WorldWideScience

Sample records for plant herbivore carnivorous

  1. Plant-carnivore mutualism through herbivore-induced carnivore attractants.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takabayashi, J.; Dicke, M.

    1996-01-01

    Plants and carnivorous arthropods can interact mutualistically. A recent discovery is that such mutualisms can be mediated by volatile compounds — produced by plants in response to herbivore damage — that attract carnivores. However, after emission of these attractants, the plant has no control over

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Congestion Control in the Internet by Employing a Ratio dependent Plant Herbivore Carnivorous Model

    CERN Document Server

    Jamali, Shahram

    2009-01-01

    The demand for Internet based services has exploded over the last decade. Many organizations use the Internet and particularly the World Wide Web as their primary medium for communication and business. This phenomenal growth has dramatically increased the performance requirements for the Internet. To have a high performance Internet, a good congestion control system is essential for it. The current work proposes that the congestion control in the Internet can be inspired from the population control tactics of the nature. Toward this idea, each flow (W) in the network is viewed as a species whose population size is congestion window size of the flow. By this assumption, congestion control problem is redefined as population control of flow species. This paper defines a three trophic food chain analogy in congestion control area, and gives a ratio dependent model to control population size of W species within this plant herbivore carnivorous food chain. Simulation results show that this model achieves fair bandw...

  4. Exposure of Lima bean leaves to volatiles from herbivore-induced conspecific plants results in emission of carnivore attractants: active or passive process?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Choh, Y.; Shimoda, T.; Ozawa, R.; Dicke, M.; Takabayashi, J.

    2004-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatiles emitted by herbivore-damaged plants can cause responses in downwind undamaged neighboring plants, such as the attraction of carnivorous enemies of herbivores. One of the open questions is whether this involves an active (production of volatiles) or passive

  5. 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 natura

  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. Cutting food in terrestrial carnivores and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanson, Gordon

    2016-06-06

    Insects and mammals cut their food up into small pieces to facilitate ingestion and chemical digestion. Teeth and jaws act as cutting tools, but, unlike engineering tools designed for a specific purpose, must generally cope with substantial variation in food properties and work at many scales. Knowing how teeth and jaws work effectively requires an understanding of the cutting on the edges and the mechanisms that remove cut material. Variability and heterogeneity of diet properties are not well known, and, for example, may be higher and overlap more in the browsing and grazing categories of plant diets. A reinterpretation of tooth function in large mammal browsers and grazers is proposed.

  8. Contrasting cascade effects of carnivores on plant fitness: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Koricheva, Julia

    2011-05-01

    1. Although carnivores indirectly improve plant fitness by decreasing herbivory, they may also decrease plant reproduction by disrupting plant-pollinator mutualism. The overall magnitude of the resulting net effect of carnivores on plant fitness and the factors responsible for the variations in strength and direction of this effect have not been explored quantitatively to date. 2. We performed a meta-analysis of 67 studies containing 163 estimates of the effects of carnivores on plant fitness and examined the relative importance of several potential sources of variation in carnivore effects. 3. Carnivores significantly increased plant fitness via suppression of herbivores and decreased fitness by consuming pollinators. The overall net effect of carnivores on plant fitness was positive (32% increase), indicating that effects via herbivores were stronger than effects via pollinators. 4. Parasitoids had stronger positive effect on plant fitness than predators. Active hunters increased plant fitness, whereas stationary predators had no significant effect, presumably because they were more prone to disrupt plant-pollinator mutualism. Carnivores with broader habitat domain had negative effects on plant fitness, whereas those with narrow habitat domain had positive effects. 5. Predator effects were positive for plants which offered rewards (e.g. extrafloral nectaries) and negative for plants which lacked any attractors. 6. This study adds new knowledge on the factors that determine the strength of terrestrial trophic cascades and highlights the importance of considering simultaneous contrasting interactions in the same study system. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2011 British Ecological Society.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Straminipilous organisms growing on herbivorous pirapitinga (Piaractus brachypomus) and carnivorous piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) from Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czeczuga, B; Godlewska, A; Mazalska, B; Muszyńska, E

    2010-05-01

    We investigated the growth of straminipilous organisms on the skin, muscles and liver of herbivorous pirapitinga (Piaractus brachypomus) and carnivorous piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) in water of three different eutrophication levels. Sixteen straminipilous organism species were found growing on the investigated body parts of both species of fish used as baits. The higher number of species was found on the baits of carnivorous species (15) when compared with the ones from the herbivorous pirapitinga (10 species). The highest number of straminipilous organisms species developed on the skin of both species of fish. The highest number of species of straminipilous organisms was observed growing in the water of the BiaBa river (middle eutrophication), while the lowest number occurred in the baits of vessels with water from the Dojlidy pond (low eutrophication).

  12. Plant defense against insect herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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......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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Overcoming DNA extraction problems from carnivorous plants

    OpenAIRE

    Fleischmann, Andreas; Heubl, Günther

    2009-01-01

    We tested previously published protocols for DNA isolation from plants with high contents of polyphenols and polysaccharides for several taxa of carnivorous plants. However, we did not get satisfying results with fresh or silica dried leaf tissue obtained from field collected or greenhouse grown plants, nor from herbarium specimens. Therefore, we have developed a simple modified protocol of the commercially available Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit for rapid, effective and reproducible ...

  15. Plant defense against insect herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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......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...

  16. Significance of terpenoids in induced indirect plant defence against herbivorous arthropods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mumm, R.; Posthumus, M.A.; Dicke, M.

    2008-01-01

    Many plants respond to herbivory by arthropods with an induced emission of volatiles such as green leaf volatiles and terpenoids. These herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) can attract carnivores, for example, predators and parasitoids. We investigated the significance of terpenoids in attracti

  17. 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),...

  18. Plant defences against herbivore and insect attack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plants deploy a number of defences against attack by insects and other herbivores. Direct defence is conferred by plant products and structures that deter or kill the herbivores. Chemical toxins and deterrents vary widely among plant species, and some typical toxins include alkaloids, terpenoids, st...

  19. Endocytotic uptake of nutrients in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Koller-Peroutka, Marianne; Bauer, Sonja; Koshkin, Edith; Lendl, Thomas; Lichtscheidl, Irene K

    2012-07-01

    Carnivorous plants trap, digest and absorb animals in order to supplement their mineral nutrition. Nutrients absorbed by the plant include different nitrogen species, phosphate, potassium, trace elements and small organic compounds. Uptake is usually thought to be performed via specific channels, but this study provides evidence that endocytosis is involved as well. Traps of the carnivorous plants Nepenthes coccinea, Nepenthes ventrata, Cephalotus follicularis, Drosophyllum lusitanicum, Drosera capensis, Dionaea muscipula, Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Genlisea violacea × lobata, Sarracenia psittacina and Sarracenia purpurea were stained with methylene blue in order to identify possible sites of uptake. The permeable parts of the traps were incubated with fluorescein isothiocyanate labelled bovine serum albumin (FITC-BSA) and other fluorescent endocytosis markers, combined with the soluble protein BSA or respiratory inhibitors. Uptake was studied by confocal microscopy. In Nepenthes, small fluorescent vesicles became visible 1 h after incubation with FITC-BSA. These vesicles fused to larger compartments within 30 h. A similar behaviour was found in the related genera Drosera, Dionaea, Aldrovanda and Drosophyllum but also in Cephalotus with glands of different evolutionary origin. In Genlisea and Sarracenia, no evidence for endocytosis was found. We propose that in many carnivorous plants, nutrient uptake by carriers is supplemented by endocytosis, which enables absorption and intracellular digestion of whole proteins. The advantage for the plant of reducing secretion of enzymes for extracellular digestion is evident. © 2012 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Natal Host Plants Can Alter Herbivore Competition

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Interspecific competition between herbivores is widely recognized as an important determinant of community structure. Although researchers have identified a number of factors capable of altering competitive interactions, few studies have addressed the influence of neighboring plant species. If adaptation to/ epigenetic effects of an herbivore’s natal host plant alter its performance on other host plants, then interspecific herbivore interactions may play out differently in heterogeneous and h...

  3. Fluorescent prey traps in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, R; Johnson, A J; Sankar, S; Hussain, A A; Sathish Kumar, C; Sabulal, B

    2013-05-01

    Carnivorous plants acquire most of their nutrients by capturing ants, insects and other arthropods through their leaf-evolved biological traps. So far, the best-known attractants in carnivorous prey traps are nectar, colour and olfactory cues. Here, fresh prey traps of 14 Nepenthes, five Sarracenia, five Drosera, two Pinguicula species/hybrids, Dionaea muscipula and Utricularia stellaris were scanned at UV 366 nm. Fluorescence emissions of major isolates of fresh Nepenthes khasiana pitcher peristomes were recorded at an excitation wavelength of 366 nm. N. khasiana field pitcher peristomes were masked by its slippery zone extract, and prey capture rates were compared with control pitchers. We found the existence of distinct blue fluorescence emissions at the capture spots of Nepenthes, Sarracenia and Dionaea prey traps at UV 366 nm. These alluring blue emissions gradually developed with the growth of the prey traps and diminished towards their death. On excitation at 366 nm, N. khasiana peristome 3:1 CHCl3–MeOH extract and its two major blue bands showed strong fluorescence emissions at 430–480 nm. Masking of blue emissions on peristomes drastically reduced prey capture in N. khasiana pitchers. We propose these molecular emissions as a critical factor attracting arthropods and other visitors to these carnivorous traps. Drosera, Pinguicula and Utricularia prey traps showed only red chlorophyll emissions at 366 nm.

  4. Overcoming DNA extraction problems from carnivorous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fleischmann, Andreas

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We tested previously published protocols for DNA isolation from plants with high contents of polyphenols and polysaccharides for several taxa of carnivorous plants. However, we did not get satisfying results with fresh or silica dried leaf tissue obtained from field collected or greenhouse grown plants, nor from herbarium specimens. Therefore, we have developed a simple modified protocol of the commercially available Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit for rapid, effective and reproducible isolation of high quality genomic DNA suitable for PCR reactions. DNA extraction can be conducted from both fresh and dried leaf tissue of various carnivorous plant taxa, irrespective of high contents of polysaccharides, phenolic compounds and other secondary plant metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and amplification.

    Probamos algunos protocolos publicados previamente para el aislamiento del ADN de plantas con alto contenido de polifenoles y polisacáridos para varios táxones de plantas carnívoras. Sin embargo, no conseguimos muy buenos resultados ni con tejidos de hojas frescas, ni con tejidos de hojas secadas en gel de sílice obtenidas de plantas colectadas en el campo o cultivadas en los invernaderos, ni de especímenes de herbario. Por lo tanto, hemos desarrollado un protocolo sencillo, modificado del Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit disponible en el mercado para el aislamiento rápido, eficaz y reproducible de ADN genómico de alta calidad conveniente para la reacción en cadena de la polimerasa. La extracción del ADN se puede realizar en tejidos de hojas frescas o secas de varios táxones de plantas carnívoras, sin importar el grado de contenido de polisacáridos, compuestos fenólicos u otros metabolitos secundarios que interfieren con el aislamiento y la amplificación del ADN.

  5. 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

  6. Catapulting tentacles in a sticky carnivorous plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Poppinga

    Full Text Available Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed 'active' have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin's early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory.

  7. Catapulting tentacles in a sticky carnivorous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Hartmeyer, Siegfried Richard Heinrich; Seidel, Robin; Masselter, Tom; Hartmeyer, Irmgard; Speck, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed 'active' have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin's early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory.

  8. Natal Host Plants Can Alter Herbivore Competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Natal Host Plants Can Alter Herbivore Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Interspecific competition between herbivores is widely recognized as an important determinant of community structure. Although researchers have identified a number of factors capable of altering competitive interactions, few studies have addressed the influence of neighboring plant species. If adaptation to/ epigenetic effects of an herbivore’s natal host plant alter its performance on other host plants, then interspecific herbivore interactions may play out differently in heterogeneous and homogenous plant communities. We tested wether the natal host plant of a whitefly population affected interactions between the Middle-east Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) cryptic species of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci by rearing the offspring of a cabbage-derived MEAM1 population and a poinsettia-derived MED population together on three different host plants: cotton, poinsettia, and cabbage. We found that MED dominated on poinsettia and that MEAM1 dominated on cabbage, results consistent with previous research. MED also dominated when reared with MEAM1 on cotton, however, a result at odds with multiple otherwise-similar studies that reared both species on the same natal plant. Our work provides evidence that natal plants affect competitive interactions on another plant species, and highlights the potential importance of neighboring plant species on herbivore community composition in agricultral systems. PMID:28030636

  12. Warming strengthens an herbivore-plant interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Mary I

    2009-02-01

    Temperature has strong, predictable effects on metabolism. Through this mechanism, environmental temperature affects individuals and populations of poikilotherms by determining rates of resource use, growth, reproduction, and mortality. Predictable variation in metabolic processes such as growth and reproduction could affect the strength of species interactions, but the community-level consequences of metabolic temperature dependence are virtually unexplored. I experimentally tested the hypothesis that plant-herbivore interaction strength increases with temperature using a common species of marine macroalga (Sargassum filipendula) and the grazing amphipod Ampithoe longimana. Increasing temperature increased per capita interaction strength in two independent experiments and reversed a positive effect of temperature on plant growth. Temperature did not alter palatability of plant tissue to herbivores or average herbivore feeding rate. A predictable effect of temperature on herbivore-plant interaction strength could provide key information toward understanding local food web responses to changing temperatures at different spatial and temporal scales. Efforts to extend the effects of physiological mechanisms to larger scale patterns, including projections of the ecological effects of climate change, must be expanded to include the effects of changing conditions on trophic interactions.

  13. 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

  14. Rates and modes of body size evolution in early carnivores and herbivores: a case study from Captorhinidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Brocklehurst

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Body size is an extremely important characteristic, impacting on a variety of ecological and life-history traits. It is therefore important to understand the factors which may affect its evolution, and diet has attracted much interest in this context. A recent study which examined the evolution of the earliest terrestrial herbivores in the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian concluded that in the four herbivorous clades examined there was a trend towards increased body size, and that this increase was more substantial than that observed in closely related carnivorous clades. However, this hypothesis was not based on quantitative examination, and phylogenetic comparative methods provide a more robust means of testing such hypotheses. Here, the evolution of body size within different dietary regimes is examined in Captorhinidae, the most diverse and longest lived of these earliest high fibre herbivores. Evolutionary models were fit to their phylogeny to test for variation in rate and mode of evolution between the carnivorous and herbivorous members of this clade, and an analysis of rate variation throughout the tree was carried out. Estimates of ancestral body sizes were calculated in order to compare the rates and direction of evolution of lineages with different dietary regimes. Support for the idea that the high fibre herbivores within captorhinids are being drawn to a higher adaptive peak in body size than the carnivorous members of this clade is weak. A shift in rates of body size evolution is identified, but this does not coincide with the evolution of high-fibre herbivory, instead occurring earlier in time and at a more basal node. Herbivorous lineages which show an increase in size are not found to evolve at a faster rate than those which show a decrease; in fact, it is those which experience a size decrease which evolve at higher rates. It is possible the shift in rates of evolution is related to the improved food processing ability of

  15. Direct comparisons of 2D and 3D dental microwear proxies in extant herbivorous and carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSantis, Larisa R G; Scott, Jessica R; Schubert, Blaine W; Donohue, Shelly L; McCray, Brian M; Van Stolk, Courtney A; Winburn, Amanda A; Greshko, Michael A; O'Hara, Mackie C

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of dental microwear is commonly used by paleontologists and anthropologists to clarify the diets of extinct species, including herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Currently, there are numerous methods employed to quantify dental microwear, varying in the types of microscopes used, magnifications, and the characterization of wear in both two dimensions and three dimensions. Results from dental microwear studies utilizing different methods are not directly comparable and human quantification of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches) introduces interobserver error, with higher error being produced by less experienced individuals. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA), which analyzes microwear features in three dimensions, alleviates some of the problems surrounding two-dimensional microwear methods by reducing observer bias. Here, we assess the accuracy and comparability within and between 2D and 3D dental microwear analyses in herbivorous and carnivorous mammals at the same magnification. Specifically, we compare observer-generated 2D microwear data from photosimulations of the identical scanned areas of DMTA in extant African bovids and carnivorans using a scanning white light confocal microscope at 100x magnification. Using this magnification, dental microwear features quantified in 2D were able to separate grazing and frugivorous bovids using scratch frequency; however, DMTA variables were better able to discriminate between disparate dietary niches in both carnivorous and herbivorous mammals. Further, results demonstrate significant interobserver differences in 2D microwear data, with the microwear index remaining the least variable between experienced observers, consistent with prior research. Overall, our results highlight the importance of reducing observer error and analyzing dental microwear in three dimensions in order to consistently interpret diets accurately.

  16. Direct comparisons of 2D and 3D dental microwear proxies in extant herbivorous and carnivorous mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

    Full Text Available The analysis of dental microwear is commonly used by paleontologists and anthropologists to clarify the diets of extinct species, including herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Currently, there are numerous methods employed to quantify dental microwear, varying in the types of microscopes used, magnifications, and the characterization of wear in both two dimensions and three dimensions. Results from dental microwear studies utilizing different methods are not directly comparable and human quantification of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches introduces interobserver error, with higher error being produced by less experienced individuals. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA, which analyzes microwear features in three dimensions, alleviates some of the problems surrounding two-dimensional microwear methods by reducing observer bias. Here, we assess the accuracy and comparability within and between 2D and 3D dental microwear analyses in herbivorous and carnivorous mammals at the same magnification. Specifically, we compare observer-generated 2D microwear data from photosimulations of the identical scanned areas of DMTA in extant African bovids and carnivorans using a scanning white light confocal microscope at 100x magnification. Using this magnification, dental microwear features quantified in 2D were able to separate grazing and frugivorous bovids using scratch frequency; however, DMTA variables were better able to discriminate between disparate dietary niches in both carnivorous and herbivorous mammals. Further, results demonstrate significant interobserver differences in 2D microwear data, with the microwear index remaining the least variable between experienced observers, consistent with prior research. Overall, our results highlight the importance of reducing observer error and analyzing dental microwear in three dimensions in order to consistently interpret diets accurately.

  17. Plant-mediated 'apparent effects' between mycorrhiza and insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Lucy; Johnson, David

    2015-08-01

    Plants mediate indirect 'apparent' effects between above-ground herbivores and below-ground mutualistic mycorrhizal fungi. The herbivore-plant-mycorrhiza continuum is further complicated because signals produced by plants in response to herbivores can be transmitted to other plants via shared fungal networks below ground. Insect herbivores, such as aphids, probably affect the functioning of mycorrhizal fungi by changing the supply of recent photosynthate from plants to mycorrhizas, whereas there is evidence that mycorrhizas affect aphid fitness by changing plant signalling pathways, rather than only through improved nutrition. New knowledge of the transfer of signals through fungal networks between plant species means we now need a better understanding of how this process occurs in relation to the feeding preferences of herbivores to shape plant community composition and herbivore behaviour in nature.

  18. 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.

  19. The specificity of herbivore-induced plant volatiles in attracting herbivore enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clavijo McCormick, Andrea; Unsicker, Sybille B; Gershenzon, Jonathan

    2012-05-01

    Plants respond to herbivore attack by emitting complex mixtures of volatile compounds that attract herbivore enemies, both predators and parasitoids. Here, we explore whether these mixtures provide significant value as information cues in herbivore enemy attraction. Our survey indicates that blends of volatiles released from damaged plants are frequently specific depending on the type of herbivore and its age, abundance and feeding guild. The sensory perception of plant volatiles by herbivore enemies is also specific, according to the latest evidence from studies of insect olfaction. Thus, enemies do exploit the detailed information provided by plant volatile mixtures in searching for their prey or hosts, but this varies with the diet breadth of the enemy.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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).

  3. Risk assessment of metals and organic pollutants for herbivorous and carnivorous small mammal food chains in a polluted floodplain (Biesbosch, The Netherlands)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamers, T.H.M.; Berg, van den J.H.J.; Gestel, van C.A.M.; Schooten, van F.J.; Murk, A.J.

    2006-01-01

    A risk assessment was made for a carnivorous and a herbivorous food chain in a heavily polluted natural estuary (Biesbosch), by determining the most critical pollutants and the food chain most at risk. Exposure of food chains to metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated

  4. Insect herbivores should follow plants escaping their relatives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. The Effects of Plant Secondary Compounds on Herbivorous Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oğuzhan Yanar

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants have developed mechanical and chemical defense strategies that are effective against herbivores. Plants contain chemicals that are known as secondary metabolites (allelochemical and these chemicals do not directly involve in organisms’ reproduction and growth, on the other hand, they affect survival, growth and behavior of species. These compounds usually take ecological tasks and plants use these compounds against diseases, parasites, and predators for interspecies competition. It is known through the observations on feeding of herbivorous insects that these compounds act as deterrent chemicals or they are toxic against them. Feeding is one of the most fundamental and the most important behaviors for herbivorous insects. Even though host plant preference of herbivores is partially depend on nutrients, this behavior greatly depends on secondary chemistry of plants. Effects of secondary compounds on herbivorous insects can be positive or negative.

  6. Plant-herbivore synchrony and selection on plant flowering phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogelström, Elsa; Olofsson, Martin; Posledovich, Diana; Wiklund, Christer; Dahlgren, Johan P; Ehrlén, Johan

    2017-03-01

    Temporal variation in natural selection has profound effects on the evolutionary trajectories of populations. One potential source of variation in selection is that differences in thermal reaction norms and temperature influence the relative phenology of interacting species. We manipulated the phenology of the butterfly herbivore Anthocharis cardamines relative to genetically identical populations of its host plant, Cardamine pratensis, and examined the effects on butterfly preferences and selection acting on the host plant. We found that butterflies preferred plants at an intermediate flowering stage, regardless of the timing of butterfly flight relative to flowering onset of the population. Consequently, the probability that plant genotypes differing in timing of flowering should experience a butterfly attack depended strongly on relative phenology. These results suggest that differences in spring temperature influence the direction of herbivore-mediated selection on flowering phenology, and that climatic conditions can influence natural selection also when phenotypic preferences remain constant.

  7. 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

  8. Competition and facilitation in multispecies plant-herbivore systems of productive environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, Jef; Olff, Han

    1998-01-01

    We develop a multispecies plant-herbivore model to explore how plant competition for light and the selectivity of herbivores affect abundance patterns of plants and herbivores along productivity gradients. The model considers a small and a tall plant species, a generalist herbivore, and a selective

  9. 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...

  10. S-like ribonuclease gene expression in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Emi; Kawahara, Minako; Kodaira, Reina; Kume, Marina; Arai, Naoki; Nishikawa, Jun-ichi; Ohyama, Takashi

    2013-11-01

    Functions of S-like ribonucleases (RNases) differ considerably from those of S-RNases that function in self-incompatibility. Expression of S-like RNases is usually induced by low nutrition, vermin damage or senescence. However, interestingly, an Australian carnivorous plant Drosera adelae (a sundew), which traps prey with a sticky digestive liquid, abundantly secretes an S-like RNase DA-I in the digestive liquid even in ordinary states. Here, using D. adelae, Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap) and Cephalotus follicularis (Australian pitcher plant), we show that carnivorous plants use S-like RNases for carnivory: the gene da-I encoding DA-I and its ortholog cf-I of C. follicularis are highly expressed and constitutively active in each trap/digestion organ, while the ortholog dm-I of D. muscipula becomes highly active after trapping insects. The da-I promoter is unmethylated only in its trap/digestion organ, glandular tentacles (which comprise a small percentage of the weight of the whole plant), but methylated in other organs, which explains the glandular tentacles-specific expression of the gene and indicates a very rare gene regulation system. In contrast, the promoters of dm-I, which shows induced expression, and cf-I, which has constitutive expression, were not methylated in any organs examined. Thus, it seems that the regulatory mechanisms of the da-I, dm-I and cf-I genes differ from each other and do not correlate with the phylogenetic relationship. The current study suggests that under environmental pressure in specific habitats carnivorous plants have managed to evolve their S-like RNase genes to function in carnivory.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Ballhorn

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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? METHODOLOGY: 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. CONCLUSION: 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

  13. Fungal root endophytes of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quilliam, Richard S; Jones, David L

    2010-06-01

    As carnivorous plants acquire substantial amounts of nutrients from the digestion of their prey, mycorrhizal associations are considered to be redundant; however, fungal root endophytes have rarely been examined. As endophytic fungi can have profound impacts on plant communities, we aim to determine the extent of fungal root colonisation of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia at two points in the growing season (spring and summer). We have used a culture-dependent method to isolate fungal endophytes and diagnostic polymerase chain reaction methods to determine arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonisation. All of the roots sampled contained culturable fungal root endophytes; additionally, we have provided molecular evidence that they also host arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Colonisation showed seasonal differences: Roots in the spring were colonised by Articulospora tetracladia, two isolates of uncultured ectomycorrhizal fungi, an unidentified species of fungal endophyte and Trichoderma viride, which was present in every plant sampled. In contrast, roots in the summer were colonised by Alatospora acuminata, an uncultured ectomycorrhizal fungus, Penicillium pinophilum and an uncultured fungal clone. Although the functional roles of fungal endophytes of D. rotundifolia are unknown, colonisation may (a) confer abiotic stress tolerance, (b) facilitate the acquisition of scarce nutrients particularly at the beginning of the growing season or (c) play a role in nutrient signalling between root and shoot.

  14. Perspectives provided by leopard and other cat genomes: how diet determined the evolutionary history of carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; O’Brian, Stephen J.; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies have enabled humans to generate and investigate the genomes of wild species. This includes the big cat family, such as tigers, lions, and leopards. Adding the first high quality leopard genome, we have performed an in-depth comparative analysis to identify the genomic signatures in the evolution of felid to become the top predators on land. Our study focused on how the carnivore genomes, as compared to the omnivore or herbivore genomes, shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with nutrient metabolism, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for hunting and meat digestion. We found genetic evidence that genomes represent what animals eat through modifying genes. Highly conserved genetically relevant regions were discovered in genomes at the family level. Also, the Felidae family genomes exhibited low levels of genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, presumably because of their strict diet, suggesting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our findings can be used for human health enhancement, since we share the same genes as cats with some variation. This is an example how wildlife genomes can be a critical resource for human evolution, providing key genetic marker information for disease treatment. PMID:28042784

  15. 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...

  16. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Bazile

    Full Text Available Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition and carnivory (invertebrate predation. The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants. According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection

  17. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazile, Vincent; Moran, Jonathan A; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Marshall, David J; Gaume, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition) and carnivory (invertebrate predation). The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15)N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15)N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants). According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection of assimilatory

  18. A Carnivorous Plant Fed by Its Ant Symbiont: A Unique Multi-Faceted Nutritional Mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazile, Vincent; Moran, Jonathan A.; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Marshall, David J.; Gaume, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition) and carnivory (invertebrate predation). The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ15N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ15N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants). According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection of assimilatory

  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.

  20. Predatory mite attraction to herbivore-induced plant odors is not a consequence of attraction to individual herbivore-induced plant volatiles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wijk, M.; de Bruijn, P.J.A.; Sabelis, M.W.

    2008-01-01

    Predatory mites locate herbivorous mites, their prey, by the aid of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV). These HIPV differ with plant and/or herbivore species, and it is not well understood how predators cope with this variation. We hypothesized that predators are attracted to specific compound

  1. Effects of time delay and space on herbivore dynamics: linking inducible defenses of plants to herbivore outbreak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Gui-Quan; Wang, Su-Lan; Ren, Qian; Jin, Zhen; Wu, Yong-Ping

    2015-01-01

    Empirical results indicate that inducible defenses of plants have effects on herbivore populations. However, little is known about how inducible defenses of plants have influences on herbivore outbreak when space effect is considered. To reveal the relationship between inducible defenses and herbivore outbreak, we present a mathematical model to describe the interaction of them. It was found that time delay plays dual effects in the persistence of herbivore populations: (i) large value of time delay may be associated with small density of herbivore populations, and thus causes the populations to run a higher risk of extinction; (ii) moderate value of time delay is beneficial for maintaining herbivore density in a determined range which may promote the persistence of herbivore populations. Additionally, we revealed that interaction of time delay and space promotes the growth of average density of herbivore populations during their outbreak period which implied that time delay may drive the resilience of herbivore populations. Our findings highlight the close relationship between inducible defenses of plants and herbivore outbreak. PMID:26084812

  2. Effects of time delay and space on herbivore dynamics: linking inducible defenses of plants to herbivore outbreak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Gui-Quan; Wang, Su-Lan; Ren, Qian; Jin, Zhen; Wu, Yong-Ping

    2015-06-18

    Empirical results indicate that inducible defenses of plants have effects on herbivore populations. However, little is known about how inducible defenses of plants have influences on herbivore outbreak when space effect is considered. To reveal the relationship between inducible defenses and herbivore outbreak, we present a mathematical model to describe the interaction of them. It was found that time delay plays dual effects in the persistence of herbivore populations: (i) large value of time delay may be associated with small density of herbivore populations, and thus causes the populations to run a higher risk of extinction; (ii) moderate value of time delay is beneficial for maintaining herbivore density in a determined range which may promote the persistence of herbivore populations. Additionally, we revealed that interaction of time delay and space promotes the growth of average density of herbivore populations during their outbreak period which implied that time delay may drive the resilience of herbivore populations. Our findings highlight the close relationship between inducible defenses of plants and herbivore outbreak.

  3. Stoichiometric plant-herbivore models and their interpretation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuang, Y.; Huisman, J.; Elser, J.J.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this note is to mechanistically formulate a math-ematically tractable model that specifically deals with the dynamics of plant-herbivore interaction in a closed phosphorus (P)-limiting environment. The key to our approach is the employment of the plant cell P quota and the Droop

  4. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huber, M.; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, C.; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Kollner, T.G.; Vogel, H.; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A.M.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Preite, V.; Gershenzon, J.; Erb, M.

    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 herbivor

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa-Galaviz, Edith; Boege, Karina; del-Val, Ek

    2012-01-01

    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.

  10. Positive interactions between herbivores and plant diversity shape forest regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook-Patton, Susan C; LaForgia, Marina; Parker, John D

    2014-05-22

    The effects of herbivores and diversity on plant communities have been studied separately but rarely in combination. We conducted two concurrent experiments over 3 years to examine how tree seedling diversity, density and herbivory affected forest regeneration. One experiment factorially manipulated plant diversity (one versus 15 species) and the presence/absence of deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We found that mixtures outperformed monocultures only in the presence of deer. Selective browsing on competitive dominants and associational protection from less palatable species appear responsible for this herbivore-driven diversity effect. The other experiment manipulated monospecific plant density and found little evidence for negative density dependence. Combined, these experiments suggest that the higher performance in mixture was owing to the acquisition of positive interspecific interactions rather than the loss of negative intraspecific interactions. Overall, we emphasize that realistic predictions about the consequences of changing biodiversity will require a deeper understanding of the interaction between plant diversity and higher trophic levels. If we had manipulated only plant diversity, we would have missed an important positive interaction across trophic levels: diverse seedling communities better resist herbivores, and herbivores help to maintain seedling diversity.

  11. 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.

  12. The effects of herbivore-induced plant volatiles on interactions between plants and flower-visiting insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-09-01

    Plants are faced with a trade-off between on the one hand growth, development and reproduction and on the other hand defence against environmental stresses. Yet, research on insect-plant interactions has addressed plant-pollinator interactions and plant-attacker interactions separately. Plants have evolved a high diversity of constitutive and induced responses to attack, including the systemic emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs). The effect of HIPVs on the behaviour of carnivorous insects has received ample attention for leaf-feeding (folivorous) species and their parasitoids and predators. Here, we review whether and to what extent HIPVs affect the interaction of plants in the flowering stage with mutualistic and antagonistic insects. Whereas the role of flower volatiles in the interactions between plants and insect pollinators has received increased attention over the last decade, studies addressing both HIPVs and pollinator behaviour are rare, despite the fact that in a number of plant species herbivory is known to affect flower traits, including size, nectar secretion and composition. In addition, folivory and florivory can also result in significant changes in flower volatile emission and in most systems investigated, pollinator visitation decreased, although exceptions have been found. Negative effects of HIPVs on pollinator visitation rates likely exert negative selection pressure on HIPV emission. The systemic nature of herbivore-induced plant responses and the behavioural responses of antagonistic and mutualistic insects, requires the study of volatile emission of entire plants in the flowering stage. We conclude that approaches to integrate the study of plant defences and pollination are essential to advance plant biology, in particular in the context of the trade-off between defence and growth/reproduction.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    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 an

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Scharmann

    Full Text Available Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15N/(14N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15N when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna. Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  18. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G; Grafe, T Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15)N/(14)N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15)N) when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants) and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15)N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15)N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy) but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna). Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  19. High-Arctic plant-herbivore interactions under climate influence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    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...... by both the timing of onset and the duration of winter snow-cover. Musk oxen significantly reduced the productivity of arctic willow, while high densities of collared lemmings during winter reduced the production of mountain averts flowers in the following summer. Under a deep snow-layer scenario, climate...

  20. 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.

  1. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Paulo S.; Freitas, André V. L.

    2004-12-01

    The Brazilian cerrado savanna covers nearly 2 million km2 and has a high incidence on foliage of various liquid food sources such as extrafloral nectar and insect exudates. These liquid rewards generate intense ant activity on cerrado foliage, making ant plant herbivore interactions especially prevalent in this biome. We present data on the distribution and abundance of extrafloral nectaries in the woody flora of cerrado communities and in the flora of other habitats worldwide, and stress the relevance of liquid food sources (including hemipteran honeydew) for the ant fauna. Consumption by ants of plant and insect exudates significantly affects the activity of the associated herbivores of cerrado plant species, with varying impacts on the reproductive output of the plants. Experiments with an ant plant butterfly system unequivocally demonstrate that the behavior of both immature and adult lepidopterans is closely related to the use of a risky host plant, where intensive visitation by ants can have a severe impact on caterpillar survival. We discuss recent evidence suggesting that the occurrence of liquid rewards on leaves plays a key role in mediating the foraging ecology of foliage-dwelling ants, and that facultative ant plant mutualisms are important in structuring the community of canopy arthropods. Ant-mediated effects on cerrado herbivore communities can be revealed by experiments performed on wide spatial scales, including many environmental factors such as soil fertility and vegetation structure. We also present some research questions that could be rewarding to investigate in this major neotropical savanna.

  2. 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.

  3. The identity of belowground herbivores, not herbivore diversity, mediates impacts on plant productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milosavljević, Ivan; Esser, Aaron D.; Bosque-Pérez, Nilsa A.; Crowder, David W.

    2016-12-01

    Across many ecosystems, increases in species biodiversity generally results in greater resource acquisition by consumers. Few studies examining the impacts of consumer diversity on resource capture have focused on terrestrial herbivores, however, especially taxa that feed belowground. Here we conducted field mesocosm experiments to examine the effects of variation in species richness and composition within a community of wireworm herbivores on wheat plant productivity. Our experiments involved wireworm communities consisting of between one and three species, with all possible combinations of species represented. We found that the presence of wireworms reduced plant biomass and seed viability, but wireworm species richness did not impact these plant metrics. Species identity effects were strong, as two species, Limonius californicus and Selatosomus pruininus, had significantly stronger impacts on plants compared to L. infuscatus. Communities with either of the two most impactful species consistently had the greatest impact on wheat plants. The effects of wireworms were thus strongly dependent on the particular species present rather than the overall diversity of the wireworm community. More broadly, our study supports the general finding that the identity of particular consumer species within communities often has greater impacts on ecosystem functioning than species richness.

  4. Jasmonic acid and herbivory differentially induce carnivore-attracting plant volatiles in Lima bean plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.; Gols, R.; Ludeking, D.; Posthumus, M.A.

    1999-01-01

    Lima bean plants respond to feeding damage of two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) with the emission of a complex blend of volatiles that are products of several different biosynthetic pathways. These volatiles attract the carnivorous mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, a specialist predator of

  5. Contrasting effects of different mammalian herbivores on sagebrush plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari E Veblen

    Full Text Available Herbivory by both grazing and browsing ungulates shapes the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems worldwide, and both types of herbivory have been implicated in major ecosystem state changes. Despite the ecological consequences of differences in diets and feeding habits among herbivores, studies that experimentally distinguish effects of grazing from spatially co-occurring, but temporally segregated browsing are extremely rare. Here we use a set of long-term exclosures in northern Utah, USA, to determine how domestic grazers vs. wild ungulate herbivores (including browsers and mixed feeders affect sagebrush-dominated plant communities that historically covered ~62 million ha in North America. We sampled plant community properties and found that after 22 years grazing and browsing elicited perceptible changes in overall plant community composition and distinct responses by individual plant species. In the woody layer of the plant community, release from winter and spring wild ungulate herbivory increased densities of larger Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata, ssp. wyomingensis at the expense of small sagebrush, while disturbance associated with either cattle or wild ungulate activity alone was sufficient to increase bare ground and reduce cover of biological soil crusts. The perennial bunchgrass, bottlebrush squirretail (Elymus elymoides, responded positively to release from summer cattle grazing, and in turn appeared to competitively suppress another more grazing tolerant perennial grass, Sandberg's blue grass (Poa secunda. Grazing by domestic cattle also was associated with increased non-native species biomass. Together, these results illustrate that ungulate herbivory has not caused sagebrush plant communities to undergo dramatic state shifts; however clear, herbivore-driven shifts are evident. In a dry, perennial-dominated system where plant community changes can occur very slowly, our results provide insights into

  6. Downstairs drivers--root herbivores shape communities of above-ground herbivores and natural enemies via changes in plant nutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Scott N; Mitchell, Carolyn; McNicol, James W; Thompson, Jacqueline; Karley, Alison J

    2013-09-01

    1. Terrestrial food webs are woven from complex interactions, often underpinned by plant-mediated interactions between herbivores and higher trophic groups. Below- and above-ground herbivores can influence one another via induced changes to a shared host plant, potentially shaping the wider community. However, empirical evidence linking laboratory observations to natural field populations has so far been elusive. 2. This study investigated how root-feeding weevils (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) influence different feeding guilds of herbivore (phloem-feeding aphids, Cryptomyzus galeopsidis, and leaf-chewing sawflies, Nematus olfaciens) in both controlled and field conditions. 3. We hypothesized that root herbivore-induced changes in plant nutrients (C, N, P and amino acids) and defensive compounds (phenolics) would underpin the interactions between root and foliar herbivores, and ultimately populations of natural enemies of the foliar herbivores in the field. 4. Weevils increased field populations of aphids by ca. 700%, which was followed by an increase in the abundance of aphid natural enemies. Weevils increased the proportion of foliar essential amino acids, and this change was positively correlated with aphid abundance, which increased by 90% on plants with weevils in controlled experiments. 5. In contrast, sawfly populations were 77% smaller during mid-June and adult emergence delayed by >14 days on plants with weevils. In controlled experiments, weevils impaired sawfly growth by 18%, which correlated with 35% reductions in leaf phosphorus caused by root herbivory, a previously unreported mechanism for above-ground-below-ground herbivore interactions. 6. This represents a clear demonstration of root herbivores affecting foliar herbivore community composition and natural enemy abundance in the field via two distinct plant-mediated nutritional mechanisms. Aphid populations, in particular, were initially driven by bottom-up effects (i.e. plant-mediated effects of root

  7. Parasitoid-plant mutualism : parasitoid attack of herbivore increases plant reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, van J.J.A.; Boer, de J.G.; Dicke, M.

