integrated Pest Management strategies aimed at optimizing the control of insect pests using parasitoids. PMID:23209379

  8. 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.

  9. Terpenoids in plant and arbuscular mycorrhiza-reinforced defence against herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Esha; Anand, Garima; Kapoor, Rupam

    2017-03-01

    Plants, though sessile, employ various strategies to defend themselves against herbivorous insects and convey signals of an impending herbivore attack to other plant(s). Strategies include the production of volatiles that include terpenoids and the formation of symbiotic associations with fungi, such as arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM). This constitutes a two-pronged above-ground/below-ground attack-defence strategy against insect herbivores. Terpenoids represent an important constituent of herbivore-induced plant volatiles that deter herbivores and/or attract their predators. Terpenoids serve as airborne signals that can induce defence responses in systemic undamaged parts of the plant and also prime defence responses in neighbouring plants. Colonization of roots by AM fungi is known to influence secondary metabolism in plants; this includes alteration of the concentration and composition of terpenoids, which can boost both direct and indirect plant defence against herbivorous insects. Enhanced nutrient uptake facilitated by AM, changes in plant morphology and physiology and increased transcription levels of certain genes involved in the terpenoid biosynthesis pathway result in alterations in plant terpenoid profiles. The common mycorrhizal networks of external hyphae have added a dimension to the two-pronged plant defence strategy. These act as conduits to transfer defence signals and terpenoids. Improved understanding of the roles of terpenoids in plant and AM defences against herbivory and of interplant signalling in natural communities has significant implications for sustainable management of pests in agricultural ecosystems. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  10. Herbivores, tidal elevation, and species richness simultaneously mediate nitrate uptake by seaweed assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Jones, Emily; Williams, Susan L

    2011-05-01

    In order for research into the consequences of biodiversity changes to be more applicable to real-world ecosystems, experiments must be conducted in the field, where a variety of factors other than diversity can affect the rates of key biogeochemical and physiological processes. Here, we experimentally evaluate the effects of two factors known to affect the diversity and composition of intertidal seaweed assemblages--tidal elevation and herbivory--on nitrate uptake by those assemblages. Based on surveys of community composition at the end of a 1.5-year press experiment, we found that both tide height and herbivores affected seaweed community structure. Not surprisingly, seaweed species richness was greater at lower tidal elevations. Herbivores did not affect richness, but they altered the types of species that were present; seaweed species characterized by higher rates of nitrate uptake were more abundant in herbivore-removal plots. Both tide height and herbivores affected nitrate uptake by seaweed assemblages. Individual seaweed species, as well as entire seaweed assemblages, living higher on the shore had greater rates of biomass-specific nitrate uptake, particularly at high ambient nitrate concentrations. Grazed seaweed assemblages exhibited reduced nitrate uptake, but only at low nitrate concentrations. We evaluated the effect of seaweed richness on nitrate uptake, both alone and after accounting for effects of tidal elevation and herbivores. When only richness was considered, we found no effect on uptake. However, when simultaneous effects of richness, tide height, and herbivores on uptake were evaluated, we found that all three had relatively large and comparable effects on nitrate uptake coefficients and that there was a negative relationship between seaweed richness and nitrate uptake. Particularly because effects of richness on uptake were not apparent unless the effects of tide height and herbivory were also considered, these results highlight the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deron E Burkepile

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Season mediates herbivore effects on litter and soil microbial abundance and activity in a semi-arid woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aimee T. Classen; Steven T. Overby; Stephen C. Hart; George W. Koch; Thomas G. Whitham

    2007-01-01

    Herbivores can directly impact ecosystem function by altering litter quality of an ecosystem or indirectly by shifting the composition of microbial communities that mediate nutrient processes. We examined the effects of tree susceptibility and resistance to herbivory on litter microarthropod and soil microbial communities to test the general hypothesis that herbivore...

  13. Resource partitioning among African savanna herbivores in North Cameroon: the importance of diet composition, food quality and body mass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iongh, de H.H.; Jong, de C.B.; Goethem, J.; Klop, E.; Brunsting, A.M.H.; Loth, P.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between herbivore diet quality, and diet composition (the range of food plants consumed) and body mass on resource partitioning of herbivores remains the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. In this study we investigated the importance of diet composition and diet quality on

  14. Defense suppression benefits herbivores that have a monopoly on their feeding site but can backfire within natural communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glas, J.J.; Alba, J.M.; Simoni, S.; Villarroel, C.A.; Stoops, M.; Schimmel, B.C.J.; Schuurink, R.C.; Sabelis, M.W.; Kant, M.R.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Plants have inducible defenses to combat attacking organisms. Hence, some herbivores have adapted to suppress these defenses. Suppression of plant defenses has been shown to benefit herbivores by boosting their growth and reproductive performance. Results: We observed in field-grown

  15. Contrasting effects of tree diversity on young tree growth and resistance to insect herbivores across three biodiversity experiments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haase, J.; Castagneyrol, B.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Ghazoul, J.; Kattge, J.; Koricheva, J.; Scherer-Lorenzen, M.; Morath, S.; Jactel, H.

    2015-01-01

    Tree diversity is an important driver of forest ecosystem functioning, hypothesised to enhance tree growth and resistance to herbivores. To test this, we assessed the relative importance of tree species richness and functional diversity on tree height growth and insect herbivore damage across three

  16. Herbivore species identity and composition affect soil enzymatic activity through altered plant composition in a coastal tallgrass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although single species of herbivores are known to affect soil microbial communities, the effects of herbivore species identity and functional composition on soil microbes is unknown. We tested the effects of single species of orthopterans and multiple species combinations on soil enzymatic activity...

  17. Cross-site comparison of herbivore impact on nitrogen availability in grasslands : the role of plant nitrogen concentration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, E. S.; Knops, J. M. H.; Milchunas, D. G.; Ritchie, M. E.; Olff, H.; Boutin, Stan

    2009-01-01

    We tested whether there is a relationship between plant N concentration and herbivore impact on soil N availability (measured with resin bags) with a study of replicate 6-8 year old exclosures (with an unfenced control) of vertebrate herbivores (> 1 kg) established at each of seven grassland sites

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Evolution of nutrient uptake reveals a trade-off in the ecological stoichiometry of plant-herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branco, Pedro; Stomp, Maayke; Egas, Martijn; Huisman, Jef

    2010-12-01

    Nutrient limitation determines the primary production and species composition of many ecosystems. Here we apply an adaptive dynamics approach to investigate evolution of the ecological stoichiometry of primary producers and its implications for plant-herbivore interactions. The model predicts a trade-off between the competitive ability and grazing susceptibility of primary producers, driven by changes in their nutrient uptake rates. High nutrient uptake rates enhance the competitiveness of primary producers but also increase their nutritional quality for herbivores. This trade-off enables coexistence of nutrient exploiters and grazing avoiders. If herbivores are not selective, evolution favors runaway selection toward high nutrient uptake rates of the primary producers. However, if herbivores select nutritious food, the model predicts an evolutionarily stable strategy with lower nutrient uptake rates. When the model is parameterized for phytoplankton and zooplankton, the evolutionary dynamics result in plant-herbivore oscillations at ecological timescales, especially in environments with high nutrient availability and low selectivity of the herbivores. High herbivore selectivity stabilizes the community dynamics. These model predictions show that evolution permits nonequilibrium dynamics in plant-herbivore communities and shed new light on the evolutionary forces that shape the ecological stoichiometry of primary producers.

  20. The effect of nutrients on pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Senecio plants and their interactions with herbivores and pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hol, W.H.G.

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this review is to combine the knowledge of studies on effects of nutrients on pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in Senecio with those studies of effects of PAs on herbivores and pathogens in order to predict the effects that nutrients may have on herbivores and pathogens via changes in PAs.

  1. 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,...

  2. Plant community response to loss of large herbivores differs between North American and South African savanna grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koerner, Sally E; Burkepile, Deron E; Fynn, Richard W S; Burns, Catherine E; Eby, Stephanie; Govender, Navashni; Hagenah, Nicole; Matchett, Katherine J; Thompson, Dave I; Wilcox, Kevin R; Collins, Scott L; Kirkman, Kevin P; Knapp, Alan K; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-04-01

    Herbivory and fire shape plant community structure in grass-dominated ecosystems, but these disturbance regimes are being altered around the world. To assess the consequences of such alterations, we excluded large herbivores for seven years from mesic savanna grasslands sites burned at different frequencies in North America (Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas, USA) and South Africa (Kruger National Park). We hypothesized that the removal of a single grass-feeding herbivore from Konza would decrease plant community richness and shift community composition due to increased dominance by grasses. Similarly, we expected grass dominance to increase at Kruger when removing large herbivores, but because large herbivores are more diverse, targeting both grasses and forbs, at this study site, the changes due to herbivore removal would be muted. After seven years of large-herbivore exclusion, richness strongly decreased and community composition changed at Konza, whereas little change was evident at Kruger. We found that this divergence in response was largely due to differences in the traits and numbers of dominant grasses between the study sites rather than the predicted differences in herbivore assemblages. Thus, the diversity of large herbivores lost may be less important in determining plant community dynamics than the functional traits of the grasses that dominate mesic, disturbance-maintained savanna grasslands.

  3. 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.