    2000-01-01

    We tested whether a plant's life time seed production is increased by parasitization of herbivores in a tritrophic system, Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae) plants, Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) caterpillars and the solitary endoparasitoid Cotesia rubecula (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). We esta

  8. A Novel Type of Nutritional Ant–Plant Interaction: Ant Partners of Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Prevent Nutrient Export by Dipteran Pitcher Infauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G.; Grafe, T. Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect–plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant–plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated 15N/14N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ15N) when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants’ nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants) and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a 15N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ15N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy) but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers’ trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna). Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants’ prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant. PMID:23717446

  9. Metabolite profiling of the carnivorous pitcher plants Darlingtonia and Sarracenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seppänen-Laakso, Tuulikki

    2017-01-01

    Sarraceniaceae is a New World carnivorous plant family comprising three genera: Darlingtonia, Heliamphora, and Sarracenia. The plants occur in nutrient-poor environments and have developed insectivorous capability in order to supplement their nutrient uptake. Sarracenia flava contains the alkaloid coniine, otherwise only found in Conium maculatum, in which its biosynthesis has been studied, and several Aloe species. Its ecological role and biosynthetic origin in S. flava is speculative. The aim of the current research was to investigate the occurrence of coniine in Sarracenia and Darlingtonia and to identify common constituents of both genera, unique compounds for individual variants and floral scent chemicals. In this comprehensive metabolic profiling study, we looked for compound patterns that are associated with the taxonomy of Sarracenia species. In total, 57 different Sarracenia and D. californica accessions were used for metabolite content screening by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The resulting high-dimensional data were studied using a data mining approach. The two genera are characterized by a large number of metabolites and huge chemical diversity between different species. By applying feature selection for clustering and by integrating new biochemical data with existing phylogenetic data, we were able to demonstrate that the chemical composition of the species can be explained by their known classification. Although transcriptome analysis did not reveal a candidate gene for coniine biosynthesis, the use of a sensitive selected ion monitoring method enabled the detection of coniine in eight Sarracenia species, showing that it is more widespread in this genus than previously believed. PMID:28222171

  10. Intraspecific variation in a generalist herbivore accounts for differential induction and impact of host plant defences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kant, M.R.; Sabelis, M.W.; Haring, M.A.; Schuurink, R.C.

    2008-01-01

    Plants and herbivores are thought to be engaged in a coevolutionary arms race: rising frequencies of plants with anti-herbivore defences exert pressure on herbivores to resist or circumvent these defences and vice versa. Owing to its frequency-dependent character, the arms race hypothesis predicts t

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Where do herbivore-induced plant volatiles go?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarmo K. Holopainen

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Herbivore induced plant volatiles (HIPV are specific volatile organic compounds (VOC that a plant produces in response to herbivory. Some HIPVs are only produced after damage, while others are also produced by intact plants, but in lower quantities. Among the known functions of HIPVs are within plant volatile signalling to activate systemic plant defences, the priming and activation of defences in neighbouring plants and the attraction of natural enemies of herbivores. When released into the atmosphere a plant’s control over the produced compounds ends. However, many of the HIPVs are highly reactive with atmospheric oxidants and their atmospheric life times could be relatively short, often only a few minutes. We summarise the potential ecological and atmospheric processes that involve the reaction products of HIPVs in their gaseous, liquid and solid secondary organic aerosol (SOA forms, both in the atmosphere and after deposition on plant surfaces. A potential negative feedback loop, based on the reactions forming SOA from HIPV and the associated stimulation of sun screening cloud formation is presented. This hypothesis is based on recent field surveys in the geographical areas facing greatest degree of global warming and insect outbreaks. Furthermore, we discuss how these processes could benefit the individual plant or conspecifics that originally released the HIPVs into the atmosphere. Further ecological studies should aim to elucidate the possible reasons for biosynthesis of short-lived volatile compounds to have evolved as a response to external biotic damage to plants.

  15. Herbivores can select for mixed defensive strategies in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmona, Diego; Fornoni, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Resistance and tolerance are the most important defense mechanisms against herbivores. Initial theoretical studies considered both mechanisms functionally redundant, but more recent empirical studies suggest that these mechanisms may complement each other, favoring the presence of mixed defense patterns. However, the expectation of redundancy between tolerance and resistance remains unsupported. In this study, we tested this assumption following an ecological genetics field experiment in which the presence/absence of two herbivores (Lema daturaphila and Epitrix parvula) of Datura stramonium were manipulated. In each of three treatments, genotypic selection analyses were performed and selection patterns compared. Our results indicated that selection on resistance and tolerance was significantly different between the two folivores. Tolerance and resistance are not redundant defense strategies in D. stramonium but instead functioned as complementary defenses against both beetle species, favoring the evolution of a mixed defense strategy. Although each herbivore was selected for different defense strategies, the observed average tolerance and resistance were closer to the adaptive peak predicted against E. parvula and both beetles together. In our experimental population, natural selection imposed by herbivores can favor the evolution of mixed defense strategies in plants, accounting for the presence of intermediate levels of tolerance and resistance.

  16. Dynamics of a plant-herbivore-predator system with plant-toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Zhilan; Qiu, Zhipeng; Liu, Rongsong; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2011-01-01

    A system of ordinary differential equations is considered that models the interactions of two plant species populations, an herbivore population, and a predator population. We use a toxin-determined functional response to describe the interactions between plant species and herbivores and use a Holling Type II functional response to model the interactions between herbivores and predators. In order to study how the predators impact the succession of vegetation, we derive invasion conditions under which a plant species can invade into an environment in which another plant species is co-existing with a herbivore population with or without a predator population. These conditions provide threshold quantities for several parameters that may play a key role in the dynamics of the system. Numerical simulations are conducted to reinforce the analytical results. This model can be applied to a boreal ecosystem trophic chain to examine the possible cascading effects of predator-control actions when plant species differ in their levels of toxic defense.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Pfestorf, Hans; Jeltsch, Florian; Wurst, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    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 insect root

  19. Structural and functional characteristics of S-like ribonucleases from carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Emi; Jumyo, Shinya; Arai, Naoki; Kanna, Kensuke; Kume, Marina; Nishikawa, Jun-ichi; Tanase, Jun-ichi; Ohyama, Takashi

    2014-07-01

    Although the S-like ribonucleases (RNases) share sequence homology with the S-RNases involved in the self-incompatibility mechanism in plants, they are not associated with this mechanism. They usually function in stress responses in non-carnivorous plants and in carnivory in carnivorous plants. In this study, we clarified the structures of the S-like RNases of Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Nepenthes bicalcarata and Sarracenia leucophylla, and compared them with those of other plants. At ten positions, amino acid residues are conserved or almost conserved only for carnivorous plants (six in total). In contrast, two positions are specific to non-carnivorous plants. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that the S-like RNases of the carnivorous plants form a group beyond the phylogenetic relationships of the plants. We also prepared and characterized recombinant S-like RNases of Dionaea muscipula, Cephalotus follicularis, A. vesiculosa, N. bicalcarata and S. leucophylla, and RNS1 of Arabidopsis thaliana. The recombinant carnivorous plant enzymes showed optimum activities at about pH 4.0. Generally, poly(C) was digested less efficiently than poly(A), poly(I) and poly(U). The kinetic parameters of the recombinant D. muscipula enzyme (DM-I) and A. thaliana enzyme RNS1 were similar. The k cat/K m of recombinant RNS1 was the highest among the enzymes, followed closely by that of recombinant DM-I. On the other hand, the k cat/K m of the recombinant S. leucophylla enzyme was the lowest, and was ~1/30 of that for recombinant RNS1. The magnitudes of the k cat/K m values or k cat values for carnivorous plant S-like RNases seem to correlate negatively with the dependency on symbionts for prey digestion.

  20. Increased temperature reduces herbivore host-plant quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauerfeind, Stephanie S; Fischer, Klaus

    2013-11-01

    Globally increasing temperatures may strongly affect insect herbivore performance, as their growth and development is directly linked to ambient temperature as well as host-plant quality. In contrast to direct effects of temperature on herbivores, indirect effects mediated via thermal effects on host-plant quality are only poorly understood, despite having the potential to substantially impact performance and thereby to alter responses to the changing climatic conditions. We here use a full-factorial design to explore the direct (larvae were reared at 17 °C or 25 °C) and indirect effects (host plants were reared at 17 °C or 25 °C) of temperature on larval growth and life-history traits in the temperate-zone butterfly Pieris napi. Direct temperature effects reflected the common pattern of prolonged development and increased body mass at lower temperatures. At the higher temperature, efficiency of converting food into body matter was much reduced being accompanied by an increased food intake, suggesting compensatory feeding. Indirect temperature effects were apparent as reduced body mass, longer development time, an increased food intake, and a reduced efficiency of converting food into body matter in larvae feeding on plants grown at the higher temperature, thus indicating poor host-plant quality. The effects of host-plant quality were more pronounced at the higher temperature, at which compensatory feeding was much less efficient. Our results highlight that temperature-mediated changes in host-plant quality are a significant, but largely overlooked source of variation in herbivore performance. Such effects may exaggerate negative effects of global warming, which should be considered when trying to forecast species' responses to climate change.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ilja Sonnemann; Hans Pfestorf; Florian Jeltsch; Susanne Wurst

    2015-01-01

    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 calc...

  2. 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...

  3. Plant-mediated interactions between whiteflies, herbivores, and natural enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inbar, Moshe; Gerling, Dan

    2008-01-01

    Whiteflies (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) comprise tiny phloem-sucking insects. The sessile development of their immatures and their phloem-feeding habits (with minimal physical plant damage) often lead to plant-mediated interactions with other organisms. The main data come from the polyphagous pest species Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), which are intricately associated with their host plants. Although these associations might not represent aleyrodids in general, we rely on them to highlight the fundamental role of host plants in numerous ecological interactions between whiteflies, other herbivores, and their natural enemies. Plant traits often affect the activity, preference, and performance of the whiteflies, as well as their entomopathogens, predators, and parasitoids. Leaf structure (primarily pubescence) and constitutive and induced chemical profiles (defensive and nutritional elements) are critically important determinants of whitefly fitness. Pest management-related and evolutionary biology studies could benefit from future research that will consider whiteflies in a multitrophic-level framework.

  4. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F. Buch; W.E. Kaman; F.J. Bikker; A. Yilamujiang; A. Mithöfer

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themse

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    , the moth Sympistis zetterstedtii, the collared lemming Dicrostonyx groenlandicus and the musk ox Ovibos moschatus. Data from Zackenberg show that timing of snowmelt, the length of the growing season and summer temperature are the basic variables that determine the phenology of flowering and primary...... 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...

  6. Plant defences limit herbivore population growth by changing predator-prey interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersch-Becker, Mônica F; Kessler, André; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2017-09-13

    Plant quality and predators are important factors affecting herbivore population growth, but how they interact to regulate herbivore populations is not well understood. We manipulated jasmonate-induced plant resistance, exposure to the natural predator community and herbivore density to test how these factors jointly and independently affect herbivore population growth. On low-resistance plants, the predator community was diverse and abundant, promoting high predator consumption rates. On high-resistance plants, the predator community was less diverse and abundant, resulting in low predator consumption rate. Plant resistance only directly regulated aphid population growth on predator-excluded plants. When predators were present, plant resistance indirectly regulated herbivore population growth by changing the impact of predators on the herbivorous prey. A possible mechanism for the interaction between plant resistance and predation is that methyl salicylate, a herbivore-induced plant volatile attractive to predators, was more strongly induced in low-resistance plants. Increased plant resistance reduced predator attractant lures, preventing predators from locating their prey. Low-resistance plants may regulate herbivore populations via predators by providing reliable information on prey availability and increasing the effectiveness of predators. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. 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.

  8. 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 tritroph

  9. 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 conseque

  10. Plant Defense against Herbivorous Pests: Exploiting Resistance and Tolerance Traits for Sustainable Crop Protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Carolyn; Brennan, Rex M; Graham, Julie; Karley, Alison J

    2016-01-01

    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.

  11. Can plant resistance to specialist herbivores be explained by plant chemistry or resource use strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Heather; Vrieling, Klaas; Pelser, Pieter B; Schaffner, Urs

    2012-04-01

    At both a macro- and micro-evolutionary level, selection of and performance on host plants by specialist herbivores are thought to be governed partially by host plant chemistry. Thus far, there is little evidence to suggest that specialists can detect small structural differences in secondary metabolites of their hosts, or that such differences affect host choice or performance of specialists. We tested whether phytochemical differences between closely related plant species are correlated with specialist host choice. We conducted no-choice feeding trials using 17 plant species of three genera of tribe Senecioneae (Jacobaea, Packera, and Senecio; Asteraceae) and a more distantly related species (Cynoglossum officinale; Boraginaceae) containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), and four PA-sequestering specialist herbivores of the genus Longitarsus (Chrysomelidae). We also assessed whether variation in feeding by specialist herbivores is attributable to different resource use strategies of the tested plant species. Plant resource use strategy was quantified by measuring leaf dry matter content, which is related to both plant nutritive value and to plant investment in quantitative defences. We found no evidence that intra-generic differences in PA profiles affect feeding by specialist herbivores. Instead, our results indicate that decisions to begin feeding are related to plant resource use strategy, while decisions to continue feeding are not based on any plant characteristics measured in this study. These findings imply that PA composition does not significantly affect host choice by these specialist herbivores. Leaf dry matter content is somewhat phylogenetically conserved, indicating that plants may have difficulty altering resource use strategy in response to selection pressure by herbivores and other environmental factors on an evolutionary time scale.

  12. Land-use history alters contemporary insect herbivore community composition and decouples plant-herbivore relationships.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, Philip G. [University of Wisconsin; Orrock, John L. [University of Wisconsin

    2015-04-01

    1. Past land use can create altered soil conditions and plant communities that persist for decades, although the effects of these altered conditions on consumers are rarely investigated. 2. Using a large-scale field study at 36 sites in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands, we examined whether historic agricultural land use leads to differences in the abundance and community composition of insect herbivores (grasshoppers, families Acrididae and Tettigoniidae). 3. We measured the cover of six plant functional groups and several environmental variables to determine whether historic agricultural land use affects the relationships between plant cover or environmental conditions and grasshopper assemblages. 4. Land-use history had taxa-specific effects and interacted with herbaceous plant cover to alter grasshopper abundances, leading to significant changes in community composition. Abundance of most grasshopper taxa increased with herbaceous cover in woodlands with no history of agriculture, but there was no relationship in post-agricultural woodlands. We also found that grasshopper abundance was negatively correlated with leaf litter cover. Soil hardness was greater in post-agricultural sites (i.e. more compacted) and was associated with grasshopper community composition. Both herbaceous cover and leaf litter cover are influenced by fire frequency, suggesting a potential indirect role of fire on grasshopper assemblages. 5. Our results demonstrate that historic land use may create persistent differences in the composition of grasshopper assemblages, while contemporary disturbances (e.g. prescribed fire) may be important for determining the abundance of grasshoppers, largely through the effect of fire on plants and leaf litter. Therefore, our results suggest that changes in the contemporary management regimes (e.g. increasing prescribed fire) may not be sufficient to shift the structure of grasshopper communities in post-agricultural sites towards communities in

  13. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buch, F. (Franziska); W.E. Kaman (Wendy); F.J. Bikker (Floris); Yilamujiang, A. (Ayufu); Mithöfer, A. (Axel)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractCarnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the p

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Combined transcript and metabolite analysis reveals genes involved in spider mite induced volatile formation in cucumber plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mercke, P.; Kappers, I.F.; Verstappen, F.W.A.; Vorst, O.F.J.; Dicke, M.; Bouwmeester, H.J.

    2004-01-01

    Many plants have an indirect defense against herbivores by emitting volatiles that attract carnivorous enemies of the herbivores. In cucumber (Cucumis sativus) the production of carnivore attractants can be induced by herbivory or jasmonic acid spraying. From the leaves of cucumber plants with and

  18. Inducible direct plant defense against insect herbivores: A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming-Shun Chen

    2008-01-01

    Plants respond to insect herbivory with responses broadly known as direct defenses, indirect defenses, and tolerance. Direct defenses include all plant traits that affect susceptibility of host plants by themselves. Overall categories of direct plant defenses against insect herbivores include limiting food supply, reducing nutrient value, reducing preference, disrupting physical structures, and inhibiting chemical pathways of the attacking insect. Major known defense chemicals include plant secondary metabolites, protein inhibitors of insect digestive enzymes, proteases, lectins, amino acid deaminases and oxidases. Multiple factors with additive or even synergistic impact are usually involved in defense against a specific insect species, and factors of major importance to one insect species may only be of secondary importance or not effective at all against another insect species. Extensive qualitative and quantitative high throughput analyses of temporal and spatial variations in gene expression, protein level and activity, and metabolite concentration will accelerate not only the understanding of the overall mechanisms of direct defense, but also accelerate the identification of specific targets for enhancement of plant resistance for agriculture.

  19. Insecticides reduce survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory of carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Congelosi, Alexandra M; Rohr, Jason R

    2012-03-01

    While agrochemical pollution is thought to be an important conservation threat to carnivorous plants, the effects of insecticides on these taxa have not been quantified previously. Using a combination of lab- and field-based experiments, we tested the effects of commercial and technical grades of three widely used insecticides (carbaryl, lambda-cyhalothrin, and malathion) on survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory of pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula). Commercial grades were generally more harmful than technical grades under lab and field conditions, but all three insecticides were capable of reducing both survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory within recommended application rates. However, pink sundews appeared to be more susceptible to insecticides than Venus flytraps, perhaps because of larger numbers of digestive glands on the leaf surfaces. We make several recommendations for future research directions, such as examining the long-term effects of insecticides on carnivorous plant populations, for example in terms of growth rates and fitness. Additionally, future research should include representative species from a wider-range of carnivorous plant growth forms, and explore the mechanism by which insecticides are harming the plants. Given the effects we observed in the present study, we suggest that the use of insecticides should be carefully managed in areas containing vulnerable carnivorous plant species.

  20. 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.

  1. Plant dependence on rhizobia for nitrogen influences induced plant defenses and herbivore performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Jennifer M; Mescher, Mark C; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2014-01-21

    Symbiotic rhizobia induce many changes in legumes that could affect aboveground interactions with herbivores. We explored how changing the intensity of Bradyrhizobium japonicum, as modulated by soil nitrogen (N) levels, influenced the interaction between soybean (Glycine max) and herbivores of different feeding guilds. When we employed a range of fertilizer applications to manipulate soil N, plants primarily dependent on rhizobia for N exhibited increased root nodulation and higher levels of foliar ureides than plants given N fertilizer; yet all treatments maintained similar total N levels. Soybean podworm (Helicoverpa zea) larvae grew best on plants with the highest levels of rhizobia but, somewhat surprisingly, preferred to feed on high-N-fertilized plants when given a choice. Induction of the defense signaling compound jasmonic acid (JA) by H. zea feeding damage was highest in plants primarily dependent on rhizobia. Differences in rhizobial dependency on soybean did not appear to affect interactions with the phloem-feeding soybean aphid (Aphis glycines). Overall, our results suggest that rhizobia association can affect plant nutritional quality and the induction of defense signaling pathways and that these effects may influence herbivore feeding preferences and performance-though such effects may vary considerably for different classes of herbivores.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grettenberger, Ian M; Tooker, John F

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Ode to Ehrlich and Raven or how herbivorous insects might drive plant speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquis, Robert J; Salazar, Diego; Baer, Christina; Reinhardt, Jason; Priest, Galen; Barnett, Kirk

    2016-11-01

    Fifty years ago, Ehrlich and Raven proposed that insect herbivores have driven much of plant speciation, particularly at tropical latitudes. There have been no explicit tests of their hypotheses. Indeed there were no proposed mechanisms either at the time or since by which herbivores might generate new plant species. Here we outline two main classes of mechanisms, prezygotic and postzygotic, with a number of scenarios in each by which herbivore-driven changes in host plant secondary chemistry might lead to new plant lineage production. The former apply mainly to a sympatric model of speciation while the latter apply to a parapatric or allopatric model. Our review suggests that the steps of each mechanism are known to occur individually in many different systems, but no scenario has been thoroughly investigated in any one system. Nevertheless, studies of Dalechampia and its herbivores and pollinators, and patterns of defense tradeoffs in trees on different soil types in the Peruvian Amazon provide evidence consistent with the original hypotheses of Ehrlich and Raven. For herbivores to drive sympatric speciation, our findings suggest that interactions with both their herbivores and their pollinators should be considered. In contrast, herbivores may drive speciation allopatrically without any influence by pollinators. Finally, there is evidence that these mechanisms are more likely to occur at low latitudes and thus more likely to produce new species in the tropics. The mechanisms we outline provide a predictive framework for further study of the general role that herbivores play in diversification of their host plants.

  5. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wal, R; Loonen, MJJE

    2001-01-01

    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 o

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Millett, J., E-mail: j.millett@lboro.ac.uk [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Foot, G.W. [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Svensson, B.M. [Department of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18 D, SE-752 36 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2015-04-15

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant–prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. - Highlights: • We measured nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia across Europe. • We measured tissue nutrient concentrations and prey and root N uptake at 16 sites. • Tissue N concentrations were a product of root N availability and prey N uptake. • N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey. • N deposition reduced the strength of a

  10. 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.

  11. Temperature as a modifier of plant-herbivore interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shiyong; Ruuhola, Teija; Haviola, Sanna; Rantala, Markus J

    2007-03-01

    Temperature directly affects the growth, survival, and development rates of poikilothermic insect herbivores; it may also have an important indirect impact, via the activities of plant defensive enzymes. The effects of wounding birch leaves and temperature on the growth and development rates of a Lepidopteran moth, Epirrita autumnata, were studied. We also examined the activities of a mountain birch (Betula pubescesns spp. czerepanovii) defensive enzymes, specifically the polyphenoloxidases (PPOs), in relation to temperature and wounding. The optimal temperature for early instars in terms of survival and developmental rates was between +15 and 20 degrees C. Wounding treatment had different effects on birch PPO activity depending on the temperature: at +12 degrees C, wounding decreased the activity, suggesting induced amelioration at that temperature, whereas at +25 degrees C, wounding increased the activity, suggesting induced resistance. However, larval growth was retarded slightly, but significantly, on the leaves of wounded twigs at both temperatures. Both PPO activity and larval growth rates were affected within 12 h, indicating the existence of a transcription- and translation-independent defense system in birch leaves. We suggest that underlying the increase in PPO activity and the decrease in larval growth rate may be H2O2, which has been shown to accumulate in response to wounding. Our results also provide a possible biological mechanism for the hypothesis that low temperatures promote the success of E. autumnata and other Lepidopteran larvae via decreased defensive enzyme activities of host plants at lower temperatures.

  12. 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 (

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    In response to climate change, various organisms tend to migrate to higher elevations and latitudes. Unequal migration rates of plants and animals are expected to result in changes in the type and intensity of their interactions such as plant-herbivore interactions. In the present study, we studied the extent of herbivore damage in Salvia nubicola along an elevational gradient in Manang, central Nepal. A common garden experiment was also carried out by sowing seeds collected from different populations along the elevational gradient. As expected, the extent of herbivore damage in the field was significantly lower at higher elevations, and it increased with the population size and at sites without shrubs. In the common garden experiment, herbivore damage was higher in plants originating from lower elevations and from more open habitats. While higher herbivore pressure in the field at lower elevations may suggest that plants will be better protected against herbivores at lower elevations, the common garden study demonstrated the opposite. A possible explanation could be that plants from higher elevations have to adapt to extreme conditions, and lower palatability is a side effect of these adaptations. Thus, S. nubicola in the Himalayan region is likely to survive the expected higher herbivore pressure caused by an upward shift of herbivores under future climate change. Future studies should attempt to elucidate generality of such a conclusion by studying multiple species along similar gradients. Our results from comparison of the field and common garden study suggest that future experiments need to include comparisons in common environments to understand the expected response of plants to changes in herbivore pressure.

  14. Attract them anyway: benefits of large, showy flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salces-Castellano, A; Paniw, M; Casimiro-Soriguer, R; Ojeda, F

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive biology of carnivorous plants has largely been studied on species that rely on insects as pollinators and prey, creating potential conflicts. Autogamous pollination, although present in some carnivorous species, has received less attention. In angiosperms, autogamous self-fertilization is expected to lead to a reduction in flower size, thereby reducing resource allocation to structures that attract pollinators. A notable exception is the carnivorous pyrophyteDrosophyllum lusitanicum(Drosophyllaceae), which has been described as an autogamous selfing species but produces large, yellow flowers. Using a flower removal and a pollination experiment, we assessed, respectively, whether large flowers in this species may serve as an attracting device to prey insects or whether previously reported high selfing rates for this species in peripheral populations may be lower in more central, less isolated populations. We found no differences between flower-removed plants and intact, flowering plants in numbers of prey insects trapped. We also found no indication of reduced potential for autogamous reproduction, in terms of either seed set or seed size. However, our results showed significant increases in seed set of bagged, hand-pollinated flowers and unbagged flowers exposed to insect visitation compared with bagged, non-manipulated flowers that could only self-pollinate autonomously. Considering that the key life-history strategy of this pyrophytic species is to maintain a viable seed bank, any increase in seed set through insect pollinator activity would increase plant fitness. This in turn would explain the maintenance of large, conspicuous flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant.

  15. 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. PMID

  16. Noncrop flowering plants restore top-down herbivore control in agricultural fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balmer, Oliver; Pfiffner, Lukas; Schied, Johannes; Willareth, Martin; Leimgruber, Andrea; Luka, Henryk; Traugott, Michael

    2013-08-01

    Herbivore populations are regulated by bottom-up control through food availability and quality and by top-down control through natural enemies. Intensive agricultural monocultures provide abundant food to specialized herbivores and at the same time negatively impact natural enemies because monocultures are depauperate in carbohydrate food sources required by many natural enemies. As a consequence, herbivores are released from both types of control. Diversifying intensive cropping systems with flowering plants that provide nutritional resources to natural enemies may enhance top-down control and contribute to natural herbivore regulation. We analyzed how noncrop flowering plants planted as "companion plants" inside cabbage (Brassica oleracea) fields and as margins along the fields affect the plant-herbivore-parasitoid-predator food web. We combined molecular analyses quantifying parasitism of herbivore eggs and larvae with molecular predator gut content analysis and a comprehensive predator community assessment. Planting cornflowers (Centaurea cynanus), which have been shown to attract and selectively benefit Microplitis mediator, a larval parasitoid of the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae, between the cabbage heads shifted the balance between trophic levels. Companion plants significantly increased parasitism of herbivores by larval parasitoids and predation on herbivore eggs. They furthermore significantly affected predator species richness. These effects were present despite the different treatments being close relative to the parasitoids' mobility. These findings demonstrate that habitat manipulation can restore top-down herbivore control in intensive crops if the right resources are added. This is important because increased natural control reduces the need for pesticide input in intensive agricultural settings, with cascading positive effects on general biodiversity and the environment. Companion plants thus increase biodiversity both directly, by introducing

  17. 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.

  18. Model analysis for plant disease dynamics co-mediated by herbivory and herbivore-borne phytopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakazawa, Takefumi; Yamanaka, Takehiko; Urano, Satoru

    2012-08-23

    Plants are subject to diseases caused by pathogens, many of which are transmitted by herbivorous arthropod vectors. To understand plant disease dynamics, we studied a minimum hybrid model combining consumer-resource (herbivore-plant) and susceptible-infected models, in which the disease is transmitted bi-directionally between the consumer and the resource from the infected to susceptible classes. Model analysis showed that: (i) the disease is more likely to persist when the herbivore feeds on the susceptible plants rather than the infected plants, and (ii) alternative stable states can exist in which the system converges to either a disease-free or an endemic state, depending on the initial conditions. The second finding is particularly important because it suggests that the disease may persist once established, even though the initial prevalence is low (i.e. the R(0) rule does not always hold). This situation is likely to occur when the infection improves the plant nutritive quality, and the herbivore preferentially feeds on the infected resource (i.e. indirect vector-pathogen mutualism). Our results highlight the importance of the eco-epidemiological perspective that integration of tripartite interactions among host plant, plant pathogen and herbivore vector is crucial for the successful control of plant diseases.

  19. 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.

    2009-01-01

    Herbivores may influence the nitrogen (N) recycling rates and consequently increase or decrease the productivity of grasslands. Plant N concentration emerged as a critical parameter to explain herbivore effects from several conceptual models, which predict that herbivores decrease soil N availabilit

  20. Carnivorous mushrooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorn, R G; Barron, G L

    1984-04-06

    Ten species of gilled fungi, including the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), have been shown to attack and consume nematodes. It is suggested that these wood-decay fungi utilize the nutrients in their prey to supplement the low levels of nitrogen available in wood. This mode of nutrition is similar in principle to that of carnivorous higher plants.

  1. Soil abiotic factors influence interactions between belowground herbivores and plant roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erb, Matthias; Lu, Jing

    2013-03-01

    Root herbivores are important ecosystem drivers and agricultural pests, and, possibly as a consequence, plants protect their roots using a variety of defensive strategies. One aspect that distinguishes belowground from aboveground plant-insect interactions is that roots are constantly exposed to a set of soil-specific abiotic factors. These factors can profoundly influence root resistance, and, consequently, the outcome of the interaction with belowground feeders. In this review, we synthesize the current literature on the impact of soil moisture, nutrients, and texture on root-herbivore interactions. We show that soil abiotic factors influence the interaction by modulating herbivore abundance and behaviour, root growth and resistance, beneficial microorganisms, as well as natural enemies of the herbivores. We suggest that abiotic heterogeneity may explain the high variability that is often encountered in root-herbivore systems. We also propose that under abiotic stress, the relative fitness value of the roots and the potential negative impact of herbivory increases, which may lead to a higher defensive investment and an increased recruitment of beneficial microorganisms by the plant. At the same time, both root-feeding herbivores and natural enemies are likely to decrease in abundance under extreme environmental conditions, leading to a context- and species-specific impact on plant fitness. Only by using tightly controlled experiments that include soil abiotic heterogeneity will it be possible to understand the impact of root feeders on an ecosystem scale and to develop predictive models for pest occurrence and impact.

  2. Large herbivores change the direction of interactions within plant communities along a salt marsh stress gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Howison, Ruth A.; Olff, Han; Steever, Rutger; Smit, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Question: How multiple abiotic stress factors combined with herbivory affect interactions within plant communities is poorly understood. We ask how large herbivore grazing affects the direction of plant-plant interactions along an environmental gradient in a salt marsh. Location: Grazed (cattle) and

  3. Complex effects of fertilization on plant and herbivore performance in the presence of a plant competitor and activated carbon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nafiseh Mahdavi-Arab

    Full Text Available Plant-herbivore interactions are influenced by host plant quality which in turn is affected by plant growth conditions. Competition is the major biotic and nutrient availability a major abiotic component of a plant's growth environment. Yet, surprisingly few studies have investigated impacts of competition and nutrient availability on herbivore performance and reciprocal herbivore effects on plants. We studied growth of the specialist aphid, Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria, and its host plant tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, under experimental addition of inorganic and organic fertilizer crossed with competition by goldenrod, Solidago canadensis. Because of evidence that competition by goldenrod is mediated by allelopathic compounds, we also added a treatment with activated carbon. Results showed that fertilization increased, and competition with goldenrod decreased, plant biomass, but this was likely mediated by resource competition. There was no evidence from the activated carbon treatment that allelopathy played a role which instead had a fertilizing effect. Aphid performance increased with higher plant biomass and depended on plant growth conditions, with fertilization and AC increasing, and plant competition decreasing aphid numbers. Feedbacks of aphids on plant performance interacted with plant growth conditions in complex ways depending on the relative magnitude of the effects on plant biomass and aphid numbers. In the basic fertilization treatment, tansy plants profited from increased nutrient availability by accumulating more biomass than they lost due to an increased number of aphids under fertilization. When adding additional fertilizer, aphid numbers increased so high that tansy plants suffered and showed reduced biomass compared with controls without aphids. Thus, the ecological cost of an infestation with aphids depends on the balance of effects of growth conditions on plant and herbivore performance. These results emphasize the importance

  4. Complex effects of fertilization on plant and herbivore performance in the presence of a plant competitor and activated carbon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi-Arab, Nafiseh; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mehrparvar, Mohsen; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2014-01-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions are influenced by host plant quality which in turn is affected by plant growth conditions. Competition is the major biotic and nutrient availability a major abiotic component of a plant's growth environment. Yet, surprisingly few studies have investigated impacts of competition and nutrient availability on herbivore performance and reciprocal herbivore effects on plants. We studied growth of the specialist aphid, Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria, and its host plant tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, under experimental addition of inorganic and organic fertilizer crossed with competition by goldenrod, Solidago canadensis. Because of evidence that competition by goldenrod is mediated by allelopathic compounds, we also added a treatment with activated carbon. Results showed that fertilization increased, and competition with goldenrod decreased, plant biomass, but this was likely mediated by resource competition. There was no evidence from the activated carbon treatment that allelopathy played a role which instead had a fertilizing effect. Aphid performance increased with higher plant biomass and depended on plant growth conditions, with fertilization and AC increasing, and plant competition decreasing aphid numbers. Feedbacks of aphids on plant performance interacted with plant growth conditions in complex ways depending on the relative magnitude of the effects on plant biomass and aphid numbers. In the basic fertilization treatment, tansy plants profited from increased nutrient availability by accumulating more biomass than they lost due to an increased number of aphids under fertilization. When adding additional fertilizer, aphid numbers increased so high that tansy plants suffered and showed reduced biomass compared with controls without aphids. Thus, the ecological cost of an infestation with aphids depends on the balance of effects of growth conditions on plant and herbivore performance. These results emphasize the importance to investigate both

  5. Tropical plant-herbivore networks: reconstructing species interactions using DNA barcodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos García-Robledo

    Full Text Available Plants and their associated insect herbivores, represent more than 50% of all known species on earth. The first step in understanding the mechanisms generating and maintaining this important component of biodiversity is to identify plant-herbivore associations. In this study we determined insect-host plant associations for an entire guild of insect herbivores using plant DNA extracted from insect gut contents. Over two years, in a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica (La Selva Biological Station, we recorded the full diet breadth of rolled-leaf beetles, a group of herbivores that feed on plants in the order Zingiberales. Field observations were used to determine the accuracy of diet identifications using a three-locus DNA barcode (rbcL, trnH-psbA and ITS2. Using extraction techniques for ancient DNA, we obtained high-quality sequences for two of these loci from gut contents (rbcL and ITS2. Sequences were then compared to a comprehensive DNA barcode library of the Zingiberales. The rbcL locus identified host plants to family (success/sequence = 58.8% and genus (success/sequence = 47%. For all Zingiberales except Heliconiaceae, ITS2 successfully identified host plants to genus (success/sequence = 67.1% and species (success/sequence = 61.6%. Kindt's sampling estimates suggest that by collecting ca. four individuals representing each plant-herbivore interaction, 99% of all host associations included in this study can be identified to genus. For plants that amplified ITS2, 99% of the hosts can be identified to species after collecting at least four individuals representing each interaction. Our study demonstrates that host plant identifications at the species-level using DNA barcodes are feasible, cost-effective, and reliable, and that reconstructing plant-herbivore networks with these methods will become the standard for a detailed understanding of these interactions.

  6. Independent Effects of a Herbivore's Bacterial Symbionts on Its Performance and Induced Plant Defences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudacher, Heike; Schimmel, Bernardus C J; Lamers, Mart M; Wybouw, Nicky; Groot, Astrid T; Kant, Merijn R

    2017-01-18

    It is well known that microbial pathogens and herbivores elicit defence responses in plants. Moreover, microorganisms associated with herbivores, such as bacteria or viruses, can modulate the plant's response to herbivores. Herbivorous spider mites can harbour different species of bacterial symbionts and exert a broad range of effects on host-plant defences. Hence, we tested the extent to which such symbionts affect the plant's defences induced by their mite host and assessed if this translates into changes in plant resistance. We assessed the bacterial communities of two strains of the common mite pest Tetranychus urticae. We found that these strains harboured distinct symbiotic bacteria and removed these using antibiotics. Subsequently, we tested to which extent mites with and without symbiotic bacteria induce plant defences in terms of phytohormone accumulation and defence gene expression, and assessed mite oviposition and survival as a measure for plant resistance. We observed that the absence/presence of these bacteria altered distinct plant defence parameters and affected mite performance but we did not find indications for a causal link between the two. We argue that although bacteria-related effects on host-induced plant defences may occur, these do not necessarily affect plant resistance concomitantly.

  7. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Susan R; Reid, Ellen; Sapp, Joseph; Poveda, Katja; Royer, Anne M; Posto, Amanda L; Kessler, André

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Dearing, M Denise

    2011-12-15

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

  11. Adaptive radiation with regard to nutrient sequestration strategies in the carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej

    2012-02-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved a great diversity of pitcher morphologies. Selective pressures for maximizing nutrient uptake have driven speciation and diversification of the genus in a process known as adaptive radiation. This leads to the evolution of pitchers adapted to specific and often bizarre source of nutrients, which are not strictly animal-derived. One example is Nepenthes ampullaria with unusual growth pattern and pitcher morphology what enables the plant to capture a leaf litter from the canopy above. We showed that the plant benefits from nitrogen uptake by increased rate of photosynthesis and growth what may provide competitive advantage over others co-habiting plants. A possible impact of such specialization toward hybridization, an important mechanism in speciation, is discussed.

  12. 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

  13. Antimicrobial activity of the carnivorous plant Dionaea muscipula against food-related pathogenic and putrefactive bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogihara, Hirokazu; Endou, Fumiko; Furukawa, Soichi; Matsufuji, Hiroshi; Suzuki, Kouichi; Anzai, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Solvent extracts from the carnivorous plant Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap) were prepared using eight different organic solvents, and examined for antibacterial activity against food-related pathogenic and putrefactive bacteria. All solvent extracts showed higher antibacterial activity against gram positive bacteria than against gram negative bacteria. The TLC-bioautography analysis of the extracts revealed that a yellow spot was detected at Rf value of 0.85, which showed strong antibacterial activity. The UV, MS, and NMR analyses revealed that the antibacterial compound was plumbagin.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Ikkei

    2017-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Herbivores cause a rapid increase in hereditary symbiosis and alter plant community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clay, Keith; Holah, Jenny; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2005-08-30

    Microbial symbioses are ubiquitous in nature. Hereditary symbionts warrant particular attention because of their direct effects on the evolutionary potential of their hosts. In plants, hereditary fungal endophytes can increase the competitive ability, drought tolerance, and herbivore resistance of their host, although it is unclear whether or how these ecological benefits may alter the dynamics of the endophyte symbiosis over time. Here, we demonstrate that herbivores alter the dynamics of a hereditary symbiont under field conditions. Also, we show that changes in symbiont frequency were accompanied by shifts in the overall structure of the plant community. Replicated 25-m2 plots were enriched with seed of the introduced grass, Lolium arundinaceum at an initial frequency of 50% infection by the systemic, seed-transmitted endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum. Over 54 months, there was a significantly greater increase in endophyte-infection frequency in the presence of herbivores (30% increase) than where mammalian and insect herbivory were experimentally reduced by fencing and insecticide application (12% increase). Under ambient mammalian herbivory, the above-ground biomass of nonhost plant species was reduced compared with the mammal-exclusion treatment, and plant composition shifted toward greater relative biomass of infected, tall fescue grass. These results demonstrate that herbivores can drive plant-microbe dynamics and, in doing so, modify plant community structure directly and indirectly.

  1. 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.

  2. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles as a rich source of information for arthropod predators: fundamental and applied aspects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.

    2015-01-01

    Plants respond to arthropod herbivory with the induction of volatiles that attract predatory arthropods that attack the herbivores. These so-called herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) appear to be important sources of information that mediate many interactions within a plant–arthropod communit

  3. To each its own: differential response of specialist and generalist herbivores to plant defence in willows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volf, Martin; Hrcek, Jan; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Novotny, Vojtech

    2015-07-01

    Plant-insect food webs tend to be dominated by interactions resulting from diffuse co-evolution between plants and multiple lineages of herbivores rather than by reciprocal co-evolution and co-cladogenesis. Plants therefore require defence strategies effective against a broad range of herbivore species. In one extreme, plants could develop a single universal defence effective against all herbivorous insects, or tailor-made strategies for each herbivore species. The evolution and ecology of plant defence has to be studied with entire insect assemblages, rather than small subsets of pairwise interactions. The present study examines whether specialists and generalists in three coexisting insect lineages, forming the leaf-chewing guild, respond uniformly to plant phylogeny, secondary metabolites, nutrient content and mechanical antiherbivore defences of their hosts, thus permitting universal plant defence strategies against specialized and generalist folivorous insects from various taxa. The extensive data on folivorous assemblages comprising three insect orders and 193 species are linked with plant phylogeny, secondary chemistry (salicylates, flavonoids and tannins), leaf morphological traits [specific leaf area (SLA) and trichome coverage], nutrient (C : N) content and growth form of eight willow (Salix) and one aspen (Populus) species growing in sympatry. Generalists responded to overall host plant chemistry and trichomes, whilst specialists responded to host plant phylogeny and secondary metabolites that are unique to willows and that are capable of being utilized as an antipredator protection. We did not find any significant impact of other plant traits, that is SLA, C : N ratio, flavonoids, tannins and growth form, on the composition of leaf-chewing communities. Our results show that the response to plant traits is differential among specialists and generalists. This finding constrains the ability of plants to develop defensive traits universally effective

  4. 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

  5. Varying responses of insect herbivores to altered plant chemistry under organic and conventional treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staley, Joanna T; Stewart-Jones, Alex; Pope, Tom W; Wright, Denis J; Leather, Simon R; Hadley, Paul; Rossiter, John T; van Emden, Helmut F; Poppy, Guy M

    2010-03-07

    The hypothesis that plants supplied with organic fertilizers are better defended against insect herbivores than those supplied with synthetic fertilizers was tested over two field seasons. Organic and synthetic fertilizer treatments at two nitrogen concentrations were supplied to Brassica plants, and their effects on the abundance of herbivore species and plant chemistry were assessed. The organic treatments also differed in fertilizer type: a green manure was used for the low-nitrogen treatment, while the high-nitrogen treatment contained green and animal manures. Two aphid species showed different responses to fertilizers: the Brassica specialist Brevicoryne brassicae was more abundant on organically fertilized plants, while the generalist Myzus persicae had higher populations on synthetically fertilized plants. The diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (a crucifer specialist) was more abundant on synthetically fertilized plants and preferred to oviposit on these plants. Glucosinolate concentrations were up to three times greater on plants grown in the organic treatments, while foliar nitrogen was maximized on plants under the higher of the synthetic fertilizer treatments. The varying response of herbivore species to these strong differences in plant chemistry demonstrates that hypotheses on defence in organically grown crops have over-simplified the response of phytophagous insects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  7. Above–belowground herbivore interactions in mixed plant communities are influenced by altered precipitation patterns

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Root- and shoot-feeding herbivores have the capacity to influence one another by modifying the chemistry of the shared host plant. This can alter rates of nutrient mineralisation and uptake by neighbouring plants and influence plant–plant competition, particularly in mixtures combining grasses and legumes. Root herbivory-induced exudation of nitrogen (N) from legume roots, for example, may increase N acquisition by co-occurring grasses, with knock-on effects on grassland community compositi...

  8. 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.

  9. Contemporary evolution of plant growth rate following experimental removal of herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  10. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savannah 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. Each has important implications for plant community d...

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  13. Differential phenotypic and genetic expression of defence compounds in a plant-herbivore interaction along elevation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado, Ana L; Suchan, Tomasz; Pellissier, Loïc; Rasmann, Sergio; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Alvarez, Nadir

    2016-09-01

    Elevation gradients impose large differences in abiotic and biotic conditions over short distances, in turn, likely driving differences in gene expression more than would genetic variation per se, as natural selection and drift are less likely to fix alleles at such a narrow spatial scale. As elevation increases, the pressure exerted on plants by herbivores and on arthropod herbivores by predators decreases, and organisms spanning the elevation gradient are thus expected to show lower levels of defence at high elevation. The alternative hypothesis, based on the optimal defence theory, is that defence allocation should be higher in low-resource habitats such as those at high elevation, due to higher costs associated with tissue replacement. In this study, we analyse variation with elevation in (i) defence compound content in the plant Lotus corniculatus and (ii) gene expression associated with defence against predators in the specific phytophagous moth, Zygaena filipendulae. Both species produce cyanogenic glycosides (CNglcs) such as lotaustralin and linamarin as defence mechanisms, with the moth, in addition, being able to sequester CNglcs from its host plant. Specifically, we tested the assumption that the defence-associated phenotype in plants and the gene expression in the insect herbivore should covary between low- and high-elevation environments. We found that L. corniculatus accumulated more CNglcs at high elevation, a result in agreement with the optimal defence theory. By contrast, we found that the levels of expression in the defence genes of Z. filipendulae larvae were not related to the CNglc content of their host plant. Overall, expression levels were not correlated with elevation either, with the exception of the UGT33A1 gene, which showed a marginally significant trend towards higher expression at high elevation when using a simple statistical framework. These results suggest that the defence phenotype of plants against herbivores, and subsequent

  14. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous nepenthes plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Buch

    Full Text Available Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themselves. In order to digest caught prey in their pitchers, Nepenthes plants produce various hydrolytic enzymes including aspartic proteases, nepenthesins (Nep. Knowledge about the generation and induction of these proteases is limited. Here, by employing a FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer-based technique that uses a synthetic fluorescent substrate an easy and rapid detection of protease activities in the digestive fluids of various Nepenthes species was feasible. Biochemical studies and the heterologously expressed Nep II from Nepenthes mirabilis proved that the proteolytic activity relied on aspartic proteases, however an acid-mediated auto-activation mechanism was necessary. Employing the FRET-based approach, the induction and dynamics of nepenthesin in the digestive pitcher fluid of various Nepenthes plants could be studied directly with insect (Drosophila melanogaster prey or plant material. Moreover, we observed that proteolytic activity was induced by the phytohormone jasmonic acid but not by salicylic acid suggesting that jasmonate-dependent signaling pathways are involved in plant carnivory.

  15. From plants to animals; the role of plant cell death in ruminant herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingston-Smith, Alison H; Davies, Teri E; Edwards, Joan E; Theodorou, Michael K

    2008-01-01

    Plant cell death occurring as a result of adverse environmental conditions is known to limit crop production. It is less well recognized that plant cell death processes can also contribute to the poor environmental footprint of ruminant livestock production. Although the forage cells ingested by grazing ruminant herbivores will ultimately die, the lack of oxygen, elevated temperature, and challenge by microflora experienced in the rumen induce regulated plant stress responses resulting in DNA fragmentation and autolytic protein breakdown during the cell death process. Excessive ruminal proteolysis contributes to the inefficient conversion of plant to microbial and animal protein which results in up to 70% of the ingested nitrogen being returned to the land as the nitrogenous pollutants ammonia and urea. This constitutes a significant challenge for sustainable livestock production. As it is estimated that 25% of cultivated land worldwide is assigned to livestock production, it is clear that understanding the fundamental biology underlying cell death in ingested forage will have a highly significant role in minimizing the impact of human activities. This review examines our current understanding of plant metabolism in the rumen and explores opportunities for exploitation of plant genetics to advance sustainable land use.

  16. Inducibility of chemical defences by two chewing insect herbivores in pine trees is specific to targeted plant tissue, particular herbivore and defensive trait.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Lundborg, Lina; Zas, Rafael; Carrillo-Gavilán, Amparo; Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin; Sampedro, Luis

    2013-10-01

    There is increasing evidence that plants can react to biotic aggressions with highly specific responses. However, few studies have attempted to jointly investigate whether the induction of plant defences is specific to a targeted plant tissue, plant species, herbivore identity, and defensive trait. Here we studied those factors contributing to the specificity of induced defensive responses in two economically important pine species against two chewing insect pest herbivores. Juvenile trees of Pinus pinaster and P. radiata were exposed to herbivory by two major pest threats, the large pine weevil Hylobius abietis (a bark-feeder) and the pine processionary caterpillar Thaumetopoea pityocampa (a folivore). We quantified in two tissues (stem and needles) the constitutive (control plants) and herbivore-induced concentrations of total polyphenolics, volatile and non-volatile resin, as well as the profile of mono- and sesquiterpenes. Stem chewing by the pine weevil increased concentrations of non-volatile resin, volatile monoterpenes, and (marginally) polyphenolics in stem tissues. Weevil feeding also increased the concentration of non-volatile resin and decreased polyphenolics in the needle tissues. Folivory by the caterpillar had no major effects on needle defensive chemistry, but a strong increase in the concentration of polyphenolics in the stem. Interestingly, we found similar patterns for all these above-reported effects in both pine species. These results offer convincing evidence that induced defences are highly specific and may vary depending on the targeted plant tissue, the insect herbivore causing the damage and the considered defensive compound.

  17. Attractiveness of Michigan native plants to arthropod natural enemies and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, A K; Landis, D A

    2007-08-01

    The use of plants to provide nectar and pollen resources to natural enemies through habitat management is a growing focus of conservation biological control. Current guidelines frequently recommend use of annual plants exotic to the management area, but native perennial plants are likely to provide similar resources and may have several advantages over exotics. We compared a set of 43 native Michigan perennial plants and 5 frequently recommended exotic annual plants for their attractiveness to natural enemies and herbivores for 2 yr. Plant species differed significantly in their attractiveness to natural enemies. In year 1, the exotic annual plants outperformed many of the newly established native perennial plants. In year 2, however, many native perennial plants attracted higher numbers of natural enemies than exotic plants. In year 2, we compared each flowering plant against the background vegetation (grass) for their attractiveness to natural enemies and herbivores. Screening individual plant species allowed rapid assessment of attractiveness to natural enemies. We identified 24 native perennial plants that attracted high numbers of natural enemies with promise for habitat management. Among the most attractive are Eupatorium perfoliatum L., Monarda punctata L., Silphium perfoliatum L., Potentilla fruticosa auct. non L., Coreopsis lanceolata L., Spiraea alba Duroi, Agastache nepetoides (L.) Kuntze, Anemone canadensis L., and Angelica atropurpurea L. Subsets of these plants can now be tested to develop a community of native plant species that attracts diverse natural enemy taxa and provides nectar and pollen throughout the growing season.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hella Schlinkert

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles trigger sporulation in entomopathogenic fungi: the case of Neozygites tanajoae infecting the cassava green mite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hountondji, Fabien C C; Sabelis, Maurice W; Hanna, Rachid; Janssen, Arne

    2005-05-01

    A large body of evidence shows that plants release volatile chemicals upon attack by herbivores. These volatiles influence the performance of natural enemies. Nearly all the evidence on the effect of plant volatiles on natural enemies of herbivores concerns predators, parasitoids, and entomophagous nematodes. However, other entomopathogens, such as fungi, have not been studied yet for the way they exploit the chemical information that the plant conveys on the presence of herbivores. We tested the hypothesis that volatiles emanating from cassava plants infested by green mites (Mononychellus tanajoa) trigger sporulation in three isolates of the acaropathogenic fungus Neozygites tanajoae. Tests were conducted under climatic conditions optimal to fungal conidiation, such that the influence of the plant volatiles could only alter the quantity of conidia produced. For two isolates (Altal.brz and Colal.brz), it was found that, compared with clean air, the presence of volatiles from clean, excised leaf discs suppressed conidia production. This suppressive effect disappeared in the presence of herbivore-damaged leaves for the isolate Colal.brz. For the third isolate, no significant effects were observed. Another experiment differing mainly in the amount of volatiles showed that two isolates produced more conidia when exposed to herbivore-damaged leaves compared with clean air. Taken together, the results show that volatiles from clean plants suppress conidiation, whereas herbivore-induced plant volatiles promote conidiation of N. tanajoae. These opposing effects suggest that the entomopathogenic fungus tunes the release of spores to herbivore-induced plant signals indicating the presence of hosts.

  3. Turnabout Is Fair Play: Herbivory-Induced Plant Chitinases Excreted in Fall Armyworm Frass Suppress Herbivore Defenses in Maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Swayamjit; Alves, Patrick C M S; Ahmad, Imtiaz; Gaffoor, Iffa; Acevedo, Flor E; Peiffer, Michelle; Jin, Shan; Han, Yang; Shakeel, Samina; Felton, Gary W; Luthe, Dawn S

    2016-05-01

    The perception of herbivory by plants is known to be triggered by the deposition of insect-derived factors such as saliva and oral secretions, oviposition materials, and even feces. Such insect-derived materials harbor chemical cues that may elicit herbivore and/or pathogen-induced defenses in plants. Several insect-derived molecules that trigger herbivore-induced defenses in plants are known; however, insect-derived molecules suppressing them are largely unknown. In this study, we identified two plant chitinases from fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) larval frass that suppress herbivore defenses while simultaneously inducing pathogen defenses in maize (Zea mays). Fall armyworm larvae feed in enclosed whorls of maize plants, where frass accumulates over extended periods of time in close proximity to damaged leaf tissue. Our study shows that maize chitinases, Pr4 and Endochitinase A, are induced during herbivory and subsequently deposited on the host with the feces. These plant chitinases mediate the suppression of herbivore-induced defenses, thereby increasing the performance of the insect on the host. Pr4 and Endochitinase A also trigger the antagonistic pathogen defense pathway in maize and suppress fungal pathogen growth on maize leaves. Frass-induced suppression of herbivore defenses by deposition of the plant-derived chitinases Pr4 and Endochitinase A is a unique way an insect can co-opt the plant's defense proteins for its own benefit. It is also a phenomenon unlike the induction of herbivore defenses by insect oral secretions in most host-herbivore systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakadai, Ryosuke; Murakami, Masashi; Hirao, Toshihide

    2014-08-01

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

  7. 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 i

  8. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles to enhance biological control in agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñaflor, M F G V; Bento, J M S

    2013-08-01

    Plants under herbivore attack synthetize defensive organic compounds that directly or indirectly affect herbivore performance and mediate other interactions with the community. The so-called herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) consist of odors released by attacked plants that serve as important cues for parasitoids and predators to locate their host/prey. The understanding that has been gained on the ecological role and mechanisms of HIPV emission opens up paths for developing novel strategies integrated with biological control programs with the aim of enhancing the efficacy of natural enemies in suppressing pest populations in crops. Tactics using synthetic HIPVs or chemically/genetically manipulating plant defenses have been suggested in order to recruit natural enemies to plantations or help guiding them to their host more quickly, working as a "synergistic" agent of biological control. This review discusses strategies using HIPVs to enhance biological control that have been proposed in the literature and were categorized here as: (a) exogenous application of elicitors on plants, (b) use of plant varieties that emit attractive HIPVs to natural enemies, (c) release of synthetic HIPVs, and (d) genetic manipulation targeting genes that optimize HIPV emission. We discuss the feasibility, benefits, and downsides of each strategy by considering not only field studies but also comprehensive laboratory assays that present an applied approach for HIPVs or show the potential of employing them in the field.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  12. The relative importance of host-plant genetic diversity in structuring the associated herbivore community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tack, Ayco J M; Roslin, Tomas

    2011-08-01

    Recent studies suggest that intraspecific genetic diversity in one species may leave a substantial imprint on the surrounding community and ecosystem. Here, we test the hypothesis that genetic diversity within host-plant patches translates into consistent and ecologically important changes in the associated herbivore community. More specifically, we use potted, grafted oak saplings to construct 41 patches of four saplings each, with one, two, or four tree genotypes represented among the host plants. These patches were divided among two common gardens. Focusing first at the level of individual trees, we assess how tree-specific genotypic identity, patch-level genetic diversity, garden-level environmental variation, and their interactions affect the structure of the herbivore community. At the level of host-plant patches, we analyze whether the joint responses of herbivore species to environmental variation and genetic diversity result in differences in species diversity among tree quartets. Strikingly, both species-specific abundances and species diversity varied substantially among host-tree genotypes, among common gardens, and among specific locations within individual gardens. In contrast, the genetic diversity of the patch left a detectable imprint on local abundances of only two herbivore taxa. In both cases, the effect of genetic diversity was inconsistent among gardens and among host-plant genotypes. While the insect community differed significantly among individual host-plant genotypes, there were no interactive effects of the number of different genotypes within the patch. Overall, additive effects of intraspecific genetic diversity of the host plant explained a similar or lower proportion (7-10%) of variation in herbivore species diversity than did variation among common gardens. Combined with the few previous studies published to date, our study suggests that the impact of host-plant genetic diversity on the herbivore community can range from none to

  13. OsNPR1 negatively regulates herbivore-induced JA and ethylene signaling and plant resistance to a chewing herbivore in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ran; Afsheen, Sumera; Xin, Zhaojun; Han, Xiu; Lou, Yonggen

    2013-03-01

    NPR1 (a non-expressor of pathogenesis-related genes1) has been reported to play an important role in plant defense by regulating signaling pathways. However, little to nothing is known about its function in herbivore-induced defense in monocot plants. Here, using suppressive substrate hybridization, we identified a NPR1 gene from rice, OsNPR1, and found that its expression levels were upregulated in response to infestation by the rice striped stem borer (SSB) Chilo suppressalis and rice leaf folder (LF) Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, and to mechanical wounding and treatment with jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA). Moreover, mechanical wounding induced the expression of OsNPR1 quickly, whereas herbivore infestation induced the gene more slowly. The antisense expression of OsNPR1 (as-npr1), which reduced the expression of the gene by 50%, increased elicited levels of JA and ethylene (ET) as well as of expression of a lipoxygenase gene OsHI-LOX and an ACC synthase gene OsACS2. The enhanced JA and ET signaling in as-npr1 plants increased the levels of herbivore-induced trypsin proteinase inhibitors (TrypPIs) and volatiles, and reduced the performance of SSB. Our results suggest that OsNPR1 is an early responding gene in herbivore-induced defense and that plants can use it to activate a specific and appropriate defense response against invaders by modulating signaling pathways.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bustos-segura, Carlos; Poelman, Erik H.; Reichelt, Michael; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Gols, Rieta; Scherber, Christoph

    2017-01-01

    Intraspecific plant diversity can modify the properties of associated arthropod communities and plant fitness. However, it is not well understood which plant traits determine these ecological effects. We explored the effect of intraspecific chemical diversity among neighbouring plants on the associa

  15. Host-plant-mediated effects of Nadefensin on herbivore and pathogen resistance in Nicotiana attenuata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baldwin Ian T

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The adage from Shakespeare, "troubles, not as single spies, but in battalions come," holds true for Nicotiana attenuata, which is commonly attacked by both pathogens (Pseudomonas spp. and herbivores (Manduca sexta in its native habitats. Defense responses targeted against the pathogens can directly or indirectly influence the responses against the herbivores. Nadefensin is an effective induced defense gene against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (PST DC3000, which is also elicited by attack from M. sexta larvae, but whether this defense protein influences M. sexta's growth and whether M. sexta-induced Nadefensin directly or indirectly influences PST DC3000 resistance are unknown. Results M. sexta larvae consumed less on WT and on Nadefensin-silenced N. attenuata plants that had previously been infected with PST DC3000 than on uninfected plants. WT plants infected with PST DC3000 showed enhanced resistance to PST DC3000 and decreased leaf consumption by M. sexta larvae, but larval mass gain was unaffected. PST DC3000-infected Nadefensin-silenced plants were less resistant to subsequent PST DC3000 challenge, and on these plants, M. sexta larvae consumed less and gained less mass. WT and Nadefensin-silenced plants previously damaged by M. sexta larvae were better able to resist subsequent PST DC3000 challenges than were undamaged plants. Conclusion These results demonstrate that Na-defensin directly mediates defense against PST DC3000 and indirectly against M. sexta in N. attenuata. In plants that were previously infected with PST DC3000, the altered leaf chemistry in PST DC3000-resistant WT plants and PST DC3000-susceptible Nadefensin-silenced plants differentially reduced M. sexta's leaf consumption and mass gain. In plants that were previously damaged by M. sexta, the combined effect of the altered host plant chemistry and a broad spectrum of anti-herbivore induced metabolomic responses was more

  16. Proteomic characterization of the major arthropod associates of the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotelli, Nicholas J; Smith, Aidan M; Ellison, Aaron M; Ballif, Bryan A

    2011-06-01

    The array of biomolecules generated by a functioning ecosystem represents both a potential resource for sustainable harvest and a potential indicator of ecosystem health and function. The cupped leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, harbor a dynamic food web of aquatic invertebrates in a fully functional miniature ecosystem. The energetic base of this food web consists of insect prey, which is shredded by aquatic invertebrates and decomposed by microbes. Biomolecules and metabolites produced by this food web are actively exchanged with the photosynthesizing plant. In this report, we provide the first proteomic characterization of the sacrophagid fly (Fletcherimyia fletcheri), the pitcher plant mosquito (Wyeomyia smithii), and the pitcher-plant midge (Metriocnemus knabi). These three arthropods act as predators, filter feeders, and shredders at distinct trophic levels within the S. purpurea food web. More than 50 proteins from each species were identified, ten of which were predominantly or uniquely found in one species. Furthermore, 19 peptides unique to one of the three species were identified using an assembled database of 100 metazoan myosin heavy chain orthologs. These molecular signatures may be useful in species monitoring within heterogeneous ecosystem biomass and may also serve as indicators of ecosystem state.

  17. The Metagenome of Utricularia gibba's Traps: Into the Microbial Input to a Carnivorous Plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis David Alcaraz

    Full Text Available The genome and transcriptome sequences of the aquatic, rootless, and carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba L. (Lentibulariaceae, were recently determined. Traps are necessary for U. gibba because they help the plant to survive in nutrient-deprived environments. The U. gibba's traps (Ugt are specialized structures that have been proposed to selectively filter microbial inhabitants. To determine whether the traps indeed have a microbiome that differs, in composition or abundance, from the microbiome in the surrounding environment, we used whole-genome shotgun (WGS metagenomics to describe both the taxonomic and functional diversity of the Ugt microbiome. We collected U. gibba plants from their natural habitat and directly sequenced the metagenome of the Ugt microbiome and its surrounding water. The total predicted number of species in the Ugt was more than 1,100. Using pan-genome fragment recruitment analysis, we were able to identify to the species level of some key Ugt players, such as Pseudomonas monteilii. Functional analysis of the Ugt metagenome suggests that the trap microbiome plays an important role in nutrient scavenging and assimilation while complementing the hydrolytic functions of the plant.

  18. Extinction cascades partially estimate herbivore losses in a complete Lepidoptera--plant food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Effects of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza on Plant Chemistry and the Development and Behavior of a Generalist Herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomczak, Viktoria V; Schweiger, Rabea; Müller, Caroline

    2016-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) formed between plants and AM fungi (AMF) can alter host plant quality and thus influence plant-herbivore interactions. While AM is known to affect the development of generalist chewing-biting herbivores, AM-mediated impacts on insect behavior have been neglected until now. In this study, the effects of Rhizophagus irregularis, a generalist AMF, on phenotypic and leaf metabolic traits of Plantago major plants were investigated. Further, the influence of AM-mediated host plant modifications on the development and on seven behavioral traits of larvae of the generalist Mamestra brassicae were recorded. Tests were carried out in the third (L3) and fourth (L4) larval instar, respectively. While shoot water content, specific leaf area, and foliar concentrations of the secondary metabolite aucubin were higher in AM-treated compared to non-mycorrhized (NM) plants, lower concentrations of the primary metabolites citric acid and isocitric acid were found in leaves of AM plants. Larvae reared on AM plants gained a higher body mass and tended to develop faster than individuals reared on NM plants. However, plant treatment had no significant effect on any of the behavioral traits. Instead, differences between larvae of different ages were detected in several behavioral features, with L4 being less active and less bold than L3 larvae. The results demonstrate that AM-induced modifications of host plant quality influence larval development, whereas the behavioral phenotype seems to be more fixed at least under the tested conditions.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suen, Garret; Scott, Jarrod J.; Aylward, Frank O.; Adams, Sandra M.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián A.; Foster, Clifton E.; Pauly, Markus; Weimer, Paul J.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Bouffard, Pascal; Li, Lewyn; Osterberger, Jolene; Harkins, Timothy T.; Slater, Steven C.; Donohue, Timothy J.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20885794

  4. A herbivorous mite down-regulates plant defence and produces web to exclude competitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmento, Renato A; Lemos, Felipe; Dias, Cleide R; Kikuchi, Wagner T; Rodrigues, Jean C P; Pallini, Angelo; Sabelis, Maurice W; Janssen, Arne

    2011-01-01

    Herbivores may interact with each other through resource competition, but also through their impact on plant defence. We recently found that the spider mite Tetranychus evansi down-regulates plant defences in tomato plants, resulting in higher rates of oviposition and population growth on previously attacked than on unattacked leaves. The danger of such down-regulation is that attacked plants could become a more profitable resource for heterospecific competitors, such as the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. Indeed, T. urticae had an almost 2-fold higher rate of oviposition on leaf discs on which T. evansi had fed previously. In contrast, induction of direct plant defences by T. urticae resulted in decreased oviposition by T. evansi. Hence, both herbivores affect each other through induced plant responses. However, when populations of T. evansi and T. urticae competed on the same plants, populations of the latter invariably went extinct, whereas T. evansi was not significantly affected by the presence of its competitor. This suggests that T. evansi can somehow prevent its competitor from benefiting from the down-regulated plant defence, perhaps by covering it with a profuse web. Indeed, we found that T. urticae had difficulties reaching the leaf surface to feed when the leaf was covered with web produced by T. evansi. Furthermore, T. evansi produced more web when exposed to damage or other cues associated with T. urticae. We suggest that the silken web produced by T. evansi serves to prevent competitors from profiting from down-regulated plant defences.

  5. Plant volatiles induced by herbivore egg deposition affect insects of different trophic levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina E Fatouros

    Full Text Available 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 consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae. Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant's volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels.

  6. Plant volatiles induced by herbivore egg deposition affect insects of different trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatouros, Nina E; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Pashalidou, Foteini G; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus 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 consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant's volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels.

  7. Experience matters: prior exposure to plant toxins enhances diversity of gut microbes in herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Dearing, M D

    2012-09-01

    For decades, ecologists have hypothesised that exposure to plant secondary compounds (PSCs) modifies herbivore-associated microbial community composition. This notion has not been critically evaluated in wild mammalian herbivores on evolutionary timescales. We investigated responses of the microbial communities of two woodrat species (Neotoma bryanti and N. lepida). For each species, we compared experienced populations that independently converged to feed on the same toxic plant (creosote bush, Larrea tridentata) to naïve populations with no exposure to creosote toxins. The addition of dietary PSCs significantly altered gut microbial community structure, and the response was dependent on previous experience. Microbial diversity and relative abundances of several dominant phyla increased in experienced woodrats in response to PSCs; however, opposite effects were observed in naïve woodrats. These differential responses were convergent in experienced populations of both species. We hypothesise that adaptation of the foregut microbiota to creosote PSCs in experienced woodrats drives this differential response.

  8. Global Change Effects on Plant Chemical Defenses against Insect Herbivores

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    M. Gabriela Bidart-Bouzat; Adebobola Imeh-Nathaniel

    2008-01-01

    This review focuses on individual effects of major global change factors, such as elevated CO2, Oa, UV light and temperature,on plant secondary chemistry. These secondary metabolites are well-known for their role in plant defense against insect herbivory. Global change effects on secondary chemicals appear to be plant species-specific and dependent on the chemical type. Even though plant chemical responses induced by these factors are highly variable, there seems to be some specificity in the response to different environmental stressors. For example, even though the production of phenolic compounds is enhanced by both elevated CO2 and UV light levels, the latter appears to primarily increase the concentrations of fiavonoids. Likewise, specific phenolic metabolites seem to be induced by O3 but not by other factors, and an increase in volatile organic compounds has been particularly detected under elevated temperature. More information is needed regarding how global change factors influence inducibility of plant chemical defenses as well as how their indirect and direct effects impact insect performance and behavior, herbivory rates and pathogen attack. This knowledge is crucial to better understand how plants and their associated natural enemies will be affected in future changing environments.

  9. An insect-feeding guild of carnivorous plants and spiders: does optimal foraging lead to competition or facilitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Philip H; Hopper, Kevin R; Krupa, James J

    2013-12-01

    Carnivorous plants and spiders, along with their prey, are main players in an insect-feeding guild found on acidic, poorly drained soils in disturbed habitat. Darwin's notion that these plants must actively attract the insects they capture raises the possibility that spiders could benefit from proximity to prey hotspots created by the plants. Alternatively, carnivorous plants and spiders may deplete prey locally or (through insect redistribution) more widely, reducing each other's gain rates from predation. Here, we formulate and analyze a model of this guild, parameterized for carnivorous sundews and lycosid spiders, under assumptions of random movement by insects and optimal foraging by predators. Optimal foraging here involves gain maximization via trap investment (optimal web sizes and sundew trichome densities) and an ideal free distribution of spiders between areas with and without sundews. We find no facilitation: spiders and sundews engage in intense exploitation competition. Insect attraction by plants modestly increases sundew gain rates but slightly decreases spider gain rates. In the absence of population size structure, optimal spider redistribution between areas with and without sundews yields web sizes that are identical for all spiders, regardless of proximity to sundews. Web-building spiders have higher gain rates than wandering spiders in this system at high insect densities, but wandering spiders have the advantage at low insect densities. Results are complex, indicating that predictions to be tested empirically must be based on careful quantitative assessment.

  10. Trade-Offs between Silicon and Phenolic Defenses may Explain Enhanced Performance of Root Herbivores on Phenolic-Rich Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frew, Adam; Powell, Jeff R; Sallam, Nader; Allsopp, Peter G; Johnson, Scott N

    2016-08-01

    Phenolic compounds play a role in plant defense against herbivores. For some herbivorous insects, particularly root herbivores, host plants with high phenolic concentrations promote insect performance and tissue consumption. This positive relationship between some insects and phenolics, however, could reflect a negative correlation with other plant defenses acting against insects. Silicon is an important element for plant growth and defense, particularly in grasses, as many grass species take up large amounts of silicon. Negative impact of a high silicon diet on insect herbivore performance has been reported aboveground, but is unreported for belowground herbivores. It has been hypothesized that some silicon accumulating plants exhibit a trade-off between carbon-based defense compounds, such as phenolics, and silicon-based defenses. Here, we investigated the impact of silicon concentrations and total phenolic concentrations in sugarcane roots on the performance of the root-feeding greyback canegrub (Dermolepida albohirtum). Canegrub performance was positively correlated with root phenolics, but negatively correlated with root silicon. We found a negative relationship in the roots between total phenolics and silicon concentrations. This suggests the positive impact of phenolic compounds on some insects may be the effect of lower concentrations of silicon compounds in plant tissue. This is the first demonstration of plant silicon negatively affecting a belowground herbivore.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biere, Arjen; Marak, Hamida B; van Damme, Jos M M

    2004-08-01

    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 compounds". We tested whether aucubin and catalpol, two iridoid glycosides present in ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), confer in vivo resistance to both the generalist insect herbivore Spodoptera exigua and the biotrophic fungal pathogen Diaporthe adunca using plants from P. lanceolata lines that had been selected for high- and low-leaf iridoid glycoside concentrations for four generations. The lines differed approximately three-fold in the levels of these compounds. Plants from the high-selection line showed enhanced resistance to both S. exigua and D. adunca, as evidenced by a smaller lesion size and a lower fungal growth rate and spore production, and a lower larval growth rate and herbivory under both choice and no-choice conditions. Gravimetric analysis revealed that the iridoid glycosides acted as feeding deterrents to S. exigua, thereby reducing its food intake rate, rather than having post-ingestive toxic effects as predicted from in vitro effects of hydrolysis products. We suggest that the bitter taste of iridoid glycosides deters feeding by S. exigua, whereas the hydrolysis products formed after tissue damage following fungal infection mediate pathogen resistance. We conclude that iridoid glycosides in P. lanceolata can serve as broad-spectrum defenses and that selection for pathogen resistance could potentially result in increased resistance to generalist insect herbivores and vice versa, resulting in diffuse rather than pairwise coevolution.

  12. Secondary Plant Products Causing Photosensitization in Grazing Herbivores: Their Structure, Activity and Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane C. Quinn

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Photosensitivity in animals is defined as a severe dermatitis that results from a heightened reactivity of skin cells and associated dermal tissues upon their exposure to sunlight, following ingestion or contact with UV reactive secondary plant products. Photosensitivity occurs in animal cells as a reaction that is mediated by a light absorbing molecule, specifically in this case a plant-produced metabolite that is heterocyclic or polyphenolic. In sensitive animals, this reaction is most severe in non-pigmented skin which has the least protection from UV or visible light exposure. Photosensitization in a biological system such as the epidermis is an oxidative or other chemical change in a molecule in response to light-induced excitation of endogenous or exogenously-delivered molecules within the tissue. Photo-oxidation can also occur in the plant itself, resulting in the generation of reactive oxygen species, free radical damage and eventual DNA degradation. Similar cellular changes occur in affected herbivores and are associated with an accumulation of photodynamic molecules in the affected dermal tissues or circulatory system of the herbivore. Recent advances in our ability to identify and detect secondary products at trace levels in the plant and surrounding environment, or in organisms that ingest plants, have provided additional evidence for the role of secondary metabolites in photosensitization of grazing herbivores. This review outlines the role of unique secondary products produced by higher plants in the animal photosensitization process, describes their chemistry and localization in the plant as well as impacts of the environment upon their production, discusses their direct and indirect effects on associated animal systems and presents several examples of well-characterized plant photosensitization in animal systems.

  13. Secondary Plant Products Causing Photosensitization in Grazing Herbivores: Their Structure, Activity and Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Jane C.; Kessell, Allan; Weston, Leslie A.

    2014-01-01

    Photosensitivity in animals is defined as a severe dermatitis that results from a heightened reactivity of skin cells and associated dermal tissues upon their exposure to sunlight, following ingestion or contact with UV reactive secondary plant products. Photosensitivity occurs in animal cells as a reaction that is mediated by a light absorbing molecule, specifically in this case a plant-produced metabolite that is heterocyclic or polyphenolic. In sensitive animals, this reaction is most severe in non-pigmented skin which has the least protection from UV or visible light exposure. Photosensitization in a biological system such as the epidermis is an oxidative or other chemical change in a molecule in response to light-induced excitation of endogenous or exogenously-delivered molecules within the tissue. Photo-oxidation can also occur in the plant itself, resulting in the generation of reactive oxygen species, free radical damage and eventual DNA degradation. Similar cellular changes occur in affected herbivores and are associated with an accumulation of photodynamic molecules in the affected dermal tissues or circulatory system of the herbivore. Recent advances in our ability to identify and detect secondary products at trace levels in the plant and surrounding environment, or in organisms that ingest plants, have provided additional evidence for the role of secondary metabolites in photosensitization of grazing herbivores. This review outlines the role of unique secondary products produced by higher plants in the animal photosensitization process, describes their chemistry and localization in the plant as well as impacts of the environment upon their production, discusses their direct and indirect effects on associated animal systems and presents several examples of well-characterized plant photosensitization in animal systems. PMID:24451131

  14. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Miguel Grandez-Rios

    Full Text Available Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin.

  15. Red trap colour of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foot, G; Rice, S P; Millett, J

    2014-01-01

    The traps of many carnivorous plants are red in colour. This has been widely hypothesized to serve a prey attraction function; colour has also been hypothesized to function as camouflage, preventing prey avoidance. We tested these two hypotheses in situ for the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. We conducted three separate studies: (i) prey attraction to artificial traps to isolate the influence of colour; (ii) prey attraction to artificial traps on artificial backgrounds to control the degree of contrast and (iii) observation of prey capture by D. rotundifolia to determine the effects of colour on prey capture. Prey were not attracted to green traps and were deterred from red traps. There was no evidence that camouflaged traps caught more prey. For D. rotundifolia, there was a relationship between trap colour and prey capture. However, trap colour may be confounded with other leaf traits. Thus, we conclude that for D. rotundifolia, red trap colour does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

  16. Unbiased Transcriptional Comparisons of Generalist and Specialist Herbivores Feeding on Progressively Defenseless Nicotiana attenuata Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Govind, G.; Mittapalli, O.; Griebel, T.; Allmann, S.; Böcker, S.; Baldwin, I.T.

    2010-01-01

    Background 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

  17. 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.

  18. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivadavia, Fernando; Gonella, Paulo M.; Pérez-Bañón, Celeste; Mengual, Ximo; Rojo, Santos

    2016-01-01

    A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1) the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2) a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3) the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided. PMID:27144980

  19. Treeline proximity alters an alpine plant-herbivore interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illerbrun, Kurt; Roland, Jens

    2011-05-01

    Rising treeline threatens the size and contiguity of alpine meadows worldwide. As trees encroach into previously open habitat, the movement and population dynamics of above-treeline alpine species may be disrupted. This process is well documented in studies of the Rocky Mountain apollo butterfly (Parnassius smintheus). However, subtler consequences of treeline rise remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine whether treeline proximity affects feeding behaviour of P. smintheus larvae, due to altered habitat affecting the distribution and availability of their host plant, lance-leaved stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum). Understanding differential larval exploitation of food resources in relation to the treeline is an important step in predicting the consequences of continued treeline rise. Parnassius smintheus larvae feed more intensively on S. lanceolatum away from the treeline despite the relative paucity of hosts in these areas, and despite higher fitness penalties associated with the plant's herbivory-induced chemical defenses. Sedum lanceolatum growing near the treeline is less attractive, and therefore represents a less significant resource for P. smintheus larvae than its abundance might imply. If treeline rise continues, we suggest that this pattern of altered resource exploitation may represent a mechanism by which larvae are adversely affected even while adult movement among and within meadows appears sufficient for maintaining population health, and total host availability seems ample.

  20. Trophic complexity and the adaptive value of damage-induced plant volatiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Kaplan

    Full Text Available Indirect plant defenses are those facilitating the action of carnivores in ridding plants of their herbivorous consumers, as opposed to directly poisoning or repelling them. Of the numerous and diverse indirect defensive strategies employed by plants, inducible volatile production has garnered the most fascination among plant-insect ecologists. These volatile chemicals are emitted in response to feeding by herbivorous arthropods and serve to guide predators and parasitic wasps to their prey. Implicit in virtually all discussions of plant volatile-carnivore interactions is the premise that plants "call for help" to bodyguards that serve to boost plant fitness by limiting herbivore damage. This, by necessity, assumes a three-trophic level food chain where carnivores benefit plants, a theoretical framework that is conceptually tractable and convenient, but poorly depicts the complexity of food-web dynamics occurring in real communities. Recent work suggests that hyperparasitoids, top consumers acting from the fourth trophic level, exploit the same plant volatile cues used by third trophic level carnivores. Further, hyperparasitoids shift their foraging preferences, specifically cueing in to the odor profile of a plant being damaged by a parasitized herbivore that contains their host compared with damage from an unparasitized herbivore. If this outcome is broadly representative of plant-insect food webs at large, it suggests that damage-induced volatiles may not always be beneficial to plants with major implications for the evolution of anti-herbivore defense and manipulating plant traits to improve biological control in agricultural crops.