  4. Salicylic acid-dependent gene expression is activated by locomotion mucus of different molluscan herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Slugs and snails specifically secrete mucus to aid their locomotion. This mucus is the contact material between molluscan herbivores and plants. We have recently shown that the locomotion mucus of the slug Deroceras reticulatum contains salicylic acid (SA).(1) When applied to wounded leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana this mucus induces the activity of the SA-responsive pathogenesis related 1 (PR1) promotor1. Here we analyzed PR1 promotor activity in response to treatments with locomotion mucus of eight slugs and snails. Although none of the mucus contained SA, their application still elicited PR1 promotor activity. These data provide further insights into the complex interactions between molluscan herbivores and plants.

  5. Developmental control of a lepidopteran pest Spodoptera exigua by ingestion of bacteria expressing dsRNA of a non-midgut gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honggang Tian

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: RNA interference (RNAi induced through double stranded RNA (dsRNA has been used widely to study gene function in insects. Recently, it has been reported that gene knockdown in several insects can be induced successfully through feeding with dsRNA. However, it is still unknown whether phenotypic silencing of genes not expressed in the midgut occurs after ingestion of insect dsRNA. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using chitin synthase gene A (SeCHSA as the target gene, which is expressed in the cuticle and tracheae of the lepidopteran pest Spodoptera exigua, we showed that the growth and development of S. exigua larvae fed Escherichia coli expressing dsRNA of SeCHSA was disturbed, resulting in lethality. In the 4th and 5th larval instars, prepupae, and pupae, the mean survival rates of insects fed the dsRNA-containing diet were 88.64%, 74.24%, 68.43% and 62.63% respectively. The survival rates in the 5th instar larvae, prepupae and pupae stages were significantly lower than those of all controls, and significant lethality differences were also found between dsSeCHSA treatment and dsControl or ddH(2O control in the 4th instar larvae. The effects of ingesting bacterially expressed dsRNA on transcription of the target gene, tissue structure, and survival rates of insects were dose-dependent. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that SeCHSA dsRNA may be useful as a means of insect pest control.

  6. 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.

  7. Efficacy of pyramided Bt proteins Cry1F, Cry1A.105, and cry2Ab2 expressed in Smartstax corn hybrids against lepidopteran insect pests in the northern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rule, D M; Nolting, S P; Prasifka, P L; Storer, N P; Hopkins, B W; Scherder, E F; Siebert, M W; Hendrix, W H

    2014-02-01

    Commercial field corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids transformed to express some or all of the lepidopteran insect-resistant traits present in SmartStax corn hybrids were evaluated for insecticidal efficacy against a wide range oflepidopteran corn pests common to the northern United States, during 2008 to 2011 at locations in 15 states. SmartStax hybrids contain a pyramid of two Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) derived events for lepidopteran control: event TC1507 expressing Cry1F protein and MON 89034 expressing CrylA.105 + Cry2Ab2. These studies focused on characterization of the relative efficacy of each event when expressed alone or in combination, and compared with non-Bt hybrid. Corn hybrids containing pyramided insecticidal proteins Cry1F + Cry1A.105 + Cry2Ab2 (SmartStax) consistently showed reduced plant feeding damage by a wide range of lepidopteran larvae compared with single event and non-Bt hybrids. Corn hybrids expressing TC1507 or MON 89034 as single or pyramided events were consistently efficacious against Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner). SmartStax hybrids had less injury from Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel) and Striacosta albicosta (Smith) than corn hybrids containing only event MON 89034 but were not more efficacious than single event TC1507 hybrids. Corn hybrids with event MON 89034 provided better control of Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), than event TC1507 alone. Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) efficacy was higher for hybrids with pyramid events and single events compared with the non-Bt hybrids. The spectra of activity of events TC1507 and MON 89034 differed. The combination of TC1507 + MON 89034 provided redundant control of some pests where the spectra overlapped and thereby are expected to confer a resistance management benefit.

  8. Ecology meets plant physiology: herbivore-induced plant responses and their indirect effects on arthropod communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sabelis, M.W.; Takabayashi, J.; Janssen, A.; Kant, M.R.; van Wijk, M.; Sznajder, B.; Aratchige, N.S.; Lesna, I.; Belliure, B.; Schuurink, R.C.; Ohgushi, T.; Craig, T.P.; Price, P.W.

    2007-01-01

    Herbivory by arthropods induces a wealth of changes in the primary and secondary chemistry of plants (Karban and Baldwin 1997, Constabel 1999, Agrawal et al. 1999, Kessler and Baldwin 2002). These chemical changes in turn do not only affect the inducer, but also other herbivore species attacking 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, Tomáš; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  11. Rhizobacterial modification of plant defenses against insect herbivores: from molecular mechanisms to tritrophic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pangesti, N.P.D.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Plants as primary producers in terrestrial ecosystems are under constant threat from a multitude of attackers, which include insect herbivores. In addition to interactions with detrimental organisms, plants host a diversity of beneficial organisms, which include microbes in

  12. 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

  13. High-throughput sequencing of ancient plant and mammal DNA preserved in herbivore middens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Murray, Dáithí C.; Pearson, Stuart G.; Fullagar, Richard

    2012-01-01

    The study of arid palaeoenvironments is often frustrated by the poor or non-existent preservation of plant and animal material, yet these environments are of considerable environmental importance. The analysis of pollen and macrofossils isolated from herbivore middens has been an invaluable sourc...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-26

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico S. Neves

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 (

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biere, A.; Goverse, A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biere, A.; Goverse, Aska

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Global assessment of the status of coral reef herbivorous fishes: evidence for fishing effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C B; Friedlander, A M; Green, A G; Hardt, M J; Sala, E; Sweatman, H P; Williams, I D; Zgliczynski, B; Sandin, S A; Smith, J E

    2014-01-07

    On coral reefs, herbivorous fishes consume benthic primary producers and regulate competition between fleshy algae and reef-building corals. Many of these species are also important fishery targets, yet little is known about their global status. Using a large-scale synthesis of peer-reviewed and unpublished data, we examine variability in abundance and biomass of herbivorous reef fishes and explore evidence for fishing impacts globally and within regions. We show that biomass is more than twice as high in locations not accessible to fisheries relative to fisheries-accessible locations. Although there are large biogeographic differences in total biomass, the effects of fishing are consistent in nearly all regions. We also show that exposure to fishing alters the structure of the herbivore community by disproportionately reducing biomass of large-bodied functional groups (scraper/excavators, browsers, grazer/detritivores), while increasing biomass and abundance of territorial algal-farming damselfishes (Pomacentridae). The browser functional group that consumes macroalgae and can help to prevent coral-macroalgal phase shifts appears to be most susceptible to fishing. This fishing down the herbivore guild probably alters the effectiveness of these fishes in regulating algal abundance on reefs. Finally, data from remote and unfished locations provide important baselines for setting management and conservation targets for this important group of fishes.

  1. The herb community of a tropical forest in central Panama: dynamics and impact of mammalian herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2005-01-01

    Mammals are hypothesized to either promote plant diversity by preventing competitive exclusion or limit diversity by reducing the abundance of sensitive plant species through their activities as browsers or disturbance agents. Previous studies of herbivore impacts in plant communities have focused on tree species and ignored the herbaceous community. In an experiment...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pretorius, Y.

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Pyrrolizidine alkaloid variation in Jacobaea hybrids : influence on resistance against generalist and specialist insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheng, Dandan

    2012-01-01

    Plants produce a vast array of secondary metabolites (SMs). Some hypotheses were put forward to explain the diversity of structurally related SMs within the framework of plant defense against herbivores:1) SMs could be Selectively Neutral; 2) SM diversity is a result of the “Arms Race” between

  4. Differences in tolerance of pondweeds and charophytes to vertebrate herbivores in a shallow Baltic estuary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hidding, B.; Bakker, E.S.; Keuper, F.; De Boer, T.; De Vries, P.P.; Nolet, B.A.

    2010-01-01

    It has been suggested that herbivorous waterfowl may be important in shaping aquatic plant communities in shallow wetlands. As such, a shift from canopy forming pondweeds to bottom-dwelling charophytes in a formerly turbid pondweed dominated lake has been partly attributed to waterfowl herbivory.

  5. Differences in tolerance of pondweeds and charophytes to vertebrate herbivores in a shallow Baltic estuary.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hidding, B.; Bakker, E.S.; Keuper, F.; de Boer, T.; de Vries, P.P.; Nolet, B.A.

    2010-01-01

    It has been suggested that herbivorous waterfowl may be important in shaping aquatic plant communities in shallow wetlands. As such, a shift from canopy forming pondweeds to bottom-dwelling charophytes in a formerly turbid pondweed dominated lake has been partly attributed to waterfowl herbivory.

  6. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savanna plant community composition explained by total herbivory, not herbivore identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    The replacement of wild ungulate herbivores by domestic livestock in African savannas is composed of two interrelated phenomena: 1) loss or reduction in numbers of individual wildlife species or guilds, and 2) addition of livestock to the system. Yet very few studies have addressed the individual, c...

  7. Rhizobacterial modification of plant defenses against insect herbivores: from molecular mechanisms to tritrophic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pangesti, N.P.D.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY

    Plants as primary producers in terrestrial ecosystems are under constant threat from a multitude of attackers, which include insect herbivores. In addition to interactions with detrimental organisms, plants host a diversity of beneficial organisms, which include

  8. Short-term seasonal habitat facilitation mediated by an insect herbivore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Ode, P.J.; Malcicka, M.