  1. Phenolic metabolites in carnivorous plants: Inter-specific comparison and physiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kováčik, Jozef; Klejdus, Bořivoj; Repčáková, Klára

    2012-03-01

    Despite intensive phytochemical research, data related to the accumulation of phenols in carnivorous plants include mainly qualitative reports. We have quantified phenolic metabolites in three species: Drosera capensis, Dionaea muscipula and Nepenthes anamensis in the "leaf" (assimilatory part) and the "trap" (digestive part). For comparison, commercial green tea was analysed. Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activities in Dionaea and Nepenthes were higher in the trap than in the leaf while the opposite was found in Drosera. Soluble phenols and majority of phenolic acids were mainly accumulated in the trap among species. Flavonoids were abundant in Drosera and Dionaea traps but not in Nepenthes. Phenolic acids were preferentially accumulated in a glycosidically-bound form and gallic acid was the main metabolite. Green tea contained more soluble phenols and phenolic acids but less quercetin. In vitro experiments with Drosera spathulata revealed that nitrogen deficiency enhances PAL activity, accumulation of phenols and sugars while PAL inhibitor (2-aminoindane-2-phosphonic acid) depleted phenols and some amino acids (but free phenylalanine and sugars were elevated). Possible explanations in physiological, biochemical and ecological context are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. Additive effects of aboveground polyphagous herbivores and soil feedback in native and range-expanding exotic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morrien, W.E.; Engelkes, T.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Plant biomass and plant abundance can be controlled by aboveground and belowground natural enemies. However, little is known about how the aboveground and belowground enemy effects may add up. We exposed 15 plant species to aboveground polyphagous insect herbivores and feedback effects from the soil

  3. Ambient temperature influences tolerance to plant secondary compounds in a mammalian herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Plant-Herbivore Interaction: Dissection of the Cellular Pattern of Tetranychus urticae Feeding on the Host Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensoussan, Nicolas; Santamaria, M. Estrella; Zhurov, Vladimir; Diaz, Isabel; Grbić, Miodrag; Grbić, Vojislava

    2016-01-01

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae), is one of the most polyphagous herbivores feeding on cell contents of over 1100 plant species including more than 150 crops. It is being established as a model for chelicerate herbivores with tools that enable tracking of reciprocal responses in plant-spider mite interactions. However, despite their important pest status and a growing understanding of the molecular basis of interactions with plant hosts, knowledge of the way mites interface with the plant while feeding and the plant damage directly inflicted by mites is lacking. Here, utilizing histology and microscopy methods, we uncovered several key features of T. urticae feeding. By following the stylet path within the plant tissue, we determined that the stylet penetrates the leaf either in between epidermal pavement cells or through a stomatal opening, without damaging the epidermal cellular layer. Our recordings of mite feeding established that duration of the feeding event ranges from several minutes to more than half an hour, during which time mites consume a single mesophyll cell in a pattern that is common to both bean and Arabidopsis plant hosts. In addition, this study determined that leaf chlorotic spots, a common symptom of mite herbivory, do not form as an immediate consequence of mite feeding. Our results establish a cellular context for the plant-spider mite interaction that will support our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and cell signaling associated with spider mite feeding. PMID:27512397

  5. Plant-herbivore interaction: dissection of the cellular pattern of Tetranychus urticae feeding on the host plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Bensoussan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae, is one of the most polyphagous herbivores feeding on cell contents of over 1,100 plant species including more than 150 crops. It is being established as a model for chelicerate herbivores with tools that enable tracking of reciprocal responses in plant-spider mite interactions. However, despite their important pest status and a growing understanding of the molecular basis of interactions with plant hosts, knowledge of the way mites interface with the plant while feeding and the plant damage directly inflicted by mites is lacking. Here, utilizing histology and microscopy methods, we uncovered several key features of T. urticae feeding. By following the stylet path within the plant tissue, we determined that the stylet penetrates the leaf either in between epidermal pavement cells or through a stomatal opening, without damaging the epidermal cellular layer. Our recordings of mite feeding established that duration of the feeding event ranges from several minutes to more than half an hour, during which time mites consume a single mesophyll cell in a pattern that is common to both bean and Arabidopsis plant hosts. In addition, this study determined that leaf chlorotic spots, a common symptom of mite herbivory, do not form as an immediate consequence of mite feeding. Our results establish a cellular context for the plant-spider mite interaction that will support our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and cell signaling associated with spider mite feeding.

  6. Plant-Herbivore Interaction: Dissection of the Cellular Pattern of Tetranychus urticae Feeding on the Host Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensoussan, Nicolas; Santamaria, M Estrella; Zhurov, Vladimir; Diaz, Isabel; Grbić, Miodrag; Grbić, Vojislava

    2016-01-01

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae), is one of the most polyphagous herbivores feeding on cell contents of over 1100 plant species including more than 150 crops. It is being established as a model for chelicerate herbivores with tools that enable tracking of reciprocal responses in plant-spider mite interactions. However, despite their important pest status and a growing understanding of the molecular basis of interactions with plant hosts, knowledge of the way mites interface with the plant while feeding and the plant damage directly inflicted by mites is lacking. Here, utilizing histology and microscopy methods, we uncovered several key features of T. urticae feeding. By following the stylet path within the plant tissue, we determined that the stylet penetrates the leaf either in between epidermal pavement cells or through a stomatal opening, without damaging the epidermal cellular layer. Our recordings of mite feeding established that duration of the feeding event ranges from several minutes to more than half an hour, during which time mites consume a single mesophyll cell in a pattern that is common to both bean and Arabidopsis plant hosts. In addition, this study determined that leaf chlorotic spots, a common symptom of mite herbivory, do not form as an immediate consequence of mite feeding. Our results establish a cellular context for the plant-spider mite interaction that will support our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and cell signaling associated with spider mite feeding.

  7. A herbivorous mite down-regulates plant defence and produces web to exclude competitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renato A Sarmento

    Full Text Available Herbivores may interact with each other through resource competition, but also through their impact on plant defence. We recently found that the spider mite Tetranychus evansi down-regulates plant defences in tomato plants, resulting in higher rates of oviposition and population growth on previously attacked than on unattacked leaves. The danger of such down-regulation is that attacked plants could become a more profitable resource for heterospecific competitors, such as the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. Indeed, T. urticae had an almost 2-fold higher rate of oviposition on leaf discs on which T. evansi had fed previously. In contrast, induction of direct plant defences by T. urticae resulted in decreased oviposition by T. evansi. Hence, both herbivores affect each other through induced plant responses. However, when populations of T. evansi and T. urticae competed on the same plants, populations of the latter invariably went extinct, whereas T. evansi was not significantly affected by the presence of its competitor. This suggests that T. evansi can somehow prevent its competitor from benefiting from the down-regulated plant defence, perhaps by covering it with a profuse web. Indeed, we found that T. urticae had difficulties reaching the leaf surface to feed when the leaf was covered with web produced by T. evansi. Furthermore, T. evansi produced more web when exposed to damage or other cues associated with T. urticae. We suggest that the silken web produced by T. evansi serves to prevent competitors from profiting from down-regulated plant defences.

  8. Induced plant-defenses suppress herbivore reproduction but also constrain predation of their offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ataide, Livia M S; Pappas, Maria L; Schimmel, Bernardus C J; Lopez-Orenes, Antonio; Alba, Juan M; Duarte, Marcus V A; Pallini, Angelo; Schuurink, Robert C; Kant, Merijn R

    2016-11-01

    Inducible anti-herbivore defenses in plants are predominantly regulated by jasmonic acid (JA). On tomato plants, most genotypes of the herbivorous generalist spider mite Tetranychus urticae induce JA defenses and perform poorly on it, whereas the Solanaceae specialist Tetranychus evansi, who suppresses JA defenses, performs well on it. We asked to which extent these spider mites and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes preying on these spider mites eggs are affected by induced JA-defenses. By artificially inducing the JA-response of the tomato JA-biosynthesis mutant def-1 using exogenous JA and isoleucine (Ile), we first established the relationship between endogenous JA-Ile-levels and the reproductive performance of spider mites. For both mite species we observed that they produced more eggs when levels of JA-Ile were low. Subsequently, we allowed predatory mites to prey on spider mite-eggs derived from wild-type tomato plants, def-1 and JA-Ile-treated def-1 and observed that they preferred, and consumed more, eggs produced on tomato plants with weak JA defenses. However, predatory mite oviposition was similar across treatments. Our results show that induced JA-responses negatively affect spider mite performance, but positively affect the survival of their offspring by constraining egg-predation. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Herbivore exclusion drives the evolution of plant competitiveness via increased allelopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uesugi, Akane; Kessler, André

    2013-05-01

    The 'Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA)' hypothesis predicts the evolution of plant invasiveness in introduced ranges when plants escape from their natural enemies. So far, the EICA hypothesis has been tested by comparing plant vigor from native and invasive populations, but these studies are confounded by among-population differences in additional environmental factors and/or founder effects. We tested the major prediction of EICA by comparing the competitive ability (CA) of Solidago altissima plants originating from artificial selection plots in which we manipulated directly the exposure to above-ground herbivores. In a common garden experiment, we found an increase in inter-specific, but not intra-specific, CA in clones from herbivore exclusion plots relative to control plots. The evolutionary increase in inter-specific CA coincided with the increased production of polyacetylenes, whose major constituent was allelopathic against a heterospecific competitor, Poa pratensis, but not against conspecifics. Our results provide direct evidence that release from herbivory alone can lead to an evolutionary increase in inter-specific CA, which is likely to be mediated by the increased production of allelopathic compounds in S. altissima. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides (CNglcs) are widespread plant defence compounds that release toxic hydrogen cyanide by plant bglucosidase activity after tissue damage. Specialised insect herbivores have evolved counter strategies and some sequester CNglcs, but the underlying mechanisms to keep CNglcs intact...... during feeding and digestion are unknown. We show that CNglc-sequestering Zygaena filipendulae larvae combine behavioural, morphological, physiological and biochemical strategies at different time points during feeding and digestion to avoid toxic hydrolysis of the CNglcs present in their Lotus food......, a highly alkaline midgut lumen inhibited the activity of ingested plant b-glucosidases significantly. Moreover, insect b-glucosidases from the saliva and gut tissue did not hydrolyse the CNglcs present in Lotus. The strategies disclosed may also be used by other insect species to overcome CNglc-based plant...

  11. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anselmo Nogueira

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT. Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1 a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2 seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated

  12. Positive effects of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses in a tropical tree species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xoaquín Moreira

    Full Text Available Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves. We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer

  13. The developmental race between maturing host plants and their butterfly herbivore - the influence of phenological matching and temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posledovich, Diana; Toftegaard, Tenna; Wiklund, Christer; Ehrlén, Johan; Gotthard, Karl

    2015-11-01

    Interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants that are limited in time are widespread. Therefore, many insect-plant interactions result in a developmental race, where herbivores need to complete their development before plants become unsuitable, while plants strive to minimize damage from herbivores by outgrowing them. When spring phenologies of interacting species change asymmetrically in response to climate warming, there will be a change in the developmental state of host plants at the time of insect herbivore emergence. In combination with altered temperatures during the subsequent developmental period, this is likely to affect interaction strength as well as fitness of interacting species. Here, we experimentally explore whether the combined effect of phenological matching and thermal conditions influence the outcome of an insect-host interaction. We manipulated both developmental stages of the host plants at the start of the interaction and temperature during the subsequent developmental period in a model system of a herbivorous butterfly, Anthocharis cardamines, and five of its Brassicaceae host plant species. Larval performance characteristics were favoured by earlier stages of host plants at oviposition as well as by higher developmental temperatures on most of the host species. The probability of a larva needing a second host plant covered the full range from no influence of either phenological matching or temperature to strong effects of both factors, and complex interactions between them. The probability of a plant outgrowing a larva was dependent only on the species identity. This study demonstrates that climatic variation can influence the outcome of consumer-resource interactions in multiple ways and that its effects differ among host plant species. Therefore, climate warming is likely to change the temporal match between larval and plant development in some plant species, but not in the others. This is likely to have important

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bokma Folmer

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plants, plant-feeding insects, and insect parasitoids form some of the most complex and species-rich food webs. According to the classic escape-and-radiate (EAR hypothesis, these hyperdiverse communities result from coevolutionary arms races consisting of successive cycles of enemy escape, radiation, and colonization by new enemy lineages. It has also been suggested that "enemy-free space" provided by novel host plants could promote host shifts by herbivores, and that parasitoids could similarly drive diversification of gall form in insects that induce galls on plants. Because these central coevolutionary hypotheses have never been tested in a phylogenetic framework, we combined phylogenetic information on willow-galling sawflies with data on their host plants, gall types, and enemy communities. Results We found that evolutionary shifts in host plant use and habitat have led to dramatic prunings of parasitoid communities, and that changes in gall phenotype can provide "enemy-free morphospace" for millions of years even in the absence of host plant shifts. Some parasites have nevertheless managed to colonize recently-evolved gall types, and this has apparently led to adaptive speciation in several enemy groups. However, having fewer enemies does not in itself increase speciation probabilities in individual sawfly lineages, partly because the high diversity of the enemy community facilitates compensatory attack by remaining parasite taxa. Conclusion Taken together, our results indicate that niche-dependent parasitism is a major force promoting ecological divergence in herbivorous insects, and that prey divergence can cause speciation in parasite lineages. However, the results also show that the EAR hypothesis is too simplistic for species-rich food webs: instead, diversification seems to be spurred by a continuous stepwise process, in which ecological and phenotypic shifts in prey lineages are followed by a lagged evolutionary

  15. Geographic Mosaic of Plant Evolution: Extrafloral Nectary Variation Mediated by Ant and Herbivore Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira, Anselmo; Rey, Pedro J.; Alcántara, Julio M.; Feitosa, Rodrigo M.; Lohmann, Lúcia G.

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT). Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN) bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population) distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant–EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1) a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa) matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2) seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species) matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated with abundant

  16. Egg parasitoid attraction toward induced plant volatiles is disrupted by a non-host herbivore attacking above or belowground plant organs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rihem eMoujahed

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Plants respond to insect oviposition by emission of oviposition-induced plant volatiles (OIPVs which can recruit egg parasitoids of the attacking herbivore. To date, studies demonstrating egg parasitoid attraction to OIPVs have been carried out in tritrophic systems consisting of one species each of plant, herbivore host, and the associated egg parasitoid. Less attention has been given to plants experiencing multiple attacks by host and non-host herbivores that potentially could interfere with the recruitment of egg parasitoids as a result of modifications to the OIPV blend. Egg parasitoid attraction could also be influenced by the temporal dynamics of multiple infestations, when the same non-host herbivore damages different organs of the same plant species. In this scenario we investigated the responses of egg parasitoids to feeding and oviposition damage using a model system consisting of Vicia faba, the above-ground insect herbivore Nezara viridula, the above- and below-ground insect herbivore Sitona lineatus, and Trissolcus basalis, a natural enemy of N. viridula. We demonstrated that the non-host S. lineatus disrupts wasp attraction toward plant volatiles induced by the host N. viridula. Interestingly, V. faba damage inflicted by either adults (i.e. leaf-feeding or larvae (i.e. root-feeding of S. lineatus, had a similar disruptive effect on T. basalis host location, suggesting that a common interference mechanism might be involved. Neither naïve wasps or wasps with previous oviposition experience were attracted to plant volatiles induced by N. viridula when V. faba plants were concurrently infested with S. lineatus adults or larvae. Analysis of the volatile blends among healthy plants and above-ground treatments show significant differences in terms of whole volatile emissions. Our results demonstrate that induced plant responses caused by a non-host herbivore can disrupt the attraction of an egg parasitoid to a plant that is also infested

  17. Egg parasitoid attraction toward induced plant volatiles is disrupted by a non-host herbivore attacking above or belowground plant organs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moujahed, Rihem; Frati, Francesca; Cusumano, Antonino; Salerno, Gianandrea; Conti, Eric; Peri, Ezio; Colazza, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Plants respond to insect oviposition by emission of oviposition-induced plant volatiles (OIPVs) which can recruit egg parasitoids of the attacking herbivore. To date, studies demonstrating egg parasitoid attraction to OIPVs have been carried out in tritrophic systems consisting of one species each of plant, herbivore host, and the associated egg parasitoid. Less attention has been given to plants experiencing multiple attacks by host and non-host herbivores that potentially could interfere with the recruitment of egg parasitoids as a result of modifications to the OIPV blend. Egg parasitoid attraction could also be influenced by the temporal dynamics of multiple infestations, when the same non-host herbivore damages different organs of the same plant species. In this scenario we investigated the responses of egg parasitoids to feeding and oviposition damage using a model system consisting of Vicia faba, the above-ground insect herbivore Nezara viridula, the above- and below-ground insect herbivore Sitona lineatus, and Trissolcus basalis, a natural enemy of N. viridula. We demonstrated that the non-host S. lineatus disrupts wasp attraction toward plant volatiles induced by the host N. viridula. Interestingly, V. faba damage inflicted by either adults (i.e., leaf-feeding) or larvae (i.e., root-feeding) of S. lineatus, had a similar disruptive effect on T. basalis host location, suggesting that a common interference mechanism might be involved. Neither naïve wasps or wasps with previous oviposition experience were attracted to plant volatiles induced by N. viridula when V. faba plants were concurrently infested with S. lineatus adults or larvae. Analysis of the volatile blends among healthy plants and above-ground treatments show significant differences in terms of whole volatile emissions. Our results demonstrate that induced plant responses caused by a non-host herbivore can disrupt the attraction of an egg parasitoid to a plant that is also infested with its hosts.

  18. Reciprocal crosstalk between jasmonate and salicylate defence-signalling pathways modulates plant volatile emission and herbivore host-selection behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wei, J.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Gols, R.; Menzel, T.R.; Li, N.; Kang, L.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    The jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) signalling pathways, which mediate induced plant defence responses, can express negative crosstalk. Limited knowledge is available on the effects of this crosstalk on host-plant selection behaviour of herbivores. We report on temporal and dosage effects

  19. Effects of Fertilizer, Fungal Endophytes and Plant Cultivar on Performance of Insect Herbivores and Their Natural Enemies

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Endophytic fungi are associates of most species of plants and may modify insect community structures through the production of toxic alkaloids. Fertilization is known to increase food plant quality for herbivores, but it is also conceivable that additional nitrogen could increase the productio...

  20. Flexible antipredator behaviour in herbivorous mites through vertical migration in a plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magalhães, Sara; Janssen, Arne; Hanna, Rachid; Sabelis, Maurice W

    2002-06-01

    When predation risk varies in space and time and with predator species, successful prey defence requires specific responses to each predator. In cassava fields in Africa, the herbivorous cassava green mite (Mononychellus tanajoa) is attacked by three predatory mite species that are segregated within the plant: the leaf-dwelling Typhlodromalus manihoti and Euseius fustis occur on the middle leaves, whereas the apex-inhabiting T. aripo migrates from the apex to the top leaves only during the night. We found that differential distributions of these predators allow prey to escape predation by vertical migration to other plant strata. We studied the role of odours in the underlying prey behaviour on predator-free plants placed downwind from plants with predators and prey or with prey only. Prey showed increased vertical migration in response to predator-related odours. Moreover, these responses were specific: when exposed to odours associated with T. manihoti, prey migrated upwards, irrespective of the plant stratum where they were placed. Odours associated with T. aripo triggered a flexible response: prey on the top leaves migrated downwards, whereas prey on the middle leaves migrated upwards. Odours associated with E. fustis, a low-risk predator, did not elicit vertical migration. Further experiments revealed that: (1) prey migrate up or down depending on the stratum where they are located, and (2) prey discrimination among predators is based upon the perception of predator species-specific body odours. Thus, at the scale of a single plant, odour-based enemy specification allows herbivorous mites to escape predation by vertical migration.

  1. Herbivore Oral Secreted Bacteria Trigger Distinct Defense Responses in Preferred and Non-Preferred Host Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jie; Chung, Seung Ho; Peiffer, Michelle; Rosa, Cristina; Hoover, Kelli; Zeng, Rensen; Felton, Gary W

    2016-06-01

    Insect symbiotic bacteria affect host physiology and mediate plant-insect interactions, yet there are few clear examples of symbiotic bacteria regulating defense responses in different host plants. We hypothesized that plants would induce distinct defense responses to herbivore- associated bacteria. We evaluated whether preferred hosts (horsenettle) or non-preferred hosts (tomato) respond similarly to oral secretions (OS) from the false potato beetle (FPB, Leptinotarsa juncta), and whether the induced defense triggered by OS was due to the presence of symbiotic bacteria in OS. Both horsenettle and tomato damaged by antibiotic (AB) treated larvae showed higher polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity than those damaged by non-AB treated larvae. In addition, application of OS from AB treated larvae induced higher PPO activity compared with OS from non-AB treated larvae or water treatment. False potato beetles harbor bacteria that may provide abundant cues that can be recognized by plants and thus mediate corresponding defense responses. Among all tested bacterial isolates, the genera Pantoea, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, and Serratia were found to suppress PPO activity in tomato, while only Pantoea sp. among these four isolates was observed to suppress PPO activity in horsenettle. The distinct PPO suppression caused by symbiotic bacteria in different plants was similar to the pattern of induced defense-related gene expression. Pantoea inoculated FPB suppressed JA-responsive genes and triggered a SA-responsive gene in both tomato and horsenettle. However, Enterobacter inoculated FPB eliminated JA-regulated gene expression and elevated SA-regulated gene expression in tomato, but did not show evident effects on the expression levels of horsenettle defense-related genes. These results indicate that suppression of plant defenses by the bacteria found in the oral secretions of herbivores may be a more widespread phenomenon than previously indicated.

  2. Forage and rangeland plants from uranium mine soils: long-term hazard to herbivores and livestock?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramss, Gerhard; Voigt, Klaus-Dieter

    2014-06-01

    Metalliferous uranium mine overburden soils integrated into arable land or stabilized by perennial rangeland plants evoke concern about the quality of crops and the exposure of grazing and thereby soil-ingesting (wildlife) herbivores to heavy metals (HM) and radionuclides. In a 2-year trial, thirteen annual and perennial forage and rangeland plants were thus potted on, or taken from, cultivated field soil of a metalliferous hot spot near Ronneburg (Germany). The content of soil and shoot tissues in 20 minerals was determined by ICP-MS to estimate HM (and uranium) toxicities to grazing animals and the plants themselves, and to calculate the long-term persistence of the metal toxicants (soil clean-up times) from the annual uptake rates of the plants. On Ronneburg soil elevated in As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, U, and Zn, the shoot mineral content of all test plants remained preferentially in the range of "normal plant concentrations" but reached up to the fourfold to sixfold in Mn, Ni, and Zn, the 1.45- to 21.5-fold of the forage legislative limit in Cd, and the 10- to 180-fold of common herb concentrations in U. Shoot and the calculated root concentrations in Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn accounted for phytotoxic effects at least to grasses and cereals. Based on WHO PTWI values for the tolerable weekly human Cd and Pb intake, the expanded Cd and Pb limits for forage, and reported rates of hay, roots, and adhering-soil ingestion, the tolerable daily intake rates of 0.65/11.6 mg in Cd/Pb by a 65 kg herbivore would be surpassed by the 11- to 27/0.7- to 4.7-fold across the year, with drastic consequences for winter-grazing and thereby high rates of roots and soil-ingesting animals. The daily intake of 5.3-31.5 mg of the alpha radiation emitter, U, may be less disastrous to short-lived herbivores. The annual phytoextraction rates of critical HM by the tested excluder crops indicate that hundreds to thousands of years are necessary to halve the HM and (long-lived) radionuclide load of

  3. Host plant invests in growth rather than chemical defense when attacked by a specialist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arab, Alberto; Trigo, José Roberto

    2011-05-01

    Plant defensive compounds may be a cost rather than a benefit when plants are attacked by specialist insects that may overcome chemical barriers by strategies such as sequestering plant compounds. Plants may respond to specialist herbivores by compensatory growth rather than chemical defense. To explore the use of defensive chemistry vs. compensatory growth we studied Brugmansia suaveolens (Solanaceae) and the specialist larvae of the ithomiine butterfly Placidina euryanassa, which sequester defensive tropane alkaloids (TAs) from this host plant. We investigated whether the concentration of TAs in B. suaveolens was changed by P. euryanassa damage, and whether plants invest in growth, when damaged by the specialist. Larvae feeding during 24 hr significantly decreased TAs in damaged plants, but they returned to control levels after 15 days without damage. Damaged and undamaged plants did not differ significantly in leaf area after 15 days, indicating compensatory growth. Our results suggest that B. suaveolens responds to herbivory by the specialist P. euryanassa by investing in growth rather than chemical defense.

  4. Bifurcations of a two-dimensional discrete time plant-herbivore system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Abdul Qadeer; Ma, Jiying; Xiao, Dongmei

    2016-10-01

    In this paper, bifurcations of a two dimensional discrete time plant-herbivore system formulated by Allen et al. (1993) have been studied. It is proved that the system undergoes a transcritical bifurcation in a small neighborhood of a boundary equilibrium and a Neimark-Sacker bifurcation in a small neighborhood of the unique positive equilibrium. An invariant closed curve bifurcates from the unique positive equilibrium by Neimark-Sacker bifurcation, which corresponds to the periodic or quasi-periodic oscillations between plant and herbivore populations. For a special form of the system, which appears in Kulenović and Ladas (2002), it is shown that the system can undergo a supercritical Neimark-Sacker bifurcation in a small neighborhood of the unique positive equilibrium and a stable invariant closed curve appears. This bifurcation analysis provides a theoretical support on the earlier numerical observations in Allen et al. (1993) and gives a supportive evidence of the conjecture in Kulenović and Ladas (2002). Some numerical simulations are also presented to illustrate our theocratical results.

  5. Microbial Interactions in the Phyllosphere Increase Plant Performance under Herbivore Biotic Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleem, Muhammad; Meckes, Nicole; Pervaiz, Zahida H; Traw, Milton B

    2017-01-01

    The phyllosphere supports a tremendous diversity of microbes and other organisms. However, little is known about the colonization and survival of pathogenic and beneficial bacteria alone or together in the phyllosphere across the whole plant life-cycle under herbivory, which hinders our ability to understand the role of phyllosphere bacteria on plant performance. We addressed these questions in experiments using four genetically and biogeographically diverse accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana, three ecologically important bacterial strains (Pseudomonas syringae DC3000, Xanthomonas campestris, both pathogens, and Bacillus cereus, plant beneficial) under common garden conditions that included fungus gnats (Bradysia spp.). Plants supported greater abundance of B. cereus over either pathogenic strain in the phyllosphere under such greenhouse conditions. However, the Arabidopsis accessions performed much better (i.e., early flowering, biomass, siliques, and seeds per plant) in the presence of pathogenic bacteria rather than in the presence of the plant beneficial B. cereus. As a group, the plants inoculated with any of the three bacteria (Pst DC3000, Xanthomonas, or Bacillus) all had a higher fitness than uninoculated controls under these conditions. These results suggest that the plants grown under the pressure of different natural enemies, such as pathogens and an herbivore together perform relatively better, probably because natural enemies induce host defense against each other. However, in general, a positive impact of Bacillus on plant performance under herbivory may be due to its plant-beneficial properties. In contrast, bacterial species in the mixture (all three together) performed poorer than as monocultures in their total abundance and host plant growth promotion, possibly due to negative interspecific interactions among the bacteria. However, bacterial species richness linearly promoted seed production in the host plants under these conditions, suggesting

  6. Compensatory responses in plant-herbivore interactions: Impacts of insects on leaf water relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peschiutta, María L.; Bucci, Sandra J.; Scholz, Fabián G.; Goldstein, Guillermo

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore damage to leaves has been typically evaluated in terms of fractions of area removed; however morpho-physiological changes in the remaining tissues can occur in response to removal. We assessed the effects of partial removal of the leaf mesophyll by Caliroa cerasi (Hymenoptera) on leaf hydraulic conductance (Kleaf), vascular architecture, water relations and leaf size of three Prunus avium cultivars. The insect feeds on the leaf mesophyll leaving the vein network intact (skeletonization). Within each cultivar there were trees without infestations and trees chronically infested, at least over the last three years. Leaf size of intact leaves tended to be similar during leaf expansion before herbivore attack occurs across infested and non-infested trees. However, after herbivore attack and when the leaves were fully expanded, damaged leaves were smaller than leaves from non-infested trees. Damaged area varied between 21 and 31% depending on cultivar. The non-disruption of the vascular system together with either vein density or capacitance increased in damaged leaves resulted in similar Kleaf and stomatal conductance in infested and non-infested trees. Non-stomatal water loss from repeated leaf damage led to lower leaf water potentials in two of the infested cultivars. Lower leaf osmotic potentials and vulnerability to loss of Kleaf were observed in infested plants. Our results show that skeletonization resulted in compensatory changes in terms of water relations and hydraulics traits and in cultivar-specific physiological changes in phylogenetic related P. avium. Our findings indicate that detrimental effects of herbivory on the photosynthetic surface are counterbalanced by changes providing higher drought resistance, which has adaptive significance in ecosystems where water availability is low and furthermore where global climate changes would decrease soil water availability in the future even further.

  7. Divergence in Defence against Herbivores between Males and Females of Dioecious Plant Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Germán Avila-Sakar

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Defensive traits may evolve differently between sexes in dioecious plant species. Our current understanding of this process hinges on a partial view of the evolution of resistance traits that may result in male-biased herbivory in dioecious populations. Here, we present a critical summary of the current state of the knowledge of herbivory in dioecious species and propose alternative evolutionary scenarios that have been neglected. These scenarios consider the potential evolutionary and functional determinants of sexual dimorphism in patterns of resource allocation to reproduction, growth, and defence. We review the evidence upon which two previous reviews of sex-biased herbivory have concluded that male-biased herbivory is a rule for dioecious species, and we caution readers about a series of shortcomings of many of these studies. Lastly, we propose a minimal standard protocol that should be followed in any studies that intend to elucidate the (coevolution of interactions between dioecious plants and their herbivores.

  8. Experience-based modulation of behavioural responses to plant volatiles and other sensory cues in insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, P; Anton, S

    2014-08-01

    Plant volatiles are important cues for many herbivorous insects when choosing a suitable host plant and finding a mating partner. An appropriate behavioural response to sensory cues from plants and other insects is crucial for survival and fitness. As the natural environment can show both large spatial and temporal variability, herbivores may need to show behavioural plasticity to the available cues. By using earlier experiences, insects can adapt to local variation of resources. Experience is well known to affect sensory-guided behaviour in parasitoids and social insects, but there is also increasing evidence that it influences host plant choice and the probability of finding a mating partner in herbivorous insects. In this review, we will focus upon behavioural changes in holometabolous insect herbivores during host plant choice and localization of mating partners, modulated by experience to sensory cues. The experience can be acquired during both the larval and the adult stage and can influence later responses to plant volatiles and other sensory cues not only within the developmental stage but also after metamorphosis. Furthermore, we will address the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the experience-dependent behavioural adaptations and discuss ecological and evolutionary aspects of insect behavioural plasticity based upon experience.

  9. Influence of host plant nitrogen fertilization on haemolymph protein profiles of herbivore Spodoptera exigua and development of its endoparasitoid Cotesia marginiventris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen has complex effects on plant-herbivore-parasitoid tri-trophic interactions. The negative effects of host plant with low nitrogen fertilization on insect herbivores in many cases can be amplified to the higher trophic levels. In the present study, we examined the impact of varying ni...

  10. Above–belowground herbivore interactions in mixed plant communities are influenced by altered precipitation patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Michael William Ryalls

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Root- and shoot-feeding herbivores have the capacity to influence one another by modifying the chemistry of the shared host plant. This can alter rates of nutrient mineralisation and uptake by neighbouring plants and influence plant–plant competition, particularly in mixtures combining grasses and legumes. Root herbivory-induced exudation of nitrogen (N from legume roots, for example, may increase N acquisition by co-occurring grasses, with knock-on effects on grassland community composition. Little is known about how climate change may affect these interactions, but an important and timely question is how will grass–legume mixtures respond in a future with an increasing reliance on legume N mineralisation in terrestrial ecosystems. Using a model grass–legume mixture, this study investigated how simultaneous attack on lucerne (Medicago sativa by belowground weevils (Sitona discoideus and aboveground aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum affected a neighbouring grass (Phalaris aquatica when subjected to drought, ambient and elevated precipitation. Feeding on rhizobial nodules by weevil larvae enhanced soil water retention under ambient and elevated precipitation, but only when aphids were absent. While drought decreased nodulation and root N content in lucerne, grass root and shoot chemistry were unaffected by changes in precipitation. However, plant communities containing weevils but not aphids showed increased grass height and N concentrations, most likely associated with the transfer of N from weevil-attacked lucerne plants containing more nodules and higher root N concentrations compared with insect-free plants. Drought decreased aphid abundance by 54% but increased total and some specific amino acid concentrations (glycine, lysine, methionine, tyrosine, cysteine, histidine, arginine, aspartate and glutamate, suggesting that aphid declines were being driven by other facets of drought (e.g. reduced phloem hydraulics. The presence of weevil larvae

  11. Constitutive and herbivore-induced systemic volatiles differentially attract an omnivorous biocontrol agent to contrasting Salix clones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehrman, Anna; Boddum, Tina; Stenberg, Johan A.; Orians, Colin M.; Björkman, Christer

    2013-01-01

    While carnivores are known to be attracted to herbivore-induced plant volatiles, little is known about how such volatiles may affect the behaviour of omnivorous predators that may use both plants and herbivores as food. Here, we examine how systemically produced plant volatiles, in response to local herbivore damage, differentially attract a key omnivorous predator, Anthocoris nemorum (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae), to single clones of three species of Salix: S. viminalis, S. dasyclados and S. cinerea. The profiles of the plant volatiles produced were found to vary among Salix clones and between herbivore-damaged and intact plants. Anthocoris nemorum was attracted to the volatiles released from undamaged plants of all three species, but most strongly to a native S. cinerea clone. Plants damaged by the herbivorous leaf beetle Phratora vulgatissima (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) were generally more attractive than undamaged plants, with A. nemorum responding to systemic changes in the damaged plants where the experimental design specifically excluded volatiles released from the actual site of damage. When comparing damaged plants, the S. dasyclados clone was more attractive to A. nemorum than the S. viminalis clone—a somewhat surprising result since this Salix clone is considered relatively resistant to P. vulgatissima, and hence offers a limited amount of prey. Our experiments highlight that both constitutive and induced plant volatiles play a role in omnivore attraction, and this emphasizes the importance of considering odours of released volatiles when cropping and breeding Salix for increased resistance to herbivores. PMID:23467832

  12. Mechanisms of plant-plant interactions: concealment from herbivores is more important than abiotic-stress mediation in an African savannah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louthan, Allison M; Doak, Daniel F; Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-07

    Recent work on facilitative plant-plant interactions has emphasized the importance of neighbours' amelioration of abiotic stress, but the facilitative effects of neighbours in reducing plant apparency to herbivores have received less attention. Whereas theory on stress reduction predicts that competition should be more important in less stressful conditions, with facilitation becoming more important in harsh environments, apparency theory suggests that facilitation should be greater in the presence of herbivores, where it is disadvantageous to be conspicuous regardless of abiotic stress level. We tested the relative strength of neighbours' stress reduction versus apparency reduction on survival, growth, reproduction and lifetime fitness of Hibiscus meyeri, a common forb in central Kenya, using neighbour removals conducted inside and outside large-herbivore exclosures replicated in arid and mesic sites. In the absence of herbivores, neighbours competed with H. meyeri in mesic areas and facilitated H. meyeri in arid areas, as predicted by stress-reduction mechanisms. By contrast, neighbours facilitated H. meyeri in the presence of herbivory, regardless of aridity level, consistent with plant apparency. Our results show that the facilitative effects arising from plant apparency are stronger than the effects arising from abiotic stress reduction in this system, suggesting that plant-apparency effects may be particularly important in systems with extant large-herbivore communities.

  13. Foraging leaf-cutting ants learn to reject Vitis vinifera ssp. vinifera plants that emit herbivore-induced volatiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiele, Theresa; Kost, Christian; Roces, Flavio; Wirth, Rainer

    2014-06-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (LCAs) are dominant herbivores of the Neotropics, as well as economically important pests. Their foraging ecology and patterns/mechanisms of food selection have received considerable attention. Recently, it has been documented that LCAs exhibit a delayed rejection of previously accepted food plants following treatment with a fungicide that makes the plants unsuitable as substrate for their symbiotic fungus. Here, we investigated whether LCAs similarly reject plants with induced chemical defenses, by combining analysis of volatile emissions with dual-choice bioassays that used LCA subcolonies (Atta sexdens L.). On seven consecutive days, foraging ants were given the choice between leaf disks from untreated control plants and test plants of Vitis vinifera ssp. vinifera L. treated with the phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) to mimic herbivore attack. Chemical analysis revealed the emission of a characteristic set of herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds (VOC) from JA-induced plants. Dual-choice experiments indicated that workers did not show any preference initially, but that they avoided JA-treated plants from day five onwards. Our finding that A. sexdens foragers learn to avoid VOC-emitting plants, which are likely detrimental to their symbiotic fungus, represents the first evidence for avoidance learning in attine ants toward plants with induced defenses.

  14. Lack of correlation between constitutive and induced resistance to a herbivore in crucifer plants: real or flawed by experimental methods?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, P.J.; Shu, J.P.; Wu, Z.Y.; Dicke, M.; Liu, S.S.

    2009-01-01

    The correlation between constitutive and induced resistance to herbivores in plants has long been of interest to evolutionary biologists, and various approaches to determining levels of resistance have been used in this field of research. In this study, we examined the relationship between constitut

  15. Plant responses to hidden herbivores: European corn borer (ECB; Ostrinia nubilalis) attack on maize induces both defense and susceptibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbivore-induced plant defenses have been widely described following attack on leaves; however, less attention has been paid to analogous local processes that occur in stems or roots. Early attempts to characterize maize responses to stem boring by European corn borer (ECB; Ostrinia nubilalis) larv...

  16. Combined use of herbivore-induced plant volatiles and sex pheromones for mate location in braconid parasitoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are important cues for female parasitic wasps to find hosts. Here, we investigated the possibility that HIPVs may also serve parasitoids as cues to locate mates. To test this, the odor preferences of four braconid wasps – the gregarious parasitoid Cotesia gl...

  17. Using NextRAD sequencing to infer movement of herbivores among host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Zhen; Epstein, Brendan; Kelley, Joanna L; Zheng, Qi; Bergland, Alan O; Castillo Carrillo, Carmen I; Jensen, Andrew S; Dahan, Jennifer; Karasev, Alexander V; Snyder, William E

    2017-01-01

    Herbivores often move among spatially interspersed host plants, tracking high-quality resources through space and time. This dispersal is of particular interest for vectors of plant pathogens. Existing molecular tools to track such movement have yielded important insights, but often provide insufficient genetic resolution to infer spread at finer spatiotemporal scales. Here, we explore the use of Nextera-tagmented reductively-amplified DNA (NextRAD) sequencing to infer movement of a highly-mobile winged insect, the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli), among host plants. The psyllid vectors the pathogen that causes zebra chip disease in potato (Solanum tuberosum), but understanding and managing the spread of this pathogen is limited by uncertainty about the insect's host plant(s) outside of the growing season. We identified 1,978 polymorphic loci among psyllids separated spatiotemporally on potato or in patches of bittersweet nightshade (S. dulcumara), a weedy plant proposed to be the source of potato-colonizing psyllids. A subset of the psyllids on potato exhibited genetic similarity to insects on nightshade, consistent with regular movement between these two host plants. However, a second subset of potato-collected psyllids was genetically distinct from those collected on bittersweet nightshade; this suggests that a currently unrecognized source, i.e., other nightshade patches or a third host-plant species, could be contributing to psyllid populations in potato. Oftentimes, dispersal of vectors of pathogens must be tracked at a fine scale in order to understand, predict, and manage disease spread. We demonstrate that emerging sequencing technologies that detect genome-wide SNPs of a vector can be used to infer such localized movement.