    2016-01-01

    In nature some organisms may facilitate others by creating shelter or other niches that they use for variable periods. We describe a natural multitrophic-species complex in the Netherlands involving a plant, the common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) a specialist chewing herbivore, the parsnip

  9. Short-term seasonal habitat facilitation mediated by an insect herbivore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J. A.; Ode, P. J.; Malčická, Mima; Gols, R.

    2016-01-01

    In nature some organisms may facilitate others by creating shelter or other niches that they use for variable periods. We describe a natural tnultitrophic-species complex in the Netherlands involving a plant, the common hogweed (Heracteum sphondylium) a specialist chewing herbivore, the parsnip

  10. Short-term seasonal habitat facilitation mediated by an insect herbivore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Ode, Paul J.; Malcicka, Miriama; Gols, Rieta

    2016-01-01

    In nature some organisms may facilitate others by creating shelter or other niches that they use for variable periods. We describe a natural multitrophic-species complex in the Netherlands involving a plant, the common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) a specialist chewing herbivore, the parsnip

  11. Insects on plants: explaining the paradox of low diversity within specialist herbivore guilds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novotny, Vojtech; Miller, Scott E; Hrcek, Jan; Baje, Leontine; Basset, Yves; Lewis, Owen T; Stewart, Alan J A; Weiblen, George D

    2012-03-01

    Classical niche theory explains the coexistence of species through their exploitation of different resources. Assemblages of herbivores coexisting on a particular plant species are thus expected to be dominated by species from host-specific guilds with narrow, coexistence-facilitating niches rather than by species from generalist guilds. Exactly the opposite pattern is observed for folivores feeding on trees in New Guinea. The least specialized mobile chewers were the most species rich, followed by the moderately specialized semiconcealed and exposed chewers. The highly specialized miners and mesophyll suckers were the least species-rich guilds. The Poisson distribution of herbivore species richness among plant species in specialized guilds and the absence of a negative correlation between species richness in different guilds on the same plant species suggest that these guilds are not saturated with species. We show that herbivore assemblages are enriched with generalists because these are more completely sampled from regional species pools. Herbivore diversity increases as a power function of plant diversity, and the rate of increase is inversely related to host specificity. The relative species diversity among guilds is thus scale dependent, as the importance of specialized guilds increases with plant diversity. Specialized insect guilds may therefore comprise a larger component of overall diversity in the tropics (where they are also poorly known taxonomically) than in the temperate zone, which has lower plant diversity.

  12. Herbivore regulation and irreversible vegetation change in semi-arid grazing systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Koppel, J.; Rietkerk, M.

    2000-01-01

    Models made to explain sudden and irreversible vegetation shifts in semi-arid grasslands typically assume that herbivore density is independent of the state of the vegetation, e.g., under the control of humans. We relax this assumption and investigate the mathematical implications of

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Ecological fits, mis-fits and lotteries involving insect herbivores on the invase plant, Bunias orientalis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Biere, A.; Fortuna, T.F.M.; Vet, L.E.M.; Engelkes, T.; Morriën, W.E.; Gols, R.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Vogel, H.; Macel, M.; Heidel-Fischer, H.M.; Schramm, K.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Exotic plants bring with them traits that evolved elsewhere into their new ranges. These traits may make them unattractive or even toxic to native herbivores, or vice versa. Here, interactions between two species of specialist (Pieris rapae and P. brassicae) and two species of generalist (Spodoptera

  15. Marine and terrestrial herbivores display convergent chemical ecology despite 400 million years of independent evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasher, Douglas B; Stout, E Paige; Engel, Sebastian; Shearer, Tonya L; Kubanek, Julia; Hay, Mark E

    2015-09-29

    Chemical cues regulate key ecological interactions in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. They are particularly important in terrestrial plant-herbivore interactions, where they mediate both herbivore foraging and plant defense. Although well described for terrestrial interactions, the identity and ecological importance of herbivore foraging cues in marine ecosystems remain unknown. Here we show that the specialist gastropod Elysia tuca hunts its seaweed prey, Halimeda incrassata, by tracking 4-hydroxybenzoic acid to find vegetative prey and the defensive metabolite halimedatetraacetate to find reproductive prey. Foraging cues were predicted to be polar compounds but instead were nonpolar secondary metabolites similar to those used by specialist terrestrial insects. Tracking halimedatetraacetate enables Elysia to increase in abundance by 12- to 18-fold on reproductive Halimeda, despite reproduction in Halimeda being rare and lasting for only ∼36 h. Elysia swarm to reproductive Halimeda where they consume the alga's gametes, which are resource rich but are chemically defended from most consumers. Elysia sequester functional chloroplasts and halimedatetraacetate from Halimeda to become photosynthetic and chemically defended. Feeding by Elysia suppresses the growth of vegetative Halimeda by ∼50%. Halimeda responds by dropping branches occupied by Elysia, apparently to prevent fungal infection associated with Elysia feeding. Elysia is remarkably similar to some terrestrial insects, not only in its hunting strategy, but also its feeding method, defense tactics, and effects on prey behavior and performance. Such striking parallels indicate that specialist herbivores in marine and terrestrial systems can evolve convergent ecological strategies despite 400 million years of independent evolution in vastly different habitats.

  16. Evidence of a causal connection between anti-herbivore defence and the decomposition rate of leaves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grime, J. Philip; Cornelissen, J. H.C.; Thompson, Ken; Hodgson, John G.

    1996-01-01

    An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that interspecific variation in rates of leaf litter decomposition arises as a consequence of differences in the anti-herbivore defences of the living leaf. Leaf palatability was assayed in 54 vascular plant species of widespread occurrence in the

  17. Dietary phosphate affects food selection, post-ingestive phosphorus fate, and performance of a polyphagous herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cease, Arianne J; Fay, Michelle; Elser, James J; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-01-01

    Comparisons of the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus (P) content of plants and insect herbivores suggests that P limitation and herbivore foraging to balance P intake could be common. However, the lack of synthetic diets for testing the effects of lower ranges of dietary P has been a major impediment to experimental assessment of the ecological importance of, and physiological responses to, P limitation for terrestrial herbivores. We manipulated dietary P content (%P) over its observed range in terrestrial foliage using artificial diets containing near-optimal content of other nutrients for the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. Over much of the ecologically relevant range, when consuming single diets over a lifetime, higher P stimulated growth rates and increased survival, with an optimal dietary %P of 0.25-0.50% when measured throughout development. Excessive dietary P (1%) reduced growth and survival. However, with only short-term (3 day) confinement to single diets, dietary P had no effect on food consumption or growth rates. During these short exposures, fifth (but not third) instar hoppers increased the proportion of P excreted relative to P assimilated as dietary P increased. Target experiments demonstrated that, when given a choice, grasshoppers select among foods to attain a P intake target of 0.6%. These data suggest that P limitation could be common for terrestrial insect herbivores and that they can exhibit ingestive and post-ingestive mechanisms to attain sufficient but not excessive P. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Patch choice of avian herbivores along a migration trajectory - From Temperate to Arctic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Graaf, A. J.; Stahl, J.; Veen, G. F.; Havinga, R. M.; Drent, R. H.

    2007-01-01

    Migratory waterfowl species seem to track temporal and spatial pulses of optimal forage availability on their way from temperate wintering to arctic breeding sites. In order to unravel the relative contribution of forage quality and forage biomass to foraging choices in avian herbivores, we

  20. Grazing lawns contribute to the subsistence of medium-sized herbivores in dystrophic savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verweij, R.; Verrelst, J.; Loth, P.E.; Heitkönig, I.M.A.; Brunsting, A.M.H.

    2006-01-01

    Resource manipulation, such as the creation and maintenance of grazing lawns, may shape the structure of herbivore communities. We tested the hypothesis that grazing lawns contribute towards the subsistence of the Kobus kob kob in a dystrophic West African savanna, where kob and Hippopotamus

  1. Competition induces allelopathy but suppresses growth and anti-herbivore defence in a chemically rich seaweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasher, Douglas B.; Hay, Mark E.

    2014-01-01

    Many seaweeds and terrestrial plants induce chemical defences in response to herbivory, but whether they induce chemical defences against competitors (allelopathy) remains poorly understood. We evaluated whether two tropical seaweeds induce allelopathy in response to competition with a reef-building coral. We also assessed the effects of competition on seaweed growth and seaweed chemical defence against herbivores. Following 8 days of competition with the coral Porites cylindrica, the chemically rich seaweed Galaxaura filamentosa induced increased allelochemicals and became nearly twice as damaging to the coral. However, it also experienced significantly reduced growth and increased palatability to herbivores (because of reduced chemical defences). Under the same conditions, the seaweed Sargassum polycystum did not induce allelopathy and did not experience a change in growth or palatability. This is the first demonstration of induced allelopathy in a seaweed, or of competitors reducing seaweed chemical defences against herbivores. Our results suggest that the chemical ecology of coral–seaweed–herbivore interactions can be complex and nuanced, highlighting the need to incorporate greater ecological complexity into the study of chemical defence. PMID:24403332

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Interactions between a belowground herbivore and primary and secondary root metabolites in wild cabbage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Geem, Moniek; Harvey, Jeff; Cortesero, A.M.; Raaijmakers, Ciska; Gols, R.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Spatial redistribution of nutrients by large herbivores and dung beetles in a savanna ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldhuis, Michiel P.; Gommers, Moniek I.; Olff, Han; Berg, Matty P.