  18. Overcompensation of herbivore reproduction through hyper-suppression of plant defenses in response to competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schimmel, Bernardus C J; Ataide, Livia M S; Chafi, Rachid; Villarroel, Carlos A; Alba, Juan M; Schuurink, Robert C; Kant, Merijn R

    2017-06-01

    Spider mites are destructive arthropod pests on many crops. The generalist herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae induces defenses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and this constrains its fitness. By contrast, the Solanaceae-specialist Tetranychus evansi maintains a high reproductive performance by suppressing tomato defenses. Tetranychus evansi outcompetes T. urticae when infesting the same plant, but it is unknown whether this is facilitated by the defenses of the plant. We assessed the extent to which a secondary infestation by a competitor affects local plant defense responses (phytohormones and defense genes), mite gene expression and mite performance. We observed that T. evansi switches to hyper-suppression of defenses after its tomato host is also invaded by its natural competitor T. urticae. Jasmonate (JA) and salicylate (SA) defenses were suppressed more strongly, albeit only locally at the feeding site of T. evansi, upon introduction of T. urticae to the infested leaflet. The hyper-suppression of defenses coincided with increased expression of T. evansi genes coding for salivary defense-suppressing effector proteins and was paralleled by an increased reproductive performance. Together, these observations suggest that T. evansi overcompensates its reproduction through hyper-suppression of plant defenses in response to nearby competitors. We hypothesize that the competitor-induced overcompensation promotes competitive population growth of T. evansi on tomato. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. A rapid and efficient method for isolating high quality DNA from leaves of carnivorous plants from the Drosera genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biteau, Flore; Nisse, Estelle; Hehn, Alain; Miguel, Sissi; Hannewald, Paul; Bourgaud, Frédéric

    2012-07-01

    Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera capensis, and Drosera regia are carnivorous plants of the sundew family, characterized by the presence of stalked and sticky glands on the upper leaf surface, to attract, trap, and digest insects. These plants contain exceptionally high amounts of polysaccharides, polyphenols, and other secondary metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and subsequent enzymatic reactions such as PCR amplification. We present here a protocol for quick isolation of Drosera DNA with high yield and a high level of purity, by combining a borate extraction buffer with a commercial DNA extraction kit, and a proteinase K treatment during extraction. The yield of genomic DNA is from 13.36 μg/g of fresh weight to 35.29 μg/g depending of the species of Drosera, with a A₂₆₀/A₂₈₀ ratio of 1.43-1.92. Moreover, the procedure is quick and can be completed in 2.5 h.

  20. Different mechanics of snap-trapping in the two closely related carnivorous plants Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa

    CERN Document Server

    Poppinga, Simon

    2011-01-01

    The carnivorous aquatic Waterwheel Plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula SOL. EX J. ELLIS) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Traditionally, Aldrovanda is considered as a miniature, aquatic Dionaea, an assumption which was already established by Charles Darwin. However, videos of snapping traps from both species suggest completely different closure mechanisms. Indeed, the well-described snapping mechanism in Dionaea comprises abrupt curvature inversion of the two trap lobes, while the closing movement in Aldrovanda involves deformation of the trap midrib but not of the lobes, which do not change curvature. In this paper, we present the first detailed mechanical models for these plants, which are based on the theory of thin solid membranes and explain this difference by showing that the fast snapping of Aldrovanda is due to kinematic amplification of the bending deforma...

  1. Specific response to herbivore-induced de novo synthesized plant volatiles provides reliable information for host plant selection in a moth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakir, Ali; Bengtsson, Marie; Sadek, Medhat M; Hansson, Bill S; Witzgall, Peter; Anderson, Peter

    2013-09-01

    Animals depend on reliable sensory information for accurate behavioural decisions. For herbivorous insects it is crucial to find host plants for feeding and reproduction, and these insects must be able to differentiate suitable from unsuitable plants. Volatiles are important cues for insect herbivores to assess host plant quality. It has previously been shown that female moths of the Egyptian cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), avoid oviposition on damaged cotton Gossypium hirsutum, which may mediated by herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs). Among the HIPVs, some volatiles are released following any type of damage while others are synthesized de novo and released by the plants only in response to herbivore damage. In behavioural experiments we here show that oviposition by S. littoralis on undamaged cotton plants was reduced by adding volatiles collected from plants with ongoing herbivory. Gas chromatography-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) recordings revealed that antennae of mated S. littoralis females responded to 18 compounds from a collection of headspace volatiles of damaged cotton plants. Among these compounds, a blend of the seven de novo synthesized volatile compounds was found to reduce oviposition in S. littoralis on undamaged plants under both laboratory and ambient (field) conditions in Egypt. Volatile compounds that are not produced de novo by the plants did not affect oviposition. Our results show that ovipositing females respond specifically to the de novo synthesized volatiles released from plants under herbivore attack. We suggest that these volatiles provide reliable cues for ovipositing females to detect plants that could provide reduced quality food for their offspring and an increased risk of competition and predation.

  2. [Effects of plant viruses on vector and non-vector herbivorous arthropods and their natural enemies: a mini review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiao-Chan; Xu, Hong-Xing; Zhou, Xiao-Jun; Zheng, Xu-Song; Sun, Yu-Jian; Yang, Ya-Jun; Tian, Jun-Ce; Lü, Zhong-Xian

    2014-05-01

    Plant viruses transmitted by arthropods, as an important biotic factor, may not only directly affect the yield and quality of host plants, and development, physiological characteristics and ecological performances of their vector arthropods, but also directly or indirectly affect the non-vector herbivorous arthropods and their natural enemies in the same ecosystem, thereby causing influences to the whole agro-ecosystem. This paper reviewed the progress on the effects of plant viruses on herbivorous arthropods, including vector and non-vector, and their natural enemies, and on their ecological mechanisms to provide a reference for optimizing the management of vector and non-vector arthropod populations and sustainable control of plant viruses in agro-ecosystem.

  3. Plant Glandular Trichomes as Targets for Breeding or Engineering of Resistance to Herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merijn R. Kant

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Glandular trichomes are specialized hairs found on the surface of about 30% of all vascular plants and are responsible for a significant portion of a plant’s secondary chemistry. Glandular trichomes are an important source of essential oils, i.e., natural fragrances or products that can be used by the pharmaceutical industry, although many of these substances have evolved to provide the plant with protection against herbivores and pathogens. The storage compartment of glandular trichomes usually is located on the tip of the hair and is part of the glandular cell, or cells, which are metabolically active. Trichomes and their exudates can be harvested relatively easily, and this has permitted a detailed study of their metabolites, as well as the genes and proteins responsible for them. This knowledge now assists classical breeding programs, as well as targeted genetic engineering, aimed to optimize trichome density and physiology to facilitate customization of essential oil production or to tune biocide activity to enhance crop protection. We will provide an overview of the metabolic diversity found within plant glandular trichomes, with the emphasis on those of the Solanaceae, and of the tools available to manipulate their activities for enhancing the plant’s resistance to pests.

  4. Is There a Temperate Bias in Our Understanding of How Climate Change Will Alter Plant-Herbivore Interactions? A Meta-analysis of Experimental Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundim, Fabiane M; Bruna, Emilio M

    2016-09-01

    Climate change can drive major shifts in community composition and interactions between resident species. However, the magnitude of these changes depends on the type of interactions and the biome in which they take place. We review the existing conceptual framework for how climate change will influence tropical plant-herbivore interactions and formalize a similar framework for the temperate zone. We then conduct the first biome-specific tests of how plant-herbivore interactions change in response to climate-driven changes in temperature, precipitation, ambient CO2, and ozone. We used quantitative meta-analysis to compare predicted and observed changes in experimental studies. Empirical studies were heavily biased toward temperate systems, so testing predicted changes in tropical plant-herbivore interactions was virtually impossible. Furthermore, most studies investigated the effects of CO2 with limited plant and herbivore species. Irrespective of location, most studies manipulated only one climate change factor despite the fact that different factors can act in synergy to alter responses of plants and herbivores. Finally, studies of belowground plant-herbivore interactions were also rare; those conducted suggest that climate change could have major effects on belowground subsystems. Our results suggest that there is a disconnection between the growing literature proposing how climate change will influence plant-herbivore interactions and the studies testing these predictions. General conclusions will also be hampered without better integration of above- and belowground systems, assessing the effects of multiple climate change factors simultaneously, and using greater diversity of species in experiments.

  5. The European Hare (Lepus europaeus: A Picky Herbivore Searching for Plant Parts Rich in Fat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie C Schai-Braun

    Full Text Available European hares of both sexes rely on fat reserves, particularly during the reproduc-tive season. Therefore, hares should select dietary plants rich in fat and energy. However, hares also require essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA such as linoleic acid (LA and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA to reproduce and survive. Although hares are able to absorb PUFA selectively in their gastrointestinal tract, it is unknown whether this mechanism is sufficient to guarantee PUFA supply. Thus, diet selection may involve a trade-off between a preference for energy versus a preference for crucial nutrients, namely PUFA. We compared plant and nutrient availability and use by hares in an arable landscape in Austria over three years. We found that European hares selected their diet for high energy content (crude fat and crude protein, and avoided crude fibre. There was no evidence of a preference for plants rich in LA and ALA. We conclude that fat is the limiting resource for this herbivorous mammal, whereas levels of LA and ALA in forage are sufficiently high to meet daily requirements, especially since their uptake is enhanced by physiological mechanisms. Animals selected several plant taxa all year round, and preferences did not simply correlate with crude fat content. Hence, European hares might not only select for plant taxa rich in fat, but also for high-fat parts of preferred plant taxa. As hares preferred weeds/grasses and various crop types while avoiding cereals, we suggest that promoting heterogeneous habitats with high crop diversity and set-asides may help stop the decline of European hares throughout Europe.

  6. 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; Mortel, van de Judith E.; Kapsomenou, Elena; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Loon, van Joop J.A.; Dicke, Marcel; Pineda Gomez, 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 elu

  7. Subterranean, herbivore-induced plant volatile increases biological control activity of multiple beneficial nematode species in distinct habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jared G Ali

    Full Text Available While the role of herbivore-induced volatiles in plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions is well documented aboveground, new evidence suggests that belowground volatile emissions can protect plants by attracting entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs. However, due to methodological limitations, no study has previously detected belowground herbivore-induced volatiles in the field or quantified their impact on attraction of diverse EPN species. Here we show how a belowground herbivore-induced volatile can enhance mortality of agriculturally significant root pests. First, in real time, we identified pregeijerene (1,5-dimethylcyclodeca-1,5,7-triene from citrus roots 9-12 hours after initiation of larval Diaprepes abbreviatus feeding. This compound was also detected in the root zone of mature citrus trees in the field. Application of collected volatiles from weevil-damaged citrus roots attracted native EPNs and increased mortality of beetle larvae (D. abbreviatus compared to controls in a citrus orchard. In addition, field applications of isolated pregeijerene caused similar results. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that pregeijerene increased pest mortality by attracting four species of naturally occurring EPNs in the field. Finally, we tested the generality of this root-zone signal by application of pregeijerene in blueberry fields; mortality of larvae (Galleria mellonella and Anomala orientalis again increased by attracting naturally occurring populations of an EPN. Thus, this specific belowground signal attracts natural enemies of widespread root pests in distinct agricultural systems and may have broad potential in biological control of root pests.

  8. Transcriptomics and molecular evolutionary rate analysis of the bladderwort (Utricularia, a carnivorous plant with a minimal genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herrera-Estrella Alfredo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba (bladderwort is remarkable in having a minute genome, which at ca. 80 megabases is approximately half that of Arabidopsis. Bladderworts show an incredible diversity of forms surrounding a defined theme: tiny, bladder-like suction traps on terrestrial, epiphytic, or aquatic plants with a diversity of unusual vegetative forms. Utricularia plants, which are rootless, are also anomalous in physiological features (respiration and carbon distribution, and highly enhanced molecular evolutionary rates in chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal sequences. Despite great interest in the genus, no genomic resources exist for Utricularia, and the substitution rate increase has received limited study. Results Here we describe the sequencing and analysis of the Utricularia gibba transcriptome. Three different organs were surveyed, the traps, the vegetative shoot bodies, and the inflorescence stems. We also examined the bladderwort transcriptome under diverse stress conditions. We detail aspects of functional classification, tissue similarity, nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism, respiration, DNA repair, and detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Long contigs of plastid and mitochondrial genomes, as well as sequences for 100 individual nuclear genes, were compared with those of other plants to better establish information on molecular evolutionary rates. Conclusion The Utricularia transcriptome provides a detailed genomic window into processes occurring in a carnivorous plant. It contains a deep representation of the complex metabolic pathways that characterize a putative minimal plant genome, permitting its use as a source of genomic information to explore the structural, functional, and evolutionary diversity of the genus. Vegetative shoots and traps are the most similar organs by functional classification of their transcriptome, the traps expressing hydrolytic enzymes for prey

  9. Maternal effects in an insect herbivore as a mechanism to adapt to host plant phenology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Asch, Margriet; Julkunen-Tiito, Riita; Visser, Marcel E.

    2010-01-01

    P>1. Maternal effects may play an important role in shaping the life history of organisms. Using an insect herbivore, the winter moth (Operophtera brumata) feeding on oak (Quercus robur), we show that maternal effects can affect seasonal timing of egg hatching in an herbivore in an adaptive way. 2.

  10. Orthogonal fitness benefits of nitrogen and ants for nitrogen-limited plants in the presence of herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Ableson, Ian; Kerber, Jennifer; Vannette, Rachel L; Tao, Leiling

    2017-09-09

    Predictable effects of resource availability on plant growth-defense strategies provide a unifying theme in theories of direct anti-herbivore defense, but it is less clear how resource availability modulates plant indirect defense. Ant-plant-hemipteran interactions produce mutualistic trophic cascades when hemipteran-tending ants reduce total herbivory, and these interactions are a key component of plant indirect defense in most terrestrial ecosystems. Here we conducted an experiment to test how ant-plant-hemipteran interactions depend on nitrogen (N) availability by manipulating the presence of ants and aphids under different N fertilization treatments. Ants increased plant flowering success by decreasing the densities of herbivores, and the effects of ants on folivores were positively related to the density of aphids. Unexpectedly, N fertilization produced no changes in plant N concentrations. Plants grown in higher N grew and flowered more, but aphid honeydew chemistry stayed the same, and neither the density of aphids nor the rate of ant attraction per aphid changed with N addition. The positive effects of ants and N addition on plant fitness were thus independent of one another. We conclude that N was the plant's limiting nutrient and propose that addition of the limiting nutrient is unlikely to alter the strength of mutualistic trophic cascades. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Herbivores, the Functional Diversity of Plants Species, and the Cycling of Nutrients in Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastor; Cohen

    1997-06-01

    Numerous investigators have suggested that herbivores almost always increase rates of nutrient and energy flow through terrestrial ecosystems by returning to the soil fecal material and urine with faster turnover rate than shed plant litter. These previous theories and models always treat the producer compartment as a homogenous pool. Essentially, they assume that consumers feed through a pureed cream of vegetable soup. However, many field observations and experiments have shown that consumers feed selectively (i.e., in a cafeteria) and that consumer choice is made on the same chemical basis that determines decomposition rates. Plants that are preferred food sources often have higher nutrient content, higher growth rates, and faster decomposition rates. As consumption reduces dominance of these species in favor of unpreferred species with slower decomposition, rates of nutrient cycling and energy flow should therefore decline. We analyze a model in which the consumer is given a choice among producers that vary in nutrient uptake rates, rates of nutrient return to decomposers, and consumer preference, and which is parameterized for plants and consumers characteristic of boreal regions. In this model, in an open, well-mixed system with one consumer and two such producers, the nutrient/energy flow will not exceed that of a system without the consumer. If the consumer has a choice between two such producers, it must choose one plant over the other at a greater ratio than that between the two plants in uptake and decay rates. In contrast, in a closed system the consumer must be less selective to coexist with the two plants. The system behavior is determined by the level of nutrient return through the consumer and the differences between the plants in nutrient uptake rates and consumer preference. Species richness affects properties of this model system to the extent that species are functionally distinct (i.e., have different rate constants) in a multivariate space of

  12. Nitrogen cycling in an extreme hyperarid environment inferred from δ(15)N analyses of plants, soils and herbivore diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Francisca P; Frugone, Matías; Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A; Latorre, Claudio

    2016-03-09

    Climate controls on the nitrogen cycle are suggested by the negative correlation between precipitation and δ(15)N values across different ecosystems. For arid ecosystems this is unclear, as water limitation among other factors can confound this relationship. We measured herbivore feces, foliar and soil δ(15)N and δ(13)C values and chemically characterized soils (pH and elemental composition) along an elevational/climatic gradient in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Although very positive δ(15)N values span the entire gradient, soil δ(15)N values show a positive correlation with aridity as expected. In contrast, foliar δ(15)N values and herbivore feces show a hump-shaped relationship with elevation, suggesting that plants are using a different N source, possibly of biotic origin. Thus at the extreme limits of plant life, biotic interactions may be just as important as abiotic processes, such as climate in explaining ecosystem δ(15)N values.

  13. Nitrogen cycling in an extreme hyperarid environment inferred from δ15N analyses of plants, soils and herbivore diet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Francisca P.; Frugone, Matías; Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A.; Latorre, Claudio

    2016-03-01

    Climate controls on the nitrogen cycle are suggested by the negative correlation between precipitation and δ15N values across different ecosystems. For arid ecosystems this is unclear, as water limitation among other factors can confound this relationship. We measured herbivore feces, foliar and soil δ15N and δ13C values and chemically characterized soils (pH and elemental composition) along an elevational/climatic gradient in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Although very positive δ15N values span the entire gradient, soil δ15N values show a positive correlation with aridity as expected. In contrast, foliar δ15N values and herbivore feces show a hump-shaped relationship with elevation, suggesting that plants are using a different N source, possibly of biotic origin. Thus at the extreme limits of plant life, biotic interactions may be just as important as abiotic processes, such as climate in explaining ecosystem δ15N values.

  14. Evolutionary biology of plant defenses against herbivory and their predictive implications for endocrine disruptor susceptibility in vertebrates.

    OpenAIRE

    Wynne-Edwards, K E

    2001-01-01

    Hormone disruption is a major, underappreciated component of the plant chemical arsenal, and the historical coevolution between hormone-disrupting plants and herbivores will have both increased the susceptibility of carnivores and diversified the sensitivities of herbivores to man-made endocrine disruptors. Here I review diverse evidence of the influence of plant secondary compounds on vertebrate reproduction, including human reproduction. Three of the testable hypotheses about the evolutiona...

  15. Involvement of Jasmonate- signaling pathway in the herbivore-induced rice plant defense

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Tao; ZHOU Qiang; CHEN Wei; ZHANG Guren; HE Guofeng; GU Dexiang; ZHANG Wenqing

    2003-01-01

    The expression patterns of eight defense- related genes in the herbivore-infested and jasmonate- treated (jasmonic acid, JA and its derivative MeJA) rice leaves were analyzed using RT-PCR. The results showed that Spodoptera litura Fabricius (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) herbivory induced the expression of lipoxygenase (LOX) and allene oxide synthase (AOS) genes that are involved in the jasmonate-signaling pathway. Moreover, S. Litura damage resulted in the expression of farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (FPS), Bowman-birk proteinase inhibitor (BBPI), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and other rice defense- related genes that were also induced by aqueous JA treatment or gaseous MeJA treatment. These indicated that in rice leaves, the JA-related signaling pathway was involved in the S. Litura-induced chemical defense. Mechanical damage and brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Stal) (Homoptera: Delphacidae) damage induced the expression of LOX gene, but both treatments did not induce the expression of AOS gene. However, BPH damage induced the expression of acidic pathogen-related protein 1 (PR-1a), Chitinase (PR-3), and PAL genes, which is involved in the salicylate- signaling pathway. It was suggested that salicylate-related signaling pathway or other pathways, rather than jasmonate-signaling pathway was involved in the BPH-induced rice plant defense.

  16. Effect of Drought on Herbivore-Induced Plant Gene Expression: Population Comparison for Range Limit Inferences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunbharpur Singh Gill

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Low elevation “trailing edge” range margin populations typically face increases in both abiotic and biotic stressors that may contribute to range limit development. We hypothesize that selection may act on ABA and JA signaling pathways for more stable expression needed for range expansion, but that antagonistic crosstalk prevents their simultaneous co-option. To test this hypothesis, we compared high and low elevation populations of Boechera stricta that have diverged with respect to constitutive levels of glucosinolate defenses and root:shoot ratios; neither population has high levels of both traits. If constraints imposed by antagonistic signaling underlie this divergence, one would predict that high constitutive levels of traits would coincide with lower plasticity. To test this prediction, we compared the genetically diverged populations in a double challenge drought-herbivory growth chamber experiment. Although a glucosinolate defense response to the generalist insect herbivore Spodoptera exigua was attenuated under drought conditions, the plastic defense response did not differ significantly between populations. Similarly, although several potential drought tolerance traits were measured, only stomatal aperture behavior, as measured by carbon isotope ratios, was less plastic as predicted in the high elevation population. However, RNAseq results on a small subset of plants indicated differential expression of relevant genes between populations as predicted. We suggest that the ambiguity in our results stems from a weaker link between the pathways and the functional traits compared to transcripts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  18. The Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles Methyl Salicylate and Menthol Positively affect Growth and Pathogenicity of Entomopathogenic Fungi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yongwen; Qasim, Muhammad; Hussain, Mubasher; Akutse, Komivi Senyo; Avery, Pasco Bruce; Dash, Chandra Kanta; Wang, Liande

    2017-01-01

    Some herbivore-induced-plant volatiles (HIPVs) compounds are vital for the functioning of an ecosystem, by triggering multi-trophic interactions for natural enemies, plants and herbivores. However, the effect of these chemicals, which play a crucial role in regulating the multi-trophic interactions between plant-herbivore-entomopathogenic fungi, is still unknown. To fill this scientific gap, we therefore investigated how these chemicals influence the entomopathogenic fungi growth and efficacy. In this study, Lipaphis erysimi induced Arabidopsis thaliana HIPVs were collected using headspace system and detected with GC-MS, and then analyzed the effects of these HIPVs chemicals on Lecanicillium lecanii strain V3450. We found that the HIPVs menthol and methyl salicylate at 1 and 10 nmol·ml−1 improved many performance aspects of the fungus, such as germination, sporulation, appressorial formation as well as its pathogenicity and virulence. These findings are not only important for understanding the multi-trophic interactions in an ecosystem, but also would contribute for developing new and easier procedures for conidial mass production as well as improve the pathogenicity and virulence of entomopathogenic fungi in biological pest management strategies. PMID:28079180

  19. The effect of a green leaf volatile on host plant finding by larvae of a herbivorous insect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Caroline; Hilker, M.

    The role of a general green leaf volatile (glv) in host finding by larvae of the oligophagous chrysomelid Cassida denticollis was investigated using a new bioassay which takes into account the need for neonate larvae of this species to climb fresh host plants from the ground. A "stem arena" was designed in which plant stems of the host, tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), and stem dummies (tooth picks), both wrapped in perforated filter paper, were offered to neonate larvae. The wrapping allowed olfactory responses to be tested by preventing access to contact stimuli of stems and dummies. Larvae significantly preferred to climb the wrapped tansy stems over dummies after a period of 15min. The test glv, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, was not attractive when applied to dummies. However, when the glv was applied to the bottom of the arena, the ability of larvae to discriminate between host stems and untreated dummies was significantly enhanced. More larvae climbed wrapped host stems than dummies even within 5min. While numerous other herbivorous insects are known to be directly attracted by glv, this study shows that a singly offered glv on its own is unattractive to an herbivore but enhances the herbivore's ability to differentiate between host and nonhost plants.

  20. The Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles Methyl Salicylate and Menthol Positively affect Growth and Pathogenicity of Entomopathogenic Fungi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yongwen; Qasim, Muhammad; Hussain, Mubasher; Akutse, Komivi Senyo; Avery, Pasco Bruce; Dash, Chandra Kanta; Wang, Liande

    2017-01-01

    Some herbivore-induced-plant volatiles (HIPVs) compounds are vital for the functioning of an ecosystem, by triggering multi-trophic interactions for natural enemies, plants and herbivores. However, the effect of these chemicals, which play a crucial role in regulating the multi-trophic interactions between plant-herbivore-entomopathogenic fungi, is still unknown. To fill this scientific gap, we therefore investigated how these chemicals influence the entomopathogenic fungi growth and efficacy. In this study, Lipaphis erysimi induced Arabidopsis thaliana HIPVs were collected using headspace system and detected with GC-MS, and then analyzed the effects of these HIPVs chemicals on Lecanicillium lecanii strain V3450. We found that the HIPVs menthol and methyl salicylate at 1 and 10 nmol·ml-1 improved many performance aspects of the fungus, such as germination, sporulation, appressorial formation as well as its pathogenicity and virulence. These findings are not only important for understanding the multi-trophic interactions in an ecosystem, but also would contribute for developing new and easier procedures for conidial mass production as well as improve the pathogenicity and virulence of entomopathogenic fungi in biological pest management strategies.

  1. How to catch more prey with less effective traps: explaining the evolution of temporarily inactive traps in carnivorous pitcher plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Ulrike; Federle, Walter; Seidel, Hannes; Grafe, T Ulmar; Ioannou, Christos C

    2015-02-22

    Carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants capture arthropods with specialized slippery surfaces. The key trapping surface, the pitcher rim (peristome), is highly slippery when wetted by rain, nectar or condensation, but not when dry. As natural selection should favour adaptations that maximize prey intake, the evolution of temporarily inactive traps seems paradoxical. Here, we show that intermittent trap deactivation promotes 'batch captures' of ants. Prey surveys revealed that N. rafflesiana pitchers sporadically capture large numbers of ants from the same species. Continuous experimental wetting of the peristome increased the number of non-recruiting prey, but decreased the number of captured ants and shifted their trapping mode from batch to individual capture events. Ant recruitment was also lower to continuously wetted pitchers. Our experimental data fit a simple model that predicts that intermittent, wetness-based trap activation should allow safe access for 'scout' ants under dry conditions, thereby promoting recruitment and ultimately higher prey numbers. The peristome trapping mechanism may therefore represent an adaptation for capturing ants. The relatively rare batch capture events may particularly benefit larger plants with many pitchers. This explains why young plants of many Nepenthes species additionally employ wetness-independent, waxy trapping surfaces.

  2. 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.

  3. Can plants betray the presence of multiple herbivore species to predators and parasitoids? The role of learning in phytochemical information netowrks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takabayashi, J.; Sabelis, M.W.; Janssen, A.; Shiojiri, K.; van Wijk, M.

    2006-01-01

    Abstract In response to feeding by phytophagous arthropods, plants emit volatile chemicals. This is shown to be an active physiological response of the plant and the released chemicals are therefore called herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV). One of the supposed functions of HIPV for the plant

  4. Can plants betray the presence of multiple herbivore species to predators and parasitoids? The role of learning in phytochemical information netowrks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Takabayashi; M.W. Sabelis; A. Janssen; K. Shiojiri; M. van Wijk

    2006-01-01

    Abstract In response to feeding by phytophagous arthropods, plants emit volatile chemicals. This is shown to be an active physiological response of the plant and the released chemicals are therefore called herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV). One of the supposed functions of HIPV for the plant

  5. Developmental plasticity and reduced susceptibility to natural enemies following host plant defoliation in a specialized herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, Glen R; Ott, James R

    2010-03-01

    Host-specific phytophagous insects that are short lived and reliant on ephemeral plant tissues provide an excellent system in which to investigate the consequences of disruption in the timing of resource availability on consumer populations and their subsequent interactions with higher tropic levels. The specialist herbivore, Belonocnema treatae (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) induces galls on only newly flushed leaves of live oak, Quercus fusiformis. In central Texas (USA) episodic defoliation of the host creates variation in the timing of resource availability and results in heterogeneous populations of B. treatae that initiate development at different times. We manipulated the timing of leaf flush in live oak via artificial defoliation to test the hypothesis that a 6- to 8-week delay in the availability of resources alters the timing of this gall former's life cycle events, performance and survivorship on its host, and susceptibility to natural enemies. B. treatae exhibits plasticity in development time, as the interval from egg to emergence was significantly reduced when gallers oviposited into the delayed leaf flush. As a consequence, the phenologies of gall maturation and adult emergence remain synchronized in spite of variation in the timing of resource availability. Per capita gall production and gall-former performance are not significantly affected by the timing of resource availability. The timing of resource availability and natural enemies interact, however, to produce strong effects on survivorship: when exposed to natural enemies, B. treatae developing in galls initiated by delayed oviposition exhibited an order-of-magnitude increase in survivorship. Developmental plasticity allows this gall former to circumvent disruptions in resource availability, maintain synchrony of life cycle events, and results in reduced vulnerability to natural enemies following defoliation of the host plant.

  6. Plant diversity effects on insect herbivores and their natural enemies: current thinking, recent findings, and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Rasmann, Sergio; Castagneyrol, Bastien; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-04-01

    A rich body of theory has been developed to predict the effects of plant diversity on communities at higher trophic levels and the mechanisms underpinning such effects. However, there are currently a number of key gaps in knowledge that have hindered the development of a predictive framework of plant diversity effects on consumers. For instance, we still know very little about how the magnitude of plant trait variation (e.g. intra-specific vs. inter-specific), as well as the identity and combined effects of plant, herbivore and natural enemy traits, mediate plant diversity effects on consumers. Moreover, the fine-scale mechanisms (e.g. changes in consumer behaviour or recruitment responses) underlying such diversity effects in many cases remain elusive or have been overlooked. In addition, most studies of plant diversity effects on associated consumers have been developed under a static, unidirectional (bottom-up) framework of effects on herbivores and predators without taking into account the potential for dynamic feedbacks across trophic levels. Here we seek to address these key gaps in knowledge as well as to capitalize on recent advances and emerging frameworks in plant biodiversity research. In doing so, we provide new insights as well as recommendations which will stimulate new research and advance this field of study.

  7. A mixed diet of toxic plants enables increased feeding and anti-predator defense by an insect herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, P A; Bernardo, M A; Singer, M S

    2014-10-01

    Some insect herbivores sequester plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) for their own defense, raising the interesting possibility that grazing herbivores are defended by combinations of PSMs from different plant species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the grazing caterpillar, Grammia incorrupta, deters the ant, Aphaenogaster cockerelli, by eating a mixture of plants containing iridoid glycosides (IGs) and those containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), and that this deterrence is greater than that attained by eating either plant alone. This hypothesis was tested against the non-mutually exclusive hypothesis that mixing plants containing PAs with those containing IGs improves growth performance. Caterpillar survival and growth were measured on three experimental diets: a PA plant, an IG plant, and a mixture of the two. We measured the degree of deterrence associated with these, and an additional experimental diet devoid of PSMs at naturally occurring A. cockerelli nests. Caterpillars fed both plants gained more mass than those fed either plant alone, but took longer to develop. These differences were not caused by diet-based variation in growth efficiency, but by eating more food when offered the mixed-plant diet relative to single-plant diets. The mixed diet was shown to provide deterrence to ants, whereas caterpillars fed single-plant diets were not significantly more deterrent than caterpillars that had eaten the PSM-free diet. We hypothesize that enhanced defense results from increased food consumption in response to multiple plant species, perhaps leading to greater PSM sequestration. Through this mechanism, bottom-up and top-down effects may mutually reinforce the grazing dietary strategy.

  8. Different mechanics of snap-trapping in the two closely related carnivorous plants Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Joyeux, Marc

    2011-10-01

    The carnivorous aquatic waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Sol. ex J. Ellis) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Traditionally, Aldrovanda is considered as a miniature, aquatic Dionaea, an assumption which was already established by Charles Darwin. However, videos of snapping traps from both species suggest completely different closure mechanisms. Indeed, the well-described snapping mechanism in Dionaea comprises abrupt curvature inversion of the two trap lobes, while the closing movement in Aldrovanda involves deformation of the trap midrib but not of the lobes, which do not change curvature. In this paper, we present detailed mechanical models for these plants, which are based on the theory of thin solid membranes and explain this difference by showing that the fast snapping of Aldrovanda is due to kinematic amplification of the bending deformation of the midrib, while that of Dionaea unambiguously relies on the buckling instability that affects the two lobes.

  9. Patterns of prey capture and prey availability among populations of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) along an environmental gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2003-09-01

    In this study we explored the effect of the physical environment and the availability of prey (biomass and taxonomic composition) on the patterns of prey capture and reproduction on five populations of Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) in areas ranging from pine-oak forests to desert scrublands. Environmental variation was summarized using principal factor analysis. Prey availability and prey capture increased toward the shadiest, most humid, and fertile population. The probability of reproduction and average bud production per population did not follow the same tendency because both fitness components peaked at the middle of the environmental gradient. These results suggest that the benefits derived from carnivory are maximized at sites fulfilling a trade-off between light, moisture, and prey availability. We also found that the taxonomic composition of both the available prey and that of the prey captured by plants varied among populations. The results also indicated that the prey captured by plants are not a random sample of prey available within populations. Overall, the results from this study revealed a marked amount of heterogeneity in the physical and biotic environment among the populations of P. moranensis, which has the potential to affect the outcome of the interaction between this carnivorous species and its prey.

  10. Indole-3-acetic acid-producing yeasts in the phyllosphere of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Pei-Feng; Fang, Wei-Ta; Shin, Li-Ying; Wei, Jyuan-Yu; Fu, Shih-Feng; Chou, Jui-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture.

  11. Indole-3-acetic acid-producing yeasts in the phyllosphere of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Feng Sun

    Full Text Available Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture.

  12. Indole-3-Acetic Acid-Producing Yeasts in the Phyllosphere of the Carnivorous Plant Drosera indica L

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Li-Ying; Wei, Jyuan-Yu; Fu, Shih-Feng; Chou, Jui-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture. PMID:25464336

  13. Robustness of plant-insect herbivore interaction networks to climate change in a fragmented temperate forest landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bähner, K W; Zweig, K A; Leal, I R; Wirth, R

    2017-02-10

    Forest fragmentation and climate change are among the most severe and pervasive forms of human impact. Yet, their combined effects on plant-insect herbivore interaction networks, essential components of forest ecosystems with respect to biodiversity and functioning, are still poorly investigated, particularly in temperate forests. We addressed this issue by analysing plant-insect herbivore networks (PIHNs) from understories of three managed beech forest habitats: small forest fragments (2.2-145 ha), forest edges and forest interior areas within three continuous control forests (1050-5600 ha) in an old hyper-fragmented forest landscape in SW Germany. We assessed the impact of forest fragmentation, particularly edge effects, on PIHNs and the resulting differences in robustness against climate change by habitat-wise comparison of network topology and biologically realistic extinction cascades of networks following scores of vulnerability to climate change for the food plant species involved. Both the topological network metrics (complexity, nestedness, trophic niche redundancy) and robustness to climate change strongly increased in forest edges and fragments as opposed to the managed forest interior. The nature of the changes indicates that human impacts modify network structure mainly via host plant availability to insect herbivores. Improved robustness of PIHNs in forest edges/small fragments to climate-driven extinction cascades was attributable to an overall higher thermotolerance across plant communities, along with positive effects of network structure. The impoverishment of PIHNs in managed forest interiors and the suggested loss of insect diversity from climate-induced co-extinction highlight the need for further research efforts focusing on adequate silvicultural and conservation approaches.

  14. Availability and temporal heterogeneity of water supply affect the vertical distribution and mortality of a belowground herbivore and consequently plant growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomonori Tsunoda

    Full Text Available We examined how the volume and temporal heterogeneity of water supply changed the vertical distribution and mortality of a belowground herbivore, and consequently affected plant biomass. Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae seedlings were grown at one per pot under different combinations of water volume (large or small volume and heterogeneity (homogeneous water conditions, watered every day; heterogeneous conditions, watered every 4 days in the presence or absence of a larva of the belowground herbivorous insect, Anomala cuprea (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae. The larva was confined in different vertical distributions to top feeding zone (top treatment, middle feeding zone (middle treatment, or bottom feeding zone (bottom treatment; alternatively no larva was introduced (control treatment or larval movement was not confined (free treatment. Three-way interaction between water volume, heterogeneity, and the herbivore significantly affected plant biomass. With a large water volume, plant biomass was lower in free treatment than in control treatment regardless of heterogeneity. Plant biomass in free treatment was as low as in top treatment. With a small water volume and in free treatment, plant biomass was low (similar to that under top treatment under homogeneous water conditions but high under heterogeneous ones (similar to that under middle or bottom treatment. Therefore, there was little effect of belowground herbivory on plant growth under heterogeneous water conditions. In other watering regimes, herbivores would be distributed in the shallow soil and reduced root biomass. Herbivore mortality was high with homogeneous application of a large volume or heterogeneous application of a small water volume. Under the large water volume, plant biomass was high in pots in which the herbivore had died. Thus, the combinations of water volume and heterogeneity affected plant growth via the change of a belowground herbivore.

  15. The bamboo-eating giant panda harbors a carnivore-like gut microbiota, with excessive seasonal variations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zhengsheng; Zhang, Wenping; Wang, Linghua; Hou, Rong; Zhang, Menghui; Fei, Lisong; Zhang, Xiaojun; Huang, He; Bridgewater, Laura C; Jiang, Yi; Jiang, Chenglin; Zhao, Liping; Pang, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Zhihe

    2015-05-19

    anatomically specialized digestive systems to efficiently deconstruct fibrous plant matter, the giant panda still retains a gastrointestinal tract typical of carnivores. We characterized the fecal bacterial communities from a giant panda population to determine whether this animal relies on its symbiotic gut microbiota to cope with the complex carbohydrates that dominate its diet, as is common in other herbivores. We found that the giant panda gut microbiota is low in diversity and highly variable across seasons. It also shows an overall composition typical of bears and entirely differentiated from other herbivores, with low levels of putative cellulose-digesting bacteria. The gut microbiota of this herbivore, therefore, may not have well adapted to its highly fibrous diet, suggesting a potential link with its poor digestive efficiency. Copyright © 2015 Xue et al.

  16. Effect of post-fire resprouting on leaf fluctuating asymmetry, extrafloral nectar quality, and ant-plant-herbivore interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves-Silva, Estevão; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2013-06-01

    Fires in the Cerrado savanna are a severe form of disturbance, but some species are capable of resprouting afterwards. It is unknown, however, how and whether post-fire resprouting represents a stressful condition to plants and how their rapid re-growth influences both the production of biochemical compounds, and interactions with mutualistic ants. In this study, we examined the influence of post-fire resprouting on biotic interactions (ant-plant-herbivore relationships) and on plant stress. The study was performed on two groups of the extrafloral nectaried shrub Banisteriopsis campestris (Malpighiaceae); one group was recovering from fire while the other acted as control. With respect to biotic interactions, we examined whether resprouting influenced extrafloral nectar concentration (milligrams per microliter), the abundance of the ant Camponotus crassus and leaf herbivory rates. Plant stress was assessed via fluctuating asymmetry (FA) analysis, which refers to deviations from perfect symmetry in bilaterally symmetrical traits (e.g., leaves) and indicates whether species are under stress. Results revealed that FA, sugar concentration, and ant abundance were 51.7 %, 35.7 % and 21.7 % higher in resprouting plants. Furthermore, C. crassus was significantly associated with low herbivory rates, but only in resprouting plants. This study showed that post-fire resprouting induced high levels of plant stress and influenced extrafloral nectar quality and ant-herbivore relationships in B. campestris. Therefore, despite being a stressful condition to the plant, post-fire resprouting individuals had concentrated extrafloral nectar and sustained more ants, thus strengthening the outcomes of ant-plant mutualism.