    1. Territorial or resting behaviour of large herbivores can cause strong local deposits of dung, in different places than where they graze. Additionally, dung beetles and other macrodetritivores can subsequently affect local nutrient budgets through post-depositional re-dispersion of dung and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  8. Compensatory growth of Festuca rubra after grazing : can migratory herbivores increase their own harvest during staging?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Graaf, AJ; Stahl, J; Bakker, JP

    2005-01-01

    1. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts increased production and quality of plants grazed at intermediate grazing pressures. Following this hypothesis, herbivores will be able to increase their own harvest by repeated grazing. We tested the predictions of this hypothesis for Barnacle Geese,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Inherited microbial symbionts increase herbivore abundances and alter arthropod diversity on a native grass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faeth, Stanley H; Shochat, Eyal

    2010-05-01

    Some microbial symbionts of plants are maternally inherited and thus functionally increase genetic and phenotypic variation within plant populations. This variation, coupled with that of the host plant and environment, may alter abundances, diversity, and trophic structure of associated plant and animal communities. Fungal endophytes in the genus Neotyphodium are vertically transmitted, asexual microbial symbionts of grasses that remain asymptomatic and rely upon their hosts for resources and transmission via seeds, often providing benefits to their hosts, including protection against herbivores. Endophyte infections may influence associated arthropod communities in agronomic grasses, but the long-term effects of endophytes and variation in host genotype and resource availability on arthropod communities in native grass populations are unknown. We conducted a long-term field experiment with four maternal genotypes of an infected (E+) native grass (Festuca arizonica) from whence the endophyte was experimentally removed (E-) and water availability was controlled, to test the effects of infection, plant genotype, and resources on abundances, biomass, diversity (richness and evenness), and trophic structure of the arthropod community. Generally, E+ grasses harbored more arthropods, including more herbivores, predators, and detritivores, suggesting that the effects of endophytes cascaded upward through trophic levels in terms of abundances, at least in early ontogeny of the host. That E+ plants harbored more herbivorous insects than E- plants suggests that infection does not increase but instead decreases resistance to herbivores, contrary to prevailing concepts of endophytes as defensive mutualists. Infection did not alter overall species richness of the arthropod community or richness of herbivores but reduced natural enemy richness, especially that of parasites, and increased richness of detritivores. Reduced richness and shifts in evenness of natural enemies on E

  12. 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

  13. Cytochrome P450 2B diversity and dietary novelty in the herbivorous, desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jael R Malenke

    Full Text Available Detoxification enzymes play a key role in plant-herbivore interactions, contributing to the on-going evolution of ecosystem functional diversity. Mammalian detoxification systems have been well studied by the medical and pharmacological industries to understand human drug metabolism; however, little is known of the mechanisms employed by wild herbivores to metabolize toxic plant secondary compounds. Using a wild rodent herbivore, the desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida, we investigated genomic structural variation, sequence variability, and expression patterns in a multigene subfamily involved in xenobiotic metabolism, cytochrome P450 2B (CYP2B. We hypothesized that differences in CYP2B expression and sequence diversity could explain differential abilities of woodrat populations to consume native plant toxins. Woodrats from two distinct populations were fed diets supplemented with either juniper (Juniperus osteosperma or creosote bush (Larrea tridentata, plants consumed by woodrats in their respective desert habitats. We used Southern blot and quantitative PCR to determine that the genomic copy number of CYP2B in both populations was equivalent, and similar in number to known rodent copy number. We compared CYP2B expression patterns and sequence diversity using cloned hepatic CYP2B cDNA. The resulting sequences were very diverse, and clustered into four major clades by amino acid similarity. Sequences from the experimental treatments were distributed non-randomly across a CYP2B tree, indicating unique expression patterns from woodrats on different diets and from different habitats. Furthermore, within each major CYP2B clade, sequences shared a unique combination of amino acid residues at 13 sites throughout the protein known to be important for CYP2B enzyme function, implying differences in the function of each major CYP2B variant. This work is the most comprehensive investigation of the genetic diversity of a detoxification enzyme subfamily in a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Unbiased transcriptional comparisons of generalist and specialist herbivores feeding on progressively defenseless Nicotiana attenuata plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geetha Govind

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Herbivore feeding elicits dramatic increases in defenses, most of which require jasmonate (JA signaling, and against which specialist herbivores are thought to be better adapted than generalist herbivores. Unbiased transcriptional analyses of how neonate larvae cope with these induced plant defenses are lacking.We created cDNA microarrays for Manduca sexta and Heliothis virescens separately, by spotting normalized midgut-specific cDNA libraries created from larvae that fed for 24 hours on MeJA-elicited wild-type (WT Nicotiana attenuata plants. These microarrays were hybridized with labeled probes from neonates that fed for 24 hours on WT and isogenic plants progressively silenced in JA-mediated defenses (N: nicotine; N/PI: N and trypsin protease inhibitors; JA: all JA-mediated defenses. H. virescens neonates regulated 16 times more genes than did M. sexta neonates when they fed on plants silenced in JA-mediated defenses, and for both species, the greater the number of defenses silenced in the host plant (JA > N/PI > N, the greater were the number of transcripts regulated in the larvae. M. sexta larvae tended to down-regulate while H. virescens larvae up- and down-regulated transcripts from the same functional categories of genes. M. sexta larvae regulated transcripts in a diet-specific manner, while H. virescens larvae regulated a similar suite of transcripts across all diet types.The observations are consistent with the expectation that specialists are better adapted than generalist herbivores to the defense responses elicited in their host plants by their feeding. While M. sexta larvae appear to be better adapted to N. attenuata's defenses, some of the elicited responses remain effective defenses against both herbivore species. The regulated genes provide novel insights into larval adaptations to N. attenuata's induced defenses, and represent potential targets for plant-mediated RNAi to falsify hypotheses about the process of adaptation.

  17. Seedling-herbivore interactions: insights into plant defence and regeneration patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Kasey E; Hanley, Mick E

    2013-08-01

    Herbivores have the power to shape plant evolutionary trajectories, influence the structure and function of vegetation, devastate entire crops, or halt the spread of invasive weeds, and as a consequence, research into plant-herbivore interactions is pivotal to our understanding of plant ecology and evolution. However, the causes and consequences of seedling herbivory have received remarkably little attention, despite the fact that plants tend to be most susceptible to herbivory during establishment, and this damage can alter community composition and structure. In this Viewpoint article we review why herbivory during early plant ontogeny is important and in so doing introduce an Annals of Botany Special Issue that draws together the latest work on the topic. In a synthesis of the existing literature and a collection of new studies, we examine several linked issues. These include the development and expression of seedling defences and patterns of selection by herbivores, and how seedling selection affects plant establishment and community structure. We then examine how disruption of the seedling-herbivore interaction might affect normal patterns of plant community establishment and discuss how an understanding of patterns of seedling herbivory can aid our attempts to restore semi-natural vegetation. We finish by outlining a number of areas where more research is required. These include a need for a deeper consideration of how endogenous and exogenous factors determine investment in seedling defence, particularly for the very youngest plants, and a better understanding of the phylogenetic and biogeographical patterns of seedling defence. There is also much still be to be done on the mechanisms of seedling selection by herbivores, particularly with respect to the possible involvement of volatile cues. These inter-related issues together inform our understanding of how seedling herbivory affects plant regeneration at a time when anthropogenic change is likely to

  18. Seedling–herbivore interactions: insights into plant defence and regeneration patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Kasey E.; Hanley, Mick E.

    2013-01-01

    Background Herbivores have the power to shape plant evolutionary trajectories, influence the structure and function of vegetation, devastate entire crops, or halt the spread of invasive weeds, and as a consequence, research into plant–herbivore interactions is pivotal to our understanding of plant ecology and evolution. However, the causes and consequences of seedling herbivory have received remarkably little attention, despite the fact that plants tend to be most susceptible to herbivory during establishment, and this damage can alter community composition and structure. Scope In this Viewpoint article we review why herbivory during early plant ontogeny is important and in so doing introduce an Annals of Botany Special Issue that draws together the latest work on the topic. In a synthesis of the existing literature and a collection of new studies, we examine several linked issues. These include the development and expression of seedling defences and patterns of selection by herbivores, and how seedling selection affects plant establishment and community structure. We then examine how disruption of the seedling–herbivore interaction might affect normal patterns of plant community establishment and discuss how an understanding of patterns of seedling herbivory can aid our attempts to restore semi-natural vegetation. We finish by outlining a number of areas where more research is required. These include a need for a deeper consideration of how endogenous and exogenous factors determine investment in seedling defence, particularly for the very youngest plants, and a better understanding of the phylogenetic and biogeographical patterns of seedling defence. There is also much still be to be done on the mechanisms of seedling selection by herbivores, particularly with respect to the possible involvement of volatile cues. These inter-related issues together inform our understanding of how seedling herbivory affects plant regeneration at a time when anthropogenic

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Cumulative effects of transgenerational induction on plant palatability to generalist and specialist herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. P. Neylan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Herbivore damage can induce anti-herbivore traits in plants. However, there is little data regarding how these induced traits affect a plant's palatability (an important factor in determining the likelihood and magnitude of herbivore damage across multiple generations post-induction, or whether the effect of transgenerational induction differs between generalist and specialist herbivores. Here we used palatability as a measure of the effects of transgenerational defensive induction in wild radish plants. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to determine whether generalist (slugs and specialist (caterpillars of the white cabbage butterfly herbivores' preference for wild radish differed depending on the number of previous generations that experienced herbivory. We found lowered palatability in plants with two or three inductions in their past in the case of generalist slugs, while palatability to a specialist herbivore was not affected by transgenerational induction. We conclude that the history of herbivory experienced by a plant's ancestors over multiple generations may play an important role in its ability to defend itself against generalist herbivores, but not against the specialists with whom they have co-evolved. Our findings suggest that the effects that multiple past inductions may have on palatability down the family line can be expected to have ecological and evolutionary implications.