  17. Isotopic and anatomical evidence of an herbivorous diet in the Early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis. Implications for the structure of Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angst, D.; Lécuyer, C.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Fourel, F.; Martineau, F.; Legendre, S.; Abourachid, A.; Herrel, A.

    2014-04-01

    The mode of life of the early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis has long been a matter of controversy. Although it has often been reconstructed as an apex predator feeding on small mammals, according to other interpretations, it was in fact a large herbivore. To determine the diet of this bird, we analyze here the carbon isotope composition of the bone apatite from Gastornis and contemporaneous herbivorous mammals. Based on 13C-enrichment measured between carbonate and diet of carnivorous and herbivorous modern birds, the carbonate δ13C values of Gastornis bone remains, recovered from four Paleocene and Eocene French localities, indicate that this bird fed on plants. This is confirmed by a morphofunctional study showing that the reconstructed jaw musculature of Gastornis was similar to that of living herbivorous birds and unlike that of carnivorous forms. The herbivorous Gastornis was the largest terrestrial tetrapod in the Paleocene biota of Europe, unlike the situation in North America and Asia, where Gastornis is first recorded in the early Eocene, and the largest Paleocene animals were herbivorous mammals. The structure of the Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems of Europe may have been similar to that of some large islands, notably Madagascar, prior to the arrival of humans.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. Food plant and herbivore host species affect the outcome of intrinsic competition among parasitoid larvae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, Erik H.; Gols, Rieta; Gumovsky, Alex V.; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    1. In nature, several parasitoid species often exploit the same stages of a common herbivore host species and are able to coexist despite competitive interactions amongst them. Less is known about the direct effects of resource quality on intrinsic interactions between immature parasitoid stages. Th

  1. Contribution of pitcher fragrance and fluid viscosity to high prey diversity in a Nepenthes carnivorous plant from Borneo

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bruno Di Giusto; Vladimir Grosbois; Elodie Fargeas; David J Marshall; Laurence Gaume

    2008-03-01

    Mechanisms that improve prey richness in carnivorous plants may involve three crucial phases of trapping: attraction, capture and retention. Nepenthes rafflesiana var. typica is an insectivorous pitcher plant that is widespread in northern Borneo. It exhibits ontogenetic pitcher dimorphism with the upper pitchers trapping more flying prey than the lower pitchers. While this difference in prey composition has been ascribed to differences in attraction, the contribution of capture and retention has been overlooked. This study focused on distinguishing between the prey trapping mechanisms, and assessing their relative contribution to prey diversity. Arthropod richness and diversity of both visitors and prey in the two types of pitchers were analysed to quantify the relative contribution of attraction to prey trapping. Rate of insect visits to the different pitcher parts and the presence or absence of a sweet fragrance was recorded to clarify the origin and mechanism of attraction. The mechanism of retention was studied by insect bioassays and measurements of fluid viscosity. Nepenthes rafflesiana was found to trap a broader prey spectrum than that previously described for any Nepenthes species, with the upper pitchers attracting and trapping a greater quantity and diversity of prey items than the lower pitchers. Capture efficiency was low compared with attraction or retention efficiency. Fragrance of the peristome, or nectar rim, accounted mainly for the observed non-specific, better prey attraction by the upper pitchers, while the retentive properties of the viscous fluid in these upper pitchers arguably explains the species richness of their flying prey. The pitchers of N. rafflesiana are therefore more than simple pitfall traps and the digestive fluid plays an important yet unsuspected role in the ecological success of the species.

  2. Effects of enhanced UV-B radiation on secondary metabolites in forage plants and potential consequences for multiple trophic responses involving mammalian herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thines, Nicole J.; Bassman, John H.; Shipley, Lisa A.; Slusser, James R.

    2004-10-01

    Herbivores represent the interface between primary production and higher trophic levels. The effects of enhanced UV-B radiation on microbes, invertebrate herbivores, and detritivores has received limited study in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. However, although direct effects (e.g. melanoma, cataracts) on mammals have been documented, indirect effects (e.g., resulting from changes in plant chemistry) of enhanced UV-B on mammalian herbivores have not been evaluated. Although the diet of mammalian herbivores has little effect on nutritional quality for their associated predators, to the extent changes in plant chemistry affect aspects of population dynamics (e.g., growth, fecundity, densities), higher trophic levels can be affected. In this study, different forage species of varying inherent levels of key secondary metabolites are being grown in the field under either ambient or ambient plus supplemental UV-B radiation simulating a 15% stratospheric ozone depletion for Pullman, Washington. At various time intervals, foliage is being sampled and analyzed for changes in secondary metabolites and other attributes. Using controlled feeding trials, changes in plant secondary metabolites are being related to preference and digestibility in specialist and generalist mammalian hindgut herbivores, digestion in ruminants and non-ruminants, and to selected aspects of population dynamics in mammalian herbivores. Results suggest how UV-B-induced changes in plant secondary chemistry affect animal nutrition, and thus animal productivity in a range of mammalian herbivores. Reductions in palatability and digestibility of plant material along with reductions in fecundity and other aspects of population dynamics could have significant economic ramifications for farmers, ranchers and wildlife biologists.

  3. Cotton Fabric Coated with Conducting Polymers and its Application in Monitoring of Carnivorous Plant Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Václav Bajgar

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the electrical plant response to mechanical stimulation monitored with the help of conducting polymers deposited on cotton fabric. Cotton fabric was coated with conducting polymers, polyaniline or polypyrrole, in situ during the oxidation of respective monomers in aqueous medium. Thus, modified fabrics were again coated with polypyrrole or polyaniline, respectively, in order to investigate any synergetic effect between both polymers with respect to conductivity and its stability during repeated dry cleaning. The coating was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. The resulting fabrics have been used as electrodes to collect the electrical response to the stimulation of a Venus flytrap plant. This is a paradigm of the use of conducting polymers in monitoring of plant neurobiology.

  4. Breakdown of an ant-plant mutualism follows the loss of large herbivores from an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Todd M; Stanton, Maureen L; Young, Truman P; Goheen, Jacob R; Pringle, Robert M; Karban, Richard

    2008-01-11

    Mutualisms are key components of biodiversity and ecosystem function, yet the forces maintaining them are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of removing large mammals on an ant-Acacia mutualism in an African savanna. Ten years of large-herbivore exclusion reduced the nectar and housing provided by plants to ants, increasing antagonistic behavior by a mutualistic ant associate and shifting competitive dominance within the plant-ant community from this nectar-dependent mutualist to an antagonistic species that does not depend on plant rewards. Trees occupied by this antagonist suffered increased attack by stem-boring beetles, grew more slowly, and experienced doubled mortality relative to trees occupied by the mutualistic ant. These results show that large mammals maintain cooperation within a widespread symbiosis and suggest complex cascading effects of megafaunal extinction.

  5. Extraction and quantification of "condensed tannins" as a measure of plant anti-herbivore defence? Revisiting an old problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heil, Martin; Baumann, Birgit; Andary, Claude; Linsenmair, Eduard; McKey, Doyle

    2002-10-01

    Contents of phenolic compounds in leaf extracts often serve as a measure of plant anti-herbivore defence. This method suffers from the multifunctionality of phenolics and from problems with their colorimetric quantification. Here we present further evidence for the pertinence of these problems. Contents of condensed tannins (CCT) were spectrophotometrically quantified in leaf extracts of 11 closely related mimosoid species, and Spodoptera littoralis caterpillars were reared on artificial diet containing these extracts. The relationship of CCT with caterpillar growth differed considerably among plant species, since both positive and negative correlations were detected. There was, however, a negative correlation of CCT with fungal spore germination, indicating a role of these compounds in resistance to fungi. Detailed knowledge on the structure and biological function of defensive compounds and on the overall composition of leaves is required to estimate a plant's defensive efficacy against a particular group of enemies.

  6. Herbivore effects on above- and belowground plant production and soil nitrogen availability in the Trans-Himalayan shrub-steppes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagchi, Sumanta; Ritchie, Mark E

    2010-12-01

    Large mammalian herbivores may have positive, neutral, or negative effects on annual net aboveground plant production (NAP) in different ecosystems, depending on their indirect effects on availability of key nutrients such as soil N. In comparison, less is known about the corresponding influence of grazers, and nutrient dynamics, over annual net belowground plant production (NBP). In natural multi-species plant communities, it remains uncertain how grazing influences relative allocation in the above- and belowground compartments in relation to its effects on plant nutrients. We evaluated grazer impacts on NAP, NBP, and relative investment in the above- and belowground compartments, alongside their indirect effects on soil N availability in the multiple-use Trans-Himalayan grazing ecosystem with native grazers and livestock. Data show that a prevailing grazing intensity of 51% increases NAP (+61%), but reduces NBP (-35%). Grazing also reduced C:N ratio in shoots (-16%) and litter (-50%), but not in roots, and these changes coincided with increased plant-available inorganic soil N (+23%). Areas used by livestock and native grazers showed qualitatively similar responses since NAP was promoted, and NBP was reduced, in both cases. The preferential investment in the aboveground fraction, at the expense of the belowground fraction, was correlated positively with grazing intensity and with improvement in litter quality. These results are consistent with hypothesized herbivore-mediated positive feedbacks between soil nutrients and relative investment in above- and belowground compartments. Since potentially overlapping mechanisms, such as N mineralization rate, plant N uptake, compositional turnover, and soil microbial activity, may contribute towards these feedbacks, further studies may be able to discern their respective contributions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    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 elusive. Using Arabidopsis thaliana and the rhizobacterium Pseudomonas simiae WCS417r (formerly known as P. fluorescens WCS417r), we here evaluate the role of the JA-regulated MYC2-branch and the JA/ET-regulated ORA59-branch in modulating rhizobacteria-ISR to Mamestra brassicae by combining gene transcriptional, phytochemical, and herbivore performance assays. Our data show a consistent negative effect of rhizobacteria-mediated ISR on the performance of M. brassicae. Functional JA- and ET-signaling pathways are required for this effect, as shown by investigating the knock-out mutants dde2-2 and ein2-1. Additionally, whereas herbivory mainly induces the MYC2-branch, rhizobacterial colonization alone or in combination with herbivore infestation induces the ORA59-branch of the JA signaling pathway. Rhizobacterial colonization enhances the synthesis of camalexin and aliphatic glucosinolates (GLS) compared to the control, while it suppresses the herbivore-induced levels of indole GLS. These changes are associated with modulation of the JA-/ET-signaling pathways. Our data show that the colonization of plant roots by rhizobacteria modulates plant-insect interactions by prioritizing the JA/ET-regulated ORA59-branch over the JA-regulated MYC2-branch. This study elucidates how microbial plant symbionts can modulate the plant immune system to mount an effective defense response against herbivorous plant attackers.

  8. Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are selective herbivores that track the flowering phenology of their preferred food plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, W Bryan; Berry, Kristin H

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants--including several frequently eaten species--were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change if such changes alter

  9. Impact of botanical pesticides derived from Melia azedarach and Azadirachta indica plants on the emission of volatiles that attract parasitoids of the diamondback moth to cabbage plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Charleston, D.S.; Gols, R.; Hordijk, C.A.; Kfir, R.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2006-01-01

    Herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods use chemical information from plants during foraging. Aqueous leaf extracts from the syringa tree Melia azedarach and commercial formulations from the neem tree Azadirachta indica, Neemix 4.5®, were investigated for their impact on the flight response of two pa

  10. Impact of botanical pesticides derived from Melia azedarach and Azadirachta indica plants on the emission of volatiles that attract parasitoids of the diamondback moth to cabbage plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Charleston, D.S.; Gols, R.; Hordijk, C.A.; Kfir, R.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2006-01-01

    Herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods use chemical information from plants during foraging. Aqueous leaf extracts from the syringa tree Melia azedarach and commercial formulations from the neem tree Azadirachta indica, Neemix 4.5®, were investigated for their impact on the flight response of two

  11. The Chloroplast Genome of Utricularia reniformis Sheds Light on the Evolution of the ndh Gene Complex of Terrestrial Carnivorous Plants from the Lentibulariaceae Family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Saura R.; Diaz, Yani C. A.; Penha, Helen Alves; Pinheiro, Daniel G.; Fernandes, Camila C.; Miranda, Vitor F. O.; Michael, Todd P.

    2016-01-01

    Lentibulariaceae is the richest family of carnivorous plants spanning three genera including Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia. Utricularia is globally distributed, and, unlike Pinguicula and Genlisea, has both aquatic and terrestrial forms. In this study we present the analysis of the chloroplast (cp) genome of the terrestrial Utricularia reniformis. U. reniformis has a standard cp genome of 139,725bp, encoding a gene repertoire similar to essentially all photosynthetic organisms. However, an exclusive combination of losses and pseudogenization of the plastid NAD(P)H-dehydrogenase (ndh) gene complex were observed. Comparisons among aquatic and terrestrial forms of Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia indicate that, whereas the aquatic forms retained functional copies of the eleven ndh genes, these have been lost or truncated in terrestrial forms, suggesting that the ndh function may be dispensable in terrestrial Lentibulariaceae. Phylogenetic scenarios of the ndh gene loss and recovery among Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia to the ancestral Lentibulariaceae cladeare proposed. Interestingly, RNAseq analysis evidenced that U. reniformis cp genes are transcribed, including the truncated ndh genes, suggesting that these are not completely inactivated. In addition, potential novel RNA-editing sites were identified in at least six U. reniformis cp genes, while none were identified in the truncated ndh genes. Moreover, phylogenomic analyses support that Lentibulariaceae is monophyletic, belonging to the higher core Lamiales clade, corroborating the hypothesis that the first Utricularia lineage emerged in terrestrial habitats and then evolved to epiphytic and aquatic forms. Furthermore, several truncated cp genes were found interspersed with U. reniformis mitochondrial and nuclear genome scaffolds, indicating that as observed in other smaller plant genomes, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, and the related and carnivorous Genlisea nigrocaulis and G. hispidula, the

  12. Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are selective herbivores that track the flowering phenology of their preferred food plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Bryan W.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants—including several frequently eaten species—were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change if such changes

  13. Phenology and cover of plant growth forms predict herbivore habitat selection in a high latitude ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, Marianne; Fauchald, Per; Langeland, Knut; Ims, Rolf A; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2014-01-01

    The spatial and temporal distribution of forage quality is among the most central factors affecting herbivore habitat selection. Yet, for high latitude areas, forage quantity has been found to be more important than quality. Studies on large ungulate foraging patterns are faced with methodological challenges in both assessing animal movements at the scale of forage distribution, and in assessing forage quality with relevant metrics. Here we use first-passage time analyses to assess how reindeer movements relate to forage quality and quantity measured as the phenology and cover of growth forms along reindeer tracks. The study was conducted in a high latitude ecosystem dominated by low-palatable growth forms. We found that the scale of reindeer movement was season dependent, with more extensive area use as the summer season advanced. Small-scale movement in the early season was related to selection for younger stages of phenology and for higher abundances of generally phenologically advanced palatable growth forms (grasses and deciduous shrubs). Also there was a clear selection for later phenological stages of the most dominant, yet generally phenologically slow and low-palatable growth form (evergreen shrubs). As the summer season advanced only quantity was important, with selection for higher quantities of one palatable growth form and avoidance of a low palatable growth form. We conclude that both forage quality and quantity are significant predictors to habitat selection by a large herbivore at high latitude. The early season selectivity reflected that among dominating low palatability growth forms there were palatable phenological stages and palatable growth forms available, causing herbivores to be selective in their habitat use. The diminishing selectivity and the increasing scale of movement as the season developed suggest a response by reindeer to homogenized forage availability of low quality.

  14. Fear of large carnivores causes a trophic cascade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suraci, Justin P; Clinchy, Michael; Dill, Lawrence M; Roberts, Devin; Zanette, Liana Y

    2016-02-23

    The fear large carnivores inspire, independent of their direct killing of prey, may itself cause cascading effects down food webs potentially critical for conserving ecosystem function, particularly by affecting large herbivores and mesocarnivores. However, the evidence of this has been repeatedly challenged because it remains experimentally untested. Here we show that experimentally manipulating fear itself in free-living mesocarnivore (raccoon) populations using month-long playbacks of large carnivore vocalizations caused just such cascading effects, reducing mesocarnivore foraging to the benefit of the mesocarnivore's prey, which in turn affected a competitor and prey of the mesocarnivore's prey. We further report that by experimentally restoring the fear of large carnivores in our study system, where most large carnivores have been extirpated, we succeeded in reversing this mesocarnivore's impacts. We suggest that our results reinforce the need to conserve large carnivores given the significant "ecosystem service" the fear of them provides.

  15. Spatiotemporal variation in local adaptation of a specialist insect herbivore to its long-lived host plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalske, Aino; Leimu, Roosa; Scheepens, J F; Mutikainen, Pia

    2016-09-01

    Local adaptation of interacting species to one another indicates geographically variable reciprocal selection. This process of adaptation is central in the organization and maintenance of genetic variation across populations. Given that the strength of selection and responses to it often vary in time and space, the strength of local adaptation should in theory vary between generations and among populations. However, such spatiotemporal variation has rarely been explicitly demonstrated in nature and local adaptation is commonly considered to be relatively static. We report persistent local adaptation of the short-lived herbivore Abrostola asclepiadis to its long-lived host plant Vincetoxicum hirundinaria over three successive generations in two studied populations and considerable temporal variation in local adaptation in six populations supporting the geographic mosaic theory. The observed variation in local adaptation among populations was best explained by geographic distance and population isolation, suggesting that gene flow reduces local adaptation. Changes in herbivore population size did not conclusively explain temporal variation in local adaptation. Our results also imply that short-term studies are likely to capture only a part of the existing variation in local adaptation.

  16. THE INFLUENCE OF NON-CHEMICAL METHODS OF PLANT PROTECTION ON THE PRESENCE OF HERBIVOROUS BEETLES IN BROAD BEANS GROWING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Biniaś

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to determine the impact of accompanying plants: sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima L. and white mustard (Synapis alba L., on the incidence of pests of the broad bean (Vicia faba L. variety Bartek, in the intercropping system. The observations of the number of the beetles of Bruchus rufimanus Boh. and Sitona spp were made. The broad bean was grown along with two other plants in varying spacing (the distances between rows were 50, 65 and 80 cm and in homogeneous cultivation (the distances between rows were 50 cm. Broad bean in a homogeneous cultivation served as a control. In addition, the broad bean from homogeneous cultivation subjected to a standard protection by chemical insecticides was also analyzed. The measurements were carried out in field conditions, by using an entomological bucket, through the shedding of insects from randomly selected 30 plants per plot. The sweet alyssum as an accompanying plant showed no significant influence on the occurrence of herbivorous beetles of Bruchus rufimanus Boh. and Sitona spp., regardless of the spacing between the rows. The white mustard as a companion plant showed a significant impact on increasing the number of Bruchus rufimanus Boh. beetles in the middle row spacing (65 cm. The impact of white mustard on other beetles has not been detected.

  17. Herbivores shape woody plant communities in the Kruger National Park: Lessons from three long-term exclosures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin J. Wigley

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The role of grazers in determining vegetation community compositions and structuring plant communities is well recognised in grassy systems. The role of browsers in affecting savanna woody plant communities is less clear. We used three long-term exclosures in the Kruger National Park to determine the effect of browsers on species compositions and population structures of woody communities. Species assemblages, plant traits relating to browsing and soil nutrients were compared inside and outside of the exclosures. Our results showed that browsers directly impact plant species distributions, densities and population structures by actively selecting for species with traits which make them desirable to browsers. Species with high leaf nitrogen, low total phenolic content and low acid detergent lignin appeared to be favoured by herbivores and therefore tend to be rare outside of the exclosures. This study also suggested that browsers have important indirect effects on savanna functioning, as the reduction of woody cover can result in less litter of lower quality, which in turn can result in lower soil fertility. However, the magnitude of browser effects appeared to depend on inherent soil fertility and climate.Conservation implications: Browsers were shown to have significant impacts on plant communities. They have noticeable effects on local species diversity and population structure, as well as soil nutrients. These impacts are shown to be related to the underlying geology and climate. The effects of browsers on woody communities were shown to be greater in low rainfall, fertile areas compared to high rainfall, infertile soils.

  18. Differential response of a local population of entomopathogenic nematodes to non-native herbivore induced plant volatiles (HIPV) in the laboratory and field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent work has shown the potential for enhanced efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) through their attraction to herbivore induced plant volatiles. However, there has been little investigation into the utilization of these attractants in systems other than in those in which the compounds we...

  19. Do induced responses mediate the ecological interactions between the specialist herbivores and phytopathogens of an alpine plant?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Röder

    Full Text Available Plants are not passive victims of the myriad attackers that rely on them for nutrition. They have a suite of physical and chemical defences, and are even able to take advantage of the enemies of their enemies. These strategies are often only deployed upon attack, so may lead to indirect interactions between herbivores and phytopathogens. In this study we test for induced responses in wild populations of an alpine plant (Adenostyles alliariae that possesses constitutive chemical defence (pyrrolizidine alkaloids and specialist natural enemies (two species of leaf beetle, Oreina elongata and Oreina cacaliae, and the phytopathogenic rust Uromyces cacaliae. Plants were induced in the field using chemical elicitors of the jasmonic acid (JA and salicylic acid (SA pathways and monitored for one month under natural conditions. There was evidence for induced resistance, with lower probability and later incidence of attack by beetles in JA-induced plants and of rust infection in SA-induced plants. We also demonstrate ecological cross-effects, with reduced fungal attack following JA-induction, and a cost of SA-induction arising from increased beetle attack. As a result, there is the potential for negative indirect effects of the beetles on the rust, while in the field the positive indirect effect of the rust on the beetles appears to be over-ridden by direct effects on plant nutritional quality. Such interactions resulting from induced susceptibility and resistance must be considered if we are to exploit plant defences for crop protection using hormone elicitors or constitutive expression. More generally, the fact that induced defences are even found in species that possess constitutively-expressed chemical defence suggests that they may be ubiquitous in higher plants.

  20. Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) intake and preference by mammalian herbivores: the role of plant secondary compounds and nutritional context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalba, Juan J; Burritt, Elizabeth A; St Clair, Samuel B

    2014-10-01

    Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) has evolved a chemical defense system comprised of phenolic glycosides (PG), which effectively deter insect herbivory. However, much less is known about the role of PG and the nutritional quality of the associated plant community on aspen browse susceptibility to mammalian herbivores. In three successive periods during the growing season, we conducted experiments with sheep by offering leaves from two aspen stands with different concentrations of PG (LOW, HIGH) or aspen leaves vs. leaves from a forb (Utah pea, Lathyrus pauciflorus) or a grass (smooth brome, Bromus inermis Leyss.) growing in an aspen understory. Intake of aspen (19 to 35 % PG) was low in all periods (1 to 6 g/Kg(0.75) in 2 hr) supporting the notion that aspen's defense system may contribute to its ecological success. However, lambs ate larger amounts of LOW than of HIGH suggesting that sheep could discriminate between aspen stands with different concentrations of PG, even when both stands were relatively well defended. Concentration of nutrients and chemical defenses in aspen leaves remained fairly stable across the growing season, and preference for aspen increased over the growing season. In contrast, preference for the forb and the grass decreased across the growing season in concert with a decline in the nutritional quality of these plants. The data suggest that nutritional context of aspen and associated forage species drove preference more than contrasts in defense chemistry of aspen. There may be periods of "susceptibility" of aspen use by mammalian herbivores, despite high concentrations of chemical defenses, which can potentially be targeted by management to reduce aspen herbivory.

  1. Interaction of pollinators and herbivores on plant fitness suggests a pathway for correlated evolution of mutualism- and antagonism-related traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M.; Medrano, Mónica; Rey, Pedro J.; Sánchez-Lafuente, Alfonso M.; García, María B.; Guitián, Javier; Manzaneda, Antonio J.

    2002-01-01

    Different kinds of plant–animal interactions are ordinarily studied in isolation, yet considering the combined fitness effects of mutualistic and antagonistic interactions is essential to understanding plant character evolution. Functional, structural, or phylogenetic associations between attractive and defensive traits may be nonadaptive or result from correlational selection on sets of herbivory- and pollination-linked traits. Nonadditivity of fitness effects of mutualists and antagonists, a requisite for correlational selection, was experimentally tested in the field. We created experimental populations of the insect-pollinated perennial herb, Helleborus foetidus, at 16 different locations distributed among three regions in the Iberian Peninsula. Plants experienced one of four possible selective regimes generated by independently weakening the effects of pollinators and herbivores (flower and fruit predators) according to a two-way fully factorial design. Effects were assessed in terms of number of next-generation offspring recruited per mother plant under natural field conditions. Differences among H. foetidus plants in the strength of their interactions with pollinators and herbivores translated into differential fitness, as measured in terms of recruited offspring, and subsequent changes in plant population densities. A strong, geographically consistent nonadditivity in the fitness consequences of pollinators and herbivores was found also. Plants possessing the particular combination of “traits” simultaneously enhancing pollination and escape from herbivores enjoyed a disproportionate fitness advantage over plants possessing any of the other three possible “trait” combinations. Results suggest a simple, possibly widespread ecological pathway favoring the adaptive correlated evolution of mutualism- and antagonism-related plant traits in pollinator-dependent plants suffering intense flower and fruit herbivory. PMID:12482948

  2. Dual action of phosphonate herbicides in plants affected by herbivore--model study on black bean aphid Aphis fabae rearing on broad bean Vicia faba plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipok, Jacek

    2009-09-01

    The interactions between plants, herbicides and herbivore insects were studied as an aspect of possible side effect of the using of phosphonate herbicides. The experimental system was composed of phosphonate herbicides, broad bean Vicia faba (L.) plants and black bean aphid Aphis fabae (Scopoli). Two means of herbicide application, namely standard spraying and direct introduction of the herbicide into stem via glass capillary, were examined. The results obtained for N-2-piridylaminomethylene bisphosphonic acid and its derivatives show 10 times higher inhibition of the plant growth if glass capillary mode was used. When plants were infested by aphids 24h after the use of herbicide, a significant decrease in plant growth rate was observed in relation to plants treated with herbicides alone. Moreover, the sensitivity of aphids towards glyphosate, N-2-piridylaminomethylene bisphosphonic acid and its 3-methyl derivative introduced to artificial diet indicated that these herbicidal phosphonates possessed also insecticidal activity if applied in a systemic manner. Additionally, olfactometer measurements revealed that aphids preferred intact V. faba leaves over those that had been treated with sublethal doses of herbicides. The results achieved in these experiments indicate that the use of phosphonate herbicides decreases plant resistance and influences the number of aphids accompanied with treated plants. Regarding these facts it can be concluded that the combined effect of herbicide-induced stress and insect herbivory reduced plant fitness and thus should be considered as also a factor enabling the reduction of herbicide doses.

  3. Analysing diet of small herbivores: the efficiency of DNA barcoding coupled with high-throughput pyrosequencing for deciphering the composition of complex plant mixtures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sønstebø Jørn H

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to understand the role of herbivores in trophic webs, it is essential to know what they feed on. Diet analysis is, however, a challenge in many small herbivores with a secretive life style. In this paper, we compare novel (high-throughput pyrosequencing DNA barcoding technology for plant mixture with traditional microhistological method. We analysed stomach contents of two ecologically important subarctic vole species, Microtus oeconomus and Myodes rufocanus, with the two methods. DNA barcoding was conducted using the P6-loop of the chloroplast trnL (UAA intron. Results Although the identified plant taxa in the diets matched relatively well between the two methods, DNA barcoding gave by far taxonomically more detailed results. Quantitative comparison of results was difficult, mainly due to low taxonomic resolution of the microhistological method, which also in part explained discrepancies between the methods. Other discrepancies were likely due to biases mostly in the microhistological analysis. Conclusion We conclude that DNA barcoding opens up for new possibilities in the study of plant-herbivore interactions, giving a detailed and relatively unbiased picture of food utilization of herbivores.

  4. Combined use of herbivore-induced plant volatiles and sex pheromones for mate location in braconid parasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hao; Desurmont, Gaylord; Degen, Thomas; Zhou, Guoxin; Laplanche, Diane; Henryk, Luka; Turlings, Ted C J

    2017-03-01

    Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are important cues for female parasitic wasps to find hosts. Here, we investigated the possibility that HIPVs may also serve parasitoids as cues to locate mates. To test this, the odour preferences of four braconid wasps - the gregarious parasitoid Cotesia glomerata (L.) and the solitary parasitoids Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson), Microplitis rufiventris Kokujev and Microplitis mediator (Haliday) - were studied in olfactometers. Each species showed attraction to pheromones but in somewhat different ways. Males of the two Cotesia species were attracted to virgin females, whereas females of M. rufiventris were attracted to virgin males. Male and female M. mediator exhibited attraction to both sexes. Importantly, female and male wasps of all four species were strongly attracted by HIPVs, independent of mating status. In most cases, male wasps were also attracted to intact plants. The wasps preferred the combination of HIPVs and pheromones over plant odours alone, except M. mediator, which appears to mainly use HIPVs for mate location. We discuss the ecological contexts in which the combined use of pheromones and HIPVs by parasitoids can be expected. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that braconid parasitoids use HIPVs and pheromones in combination to locate mates. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. 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 ge

  6. 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

  7. Triggering a false alarm: wounding mimics prey capture in the carnivorous Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej; Jakšová, Jana; Novák, Ondřej

    2017-08-29

    In the carnivorous plant Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), the sequence of events after prey capture resembles the well-known plant defence signalling pathway in response to pathogen or herbivore attack. Here, we used wounding to mimic prey capture to show the similarities and differences between botanical carnivory and plant defence mechanisms. We monitored movement, electrical signalling, jasmonate accumulation and digestive enzyme secretion in local and distal (systemic) traps in response to prey capture, the mechanical stimulation of trigger hairs and wounding. The Venus flytrap cannot discriminate between wounding and mechanical trigger hair stimulation. Both induced the same action potentials, rapid trap closure, hermetic trap sealing, the accumulation of jasmonic acid (JA) and its isoleucine conjugate (JA-Ile), and the secretion of proteases (aspartic and cysteine proteases), phosphatases and type I chitinase. The jasmonate accumulation and enzyme secretion were confined to the local traps, to which the stimulus was applied, which correlates with the propagation of electrical signals and the absence of a systemic response in the Venus flytrap. In contrast to plant defence mechanisms, the absence of a systemic response in carnivorous plant may represent a resource-saving strategy. During prey capture, it could be quite expensive to produce digestive enzymes in the traps on the plant without prey. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of...

  9. Powdery mildew suppresses herbivore-induced plant volatiles and interferes with parasitoid attraction in Brassica rapa

    Science.gov (United States)

    The co-occurrence of different antagonists on a plant can greatly affect infochemicals with ecological consequences for higher trophic levels. Here we investigated how the presence of a plant pathogen, the powdery mildew Erysiphe cruciferarum, on Brassica rapa affects 1) plant volatiles emitted in r...

  10. Impact of botanical pesticides derived from Melia azedarach an Azadirachta indica plants on the emission of volatiles that attract parasitoids of the diamondback moth to cabbage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Charleston, D.S.; Gols, R.; Hordijk, K.A.; Kfir, R.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2006-01-01

    Herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods use chemical information from plants during foraging. Aqueous leaf extracts from the syringa tree Melia azedarach and commercial formulations from the neem tree Azadirachta indica, Neemix 4.5®, were investigated for their impact on the flight response of two pa

  11. Impact of botanical pesticides derived from Melia azedarach an Azadirachta indica plants on the emission of volatiles that attract parasitoids of the diamondback moth to cabbage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Charleston, D.S.; Gols, R.; Hordijk, K.A.; Kfir, R.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2006-01-01

    Herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods use chemical information from plants during foraging. Aqueous leaf extracts from the syringa tree Melia azedarach and commercial formulations from the neem tree Azadirachta indica, Neemix 4.5®, were investigated for their impact on the flight response of two

  12. Late Pleistocene C4 plant dominance and summer rainfall in the southwestern United States from isotopic study of herbivore teeth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connin, S.L.; Betancourt, J.; Quade, Jay

    1998-01-01

    Patterns of climate and C4 plant abundance in the southwestern United States during the last glaciation were evaluated from isotopic study of herbivore tooth enamel. Enamel ??13C values revealed a substantial eastward increase in C4 plant consumption for Mammuthus spp., Bison spp., Equus spp., and Camelops spp. The ??13C values were greatest in Bison spp. (-6.9 to + 1.7???) and Mammuthus spp. (-9.0 to +0.3???), and in some locales indicated C4-dominated grazing. The ??13C values of Antilocaprids were lowest among taxa (-12.5 to -7.9???) and indicated C3 feeding at all sites. On the basis of modern correlations between climate and C4 grass abundance, the enamel data imply significant summer rain in parts of southern Arizona and New Mexico throughout the last glaciation. Enamel ??18O values range from +19.0 to +31.0??? and generally increase to the east. This pattern could point to a tropical or subtropical source of summer rainfall. At a synoptic scale, the isotope data indicate that interactions of seasonal moisture, temperature, and lowered atmospheric pCO2 determined glacial-age C4 abundance patterns.

  13. Asynchrony between Host Plant and Insects-Defoliator within a Tritrophic System: The Role of Herbivore Innate Immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vyacheslav V Martemyanov

    Full Text Available The effects of asynchrony in the phenology of spring-feeding insect-defoliators and their host plants on insects' fitness, as well as the importance of this effect for the population dynamics of outbreaking species of insects, is a widespread and well-documented phenomenon. However, the spreading of this phenomenon through the food chain, and especially those mechanisms operating this spreading, are still unclear. In this paper, we study the effect of seasonally declined leafquality (estimated in terms of phenolics and nitrogen content on herbivore fitness, immune parameters and resistance against pathogen by using the silver birch Betula pendula--gypsy moth Lymantria dispar--nucleopolyhedrovirus as the tritrophic system. We show that a phenological mismatch induced by the delay in the emergence of gypsy moth larvae and following feeding on mature leaves has negative effects on the female pupal weight, on the rate of larval development and on the activity of phenoloxidase in the plasma of haemolymph. In addition, the larval susceptibility to exogenous nucleopolyhydrovirus infection as well as covert virus activation were both enhanced due to the phenological mismatch. The observed effects of phenological mismatch on insect-baculovirus interaction may partially explain the strong and fast fluctuations in the population dynamics of the gypsy moth that is often observed in the studied part of the defoliator area. This study also reveals some indirect mechanisms of effect related to host plant quality, which operate through the insect innate immune status and affect resistance to both exogenous and endogenous virus.

  14. Asynchrony between Host Plant and Insects-Defoliator within a Tritrophic System: The Role of Herbivore Innate Immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martemyanov, Vyacheslav V.; Pavlushin, Sergey V.; Dubovskiy, Ivan M.; Yushkova, Yuliya V.; Morosov, Sergey V.; Chernyak, Elena I.; Efimov, Vadim M.; Ruuhola, Teija; Glupov, Victor V.

    2015-01-01

    The effects of asynchrony in the phenology of spring-feeding insect-defoliators and their host plants on insects’ fitness, as well as the importance of this effect for the population dynamics of outbreaking species of insects, is a widespread and well-documented phenomenon. However, the spreading of this phenomenon through the food chain, and especially those mechanisms operating this spreading, are still unclear. In this paper, we study the effect of seasonally declined leafquality (estimated in terms of phenolics and nitrogen content) on herbivore fitness, immune parameters and resistance against pathogen by using the silver birch Betula pendula—gypsy moth Lymantria dispar—nucleopolyhedrovirus as the tritrophic system. We show that a phenological mismatch induced by the delay in the emergence of gypsy moth larvae and following feeding on mature leaves has negative effects on the female pupal weight, on the rate of larval development and on the activity of phenoloxidase in the plasma of haemolymph. In addition, the larval susceptibility to exogenous nucleopolyhydrovirus infection as well as covert virus activation were both enhanced due to the phenological mismatch. The observed effects of phenological mismatch on insect-baculovirus interaction may partially explain the strong and fast fluctuations in the population dynamics of the gypsy moth that is often observed in the studied part of the defoliator area. This study also reveals some indirect mechanisms of effect related to host plant quality, which operate through the insect innate immune status and affect resistance to both exogenous and endogenous virus. PMID:26115118

  15. Balancing macronutrient intake in a mammalian carnivore: disentangling the influences of flavour and nutrition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewson-Hughes, Adrian K.; Colyer, Alison; Simpson, Stephen J.; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-01-01

    There is a large body of research demonstrating that macronutrient balancing is a primary driver of foraging in herbivores and omnivores, and more recently, it has been shown to occur in carnivores. However, the extent to which macronutrient selection in carnivores may be influenced by organoleptic properties (e.g. flavour/aroma) remains unknown. Here, we explore the roles of nutritional and hedonic factors in food choice and macronutrient balancing in a mammalian carnivore, the domestic cat. Using the geometric framework, we determined the amounts and ratio of protein and fat intake in cats allowed to select from combinations of three foods that varied in protein : fat (P : F) composition (approx. 10 : 90, 40 : 60 and 70 : 30 on a per cent energy basis) to which flavours of different ‘attractiveness’ (fish, rabbit and orange) were added. In two studies, in which animal and plant protein sources were used, respectively, the ratio and amounts of protein and fat intake were very consistent across all groups regardless of flavour combination, indicating regulation of both protein and fat intake. Our results suggest that macronutrient balancing rather than hedonistic rewards based on organoleptic properties of food is a primary driver of longer-term food selection and intake in domestic cats. PMID:27429768

  16. Venus Flytrap HKT1-Type Channel Provides for Prey Sodium Uptake into Carnivorous Plant Without Conflicting with Electrical Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, J; Scherzer, S; Shabala, S; Krol, E; Neher, E; Mueller, T D; Hedrich, R

    2016-03-07

    The animal diet of the carnivorous Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, contains a sodium load that enters the capture organ via an HKT1-type sodium channel, expressed in special epithelia cells on the inner trap lobe surface. DmHKT1 expression and sodium uptake activity is induced upon prey contact. Here, we analyzed the HKT1 properties required for prey sodium osmolyte management of carnivorous Dionaea. Analyses were based on homology modeling, generation of model-derived point mutants, and their functional testing in Xenopus oocytes. We showed that the wild-type HKT1 and its Na(+)- and K(+)-permeable mutants function as ion channels rather than K(+) transporters driven by proton or sodium gradients. These structural and biophysical features of a high-capacity, Na(+)-selective ion channel enable Dionaea glands to manage prey-derived sodium loads without confounding the action potential-based information management of the flytrap. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with

  18. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with th

  19. Plant glandular trichomes as targets for breeding or engineering of resistance to herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glas, J.J.; Schimmel, B.C.J.; Alba, J.M.; Escobar-Bravo, R.; Schuurink, R.C.; Kant, M.R.

    2012-01-01

    Glandular trichomes are specialized hairs found on the surface of about 30% of all vascular plants and are responsible for a significant portion of a plant's secondary chemistry. Glandular trichomes are an important source of essential oils, i.e., natural fragrances or products that can be used by

  20. Influence of host plants on sexual communication in the herbivorous bug Lygocoris pabulinus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, A.T.; Visser, J.H.