  2. 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.

  3. The direct and indirect effects of fire on the assembly of insect herbivore communities: examples from the Florida scrub habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tania N; Holt, Robert D

    2012-04-01

    Disturbance is a major source of spatial and temporal heterogeneity. In fire-maintained systems, disturbance by fire is often used as a management tool to increase biological diversity, restore degraded habitats, and reduce pest outbreaks. Much attention has been given to how plant communities recover from fire, but relatively few studies have examined post-fire responses of higher order species, such as insect herbivores. Because dynamic feedbacks occur between plants and their consumers, which can in turn influence the response of the entire ecosystem, incorporating higher trophic level responses into our understanding of the effects of fire is essential. In this study, we used structural equation modeling (SEM) to tease apart the direct and indirect effects of fire on insect herbivore assemblages found on three common oak species in the Florida scrub (Quercus inopina, Q. chapmanii, and Q. geminata). We investigated how fire affected herbivore abundance, richness, and community composition both directly and indirectly through environmental heterogeneity at different spatial scales (e.g., leaf quality, plant architecture, and habitat structure). We also investigated how seasonality and landscape heterogeneity influenced post-fire responses of insect herbivores and whether fire effects on herbivore assemblages varied among different host plants. Our general findings were that fire effects were (1) largely indirect, mediated through habitat structure (although direct fire effects were observed on Q. inopina herbivores), (2) non-linear through time due to self-thinning processes occurring in the scrub habitat, and (3) varied according to herbivore assemblage as a result of differences in the composition of species in each herbivore community. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study to examine how fire influences the assembly of insect herbivore communities through both direct and indirect pathways and at multiple spatial scales.

  4. 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...

  5. Asexual Endophytes and Associated Alkaloids Alter Arthropod Community Structure and Increase Herbivore Abundances on a Native Grass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dispite their minute biomass, microbial symbionts of plants potentially alter herbivory, diversity and community structure. Infection of grasses by asexual endophytic fungi often decreases herbivore loads and alters arthropod diverisy. However, most studies to date have involved agronomic grasses ...

  6. 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

  7. Parallel evolution in an invasive plant: effect of herbivores on competitive ability and regrowth of Jacobaea vulgaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tiantian; Klinkhamer, Peter G L; Vrieling, Klaas

    2015-07-01

    A shift in the composition of the herbivore guild in the invasive range is expected to select for plants with a higher competitive ability, a lower regrowth capacity and a lower investment in defence. We show here that parallel evolution took place in three geographically distinct invasive regions that differed significantly in climatic conditions. This makes it most likely that indeed the shifts in herbivore guilds were causal to the evolutionary changes. We studied competitive ability and regrowth of invasive and native Jacobaea vulgaris using an intraspecific competition set-up with and without herbivory. Without herbivores invasive genotypes have a higher competitive ability than native genotypes. The invasive genotypes were less preferred by the generalist Mamestra brassicae but more preferred by the specialist Tyria jacobaeae, consequently their competitive ability was significantly increased by the first and reduced by the latter. Invasive genotypes showed a lower regrowth ability in both herbivore treatments. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  8. Hippopotamus and livestock grazing : Influences on riparian vegetation and facilitation of other herbivores in the Mara Region of Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanga, Erustus M.; Ogutu, Joseph O.; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Olff, Han

    Riparian savanna habitats grazed by hippopotamus or livestock experience seasonal ecological stresses through the depletion of herbaceous vegetation, and are often points of contacts and conflicts between herbivores, humans and their livestock. We investigated how hippopotamus and livestock grazing

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  14. Strong positive effects of termites on savanna bird abundance and diversity are amplified by large herbivore exclusion

    OpenAIRE

    Moe, Stein R.; Eldegard, Katrine; Rannestad, Ole Tobias; Okullo, Paul; Lindtjørn, Ommund; Støen, Ole Gunnar; Dale, Svein

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Vast areas of the African savanna landscapes are characterized by tree‐covered Macrotermes termite mounds embedded within a relatively open savanna matrix. In concert with termites, large herbivores are important determinants of savanna woody vegetation cover. The relative cover of woody species has considerable effects on savanna function. Despite the potentially important ecological relationships between termite mounds, woody plants, large herbivores, and birds, these associations ...

  15. Macroevolutionary chemical escalation in an ancient plant–herbivore arms race

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    A central paradigm in the field of plant–herbivore interactions is that the diversity and complexity of secondary compounds in plants have intensified over evolutionary time, resulting in the great variety of secondary products that currently exists. Unfortunately, testing of this proposal has been very limited. We analyzed the volatile chemistry of 70 species of the tropical plant genus Bursera and used a molecular phylogeny to test whether the species' chemical diversity or complexity have escalated. The results confirm that as new species diverged over time they tended to be armed not only with more compounds/species, but also with compounds that could potentially be more difficult for herbivores to adapt to because they belong to an increasing variety of chemical pathways. Overall chemical diversity in the genus also increased, but not as fast as species diversity, possibly because of allopatric species gaining improved defense with compounds that are new locally, but already in existence elsewhere. PMID:19706441

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-27

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

  17. Immunological cost of chemical defence and the evolution of herbivore diet breadth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smilanich, Angela M; Dyer, Lee A; Chambers, Jeffrey Q; Bowers, M Deane

    2009-07-01

    Selective pressures from host plant chemistry and natural enemies may contribute independently to driving insect herbivores towards narrow diet breadths. We used the specialist caterpillar, Junonia coenia (Nymphalidae), which sequesters defensive compounds, iridoid glycosides, from its host plants to assess the effects of plant chemistry and sequestration on the larval immune response. A series of experiments using implanted glass beads to challenge immune function showed that larvae feeding on diets with high concentrations of iridoid glycosides are more likely to have their immune response compromised than those feeding on diets low in these compounds. These results indicate that larvae feeding on plants with high concentrations of toxins might be more poorly defended against parasitoids, while at the same time being better defended against predators, suggesting that predators and parasitoids can exert different selective pressures on the evolution of herbivore diet breadth.

  18. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 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. PMID:27009228

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Clauss

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

  4. Microbial Root Mutualists Affect the Predators and Pathogens of Herbivores above Ground: Mechanisms, Magnitudes, and Missing Links

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leiling Tao

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Tri-trophic interactions among plants, herbivores, and natural enemies of herbivores are common in nature, and are crucial components of trophic cascades and the dynamics of community composition. Plant traits are key determinants of the interactions between herbivores and their natural enemies aboveground, which in turn are affected by soil organisms. Recent years have seen a surge in studies of the interactions between below- and aboveground biota, including descriptions of how microbial root mutualists influence plant traits and herbivore performance. However, concomitant effects on the natural enemies of herbivores remain relatively poorly understood. Here, we review the currently available literature to assess how and when mutualistic root microbes impose significant indirect effects on the performance of predators and pathogens of insect herbivores. We focus on how root microbes influence predator attraction, on-plant foraging efficiency, and the quality of prey tissues. We also consider the underappreciated effects of microbial root mutualists on the growth, transmission, and virulence of insect pathogens. We end by discussing missing links and important directions for future research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. The role of glucosinolates and the jasmonic acid pathway in resistance of Arabidopsis thaliana against molluskan herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodenhausen, Natacha; Schramm, Katharina; Paetz, Christian; Vassão, Daniel Giddings; Reichelt, Michael; von Knorre, Dietrich; Bergelson, Joy; Erb, Matthias; Gershenzon, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Although slugs and snails play important roles in terrestrial ecosystems and cause considerable damage on a variety of crop plants, knowledge about the mechanisms of plant immunity to mollusks is limited. We found slugs to be natural herbivores of Arabidopsis thaliana and therefore investigated possible resistance mechanisms of this species against several molluskan herbivores. Treating wounded leaves with the mucus residue (“slime trail”) of the Spanish slug Arion lusitanicus increased wound-induced jasmonate levels, suggesting the presence of defense elicitors in the mucus. Plants deficient in jasmonate biosynthesis and signaling suffered more damage by molluskan herbivores in the laboratory and in the field, demonstrating that JA-mediated defenses protect A. thaliana against slugs and snails. Furthermore, experiments using A. thaliana mutants with altered levels of specific glucosinolate classes revealed the importance of aliphatic glucosinolates in defending leaves and reproductive structures against mollusks. The presence in mollusk feces of known and novel metabolites arising from glutathione conjugation with glucosinolate hydrolysis products suggests that molluskan herbivores actively detoxify glucosinolates. Higher levels of aliphatic glucosinolates were found in plants during the night compared to the day, which correlated well with the nocturnal activity rhythms of slugs and snails. Our data highlight the function of well-known anti-herbivore defense pathways in resistance against slugs and snails and suggest an important role for the diurnal regulation of defense metabolites against nocturnal molluskan herbivores. PMID:24313595

  7. A whole-plant perspective reveals unexpected impacts of above- and belowground herbivores on plant growth and defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundim, Fabiane M; Alborn, Hans T; Vieira-Neto, Ernane H M; Bruna, Emilio M

    2017-01-01

    Trade-offs between plant growth and defense are central to theoretical frameworks used to study the ecology and evolution of plant defense against herbivores. However, these frameworks, as well as the experiments designed to test them, rarely include belowground herbivores. We experimentally challenged seedlings of the tropical shrub Solanum lycocarpum (Solanaceae) with either aboveground foliar herbivores (Spodoptera caterpillars) or belowground root herbivores (the nematode Meloidogyne incognita) and measured the resulting changes in plant growth rates, biomass allocation, and the concentration of defensive terpenoids in roots and leaves. We found that plants that suffered aboveground herbivory responded with aboveground growth but belowground defense. Similarly, belowground herbivory resulted in root growth but elevated defenses of leaves. These results underscore the importance of belowground plant-herbivore interactions, and suggest that, in contrast to theoretical predictions, plants can simultaneously invest in both growth and defense. Finally, they emphasize the need for a "whole-plant" perspective in theoretical and empirical evaluations of plant-herbivore interactions. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. 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.

  9. Nature, evolution and characterisation of rhizospheric chemical exudates affecting root herbivores

    OpenAIRE

    Hiltpold Ivan; Bernklau Elisa Jo; Bjostad Louis B.; Alvarez Nadir; Miller-Struttmann Nicole E.; Lundgren Jonathan G.; Hibbard Bruce E.

    2013-01-01

    Similar to aboveground herbivores root feeding insects must locate and identify suitable resources. In the darkness of soil they mainly rely on root chemical exudations and therefore have evolved specific behaviours. Because of their impact on crop yield most of our knowledge in belowground chemical ecology is biased towards soil dwelling insect pests. Yet the increasing literature on volatile mediated interactions in the ground underpins the great importance of chemical signalling in this ec...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

    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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjell Danell

    1998-12-01

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

  12. Life-history evolution in response to changes in metapopulation structure in an arthropod herbivore

    OpenAIRE

    De Roissart , Annelies; Wybouw , Nicky; Renault , David; Van Leeuwen , Thomas; Bonte , Dries

    2016-01-01

    International audience; The persistence and dynamics of populations largely depend on the way they are configured and integrated into space and the ensuing eco-evolutionary dynamics. * We manipulated spatial and temporal variation in patch size in replicated experimental metapopulations of the herbivore mite Tetranychus urticae and followed evolutionary dynamics over approximately 30 generations. * A significant divergence in life-history traits, physiological endpoints and gene expression wa...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-12-01

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

  14. Geographic variation in feeding preference of a generalist herbivore: the importance of seaweed chemical defenses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarty, Amanda T; Sotka, Erik E

    2013-08-01

    The ecological impacts of generalist herbivores depend on feeding preferences, which can vary across and within herbivore species. Among mesoherbivores, geographic variation in host use can occur because host plants have a more restricted geographic distribution than does the herbivore, or there is local evolution in host preference, or both. We tested the role of local evolution using the marine amphipod Ampithoe longimana by rearing multiple amphipod populations from three regions (subtropical Florida, warm-temperate North Carolina and cold-temperate New England) and assaying their feeding preferences toward ten seaweeds that occur in some but not all regions. Six of the ten seaweeds produce anti-herbivore secondary metabolites, and we detected geographic variation in feeding preference toward five (Dictyota menstrualis, Dictyota ciliolata, Fucus distichus, Chondrus crispus and Padina gymnospora, but not Caulerpa sertularioides). Amphipod populations that co-occur with a chemically-rich seaweed tended to have stronger feeding preferences for that seaweed, relative to populations that do not co-occur with the seaweed. A direct test indicated that geographic variation in feeding preference toward one seaweed (D. ciliolata) is mediated by feeding tolerance for lipophilic secondary metabolites. Among the four seaweeds that produce no known secondary metabolites (Acanthophora, Ectocarpus, Gracilaria and Hincksia/Feldmannia spp.), we detected no geographic variation in feeding preference. Thus, populations are more likely to evolve greater feeding preferences for local hosts when those hosts produce secondary metabolites. Microevolution of feeding behaviors of generalist marine consumers likely depends on the availability and identity of local hosts and the strength of their chemical defenses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    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.

  16. Tree diversity drives diversity of arthropod herbivores, but successional stage mediates detritivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Michael J; Brezzi, Matteo; Schuldt, Andreas; Zhang, Jia-Yong; Ma, Keping; Schmid, Bernhard; Niklaus, Pascal A

    2017-11-01

    The high tree diversity of subtropical forests is linked to the biodiversity of other trophic levels. Disentangling the effects of tree species richness and composition, forest age, and stand structure on higher trophic levels in a forest landscape is important for understanding the factors that promote biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Using a plot network spanning gradients of tree diversity and secondary succession in subtropical forest, we tested the effects of tree community characteristics (species richness and composition) and forest succession (stand age) on arthropod community characteristics (morphotype diversity, abundance and composition) of four arthropod functional groups. We posit that these gradients differentially affect the arthropod functional groups, which mediates the diversity, composition, and abundance of arthropods in subtropical forests. We found that herbivore richness was positively related to tree species richness. Furthermore, the composition of herbivore communities was associated with tree species composition. In contrast, detritivore richness and composition was associated with stand age instead of tree diversity. Predator and pollinator richness and abundance were not strongly related to either gradient, although positive trends with tree species richness were found for predators. The weaker effect of tree diversity on predators suggests a cascading diversity effect from trees to herbivores to predators. Our results suggest that arthropod diversity in a subtropical forest reflects the net outcome of complex interactions among variables associated with tree diversity and stand age. Despite this complexity, there are clear linkages between the overall richness and composition of tree and arthropod communities, in particular herbivores, demonstrating that these trophic levels directly impact each other.

  17. Stability of plant defense proteins in the gut of insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hui; Gonzales-Vigil, Eliana; Wilkerson, Curtis G; Howe, Gregg A

    2007-04-01

    Plant defense against insect herbivores is mediated in part by enzymes that impair digestive processes in the insect gut. Little is known about the evolutionary origins of these enzymes, their distribution in the plant kingdom, or the mechanisms by which they act in the protease-rich environment of the animal digestive tract. One example of such an enzyme is threonine (Thr) deaminase (TD), which in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) serves a dual role in isoleucine (Ile) biosynthesis in planta and Thr degradation in the insect midgut. Here, we report that tomato uses different TD isozymes to perform these functions. Whereas the constitutively expressed TD1 has a housekeeping role in Ile biosynthesis, expression of TD2 in leaves is activated by the jasmonate signaling pathway in response to herbivore attack. Ingestion of tomato foliage by specialist (Manduca sexta) and generalist (Trichoplusia ni) insect herbivores triggered proteolytic removal of TD2's C-terminal regulatory domain, resulting in an enzyme that degrades Thr without being inhibited through feedback by Ile. This processed form (pTD2) of TD2 accumulated to high levels in the insect midgut and feces (frass). Purified pTD2 exhibited biochemical properties that are consistent with a postingestive role in defense. Shotgun proteomic analysis of frass from tomato-reared M. sexta identified pTD2 as one of the most abundant proteins in the excrement. Among the other tomato proteins identified were several jasmonate-inducible proteins that have a known or proposed role in anti-insect defense. Subtilisin-like proteases and other pathogenesis-related proteins, as well as proteins of unknown function, were also cataloged. We conclude that proteomic analysis of frass from insect herbivores provides a robust experimental approach to identify hyperstable plant proteins that serve important roles in defense.

  18. Large herbivores promote habitat specialization and beta diversity of African savanna trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Robert M; Prior, Kirsten M; Palmer, Todd M; Young, Truman P; Goheen, Jacob R

    2016-10-01

    Edaphic variation in plant community composition is widespread, yet its underlying mechanisms are rarely understood and often assumed to be physiological. In East African savannas, Acacia tree species segregate sharply across soils of differing parent material: the ant-defended whistling thorn, A. drepanolobium (ACDR), is monodominant on cracking clay vertisols that are nutrient rich but physically stressful, whereas poorly defended species such as A. brevispica (ACBR) dominate on nutrient-poor but otherwise less-stressful sandy loams. Using a series of field experiments, we show that large-mammal herbivory interacts with soil properties to maintain this pattern. In the absence of large herbivores, transplanted saplings of both species established on both soil types. Browsers strongly suppressed survival and growth of ACDR saplings on sandy soil, where resource limitation constrained defensive investment. On clay soil, ACBR saplings established regardless of herbivory regime, but elephants prevented recruitment to maturity, apparently because trees could not tolerate the combination of biotic and abiotic stressors. Hence, each tree species was filtered out of one habitat by browsing in conjunction with different edaphic factors and at different ontogenetic stages. Browser abundance was greater on sandy soil, where trees were less defended, consistent with predicted feedbacks between plant community assembly and herbivore distributions. By exploring two inversely related axes of soil "quality" (abiotic stress and nutrient content), our study extends the range of mechanisms by which herbivores are known to promote edaphic specialization, illustrates how the high cost of a protection mutualism can constrain the realized niche of host trees, and shows that large-scale properties of savanna ecosystems are shaped by species interactions in cryptic ways that mimic simple abiotic determinism. These results suggest that ongoing declines in large-herbivore populations may

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L. Smith

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-22

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

  1. A specialist root herbivore exploits defensive metabolites to locate nutritious tissues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erb M.; Babst B.; Robert, C.A.M.; Veyrat, N.; Glauser, G.; Marti, G.; Doyen, G.R.; Villard, N.; Gaillard, M.D.P.; Koellner, T.G.; Giron, D.; Body, M.; Babst, B.A.; Turlings, T.C.J.; Erb, M.