    2001-01-01

    Host plant volatiles may be involved in the sexual communication of insects in several ways. In the pheromone-producing sex, these volatiles may affect pheromone production or release and, in the receptive sex, plant volatiles may have a synergistic effect on the attraction to sex pheromone. We cond

  1. Inhibition of predator attraction to kairomones by non-host plant volatiles for herbivores: a bypass-trophic signal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing-He Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Insect predators and parasitoids exploit attractive chemical signals from lower trophic levels as kairomones to locate their herbivore prey and hosts. We hypothesized that specific chemical cues from prey non-hosts and non-habitats, which are not part of the trophic chain, are also recognized by predators and would inhibit attraction to the host/prey kairomone signals. To test our hypothesis, we studied the olfactory physiology and behavior of a predaceous beetle, Thanasimus formicarius (L. (Coleoptera: Cleridae, in relation to specific angiosperm plant volatiles, which are non-host volatiles (NHV for its conifer-feeding bark beetle prey. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Olfactory detection in the clerid was confirmed by gas chromatography coupled to electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD for a subset of NHV components. Among NHV, we identified two strongly antennally active molecules, 3-octanol and 1-octen-3-ol. We tested the potential inhibition of the combination of these two NHV on the walking and flight responses of the clerid to known kairomonal attractants such as synthetic mixtures of bark beetle (Ips spp. aggregation pheromone components (cis-verbenol, ipsdienol, and E-myrcenol combined with conifer (Picea and Pinus spp. monoterpenes (alpha-pinene, terpinolene, and Delta(3-carene. There was a strong inhibitory effect, both in the laboratory (effect size d = -3.2, walking bioassay and in the field (d = -1.0, flight trapping. This is the first report of combining antennal detection (GC-EAD and behavioral responses to identify semiochemical molecules that bypass the trophic system, signaling habitat information rather than food related information. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results, along with recent reports on hymenopteran parasitoids and coleopteran predators, suggest that some NHV chemicals for herbivores are part of specific behavioral signals for the higher trophic level and not part of a background noise. Such bypass

  2. The exploitation of an ant-defended host plant by a shelter-building herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eubanks, Micky D; Nesci, Kimberly A; Petersen, Mette K; Liu, Zhiwei; Sanchez, Horacio Bonfil

    1997-02-01

    Larvae of a Polyhymno species (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) feed on the ant-defended acacia, Acacia cornigera, in the tropical lowlands of Veracruz, Mexico. Polyhymno larvae construct sealed shelters by silking together the pinna or pinnules of acacia leaves. Although larval density and larval survival are higher on acacias not occupied by ants, shelters serve as a partial refuge from the ant Pseudomyrmex ferruginea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which defends A. cornigera plants; thus, shelters provide Polyhymno larvae access to an ant-defended host plant. P. ferruginea ants act as the primary antiherbivore defense of A. cornigera plants, which lack the chemical and mechanical defenses of non-ant-defended acacias. Thus, defeating the ant defense of A. cornigera provides Polyhymno larvae access to an otherwise poorly defended host plant. Damage caused by Polyhymno larval feeding reaches levels which can kill A. cornigera plants.

  3. 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)

  4. Composite structure and properties of the pitcher surface of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes and its influence on the insect attachment system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lixin Wang; Qiang Zhou; Yongjun Zheng; Shuyan Xu

    2009-01-01

    Pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes have evolved specialized organs serving the purpose of attracting,capturing,retaining and digesting small animals,mostly insects.They consist of several well distinguishable zones,including a leaf-like lid,a collar-like peristome,a slippery zone and a digestive zone,differing in morphology,microstructure,chemical composition and physical properties.Discriminating zones display different functions,and the combined effects of several zones result in great trapping efficiency.The principal aim of this review is to introduce the structure and physiochemical properties of the pitcher surface,as well as the interaction between the pitcher surface and the insect attachment systems.Combining with our present study,the potential application of the pitcher surface being utilized in bionics to manufacture insect slippery trapping plates is discussed,and the original research direction of the pitcher surface and its application on agricultural pest control is highlighted.

  5. Genetic engineering of plant volatile terpenoids: effects on a herbivore, a predator and a parasitoid

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kos, M.; Houshyani, B.; Overeem, A.J.; Bouwmeester, H.J.; Weldegergis, B.T.; van Loon, J.J.A.; Dicke, M.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Most insect-resistant transgenic crops employ toxins to control pests. A novel approach is to enhance the effectiveness of natural enemies by genetic engineering of the biosynthesis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Before the commercialisation of such transgenic plants can be pursue

  6. The effects of herbivore-induced plant volatiles on interactions between plants and flower-visiting insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucas Gomes Marques Barbosa, D.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.

    2011-01-01

    Plants are faced with a trade-off between on the one hand growth, development and reproduction and on the other hand defence against environmental stresses. Yet, research on insect–plant interactions has addressed plant–pollinator interactions and plant–attacker interactions separately. Plants have

  7. Bottom-up effects on herbivore-induced plant defences: a case study based on compositional patterns of rhizosphere microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez, Emilio; Paredes, Daniel; Rodríguez, Estefanía; Aldana, Diana; González, Mónica; Nogales, Rogelio; Campos, Mercedes; Moreno, Beatriz

    2017-07-24

    Below-ground soil microorganisms can modulate above-ground plant-insect interactions. It still needs to be determined whether this is a direct effect of single species or an indirect effect of shifts in soil microbial community assemblages. Evaluation of the soil microbiome as a whole is critical for understanding multi-trophic interactions, including those mediated by volatiles involving plants, herbivorous insects, predators/parasitoids and microorganisms. We implemented a regulated system comprising Nerium oleander plants grown in soil initially containing a sterile/non sterile inoculum, herbivore Aphis nerii and predator Chrysoperla carnea. After aphid attack, plants emitted a characteristic blend of volatiles derived from two biosynthetic classes: fatty acid catabolites and aromatic-derived products. Three aliphatic compounds were mainly detected in plants grown in the inoculated microbial soil, a blend which was preferentially chosen by C. carnea adult females. The contrasting effect of the initial inocula was attributed to the different microbial consortia developed in each treatment. We argue that differences in the relative abundance of the active microbial communities in the rhizosphere correlate with those in the emission of selected volatile compounds by attacked plants. The mechanisms involved in how the functional soil microbiome modulates inducible indirect defence of plants are discussed.

  8. Differential effectiveness of microbially induced resistance against herbivorous insects in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Oosten, Vivian R; Bodenhausen, Natacha; Reymond, Philippe; Van Pelt, Johan A; Van Loon, L C; Dicke, Marcel; Pieterse, Corné M J

    2008-07-01

    Rhizobacteria-induced systemic resistance (ISR) and pathogen-induced systemic acquired resistance (SAR) have a broad, yet partly distinct, range of effectiveness against pathogenic microorganisms. Here, we investigated the effectiveness of ISR and SAR in Arabidopsis against the tissue-chewing insects Pieris rapae and Spodoptera exigua. Resistance against insects consists of direct defense, such as the production of toxins and feeding deterrents and indirect defense such as the production of plant volatiles that attract carnivorous enemies of the herbivores. Wind-tunnel experiments revealed that ISR and SAR did not affect herbivore-induced attraction of the parasitic wasp Cotesia rubecula (indirect defense). By contrast, ISR and SAR significantly reduced growth and development of the generalist herbivore S. exigua, although not that of the specialist P. rapae. This enhanced direct defense against S. exigua was associated with potentiated expression of the defense-related genes PDF1.2 and HEL. Expression profiling using a dedicated cDNA microarray revealed four additional, differentially primed genes in microbially induced S. exigua-challenged plants, three of which encode a lipid-transfer protein. Together, these results indicate that microbially induced plants are differentially primed for enhanced insect-responsive gene expression that is associated with increased direct defense against the generalist S. exigua but not against the specialist P. rapae.

  9. Smallest bitter taste receptor(T2Rs)gene repertoire in carnivores%Smallest bitter taste receptor (T2Rs) gene repertoire in carnivores

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ling-Ling HU; Peng SHI

    2013-01-01

    Bitter taste reception is presumably associated with dietary selection,preventing animals from ingesting potentially harmful compounds.Accordingly,carnivores,who encounter these toxic substances less often,should have fewer genes associated with bitter taste reception compared with herbivores and omnivores.To investigate the genetic basis of bitter taste reception,we confirmed bitter taste receptor (T2R) genes previously found in the genome sequences of two herbivores (cow and horse),two omnivores (mouse and rat) and one carnivore (dog).We also identified,for the first time,the T2R repertoire from the genome of other four carnivore species (ferret,giant panda,polar bear and cat) and detected 17-20 bitter receptor genes from the five carnivore genomes,including 12-16 intact genes,0-1 partial but putatively functional genes,and 3-8 pseudogenes.Both the intact T2R genes and the total T2R gene number among carnivores were the smallest among the tested species,supporting earlier speculations that carnivores have fewer T2R genes,herbivores an intermediate number,and omnivores the largest T2R gene repertoire.To further explain the genetic basis for this disparity,we constructed a phylogenetic tree,which showed most of the T2R genes from the five carnivores were one-to-one orthologs across the tree,suggesting that carnivore T2Rs were conserved among mammals.Similarly,the small carnivore T2R family size was likely due to rare duplication events.Collectively,these results strengthen arguments for the connection between T2R gene family size,diet and habit.

  10. Nutrient presses and pulses differentially impact plants, herbivores, detritivores and their natural enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Shannon M; Wimp, Gina M; Lewis, Danny; Denno, Robert F

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic nutrient inputs into native ecosystems cause fluctuations in resources that normally limit plant growth, which has important consequences for associated food webs. Such inputs from agricultural and urban habitats into nearby natural systems are increasing globally and can be highly variable, spanning the range from sporadic to continuous. Despite the global increase in anthropogenically-derived nutrient inputs into native ecosystems, the consequences of variation in subsidy duration on native plants and their associated food webs are poorly known. Specifically, while some studies have examined the effects of nutrient subsidies on native ecosystems for a single year (a nutrient pulse), repeated introductions of nutrients across multiple years (a nutrient press) better reflect the persistent nature of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. We therefore contrasted the effects of a one-year nutrient pulse with a four-year nutrient press on arthropod consumers in two salt marshes. Salt marshes represent an ideal system to address the differential impacts of nutrient pulses and presses on ecosystem and community dynamics because human development and other anthropogenic activities lead to recurrent introductions of nutrients into these natural systems. We found that plant biomass and %N as well as arthropod density fell after the nutrient pulse ended but remained elevated throughout the nutrient press. Notably, higher trophic levels responded more strongly than lower trophic levels to fertilization, and the predator/prey ratio increased each year of the nutrient press, demonstrating that food web responses to anthropogenic nutrient enrichment can take years to fully manifest themselves. Vegetation at the two marshes also exhibited an apparent tradeoff between increasing %N and biomass in response to fertilization. Our research emphasizes the need for long-term, spatially diverse studies of nutrient enrichment in order to understand how variation in the duration

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rehan Silva

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

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

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    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.

  13. The Green Tetrahymena utriculariae n. sp. (Ciliophora, Oligohymenophorea) with Its Endosymbiotic Algae (Micractinium sp.), Living in Traps of a Carnivorous Aquatic Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitsch, Gianna; Adamec, Lubomír; Dirren, Sebastian; Nitsche, Frank; Šimek, Karel; Sirová, Dagmara; Posch, Thomas

    2016-09-10

    The genus Tetrahymena (Ciliophora, Oligohymenophorea) probably represents the best studied ciliate genus. At present, more than forty species have been described. All are colorless, i.e. they do not harbor symbiotic algae, and as aerobes they need at least microaerobic habitats. Here, we present the morphological and molecular description of the first green representative, Tetrahymena utriculariae n. sp., living in symbiosis with endosymbiotic algae identified as Micractinium sp. (Chlorophyta). The full life cycle of the ciliate species is documented, including trophonts and theronts, conjugating cells, resting cysts and dividers. This species has been discovered in an exotic habitat, namely in traps of the carnivorous aquatic plant Utricularia reflexa (originating from Okavango Delta, Botswana). Green ciliates live as commensals of the plant in this anoxic habitat. Ciliates are bacterivorous, however, symbiosis with algae is needed to satisfy cell metabolism but also to gain oxygen from symbionts. When ciliates are cultivated outside their natural habitat under aerobic conditions and fed with saturating bacterial food, they gradually become aposymbiotic. Based on phylogenetic analyses of 18S rRNA and mitochondrial cox1 genes T. utriculariae forms a sister group to Tetrahymena thermophila.

  14. Selenium hyperaccumulator plants Stanleya pinnata and Astragalus bisulcatus are colonized by Se-resistant, Se-excluding wasp and beetle seed herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, John L; Marcus, Matthew A; Fakra, Sirine C; Devonshire, Jean; McGrath, Steve P; Quinn, Colin F; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2012-01-01

    Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulator plants can concentrate the toxic element Se up to 1% of shoot (DW) which is known to protect hyperaccumulator plants from generalist herbivores. There is evidence for Se-resistant insect herbivores capable of feeding upon hyperaccumulators. In this study, resistance to Se was investigated in seed chalcids and seed beetles found consuming seeds inside pods of Se-hyperaccumulator species Astragalus bisulcatus and Stanleya pinnata. Selenium accumulation, localization and speciation were determined in seeds collected from hyperaccumulators in a seleniferous habitat and in seed herbivores. Astragalus bisulcatus seeds were consumed by seed beetle larvae (Acanthoscelides fraterculus Horn, Coleoptera: Bruchidae) and seed chalcid larvae (Bruchophagus mexicanus, Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae). Stanleya pinnata seeds were consumed by an unidentified seed chalcid larva. Micro X-ray absorption near-edge structure (µXANES) and micro-X-Ray Fluorescence mapping (µXRF) demonstrated Se was mostly organic C-Se-C forms in seeds of both hyperaccumulators, and S. pinnata seeds contained ∼24% elemental Se. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of Se-compounds in S. pinnata seeds detected the C-Se-C compound seleno-cystathionine while previous studies of A. bisulcatus seeds detected the C-Se-C compounds methyl-selenocysteine and γ-glutamyl-methyl-selenocysteine. Micro-XRF and µXANES revealed Se ingested from hyperaccumulator seeds redistributed throughout seed herbivore tissues, and portions of seed C-Se-C were biotransformed into selenocysteine, selenocystine, selenodiglutathione, selenate and selenite. Astragalus bisulcatus seeds contained on average 5,750 µg Se g(-1), however adult beetles and adult chalcid wasps emerging from A. bisulcatus seed pods contained 4-6 µg Se g(-1). Stanleya pinnata seeds contained 1,329 µg Se g(-1) on average; however chalcid wasp larvae and adults emerging from S. pinnata seed pods contained 9 and 47 µg Se g(-1). The

  15. Selenium hyperaccumulator plants Stanleya pinnata and Astragalus bisulcatus are colonized by Se-resistant, Se-excluding wasp and beetle seed herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John L Freeman

    Full Text Available Selenium (Se hyperaccumulator plants can concentrate the toxic element Se up to 1% of shoot (DW which is known to protect hyperaccumulator plants from generalist herbivores. There is evidence for Se-resistant insect herbivores capable of feeding upon hyperaccumulators. In this study, resistance to Se was investigated in seed chalcids and seed beetles found consuming seeds inside pods of Se-hyperaccumulator species Astragalus bisulcatus and Stanleya pinnata. Selenium accumulation, localization and speciation were determined in seeds collected from hyperaccumulators in a seleniferous habitat and in seed herbivores. Astragalus bisulcatus seeds were consumed by seed beetle larvae (Acanthoscelides fraterculus Horn, Coleoptera: Bruchidae and seed chalcid larvae (Bruchophagus mexicanus, Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae. Stanleya pinnata seeds were consumed by an unidentified seed chalcid larva. Micro X-ray absorption near-edge structure (µXANES and micro-X-Ray Fluorescence mapping (µXRF demonstrated Se was mostly organic C-Se-C forms in seeds of both hyperaccumulators, and S. pinnata seeds contained ∼24% elemental Se. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of Se-compounds in S. pinnata seeds detected the C-Se-C compound seleno-cystathionine while previous studies of A. bisulcatus seeds detected the C-Se-C compounds methyl-selenocysteine and γ-glutamyl-methyl-selenocysteine. Micro-XRF and µXANES revealed Se ingested from hyperaccumulator seeds redistributed throughout seed herbivore tissues, and portions of seed C-Se-C were biotransformed into selenocysteine, selenocystine, selenodiglutathione, selenate and selenite. Astragalus bisulcatus seeds contained on average 5,750 µg Se g(-1, however adult beetles and adult chalcid wasps emerging from A. bisulcatus seed pods contained 4-6 µg Se g(-1. Stanleya pinnata seeds contained 1,329 µg Se g(-1 on average; however chalcid wasp larvae and adults emerging from S. pinnata seed pods contained 9 and 47 µg Se g

  16. Analyzing blends of herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds with factor analysis: revisiting "cotton plant, Gossypium hirsutum L., defense in response to nitrogen fertilization".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yigen

    2013-04-01

    Many herbivorous, predaceous, and parasitic insects use constitutive and herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to locate their respective host plant, prey, and hosts. Multivariate statistical tools (e.g., factor analysis) are recognized increasingly as an appropriate approach for analyzing intercorrelated data such as presence/absence or quantities of VOCs. One challenge of implementing factor analysis is determining how many new variables (factors) to retain in the final analysis. I demonstrate a method proposed by Johnson and Wichern to mitigate this problem by using VOC data published in Chen et al. The advantage of using loading (or weight) transformation in interpretation of new variables was also illustrated in the example. Factor analysis found similar nitrogen fertilization effects on VOC production as those in Chen et al. Similarities were 1) nitrogen fertilization interacted with herbivore damage status on VOC production: at low nitrogen (42 ppm) level, beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), damage elicited increases in VOC production, whereas at high nitrogen (196 ppm) VOC production was suppressed; 2) nitrogen fertilization did not affect limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene production. The seven individual VOCs significantly affected by nitrogen fertilization in Chen et al. were (Z)-3-hexenal, (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-beta-farnesene, (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene (DMNT), alpha-bergamotene, gamma-bisabolene, and bisabolol, of which only three ((E)-beta-farnesene, gamma-bisabolene, and bisabolol) weighed heavily on factor 1 in the current study.

  17. Testing the diet-breadth trade-off hypothesis: differential regulation of novel plant secondary compounds by a specialist and a generalist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torregrossa, A-M; Azzara, A V; Dearing, M D

    2012-03-01

    Specialist herbivores are predicted to have evolved biotransformation pathways that can process large doses of secondary compounds from the plant species on which they specialize. It is hypothesized that this physiological specialization results in a trade-off such that specialists may be limited in ability to ingest novel plant secondary compounds (PSCs). In contrast, the generalist foraging strategy requires that herbivores alternate consumption of plant species and PSC types to reduce the possibility of over-ingestion of any particular PSC. The ability to behaviorally regulate is a key component of this strategy. These ideas underpin the prediction that in the face of novel PSCs, generalists should be better able to maintain body mass and avoid toxic consequences compared to specialists. We explored these predictions by comparing the feeding behavior of two herbivorous rodents: a juniper specialist, Neotoma stephensi, and a generalist, Neotoma albigula, fed diets with increasing concentrations of phenolic resin extracted from the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), which produces a suite of PSCs novel to both species. The specialist lost more mass than the generalist during the 15-day trial. In addition, although the specialist and generalist both regulated phenolic resin intake by reducing meal size while on the highest resin concentration (4%), the generalist began to regulate intake on the 2% diet. The ability of the generalist to regulate intake at a lower PSC concentration may be the source of the generalist's performance advantage over the specialist. These data provide evidence for the hypothesis that the specialist's foraging strategy may result in behavioral as well as physiological trade-offs in the ability to consume novel PSCs.

  18. Nectar-providing plants enhance the energetic state of herbivores as well as their parasitoids under field conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winkler, K.; Wackers, F.; Pinto, D.M.

    2009-01-01

    1. The use of flowering vegetation has been widely advocated as a strategy for providing parasitoids and predators with nectar and pollen. However, their herbivorous hosts and prey may exploit floral food sources as well. 2. Previous laboratory studies have shown that not all flower species are equa

  19. Spatial heterogeneity in the strength of plant-herbivore interactions under predation risk: the tale of bison foraging in wolf country.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Léa Harvey

    Full Text Available Spatial heterogeneity in the strength of trophic interactions is a fundamental property of food web spatial dynamics. The feeding effort of herbivores should reflect adaptive decisions that only become rewarding when foraging gains exceed 1 the metabolic costs, 2 the missed opportunity costs of not foraging elsewhere, and 3 the foraging costs of anti-predator behaviour. Two aspects of these costs remain largely unexplored: the link between the strength of plant-herbivore interactions and the spatial scale of food-quality assessment, and the predator-prey spatial game. We modeled the foraging effort of free-ranging plains bison (Bison bison bison in winter, within a mosaic of discrete meadows. Spatial patterns of bison herbivory were largely driven by a search for high net energy gains and, to a lesser degree, by the spatial game with grey wolves (Canis lupus. Bison decreased local feeding effort with increasing metabolic and missed opportunity costs. Bison herbivory was most consistent with a broad-scale assessment of food patch quality, i.e., bison grazed more intensively in patches with a low missed opportunity cost relative to other patches available in the landscape. Bison and wolves had a higher probability of using the same meadows than expected randomly. This co-occurrence indicates wolves are ahead in the spatial game they play with bison. Wolves influenced bison foraging at fine scale, as bison tended to consume less biomass at each feeding station when in meadows where the risk of a wolf's arrival was relatively high. Also, bison left more high-quality vegetation in large than small meadows. This behavior does not maximize their energy intake rate, but is consistent with bison playing a shell game with wolves. Our assessment of bison foraging in a natural setting clarifies the complex nature of plant-herbivore interactions under predation risk, and reveals how spatial patterns in herbivory emerge from multi-scale landscape

  20. Spatial heterogeneity in the strength of plant-herbivore interactions under predation risk: the tale of bison foraging in wolf country.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Léa; Fortin, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in the strength of trophic interactions is a fundamental property of food web spatial dynamics. The feeding effort of herbivores should reflect adaptive decisions that only become rewarding when foraging gains exceed 1) the metabolic costs, 2) the missed opportunity costs of not foraging elsewhere, and 3) the foraging costs of anti-predator behaviour. Two aspects of these costs remain largely unexplored: the link between the strength of plant-herbivore interactions and the spatial scale of food-quality assessment, and the predator-prey spatial game. We modeled the foraging effort of free-ranging plains bison (Bison bison bison) in winter, within a mosaic of discrete meadows. Spatial patterns of bison herbivory were largely driven by a search for high net energy gains and, to a lesser degree, by the spatial game with grey wolves (Canis lupus). Bison decreased local feeding effort with increasing metabolic and missed opportunity costs. Bison herbivory was most consistent with a broad-scale assessment of food patch quality, i.e., bison grazed more intensively in patches with a low missed opportunity cost relative to other patches available in the landscape. Bison and wolves had a higher probability of using the same meadows than expected randomly. This co-occurrence indicates wolves are ahead in the spatial game they play with bison. Wolves influenced bison foraging at fine scale, as bison tended to consume less biomass at each feeding station when in meadows where the risk of a wolf's arrival was relatively high. Also, bison left more high-quality vegetation in large than small meadows. This behavior does not maximize their energy intake rate, but is consistent with bison playing a shell game with wolves. Our assessment of bison foraging in a natural setting clarifies the complex nature of plant-herbivore interactions under predation risk, and reveals how spatial patterns in herbivory emerge from multi-scale landscape heterogeneity.

  1. Global atmospheric change and herbivory: Effects of elevated levels of UV-B radiation, atmospheric CO{sub 2} and temperature on boreal woody plants and their herbivores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Veteli, T.

    2003-07-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effects of elevated ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B, 280- 320 nm), atmospheric CO{sub 2}, temperature and soil nitrogen level on the growth and chemical quality of boreal deciduous woody plants and on performance of the herbivorous insects feeding on them. Eggs and larvae of Operophtera brumata (L.) (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) were subjected to elevated UV-B radiation in the laboratory. Two willow species, Salix phylicifolia L. (Salicaceae) and S. myrsinifolia Salisb., were grown in an UV-B irradiation field where the responses of both plants and their herbivorous insects were monitored. S. myrsinifolia, Betula pendula Ehrh. (Betulaceae) and B. pubescens Roth. were subjected to elevated CO{sub 2} and temperature and different fertilisation levels in closed-top climatic chambers. To assess the indirect effects of the different treatments, the leaves of experimental willows and birches were fed to larvae of Phratora vitellinae (L.) (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) and adults of Agellastica alni L. in the laboratory. Elevated UV-B radiation significantly decreased the survival and performance of eggs and larvae of O. brumata. It also increased concentrations of some flavonoids and phenolic acids in S. myrsinifolia and S. phylicifolia, while the low-UV-B- absorbing phenolics, e. g. condensed tannins, gallic acid derivatives and salicylates, either decreased or remained unaffected. Both the height growth and biomass of one S. phylicifolia clone was sensitive to elevated levels of UV-B radiation. Abundance of adults and larvae of a willow- feeding leaf beetle, P. vitellinae, was increased under elevated UV-B; but this did not lead to increased leaf damage on the host plants. There were no significant differences in performance of the larvae feeding on differentially treated willow leaves, but adult A. alni preferred UV-B-treated leaves to ambient control leaves. Elevated CO{sub 2} and temperature significantly increased the height growth

  2. "Pharm-ecology" of diet shifting: biotransformation of plant secondary compounds in creosote (Larrea tridentata) by a woodrat herbivore, Neotoma lepida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Shannon L; Lamb, John G; Franklin, Michael R; Constance, Jonathan E; Dearing, M Denise

    2008-01-01

    Diet switching in mammalian herbivores may necessitate a change in the biotransformation enzymes used to process plant secondary compounds (PSCs). We investigated differences in the biotransformation system in the mammalian herbivore, Neotoma lepida, after a radical shift in diet and secondary compound composition. Populations of N. lepida in the Mojave Desert have evolved over the past 10,000 years to feed on creosote (Larrea tridentata) from an ancestral state of consuming juniper (Juniperus osteosperma). This dietary shift represents a marked change in the dietary composition of PSCs in that creosote leaves are coated with phenolic resin, whereas juniper is high in terpenes but lacks phenolic resin. We quantified the enzyme activity of five major groups of biotransformation enzymes (cytochrome P450s, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase, glutathione conjugation, sulfation, and glucuronidation) recognized for their importance to mammalian biotransformation for the elimination of foreign compounds. Enzyme activities were compared between populations of Mojave and Great Basin woodrats fed control and creosote diets. In response to creosote, the Mojave population had greater levels of cytochrome P450s (CYP2B, CYP1A) and glutathione conjugation liver enzymes compared with the Great Basin population. Our results suggest that elevated levels of cytochrome P450s and glutathione conjugation enzymes in the Mojave population may be the underlying biotransformation mechanisms that facilitate feeding on creosote.

  3. 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.

  4. Feeding on Host Plants with Different Concentrations and Structures of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids Impacts the Chemical-Defense Effectiveness of a Specialist Herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Carlos H Z; Cunha, Beatriz P; Solferini, Vera N; Trigo, José R

    2015-01-01

    Sequestration of chemical defenses from host plants is a strategy widely used by herbivorous insects to avoid predation. Larvae of the arctiine moth Utetheisa ornatrix feeding on unripe seeds and leaves of many species of Crotalaria (Leguminosae) sequester N-oxides of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) from these host plants, and transfer them to adults through the pupal stage. PAs confer protection against predation on all life stages of U. ornatrix. As U. ornatrix also uses other Crotalaria species as host plants, we evaluated whether the PA chemical defense against predation is independent of host plant use. We fed larvae from hatching to pupation with either leaves or seeds of one of eight Crotalaria species (C. incana, C. juncea, C. micans, C. ochroleuca, C. pallida, C. paulina, C. spectabilis, and C. vitellina), and tested if adults were preyed upon or released by the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes. We found that the protection against the spider was more effective in adults whose larvae fed on seeds, which had a higher PA concentration than leaves. The exceptions were adults from larvae fed on C. paulina, C. spectabilis and C. vitellina leaves, which showed high PA concentrations. With respect to the PA profile, we describe for the first time insect-PAs in U. ornatrix. These PAs, biosynthesized from the necine base retronecine of plant origin, or monocrotaline- and senecionine-type PAs sequestered from host plants, were equally active in moth chemical defense, in a dose-dependent manner. These results are also partially explained by host plant phylogeny, since PAs of the host plants do have a phylogenetic signal (clades with high and low PA concentrations in leaves) which is reflected in the adult defense.

  5. Feeding on Host Plants with Different Concentrations and Structures of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids Impacts the Chemical-Defense Effectiveness of a Specialist Herbivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Beatriz P.; Solferini, Vera N.

    2015-01-01

    Sequestration of chemical defenses from host plants is a strategy widely used by herbivorous insects to avoid predation. Larvae of the arctiine moth Utetheisa ornatrix feeding on unripe seeds and leaves of many species of Crotalaria (Leguminosae) sequester N-oxides of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) from these host plants, and transfer them to adults through the pupal stage. PAs confer protection against predation on all life stages of U. ornatrix. As U. ornatrix also uses other Crotalaria species as host plants, we evaluated whether the PA chemical defense against predation is independent of host plant use. We fed larvae from hatching to pupation with either leaves or seeds of one of eight Crotalaria species (C. incana, C. juncea, C. micans, C. ochroleuca, C. pallida, C. paulina, C. spectabilis, and C. vitellina), and tested if adults were preyed upon or released by the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes. We found that the protection against the spider was more effective in adults whose larvae fed on seeds, which had a higher PA concentration than leaves. The exceptions were adults from larvae fed on C. paulina, C. spectabilis and C. vitellina leaves, which showed high PA concentrations. With respect to the PA profile, we describe for the first time insect-PAs in U. ornatrix. These PAs, biosynthesized from the necine base retronecine of plant origin, or monocrotaline- and senecionine-type PAs sequestered from host plants, were equally active in moth chemical defense, in a dose-dependent manner. These results are also partially explained by host plant phylogeny, since PAs of the host plants do have a phylogenetic signal (clades with high and low PA concentrations in leaves) which is reflected in the adult defense. PMID:26517873

  6. Feeding on Host Plants with Different Concentrations and Structures of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids Impacts the Chemical-Defense Effectiveness of a Specialist Herbivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos H Z Martins

    Full Text Available Sequestration of chemical defenses from host plants is a strategy widely used by herbivorous insects to avoid predation. Larvae of the arctiine moth Utetheisa ornatrix feeding on unripe seeds and leaves of many species of Crotalaria (Leguminosae sequester N-oxides of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs from these host plants, and transfer them to adults through the pupal stage. PAs confer protection against predation on all life stages of U. ornatrix. As U. ornatrix also uses other Crotalaria species as host plants, we evaluated whether the PA chemical defense against predation is independent of host plant use. We fed larvae from hatching to pupation with either leaves or seeds of one of eight Crotalaria species (C. incana, C. juncea, C. micans, C. ochroleuca, C. pallida, C. paulina, C. spectabilis, and C. vitellina, and tested if adults were preyed upon or released by the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes. We found that the protection against the spider was more effective in adults whose larvae fed on seeds, which had a higher PA concentration than leaves. The exceptions were adults from larvae fed on C. paulina, C. spectabilis and C. vitellina leaves, which showed high PA concentrations. With respect to the PA profile, we describe for the first time insect-PAs in U. ornatrix. These PAs, biosynthesized from the necine base retronecine of plant origin, or monocrotaline- and senecionine-type PAs sequestered from host plants, were equally active in moth chemical defense, in a dose-dependent manner. These results are also partially explained by host plant phylogeny, since PAs of the host plants do have a phylogenetic signal (clades with high and low PA concentrations in leaves which is reflected in the adult defense.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Himanen, S.

    2008-07-01

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

  8. Effects of elevated temperature and CO2 on aboveground-belowground systems: a case study with plants, their mutualistic bacteria and root / shoot herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Michael William Ryalls

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between above- and belowground herbivores have been prominent in the field of aboveground-belowground ecology from the outset, although little is known about how climate change affects these organisms when they share the same plant. Additionally, the interactive effects of multiple factors associated with climate change such as elevated temperature (eT and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (eCO2 are untested. We investigated how eT and eCO2 affected larval development of the lucerne weevil (Sitona discoideus and colonisation by the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum, on three cultivars of a common host plant, lucerne (Medicago sativa. Sitona discoideus larvae feed on root nodules housing N2-fixing rhizobial bacteria, allowing us to test the effects of eT and eCO2 on three trophic levels. Moreover, we assessed the influence of these factors on plant growth. eT increased plant growth rate initially (6, 8 and 10 weeks after sowing, with cultivar ‘Sequel’ achieving the greatest height. Inoculation with aphids, however, reduced plant growth at week 14. eT severely reduced root nodulation by 43%, whereas eCO2 promoted nodulation by 56%, but only at ambient temperatures. Weevil presence increased net root biomass and nodulation, by 31 and 45%, respectively, showing an overcompensatory plant growth response. Effects of eT and eCO2 on root nodulation were mirrored by weevil larval development; eT and eCO2 reduced and increased larval development, respectively. Contrary to expectations, aphid colonisation was unaffected by eT or eCO2, but there was a near-significant 10% reduction in colonisation rates on plants with weevils present belowground. The contrasting effects of eT and eCO2 on weevils potentially occurred through changes in root nodulation patterns.

  9. Carnivores of Syria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Masseti

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to outline the local occurrence and recent distribution of carnivores in Syria (Syrian Arab Republic in order to offer a starting point for future studies. The species of large dimensions, such as the Asiatic lion, the Caspian tiger, the Asiatic cheetah, and the Syrian brown bear, became extinct in historical times, the last leopard being reputed to have been killed in 1963 on the Alauwit Mountains (Al Nusyriain Mountains. The checklist of the extant Syrian carnivores amounts to 15 species, which are essentially referable to 4 canids, 5 mustelids, 4 felids – the sand catbeen reported only recently for the first time – one hyaenid, and one herpestid. The occurrence of the Blandford fox has yet to be confirmed. This paper is almost entirely the result of a series of field surveys carried out by the author mainly between 1989 and 1995, integrated by data from several subsequent reports and sightings by other authors.

  10. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G; Grafe, T Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    .... It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N...

  11. A Novel Type of Nutritional Ant-Plant Interaction: Ant Partners of Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Prevent Nutrient Export by Dipteran Pitcher Infauna. e63556

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G; Grafe, T Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    .... It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N...

  12. Global large carnivore conservation and international law

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trouwborst, A.

    2015-01-01

    International cooperation, including through international legal instruments, appears important for the conservation of large carnivores worldwide. This is due to, inter alia, the worrying conservation status and population trends of many large carnivore species; the importance of large carnivores f

  13. Global large carnivore conservation and international law

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trouwborst, A.

    2015-01-01

    International cooperation, including through international legal instruments, appears important for the conservation of large carnivores worldwide. This is due to, inter alia, the worrying conservation status and population trends of many large carnivore species; the importance of large carnivores

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shariatinajafabadi, Mitra; Wang, Tiejun; Skidmore, A.K.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Kölzsch, Andrea; Nolet, Bart; Exo, K-M.; Griffin, L.

    2014-01-01

    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, t

  15. A novel interaction between plant-beneficial rhizobacteria and roots: colonization induces corn resistance against the root herbivore Diabrotica speciosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franciele Santos

    Full Text Available A number of soil-borne microorganisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobacteria, establish mutualistic interactions with plants, which can indirectly affect other organisms. Knowledge of the plant-mediated effects of mutualistic microorganisms is limited to aboveground insects, whereas there is little understanding of what role beneficial soil bacteria may play in plant defense against root herbivory. Here, we establish that colonization by the beneficial rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense affects the host selection and performance of the insect Diabrotica speciosa. Root larvae preferentially orient toward the roots of non-inoculated plants versus inoculated roots and gain less weight when feeding on inoculated plants. As inoculation by A. brasilense induces higher emissions of (E-β-caryophyllene compared with non-inoculated plants, it is plausible that the non-preference of D. speciosa for inoculated plants is related to this sesquiterpene, which is well known to mediate belowground insect-plant interactions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that a beneficial rhizobacterium inoculant indirectly alters belowground plant-insect interactions. The role of A. brasilense as part of an integrative pest management (IPM program for the protection of corn against the South American corn rootworm, D. speciosa, is considered.

  16. A novel interaction between plant-beneficial rhizobacteria and roots: colonization induces corn resistance against the root herbivore Diabrotica speciosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Franciele; Peñaflor, Maria Fernanda G V; Paré, Paul W; Sanches, Patrícia A; Kamiya, Aline C; Tonelli, Mateus; Nardi, Cristiane; Bento, José Mauricio S

    2014-01-01

    A number of soil-borne microorganisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobacteria, establish mutualistic interactions with plants, which can indirectly affect other organisms. Knowledge of the plant-mediated effects of mutualistic microorganisms is limited to aboveground insects, whereas there is little understanding of what role beneficial soil bacteria may play in plant defense against root herbivory. Here, we establish that colonization by the beneficial rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense affects the host selection and performance of the insect Diabrotica speciosa. Root larvae preferentially orient toward the roots of non-inoculated plants versus inoculated roots and gain less weight when feeding on inoculated plants. As inoculation by A. brasilense induces higher emissions of (E)-β-caryophyllene compared with non-inoculated plants, it is plausible that the non-preference of D. speciosa for inoculated plants is related to this sesquiterpene, which is well known to mediate belowground insect-plant interactions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that a beneficial rhizobacterium inoculant indirectly alters belowground plant-insect interactions. The role of A. brasilense as part of an integrative pest management (IPM) program for the protection of corn against the South American corn rootworm, D. speciosa, is considered.

  17. Impact of different-sized herbivores on recruitment opportunities for subordinate herbs in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Olff, Han

    2003-01-01

    Potential effects of herbivores on plant species diversity depend on herbivore size, species and density. In this study we examine the effect of different-sized herbivores (cattle and rabbits) on recruitment of subordinate herbs in grasslands. We show that in a grazed floodplain, grassland plant spe

  18. Impact of different-sized herbivores on recruitment opportunities for subordinate herbs in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Olff, Han

    2003-01-01

    Potential effects of herbivores on plant species diversity depend on herbivore size, species and density. In this study we examine the effect of different-sized herbivores (cattle and rabbits) on recruitment of subordinate herbs in grasslands. We show that in a grazed floodplain, grassland plant spe

  19. Impact of different-sized herbivores on recruiment opportunities for subordinate herbs in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, E.S.; Olff, H.

    2003-01-01

    Potential effects of herbivores on plant species diversity depend on herbivore size, species and density. In this study we examine the effect of different-sized herbivores (cattle and rabbits) on recruitment of subordinate herbs in grasslands. We show that in a grazed floodplain, grassland plant spe

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Can we save large carnivores without losing large carnivore science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Benjamin L.; Allen, Lee R.; Andrén, Henrik; Ballard, Guy; Boitani, Luigi; Engeman, Richard M.; Fleming, Peter J.S.; Haswell, Peter M.; Ford, Adam T.; Kowalczyk, Rafał; Mech, L. David; Linnell, John D.C.; Parker, Daniel M.

    2017-01-01

    Large carnivores are depicted to shape entire ecosystems through top-down processes. Studies describing these processes are often used to support interventionist wildlife management practices, including carnivore reintroduction or lethal control programs. Unfortunately, there is an increasing tendency to ignore, disregard or devalue fundamental principles of the scientific method when communicating the reliability of current evidence for the ecological roles that large carnivores may play, eroding public confidence in large carnivore science and scientists. Here, we discuss six interrelated issues that currently undermine the reliability of the available literature on the ecological roles of large carnivores: (1) the overall paucity of available data, (2) reliability of carnivore population sampling techniques, (3) general disregard for alternative hypotheses to top-down forcing, (4) lack of applied science studies, (5) frequent use of logical fallacies, and (6) generalisation of results from relatively pristine systems to those substantially altered by humans. We first describe how widespread these issues are, and given this, show, for example, that evidence for the roles of wolves (Canis lupus) and dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) in initiating trophic cascades is not as strong as is often claimed. Managers and policy makers should exercise caution when relying on this literature to inform wildlife management decisions. We emphasise the value of manipulative experiments and discuss the role of scientific knowledge in the decision-making process. We hope that the issues we raise here prompt deeper consideration of actual evidence, leading towards an improvement in both the rigour and communication of large carnivore science.