    2011-10-01

    The most valuable organs of plants are often particularly rich in essential elements, but also very well defended. This creates a dilemma for herbivores that need to maximise energy intake while minimising intoxication. We investigated how the specialist root herbivore Diabrotica virgifera solves this conundrum when feeding on wild and cultivated maize plants. We found that crown roots of maize seedlings were vital for plant development and, in accordance, were rich in nutritious primary metabolites and contained higher amounts of the insecticidal 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA) and the phenolic compound chlorogenic acid. The generalist herbivores Diabrotica balteata and Spodoptera littoralis were deterred from feeding on crown roots, whereas the specialist D. virgifera preferred and grew best on these tissues. Using a 1,4-benzoxazin-3-one-deficient maize mutant, we found that D. virgifera is resistant to DIMBOA and other 1,4-benzoxazin-3-ones and that it even hijacks these compounds to optimally forage for nutritious roots.

  2. 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.

  3. Reconciling contradictory findings of herbivore impacts on spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) growth and reproduction.

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    Knochel, David G; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2010-10-01

    Substantial controversy surrounds the efficacy of biological control insects to reduce densities of Centaurea stoebe, a widespread, aggressive invasive plant in North America. We developed a graphical model to conceptualize the conditions required to explain the current contradictory findings, and then employed a series of manipulations to evaluate C. stoebe responses to herbivores. We manipulated soil nitrogen and competition in a field population and measured attack rates of a foliage and seed feeder (Larinus minutus), two gall flies (Urophora spp.), and a root feeder (Cyphocleonus achates), as well as their effects on the growth and reproduction of C. stoebe. Nitrogen limitation and competing vegetation greatly reduced C. stoebe growth. L. minutus most intensively reduced seed production in low-nitrogen soils, and removal of neighboring vegetation increased Larinus numbers per flower head and the percentage of flowers attacked by 15% and 11%, respectively. Cyphocleonus reduced flower production and aboveground biomass over two years, regardless of resources or competition. Our results, in conjunction with other published studies, demonstrate that positive, neutral, and negative plant growth responses to herbivory can be generated. However, under realistic field conditions and in the presence of multiple herbivores, our work repudiates earlier studies that indicate insect herbivores increase C. stoebe dominance.

  4. Threats to large brown algal forests in temperate seas: the overlooked role of native herbivorous fish.

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    Gianni, Fabrizio; Bartolini, Fabrizio; Pey, Alexis; Laurent, Mathieu; Martins, Gustavo M; Airoldi, Laura; Mangialajo, Luisa

    2017-07-20

    Canopy-forming algae are declining globally due to multiple disturbances. This decline has recently been on the increase due to the spread of some tropical herbivorous fishes. This new phenomenon has drawn attention to the effects of fish herbivory in temperate areas, which have been assumed to be negligible compared to that of invertebrates, such as sea urchins. In this study, the impact of a Mediterranean native herbivorous fish (Sarpa salpa, salema) was assessed on the canopy-forming seaweed Cystoseira amentacea var. stricta. Cystoseira amentacea forms belts in the infralittoral fringe of wave-exposed shores, which has so far been considered a refuge from fish herbivory. To test the effects of salema feeding on natural C. amentacea belts, an innovative herbivore deterrent device was conceived. Salema had a significant effect on C. amentacea by decreasing algal size, biomass and fertility, by up to 97%. The results suggest that the contribution of salema feeding to the loss of Cystoseira forests in the Mediterranean may have been overlooked. In addition, the analysis of temporal and spatial patterns of salema landings in the Mediterranean Sea suggests that salema abundance may have increased recently. Thus, along with invertebrate herbivory and anthropogenic stressors, fish herbivory may also represent a potential threat to algal forests in temperate areas.

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

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    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.

  6. Extinction cascades partially estimate herbivore losses in a complete Lepidoptera--plant food web.

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    Pearse, Ian S; Altermatt, Florian

    2013-08-01

    The loss of species from an ecological community can have cascading effects leading to the extinction of other species. Specialist herbivores are highly diverse and may be particularly susceptible to extinction due to host plant loss. We used a bipartite food web of 900 Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) herbivores and 2403 plant species from Central Europe to simulate the cascading effect of plant extinctions on Lepidoptera extinctions. Realistic extinction sequences of plants, incorporating red-list status, range size, and native status, altered subsequent Lepidoptera extinctions. We compared simulated Lepidoptera extinctions to the number of actual regional Lepidoptera extinctions and found that all predicted scenarios underestimated total observed extinctions but accurately predicted observed extinctions attributed to host loss (n = 8, 14%). Likely, many regional Lepidoptera extinctions occurred for reasons other than loss of host plant alone, such as climate change and habitat loss. Ecological networks can be useful in assessing a component of extinction risk to herbivores based on host loss, but further factors may be equally important.

  7. On the factors that promote the diversity of herbivorous insects and plants in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra, Judith X

    2015-05-12

    Some of the most fascinating and challenging questions in ecology are why biodiversity is highest in tropical forests and whether the factors involved are unique to these habitats. I did a worldwide test of the hypotheses that plant community divergence in antiherbivore traits results in higher insect herbivore diversity, and that predominant attack by specialized herbivores promotes plant richness. I found strong correlative support for both ideas. Butterfly diversity was greatest in regions where the community average species-pairwise dissimilarity in antiherbivore traits among plant species was highest. There was also a strong positive relationship between specialized (insect) vs. generalized (mammal) herbivores and plant richness. Regions where herbivory impact by mammals was higher than that of insects tended to have lower plant diversities. In contrast, regions in which insects are the main consumers, particularly in the Central and South American tropics, had the highest plant richness. Latitude did not explain any residual variance in insect or plant richness. The strong connections found between insect specialization, plant defense divergence, and plant and insect diversities suggest that increasing our understanding of the ecology of biological communities can aid in considerations of how to preserve biodiversity in the future.

  8. 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.

  9. Local adaptation of aboveground herbivores towards plant phenotypes induced by soil biota.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dries Bonte

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil biota may trigger strong physiological responses in plants and consequently induce distinct phenotypes. Plant phenotype, in turn, has a strong impact on herbivore performance. Here, we tested the hypothesis that aboveground herbivores are able to adapt to plant phenotypes induced by soil biota.We bred spider mites for 15 generations on snap beans with three different belowground biotic interactions: (i no biota (to serve as control, (ii arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and (ii root-feeding nematodes. Subsequently, we conducted a reciprocal selection experiment using these spider mites, which had been kept on the differently treated plants. Belowground treatments induced changes in plant biomass, nutrient composition and water content. No direct chemical defence through cyanogenesis was detected in any of the plant groups. Growth rates of spider mites were higher on the ecotypes on which they were bred for 15 generations, although the statistical significance disappeared for mites from the nematode treatment when corrected for all multiple comparisons.These results demonstrate that belowground biota may indeed impose selection on the aboveground insect herbivores mediated by the host plant. The observed adaptation was driven by variable quantitative changes of the different separately studied life history traits (i.e. fecundity, longevity, sex-ratio, time to maturity.

  10. Contemporary evolution of host plant range expansion in an introduced herbivorous beetle Ophraella communa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukano, Y; Doi, H; Thomas, C E; Takata, M; Koyama, S; Satoh, T

    2016-04-01

    Host range expansion of herbivorous insects is a key event in ecological speciation and insect pest management. However, the mechanistic processes are relatively unknown because it is difficult to observe the ongoing host range expansion in natural population. In this study, we focused on the ongoing host range expansion in introduced populations of the ragweed leaf beetle, Ophraella communa, to estimate the evolutionary process of host plant range expansion of a herbivorous insect. In the native range of North America, O. communa does not utilize Ambrosia trifida, as a host plant, but this plant is extensively utilized in the beetle's introduced range. Larval performance and adult preference experiments demonstrated that native O. communa beetles show better survival on host plant individuals from introduced plant populations than those from native plant populations and they also oviposit on the introduced plant, but not on the native plant. Introduced O. communa beetles showed significantly higher performance on and preference for both introduced and native A. trifida plants, when compared with native O. communa. These results indicate the contemporary evolution of host plant range expansion of introduced O. communa and suggest that the evolutionary change of both the host plant and the herbivorous insect involved in the host range expansion. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  11. Contemporary evolution of plant growth rate following experimental removal of herbivores.

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    Turley, Nash E; Odell, Walter C; Schaefer, Hanno; Everwand, Georg; Crawley, Michael J; Johnson, Marc T J

    2013-05-01

    Herbivores are credited with driving the evolutionary diversification of plant defensive strategies over macroevolutionary time. For this to be true, herbivores must also cause short-term evolution within plant populations, but few studies have experimentally tested this prediction. We addressed this gap using a long-term manipulative field experiment where exclosures protected 22 plant populations from natural rabbit herbivory for herbivory, competitive ability, and the concentration of secondary metabolites (tannins and oxalate) implicated in defense against herbivores. In 26 years without rabbit herbivory, plant growth rate decreased linearly by 30%. We argue that plant growth rate has evolved as a defense against intense rabbit herbivory. In contrast, we found no change in tolerance to herbivory or concentrations of secondary metabolites. We also found no change in competitive ability, suggesting that contemporary evolution may not feed back to alter ecological interactions within this plant community. Our results combined with those of other studies show that the evolution of gross morphological traits such as growth rate in response to herbivory may be common, which calls into question assumptions about some of the most popular theories of plant defense.

  12. 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

  13. Domestication impacts on plant-herbivore interactions: a meta-analysis.

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    Whitehead, Susan R; Turcotte, Martin M; Poveda, Katja

    2017-01-19

    For millennia, humans have imposed strong selection on domesticated crops, resulting in drastically altered crop phenotypes compared with wild ancestors. Crop yields have increased, but a long-held hypothesis is that domestication has also unintentionally decreased plant defences against herbivores. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis comparing insect herbivore resistance and putative plant defence traits between crops and their wild relatives. Our database included 2098 comparisons made across 73 crops in 89 studies. We found that domestication consistently reduced plant resistance to herbivores, although the magnitude of the effects varied across plant organs and depended on how resistance was measured. However, domestication had no consistent effects on the specific plant defence traits underlying resistance, including secondary metabolites and physical feeding barriers. The values of these traits sometimes increased and sometimes decreased during domestication. Consistent negative effects of domestication were observed only when defence traits were measured in reproductive organs or in the plant organ that was harvested. These results highlight the complexity of evolution under domestication and the need for an improved theoretical understanding of the mechanisms through which agronomic selection can influence the species interactions that impact both the yield and sustainability of our food systems.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Domestication impacts on plant–herbivore interactions: a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poveda, Katja

    2017-01-01

    For millennia, humans have imposed strong selection on domesticated crops, resulting in drastically altered crop phenotypes compared with wild ancestors. Crop yields have increased, but a long-held hypothesis is that domestication has also unintentionally decreased plant defences against herbivores. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis comparing insect herbivore resistance and putative plant defence traits between crops and their wild relatives. Our database included 2098 comparisons made across 73 crops in 89 studies. We found that domestication consistently reduced plant resistance to herbivores, although the magnitude of the effects varied across plant organs and depended on how resistance was measured. However, domestication had no consistent effects on the specific plant defence traits underlying resistance, including secondary metabolites and physical feeding barriers. The values of these traits sometimes increased and sometimes decreased during domestication. Consistent negative effects of domestication were observed only when defence traits were measured in reproductive organs or in the plant organ that was harvested. These results highlight the complexity of evolution under domestication and the need for an improved theoretical understanding of the mechanisms through which agronomic selection can influence the species interactions that impact both the yield and sustainability of our food systems. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences’. PMID:27920379

  15. 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.

  16. A coral-algal phase shift in Mesoamerica not driven by changes in herbivorous fish abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús Ernesto Arias-González

    Full Text Available Coral-algal phase shifts in which coral cover declines to low levels and is replaced by algae have often been documented on coral reefs worldwide. This has motivated coral reef management responses that include restriction and regulation of fishing, e.g. herbivorous fish species. However, there is evidence that eutrophication and sedimentation can be at least as important as a reduction in herbivory in causing phase shifts. These threats arise from coastal development leading to increased nutrient and sediment loads, which stimulate algal growth and negatively impact corals respectively. Here, we first present results of a dynamic process-based model demonstrating that in addition to overharvesting of herbivorous fish, bottom-up processes have the potential to precipitate coral-algal phase shifts on Mesoamerican reefs. We then provide an empirical example that exemplifies this on coral reefs off Mahahual in Mexico, where a shift from coral to algal dominance occurred over 14 years, during which there was little change in herbivore biomass but considerable development of tourist infrastructure. Our results indicate that coastal development can compromise the resilience of coral reefs and that watershed and coastal zone management together with the maintenance of functional levels of fish herbivory are critical for the persistence of coral reefs in Mesoamerica.

  17. A coral-algal phase shift in Mesoamerica not driven by changes in herbivorous fish abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias-González, Jesús Ernesto; Fung, Tak; Seymour, Robert M; Garza-Pérez, Joaquín Rodrigo; Acosta-González, Gilberto; Bozec, Yves-Marie; Johnson, Craig R

    2017-01-01

    Coral-algal phase shifts in which coral cover declines to low levels and is replaced by algae have often been documented on coral reefs worldwide. This has motivated coral reef management responses that include restriction and regulation of fishing, e.g. herbivorous fish species. However, there is evidence that eutrophication and sedimentation can be at least as important as a reduction in herbivory in causing phase shifts. These threats arise from coastal development leading to increased nutrient and sediment loads, which stimulate algal growth and negatively impact corals respectively. Here, we first present results of a dynamic process-based model demonstrating that in addition to overharvesting of herbivorous fish, bottom-up processes have the potential to precipitate coral-algal phase shifts on Mesoamerican reefs. We then provide an empirical example that exemplifies this on coral reefs off Mahahual in Mexico, where a shift from coral to algal dominance occurred over 14 years, during which there was little change in herbivore biomass but considerable development of tourist infrastructure. Our results indicate that coastal development can compromise the resilience of coral reefs and that watershed and coastal zone management together with the maintenance of functional levels of fish herbivory are critical for the persistence of coral reefs in Mesoamerica.

  18. Ambient temperature influences tolerance to plant secondary compounds in a mammalian herbivore.

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    Kurnath, P; Merz, N D; Dearing, M D

    2016-01-13

    Growing evidence suggests that plant secondary compounds (PSCs) ingested by mammals become more toxic at elevated ambient temperatures, a phenomenon known as temperature-dependent toxicity. We investigated temperature-dependent toxicity in the desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida), a herbivorous rodent that naturally encounters PSCs in creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), which is a major component of its diet. First, we determined the maximum dose of creosote resin ingested by woodrats at warm (28-29°C) or cool (21-22°C) temperatures. Second, we controlled the daily dose of creosote resin ingested at warm, cool and room (25°C) temperatures, and measured persistence in feeding trials. At the warm temperature, woodrats ingested significantly less creosote resin; their maximum dose was two-thirds that of animals at the cool temperature. Moreover, woodrats at warm and room temperatures could not persist on the same dose of creosote resin as woodrats at the cool temperature. Our findings demonstrate that warmer temperatures reduce PSC intake and tolerance in herbivorous rodents, highlighting the potentially adverse consequences of temperature-dependent toxicity. These results will advance the field of herbivore ecology and may hone predictions of mammalian responses to climate change. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Structural Morphology of Molars in Large Mammalian Herbivores: Enamel Content Varies between Tooth Positions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela E Winkler

    Full Text Available The distribution of dental tissues in mammalian herbivores can be very different from taxon to taxon. While grazers tend to have more elaborated and complexly folded enamel ridges, browsers have less complex enamel ridges which can even be so far reduced that they are completely lost. The gradient in relative enamel content and complexity of structures has so far not been addressed within a single species. However, several studies have noted tooth position specific wear rates in small mammals (rabbits, guinea pigs which may be related to individual tooth morphology. We investigate whether differentiated enamel content by tooth position is also to be found in large herbivores. We use CT-scanning techniques to quantify relative enamel content in upper and lower molar teeth of 21 large herbivorous mammal species. By using a broad approach and including both perissodactyls and artiodactyls, we address phylogenetic intraspecific differences in relative enamel content. We find that enamel is highly unevenly distributed among molars (upper M1, M2, M3 and lower m1, m2, m3 in most taxa and that relative enamel content is independent of phylogeny. Overall, relative enamel content increases along the molar tooth row and is significantly higher in lower molars compared to upper molars. We relate this differential enamel content to prolonged mineralisation in the posterior tooth positions and suggest a compensatory function of m3 and M3 for functional losses of anterior teeth.

  20. Structural Morphology of Molars in Large Mammalian Herbivores: Enamel Content Varies between Tooth Positions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Daniela E; Kaiser, Thomas M

    2015-01-01

    The distribution of dental tissues in mammalian herbivores can be very different from taxon to taxon. While grazers tend to have more elaborated and complexly folded enamel ridges, browsers have less complex enamel ridges which can even be so far reduced that they are completely lost. The gradient in relative enamel content and complexity of structures has so far not been addressed within a single species. However, several studies have noted tooth position specific wear rates in small mammals (rabbits, guinea pigs) which may be related to individual tooth morphology. We investigate whether differentiated enamel content by tooth position is also to be found in large herbivores. We use CT-scanning techniques to quantify relative enamel content in upper and lower molar teeth of 21 large herbivorous mammal species. By using a broad approach and including both perissodactyls and artiodactyls, we address phylogenetic intraspecific differences in relative enamel content. We find that enamel is highly unevenly distributed among molars (upper M1, M2, M3 and lower m1, m2, m3) in most taxa and that relative enamel content is independent of phylogeny. Overall, relative enamel content increases along the molar tooth row and is significantly higher in lower molars compared to upper molars. We relate this differential enamel content to prolonged mineralisation in the posterior tooth positions and suggest a compensatory function of m3 and M3 for functional losses of anterior teeth.