  2. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25548168

  3. The Enigmatic Universe of the Herbivore Gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, N Louise

    2016-07-01

    The herbivore gut is a fascinating ecosystem exquisitely adapted to plant biomass degradation. Within this ecosystem, anaerobic fungi invade biomass and secrete hydrolytic enzymes. In a recent study, Solomon et al. characterized three anaerobic fungi by transcriptomics, proteomics, and functional analyses to identify novel components essential for plant biomass deconstruction.

  4. An in vivo assay for elucidating the importance of cytochromes P450 for the ability of a wild mammalian herbivore (Neotoma lepida) to consume toxic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skopec, Michele M; Malenke, Jael R; Halpert, James R; Denise Dearing, M

    2013-01-01

    An in vivo assay using the cytochrome P450 (P450) suicide inhibitor 1-aminobenzotriazole (ABT) and 24-h food intake was developed to determine the relative importance of P450s in two populations of Neotoma lepida with respect to biotransformation of plant secondary compounds in the animals' natural diets. The efficacy of ABT as a P450 inhibitor was first validated using hypnotic-state assays with and without pretreatment with ABT. Pretreatment with 100 mg/kg ABT by gavage increased hexobarbital sleep times 3-4-fold in both populations, showing effective inhibition of P450s in woodrats. Next, the Great Basin population was fed a terpene-rich juniper diet, and the Mojave population was fed a phenolic-rich creosote diet, with rabbit chow serving as the control diet in each group. Treatment with ABT inhibited food intake in the Great Basin population fed the juniper diet to a greater extent (35%) than the Great Basin population fed the control diet (19%) or the Mojave population fed the creosote diet (16%). The food intake of the Mojave population fed the control diet was not significantly inhibited by ABT. The findings suggest that the biotransformation of terpenes in juniper relies more heavily on P450s than that of phenolics in creosote. This assay provides an inexpensive and noninvasive method to explore the relative importance of P450s in the biotransformation strategies of wild mammalian herbivores.

  5. The effect of plant inbreeding and stoichiometry on interactions with herbivores in nature: Echinacea angustifolia and its specialist aphid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline E Ridley

    Full Text Available Fragmentation of once widespread communities may alter interspecific interactions by changing genetic composition of interacting populations as well as their abundances and spatial distributions. In a long-term study of a fragmented population of Echinacea angustifolia, a perennial plant native to the North American prairie, we investigated influences on its interaction with a specialist aphid and tending ants. We grew plant progeny of sib-matings (I, and of random pairings within (W and between (B seven remnants in a common field within 8 km of the source remnants. During the fifth growing season, we determined each plant's burden of aphids and ants, as well as its size and foliar elemental composition (C, N, P. We also assayed composition (C, N of aphids and ants. Early in the season, progeny from genotypic classes B and I were twice as likely to harbor aphids, and in greater abundance, than genotypic class W; aphid loads were inversely related to foliar concentration of P and positively related to leaf N and plant size. At the end of the season, aphid loads were indistinguishable among genotypic classes. Ant abundance tracked aphid abundance throughout the season but showed no direct relationship with plant traits. Through its potential to alter the genotypic composition of remnant populations of Echinacea, fragmentation can increase Echinacea's susceptibility to herbivory by its specialist aphid and, in turn, perturb the abundance and distribution of aphids.

  6. Demographic models reveal the shape of density dependence for a specialist insect herbivore on variable host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X

    2007-07-01

    1. It is widely accepted that density-dependent processes play an important role in most natural populations. However, persistent challenges in our understanding of density-dependent population dynamics include evaluating the shape of the relationship between density and demographic rates (linear, concave, convex), and identifying extrinsic factors that can mediate this relationship. 2. I studied the population dynamics of the cactus bug Narnia pallidicornis on host plants (Opuntia imbricata) that varied naturally in relative reproductive effort (RRE, the proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction), an important plant quality trait. I manipulated per-plant cactus bug densities, quantified subsequent dynamics, and fit stage-structured models to the experimental data to ask if and how density influences demographic parameters. 3. In the field experiment, I found that populations with variable starting densities quickly converged upon similar growth trajectories. In the model-fitting analyses, the data strongly supported a model that defined the juvenile cactus bug retention parameter (joint probability of surviving and not dispersing) as a nonlinear decreasing function of density. The estimated shape of this relationship shifted from concave to convex with increasing host-plant RRE. 4. The results demonstrate that host-plant traits are critical sources of variation in the strength and shape of density dependence in insects, and highlight the utility of integrated experimental-theoretical approaches for identifying processes underlying patterns of change in natural populations.

  7. Testing local host adaptation and phenotypic plasticity in a herbivore when alternative related host plants occur sympatrically.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Montoya, Lorena; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Host race formation in phytophagous insects can be an early stage of adaptive speciation. However, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in host use is another possible outcome. Using a reciprocal transplant experiment we tested the hypothesis of local adaptation in the aphid Brevicoryne brassicae. Aphid genotypes derived from two sympatric host plants, Brassica oleracea and B. campestris, were assessed in order to measure the extent of phenotypic plasticity in morphological and life history traits in relation to the host plants. We obtained an index of phenotypic plasticity for each genotype. Morphological variation of aphids was summarized by principal components analysis. Significant effects of recipient host on morphological variation and life history traits (establishment, age at first reproduction, number of nymphs, and intrinsic growth rate) were detected. We did not detected genotype × host plant interaction; in general the genotypes developed better on B. campestris, independent of the host plant species from which they were collected. Therefore, there was no evidence to suggest local adaptation. Regarding plasticity, significant differences among genotypes in the index of plasticity were detected. Furthermore, significant selection on PC1 (general aphid body size) on B. campestris, and on PC1 and PC2 (body length relative to body size) on B. oleracea was detected. The elevation of the reaction norm of PC1 and the slope of the reaction norm for PC2 (i.e., plasticity) were under directional selection. Thus, host plant species constitute distinct selective environments for B. brassicae. Aphid genotypes expressed different phenotypes in response to the host plant with low or nil fitness costs. Phenotypic plasticity and gene flow limits natural selection for host specialization promoting the maintenance of genetic variation in host exploitation.

  8. Arctic herbivore diet can be inferred from stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in C3 plants, faeces, and wool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Ditte Katrine; Kristensen, Erik; Forchhammer, Mads C.;

    2011-01-01

    plant groups was compared with those of muskox faeces and shed wool, as this is a noninvasive approach to obtain dietary information on different temporal scales. Plants with different root mycorrhizal status were found to have different d15N values, whereas differences in d13C, as expected, were less...... distinct. As a result, our examination mainly relied on stable nitrogen isotopes. The interpretation of stable isotopes from faeces was difficult because of the large uncertainty in diet–faeces fractionation, whereas isotope signatures from wool suggested that the muskox summer diet consists of around 80...

  9. THE INFLUENCE OF NON-CHEMICAL METHODS OF PLANT PROTECTION ON THE PRESENCE OF HERBIVOROUS BEETLES IN BROAD BEANS GROWING

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the impact of accompanying plants: sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima L.) and white mustard (Synapis alba L.), on the incidence of pests of the broad bean (Vicia faba L.) variety Bartek, in the intercropping system. The observations of the number of the beetles of Bruchus rufimanus Boh. and Sitona spp were made. The broad bean was grown along with two other plants in varying spacing (the distances between rows were 50, 65 and 80 cm) and in homogeneous cult...

  10. Evidence that plant varieties respond differently to NO2 pollution as indicated by resistance to insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masters, G J; McNeill, S

    1996-01-01

    The effects of NO(2) pollution on the performance of aphids feeding on different bean varieties were investigated by fumigation experiments. The susceptibility of the different genotypes dramatically changed as the concentration of atmospheric pollutant was increased. The direction of change was not constant between varieties. Our data suggest that resistance or susceptibility of a plant variety to insect herbivory can be significantly altered when subjected to pollutant stress, thus indicating that it may be difficult to predict the susceptibility of host plants in a polluted atmosphere.

  11. Experience-based behavioral and chemosensory changes in the generalist insect herbivore Helicoverpa armigera exposed to two deterrent plant chemicals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, D.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Wang, C.Z.

    2010-01-01

    Behavioral and electrophysiological responses of larvae of the polyphagous moth species Helicoverpa armigera to two plant-derived allelochemicals were studied, both in larvae that had been reared on a diet devoid of these compounds and in larvae previously exposed to these compounds. In dual-choice

  12. Climate and vegetation in a semi-arid savanna: Development of a climate–vegetation response model linking plant metabolic performance to climate and the effects on forage availability for large herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armin H. Seydack

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A framework to establish the expected effects of climate on forage quantity and quality in a local savanna system was developed to interpret large herbivore population performance patterns in the Kruger National Park. We developed a climate–vegetation response model based on interpretation and synthesis of existing knowledge (literature review and supported by investigation and analyses of local patterns of climate effects on forage plant performance and chemical composition.Developing the climate–vegetation response model involved three main components, namely (1 defining indicators of forage availability to herbivores (nitrogen productivity, nitrogen quality, carbon-nutrient quality, (2 identifying herbivore species guilds of similar nutritional requirements with respect to these indicators [bulk feeders with tolerance to fibrous herbage (buffalo, waterbuck, bulk feeders with preference for high nitrogen quality forage (short grass preference grazers: blue wildebeest and zebra and selective feeders where dietary items of relatively high carbon-nutrient quality represented key forage resources (selective grazers: sable antelope, roan antelope, tsessebe, eland] and (3 developing a process model where the expected effects of plant metabolic responses to climate on key forage resources were made explicit.According to the climate–vegetation response model both shorter-term transient temperature acclimation pulses and longer-term shifts in plant metabolic functionality settings were predicted to have occurred in response to temperature trends over the past century. These temperature acclimation responses were expected to have resulted in transient pulses of increased forage availability (increased nitrogen- and carbon-nutrient quality, as well as the progressive long-term decline of the carbon-nutrient quality of forage.Conservation implications: The climate–vegetation response model represents a research framework for further studies

  13. Local-scale and short-term herbivore-plant spatial dynamics reflect influences of large-scale climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forchhammer, Mads Cedergreen; Post, Eric; Berg, Thomas B. G.

    2005-01-01

    The balance of evidence strongly indicates that the ecological repercussions of climatic changes are already apparent in the dynamics of animal and plant populations throughout terrestrial, marine, and aquatic ecosystems. However, while considerable progress has been made in quantifying effects...... of climate change for population and community dynamics. Using comprehensive, spatially replicated data on seasonal plant growth dynamics and seasonal distribution of muskoxen over a seven-year period, we show that interannual variations in the North Atlantic Oscillation affect the seasonal spatial dynamics...... of such climate change on spatiotemporal shifts in distribution, density, and phenology, subtle effects such as intra-annual variation in behavior have been ignored. Yet individual-based assessments of short-term dynamics of species interactions may be critical to improving our understanding of the implications...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liuhua Yan

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

  15. Can sacrificial feeding areas protect aquatic plants from herbivore grazing? Using behavioural ecology to inform wildlife management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Kevin A; Stillman, Richard A; Daunt, Francis; O'Hare, Matthew T

    2014-01-01

    Effective wildlife management is needed for conservation, economic and human well-being objectives. However, traditional population control methods are frequently ineffective, unpopular with stakeholders, may affect non-target species, and can be both expensive and impractical to implement. New methods which address these issues and offer effective wildlife management are required. We used an individual-based model to predict the efficacy of a sacrificial feeding area in preventing grazing damage by mute swans (Cygnus olor) to adjacent river vegetation of high conservation and economic value. The accuracy of model predictions was assessed by a comparison with observed field data, whilst prediction robustness was evaluated using a sensitivity analysis. We used repeated simulations to evaluate how the efficacy of the sacrificial feeding area was regulated by (i) food quantity, (ii) food quality, and (iii) the functional response of the forager. Our model gave accurate predictions of aquatic plant biomass, carrying capacity, swan mortality, swan foraging effort, and river use. Our model predicted that increased sacrificial feeding area food quantity and quality would prevent the depletion of aquatic plant biomass by swans. When the functional response for vegetation in the sacrificial feeding area was increased, the food quantity and quality in the sacrificial feeding area required to protect adjacent aquatic plants were reduced. Our study demonstrates how the insights of behavioural ecology can be used to inform wildlife management. The principles that underpin our model predictions are likely to be valid across a range of different resource-consumer interactions, emphasising the generality of our approach to the evaluation of strategies for resolving wildlife management problems.

  16. Qualitative and Quantitative Differences in Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatile Blends from Tomato Plants Infested by Either Tuta absoluta or Bemisia tabaci

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastos Silva, Diego; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Loon, van Joop J.A.; Bueno, Vanda H.P.

    2017-01-01

    Plants release a variety of volatile organic compounds that play multiple roles in the interactions with other plants and animals. Natural enemies of plant-feeding insects use these volatiles as cues to find their prey or host. Here, we report differences between the volatile blends of tomato pla

  17. When herbivores eat predators: predatory insects effectively avoid incidental ingestion by mammalian herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Ari, Matan; Inbar, Moshe

    2013-01-01

    The direct trophic links between mammalian herbivores and plant-dwelling insects have been practically ignored. Insects are ubiquitous on plants consumed by mammalian herbivores and are thus likely to face the danger of being incidentally ingested by a grazing mammal. A few studies have shown that some herbivorous hemipterans are able to avoid this peril by dropping to the ground upon detecting the heat and humidity on the mammal's breath. We hypothesized that if this risk affects the entire plant-dwelling insect community, other insects that share this habitat are expected to develop similar escape mechanisms. We assessed the ability of three species (adults and larvae) of coccinellid beetles, important aphid predators, to avoid incidental ingestion. Both larvae and adults were able to avoid incidental ingestion effectively by goats by dropping to the ground, demonstrating the importance of this behavior in grazed habitats. Remarkably, all adult beetles escaped by dropping off the plant and none used their functional wings to fly away. In controlled laboratory experiments, we found that human breath caused 60-80% of the beetles to drop. The most important component of mammalian herbivore breath in inducing adult beetles and larvae to drop was the combination of heat and humidity. The fact that the mechanism of dropping in response to mammalian breath developed in distinct insect orders and disparate life stages accentuates the importance of the direct influence of mammalian herbivores on plant-dwelling insects. This direct interaction should be given its due place when discussing trophic interactions.

  18. Qualitative and Quantitative Differences in Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatile Blends from Tomato Plants Infested by Either Tuta absoluta or Bemisia tabaci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Diego B; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Van Loon, Joop J A; Bueno, Vanda H P

    2017-01-03

    Plants release a variety of volatile organic compounds that play multiple roles in the interactions with other plants and animals. Natural enemies of plant-feeding insects use these volatiles as cues to find their prey or host. Here, we report differences between the volatile blends of tomato plants infested with the whitefly Bemisia tabaci or the tomato borer Tuta absoluta. We compared the volatile emission of: (1) clean tomato plants; (2) tomato plants infested with T. absoluta larvae; and (3) tomato plants infested with B. tabaci adults, nymphs, and eggs. A total of 80 volatiles were recorded of which 10 occurred consistently only in the headspace of T. absoluta-infested plants. Many of the compounds detected in the headspace of the two herbivory treatments were emitted at different rates. Plants damaged by T. absoluta emitted at least 10 times higher levels of many compounds compared to plants damaged by B. tabaci and intact plants. The multivariate separation of T. absoluta-infested plants from those infested with B. tabaci was due largely to the chorismate-derived compounds as well as volatile metabolites of C18-fatty acids and branched chain amino acids that had higher emission rates from T. absoluta-infested plants, whereas the cyclic sesquiterpenes α- and β-copaene, valencene, and aristolochene were emitted at significantly higher levels from B. tabaci-infested plants. Our findings imply that feeding by T. absoluta and B. tabaci induced emission of volatile blends that differ quantitatively and qualitatively, providing a chemical basis for the recently documented behavioral discrimination by two generalist predatory mirid species, natural enemies of T. absoluta and B. tabaci employed in biological control.

  19. A Generalist Herbivore Copes with Specialized Plant Defence: the Effects of Induction and Feeding by Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae on Intact Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicales) Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalucki, M P; Zalucki, J M; Perkins, L E; Schramm, K; Vassão, D G; Gershenzon, J; Heckel, D G

    2017-06-01

    Plants of the Brassicaceae are defended from feeding by generalist insects by constitutively-expressed and herbivory-induced glucosinolates (GS). We induced Arabidopsis plants 1, 16 and 24 h prior to allowing neonate larvae of the generalist Helicoverpa armigera to feed on whole plants for 72 h. These plants were subsequently retested with another group of neonates for a further 72 h. We used wild-type A. thaliana Col-0, and mutant lines lacking indolic GS, aliphatic GS or all GS. We hypothesized that larvae would not grow well on defended plants (WT) compared to those lacking GS, and would not grow well if plants had been primed or fed on for longer, due to the expected induced GS. There was survivorship on all lines suggesting H. armigera is a suitable generalist for these experiments. Larvae performed less well on wild-type and no indolic lines than on no aliphatic and no GS lines. Larvae distributed feeding damage extensively in all lines, more so on wild type and no-indolic lines. Contrary to expectations, larvae grew better on plants that had been induced for 1 to 16 h than on un-induced plants suggesting they moved to and selected less toxic plant parts within a heterogeneously defended plant. Performance declined on all lines if plants had been induced for 24 h, or had been fed upon for a further 72 h. However, contrary to expectation, individual and total GS did not increase after these two treatments. This suggests that Arabidopsis plants induce additional (not GS) defenses after longer induction periods.

  20. Soil microorganisms control plant ectoparasitic nematodes in natural coastal foredunes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piśkiewicz, Anna M; Duyts, Henk; Berg, Matty P; Costa, Sofia R; van der Putten, Wim H

    2007-06-01

    Belowground herbivores can exert important controls on the composition of natural plant communities. Until now, relatively few studies have investigated which factors may control the abundance of belowground herbivores. In Dutch coastal foredunes, the root-feeding nematode Tylenchorhynchus ventralis is capable of reducing the performance of the dominant grass Ammophila arenaria (Marram grass). However, field surveys show that populations of this nematode usually are controlled to nondamaging densities, but the control mechanism is unknown. In the present study, we first established that T. ventralis populations are top-down controlled by soil biota. Then, selective removal of soil fauna suggested that soil microorganisms play an important role in controlling T. ventralis. This result was confirmed by an experiment where selective inoculation of microarthropods, nematodes and microbes together with T. ventralis into sterilized dune soil resulted in nematode control when microbes were present. Adding nematodes had some effect, whereas microarthropods did not have a significant effect on T. ventralis. Our results have important implications for the appreciation of herbivore controls in natural soils. Soil food web models assume that herbivorous nematodes are controlled by predaceous invertebrates, whereas many biological control studies focus on managing nematode abundance by soil microorganisms. We propose that soil microorganisms play a more important role than do carnivorous soil invertebrates in the top-down control of herbivorous ectoparasitic nematodes in natural ecosystems. This is opposite to many studies on factors controlling root-feeding insects, which are supposed to be controlled by carnivorous invertebrates, parasitoids, or entomopathogenic nematodes. Our conclusion is that the ectoparasitic nematode T. ventralis is potentially able to limit productivity of the dune grass A. arenaria but that soil organisms, mostly microorganisms, usually prevent the

  1. Does methyl salicylate, a component of herbivore-induced plant odour, promote sporulation of the mite-pathogenic fungus Neozygites tanajoae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hountondji, Fabien C C; Hanna, Rachid; Sabelis, Maurice W

    2006-01-01

    Blends of volatile chemicals emanating from cassava leaves infested by the cassava green mite were found to promote conidiation of Neozygites tanajoae, an entomopathogenic fungus specific to this mite. Methyl salicylate (MeSA) is one compound frequently present in blends of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV) as well as that of mite-infested cassava. Here, we investigated the effect of methyl salicylate in its pure form on the production of pre-infective spores (conidia), and the germination of these spores into infective spores (capilliconidia), by a Brazilian isolate and a Beninese isolate of N. tanajoae. Mummified mites previously infected by the fungal isolates were screened under optimal abiotic conditions for sporulation inside tightly closed boxes with or without methyl salicylate diffusing from a capillary tube. Production of conidia was consistently higher (37%) when the Beninese isolate was exposed to MeSA than when not exposed to it (305.5 +/- 52.62 and 223.2 +/- 38.13 conidia per mummy with and without MeSA, respectively). MeSA, however, did not promote conidia production by the Brazilian isolate (387.4 +/- 44.74 and 415.8 +/- 57.95 conidia per mummy with and without MeSA, respectively). Germination of the conidia into capilliconidia was not affected by MeSA for either isolate (0.2%, 252.6 +/- 31.80 vs. 253.0 +/- 36.65 for the Beninese isolate and 4.2%, 268.5 +/- 37.90 vs. 280.2 +/- 29.43 for the Brazilian isolate). The effects of MeSA on the production of conidia were similar to those obtained under exposure to the complete blends of HIPV for the case of the Beninese isolate, but dissimilar (no promoting effect of MeSA) for the case of the Brazilian isolate. This shows that MeSA, being one compound out of many HIPV, can be a factor promoting sporulation of N. tanajoae, but it may not be the only factor as its effect varies with the fungal isolate under study.

  2. 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.

    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

  3. 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 herbiv

  4. Fish culture data - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  5. Chemical composition of fish and diets - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  6. Growth data - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  7. Glycoalkaloids of Wild and Cultivated Solanum: Effects on Specialist and Generalist Insect Herbivores.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Altesor, P.; Garcia, A.; Font, E.; Rodriguez-Haralambides, A.; Vilario, F.; Oesterheld, M.; Soler Gamborena, R.; Gonzalez, A.

    2014-01-01

    Plant domestication by selective breeding may reduce plant chemical defense in favor of growth. However, few studies have simultaneously studied the defensive chemistry of cultivated plants and their wild congeners in connection to herbivore susceptibility. We compared the constitutive glycoalkaloid

  8. Functional diversity among seed dispersal kernels generated by carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Varo, Juan P; López-Bao, José V; Guitián, José

    2013-05-01

    1. Knowledge of the spatial scale of the dispersal service provided by important seed dispersers (i.e. common and/or keystone species) is essential to our understanding of their role on plant ecology, ecosystem functioning and, ultimately, biodiversity conservation. 2. Carnivores are the main mammalian frugivores and seed dispersers in temperate climate regions. However, information on the seed dispersal distances they generate is still very limited. We focused on two common temperate carnivores differing in body size and spatial ecology - red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and European pine marten (Martes martes) - for evaluating possible functional diversity in their seed dispersal kernels. 3. We measured dispersal distances using colour-coded seed mimics embedded in experimental fruits that were offered to the carnivores in feeding stations (simulating source trees). The exclusive colour code of each simulated tree allowed us to assign the exact origin of seed mimics found later in carnivore faeces. We further designed an explicit sampling strategy aiming to detect the longest dispersal events; as far we know, the most robust sampling scheme followed for tracking carnivore-dispersed seeds. 4. We found a marked functional heterogeneity among both species in their seed dispersal kernels according to their home range size: multimodality and long-distance dispersal in the case of the fox and unimodality and short-distance dispersal in the case of the marten (maximum distances = 2846 and 1233 m, respectively). As a consequence, emergent kernels at the guild level (overall and in two different years) were highly dependent on the relative contribution of each carnivore species. 5. Our results provide the first empirical evidence of functional diversity among seed dispersal kernels generated by carnivorous mammals. Moreover, they illustrate for the first time how seed dispersal kernels strongly depend on the relative contribution of different disperser species, thus on the

  9. The Carnivore Connection Hypothesis: Revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennie C. Brand-Miller

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The “Carnivore Connection” hypothesizes that, during human evolution, a scarcity of dietary carbohydrate in diets with low plant : animal subsistence ratios led to insulin resistance providing a survival and reproductive advantage with selection of genes for insulin resistance. The selection pressure was relaxed at the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution when large quantities of cereals first entered human diets. The “Carnivore Connection” explains the high prevalence of intrinsic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in populations that transition rapidly from traditional diets with a low-glycemic load, to high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic index diets that characterize modern diets. Selection pressure has been relaxed longest in European populations, explaining a lower prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, despite recent exposure to famine and food scarcity. Increasing obesity and habitual consumption of high-glycemic-load diets worsens insulin resistance and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in all populations.

  10. When herbivores eat predators: predatory insects effectively avoid incidental ingestion by mammalian herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matan Ben-Ari

    Full Text Available The direct trophic links between mammalian herbivores and plant-dwelling insects have been practically ignored. Insects are ubiquitous on plants consumed by mammalian herbivores and are thus likely to face the danger of being incidentally ingested by a grazing mammal. A few studies have shown that some herbivorous hemipterans are able to avoid this peril by dropping to the ground upon detecting the heat and humidity on the mammal's breath. We hypothesized that if this risk affects the entire plant-dwelling insect community, other insects that share this habitat are expected to develop similar escape mechanisms. We assessed the ability of three species (adults and larvae of coccinellid beetles, important aphid predators, to avoid incidental ingestion. Both larvae and adults were able to avoid incidental ingestion effectively by goats by dropping to the ground, demonstrating the importance of this behavior in grazed habitats. Remarkably, all adult beetles escaped by dropping off the plant and none used their functional wings to fly away. In controlled laboratory experiments, we found that human breath caused 60-80% of the beetles to drop. The most important component of mammalian herbivore breath in inducing adult beetles and larvae to drop was the combination of heat and humidity. The fact that the mechanism of dropping in response to mammalian breath developed in distinct insect orders and disparate life stages accentuates the importance of the direct influence of mammalian herbivores on plant-dwelling insects. This direct interaction should be given its due place when discussing trophic interactions.

  11. Tropical forests are not flat: how mountains affect herbivore diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Castañeda, Genoveva; Dyer, Lee A; Brehm, Gunnar; Connahs, Heidi; Forkner, Rebecca E; Walla, Thomas R

    2010-11-01

    Ecologists debate whether tropical insect diversity is better explained by higher plant diversity or by host plant species specialization. However, plant-herbivore studies are primarily based in lowland rainforests (RF) thus excluding topographical effects on biodiversity. We examined turnover in Eois (Geometridae) communities across elevation by studying elevational transects in Costa Rica and Ecuador. We found four distinct Eois communities existing across the elevational gradients. Herbivore diversity was highest in montane forests (MF), whereas host plant diversity was highest in lowland RF. This was correlated with higher specialization and species richness of Eois/host plant species we found in MF. Based on these relationships, Neotropical Eois richness was estimated to range from 313 (only lowland RF considered) to 2034 (considering variation with elevation). We conclude that tropical herbivore diversity and diet breadth covary significantly with elevation and urge the inclusion of montane ecosystems in host specialization and arthropod diversity estimates. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  13. Plant toxicity, adaptive herbivory, and plant community dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhilan Feng; Rongsong Liu; Donald L. DeAngelis; John P. Bryant; Knut Kielland; F. Stuart Chapin; Robert K. Swihart

    2009-01-01

    We model effects of interspecific plant competition, herbivory, and a plant's toxic defenses against herbivores on vegetation dynamics. The model predicts that, when a generalist herbivore feeds in the absence of plant toxins, adaptive foraging generally increases the probability of coexistence of plant species populations, because the herbivore switches more of...

  14. Importancia de la heterogeneidad ambiental en la ecología de plantas carnívoras mediterráneas: implicaciones para la conservación Environmental heterogeneity and the ecology of carnivorous plants: implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regino Zamora

    2002-03-01

    Full Text Available En la cuenca mediterránea, la mayoría de las plantas carnívoras pertenecientes al género Pinguicula habitan las paredes húmedas de montañas calizas. Estos escenarios rocosos condicionan la ecología de las poblaciones situadas en distintos exposiciones (solana versus umbría. Las diferencias temporales en la floración entre plantas que crecen en distintos microhábitats, unido a las diferencias espaciales en la distribución y abundancia de las especies de polinizadores, provocan barreras al flujo genico vía polen entre microhábitats soleados y umbríos. Estos mecanismos ecológicos pueden actuar sinérgicamente con otros factores que limitan el flujo génico, como distancia geográfica y la compleja orografía de las montañas, favoreciendo la diferenciación local. Las poblaciones de Pinguicula vallisneriifolia muestran también diferentes abundancias y estructuras demográficas dependiendo del microhábitat donde crecen las plantas. El carácter perenne y la reproducción asexual de esta planta le permite ralentizar la extinción poblacional, incluso en ausencia de reclutamiento via plántula en los lugares secos y soleados. Sin embargo, con la actual tendencia hacia una mayor aridez, los escasos micrositios adecuados para la germinación y establecimiento de plántulas se desplazan hacia los sectores de las paredes más umbríos y húmedos, pero donde el desarrollo reproductivo está limitado por la escasez de luz. Para la conservación de esta planta carnívora hay que llevar a cabo medidas de manejo para mantener un número mínimo de nichos de regeneración efectivos. La conservación de P. vallisneriifolia pasa por mantener la riqueza de escenarios ecológicos (i.e., mantener poblaciones de sol versus de sombra, como parte de la variabilidad total a conservar, no solo geográfica, sino también de escenario microclimáticoMost carnivorous plants belonging to the Pinguicula genus inhabit mountains in the Mediterranean basin

  15. Giant lizards occupied herbivorous mammalian ecospace during the Paleogene greenhouse in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Jason J; Gunnell, Gregg F; Holroyd, Patricia A; Hutchison, J Howard; Ciochon, Russell L

    2013-07-22

    Mammals dominate modern terrestrial herbivore ecosystems, whereas extant herbivorous reptiles are limited in diversity and body size. The evolution of reptile herbivory and its relationship to mammalian diversification is poorly understood with respect to climate and the roles of predation pressure and competition for food resources. Here, we describe a giant fossil acrodontan lizard recovered with a diverse mammal assemblage from the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation of Myanmar, which provides a historical test of factors controlling body size in herbivorous squamates. We infer a predominately herbivorous feeding ecology for the new acrodontan based on dental anatomy, phylogenetic relationships and body size. Ranking body masses for Pondaung Formation vertebrates indicates that the lizard occupied a size niche among the larger herbivores and was larger than most carnivorous mammals. Paleotemperature estimates of Pondaung Formation environments based on the body size of the new lizard are approximately 2-5°C higher than modern. These results indicate that competitive exclusion and predation by mammals did not restrict body size evolution in these herbivorous squamates, and elevated temperatures relative to modern climates during the Paleogene greenhouse may have resulted in the evolution of gigantism through elevated poikilothermic metabolic rates and in response to increases in floral productivity.

  16. Evolution of genome size and chromosome number in the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae), with a new estimate of the minimum genome size in angiosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischmann, Andreas; Michael, Todd P; Rivadavia, Fernando; Sousa, Aretuza; Wang, Wenqin; Temsch, Eva M; Greilhuber, Johann; Müller, Kai F; Heubl, Günther

    2014-12-01

    Some species of Genlisea possess ultrasmall nuclear genomes, the smallest known among angiosperms, and some have been found to have chromosomes of diminutive size, which may explain why chromosome numbers and karyotypes are not known for the majority of species of the genus. However, other members of the genus do not possess ultrasmall genomes, nor do most taxa studied in related genera of the family or order. This study therefore examined the evolution of genome sizes and chromosome numbers in Genlisea in a phylogenetic context. The correlations of genome size with chromosome number and size, with the phylogeny of the group and with growth forms and habitats were also examined. Nuclear genome sizes were measured from cultivated plant material for a comprehensive sampling of taxa, including nearly half of all species of Genlisea and representing all major lineages. Flow cytometric measurements were conducted in parallel in two laboratories in order to compare the consistency of different methods and controls. Chromosome counts were performed for the majority of taxa, comparing different staining techniques for the ultrasmall chromosomes. Genome sizes of 15 taxa of Genlisea are presented and interpreted in a phylogenetic context. A high degree of congruence was found between genome size distribution and the major phylogenetic lineages. Ultrasmall genomes with 1C values of <100 Mbp were almost exclusively found in a derived lineage of South American species. The ancestral haploid chromosome number was inferred to be n = 8. Chromosome numbers in Genlisea ranged from 2n = 2x = 16 to 2n = 4x = 32. Ascendant dysploid series (2n = 36, 38) are documented for three derived taxa. The different ploidy levels corresponded to the two subgenera, but were not directly correlated to differences in genome size; the three different karyotype ranges mirrored the different sections of the genus. The smallest known plant genomes were not found in G. margaretae, as previously reported

  17. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zach J Farris

    Full Text Available The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar's largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar's largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica. Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (mean=90 individuals consumed/year, the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans (mean=58 consumed/year, and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox (mean=31 consumed/year. Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are highest

  18. Range contractions of the world's large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christopher; Ripple, William J

    2017-07-01

    The majority of the world's terrestrial large carnivores have undergone substantial range contractions and many of these species are currently threatened with extinction. However, there has been little effort to fully quantify the extent of large carnivore range contractions, which hinders our ability to understand the roles and relative drivers of such trends. Here we present and analyse a newly constructed and comprehensive set of large carnivore range contraction maps. We reveal the extent to which ranges have contracted since historical times and identify regions and biomes where range contractions have been particularly large. In summary, large carnivores that have experienced the greatest range contractions include the red wolf (Canis rufus) (greater than 99%), Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis) (99%), tiger (Panthera tigris) (95%) and lion (Panthera leo) (94%). In general, the greatest range contractions occurred in Southeastern Asia and Africa. Motivated by the ecological importance of intact large carnivore guilds, we also examined the spatial extent of intact large carnivore guilds both for the entire world and regionally. We found that intact carnivore guilds occupy just 34% of the world's land area. This compares to 96% in historic times. Spatial modelling of range contractions showed that contractions were significantly more likely in regions with high rural human population density, cattle density or cropland. Our results offer new insights into how best to prevent further range contractions for the world's largest carnivores, which will assist efforts to conserve these species and their important ecological effects.

  19. Impact of Nitrogen Fertilizer on Plant-Herbivore-Natural Enemy Tritrophic Interactions%氮肥对植物-植食性昆虫-天敌三级营养关系的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    庞淑婷; 董元华

    2013-01-01

    Tritrophic interactions among plant-herbivore-natural enemy are interdependent and co-evolution by food chain/net in ecosystems, and are often heavily shaped by bottom-up forces. Nitrogen fertilizer can exert significant influence on the tritrophic interactions through various mechanisms. Nitrogen availability can alter quality of the plant, then affect feeding preference, food consumption and utilization, development, survival, reproduction, population dynamic of herbivore and ecosystem, the effect even can extend to natural enemy. Nitrogen also affect direct and indirect defense of plants, influence natural enemy control efficiency through variation of plant structure, nutritional quality of plants, habitat, and volatile induction. The impact of nitrogen fertilizer on tritrophic interactions and potential importance to agricultural production were reviewed.%  植物-植食性昆虫-天敌三级营养关系在自然界中通过食物链/网的关系相互依存,协同进化,并受到来自寄主植物的上行效应影响。氮肥可以通过多种机制对植食性昆虫和天敌产生重要影响。氮素能改变植物品质,对植食性昆虫的寄主选择性、食物消耗和利用、生长发育、存活、生殖、种群动态和整个群落产生影响并延伸到昆虫天敌。氮素还能影响植物直接和间接防御,通过改变植物结构、天敌食料品质、生境及诱导挥发性有机化合物影响天敌控制植食性昆虫的效果。合理施用氮肥,保持三级营养关系互作平衡,对农业生产具有重要意义。

  20. Testing the Generalist-Specialist Dilemma: The Role of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Resistance to Invertebrate Herbivores in Jacobaea Species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wei, X.; Vrieling, K.; Mulder, P.P.J.; Klinkhamer, P.G.L.

    2015-01-01

    Plants produce a diversity of secondary metabolites (SMs) to protect them from generalist herbivores. On the other hand, specialist herbivores use SMs for host plant recognition, feeding and oviposition cues, and even sequester SMs for their own defense. Therefore, plants are assumed to face an evol

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Big cats in our backyards: persistence of large carnivores in a human dominated landscape in India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidya Athreya

    Full Text Available Protected areas are extremely important for the long term viability of biodiversity in a densely populated country like India where land is a scarce resource. However, protected areas cover only 5% of the land area in India and in the case of large carnivores that range widely, human use landscapes will function as important habitats required for gene flow to occur between protected areas. In this study, we used photographic capture recapture analysis to assess the density of large carnivores in a human-dominated agricultural landscape with density >300 people/km(2 in western Maharashtra, India. We found evidence of a wide suite of wild carnivores inhabiting a cropland landscape devoid of wilderness and wild herbivore prey. Furthermore, the large carnivores; leopard (Panthera pardus and striped hyaena (Hyaena hyaena occurred at relatively high density of 4.8±1.2 (sd adults/100 km(2 and 5.03±1.3 (sd adults/100 km(2 respectively. This situation has never been reported before where 10 large carnivores/100 km(2 are sharing space with dense human populations in a completely modified landscape. Human attacks by leopards were rare despite a potentially volatile situation considering that the leopard has been involved in serious conflict, including human deaths in adjoining areas. The results of our work push the frontiers of our understanding of the adaptability of both, humans and wildlife to each other's presence. The results also highlight the urgent need to shift from a PA centric to a landscape level conservation approach, where issues are more complex, and the potential for conflict is also very high. It also highlights the need for a serious rethink of conservation policy, law and practice where the current management focus is restricted to wildlife inside Protected Areas.

  4. Top-down control of small herbivores on salt-marsh vegetation along a productivity gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijper, DPJ; Bakker, JP; Pennings, S.C.

    2005-01-01

    Exploitation theory predicts strongest plant-herbivore interactions at sites of intermediate productivity. Recent studies illustrate the importance of top-down effects by small to intermediate-sized herbivores in structuring salt-marsh communities. How long-term effects of herbivory are modified by

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Effects of glucosinolates on a generalist and specialist leaf-chewing herbivore and an associated parasitoid

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kos, M.; Houshyani, B.; Wietsma, R.; Kabouw, P.; Vet, L.E.M.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.

    2012-01-01

    Glucosinolates (GLS) are secondary plant metabolites that as a result of tissue damage, for example due to herbivory, are hydrolysed into toxic compounds that negatively affect generalist herbivores. Specialist herbivores have evolved specific adaptations to detoxify GLS or inhibit the formation of

  7. Biological notes on herbivorous insects feeding on myrmecophytic Macaranga trees in the Lambir Hills National Park, Borneo

    OpenAIRE

    Shimizu-kaya, Usun; Kishimoto-Yamada,Keiko; Itioka, Takao

    2015-01-01

    Myrmecophytes are plants that harbor ant colonies in domatia, which are hollows in the plant body. Most ant species that colonize myrmecophytes aggressively attack and regulate the abundances of herbivorous insects that would otherwise feed on the leaves of host trees. Although previous studies have described the interactions between myrmecophytes and herbivorous insects, a large proportion of herbivores that are able to feed on these trees are still unrecorded and details of their feeding ha...

  8. Elevated Ozone Modulates Herbivore-Induced Volatile Emissions of Brassica nigra and Alters a Tritrophic Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaling, Eliezer; Li, Tao; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Blande, James D

    2016-05-01

    Plants damaged by herbivores emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are used by parasitoids for host location. In nature, however, plants are exposed to multiple abiotic and biotic stresses of varying intensities, which may affect tritrophic interactions. Here, we studied the effects of ozone exposure and feeding by Pieris brassicae larvae on the VOCs emitted by Brassica nigra and the effects on oriented flight of the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata. We also investigated the oriented flight of C. glomerata in a wind-tunnel with elevated ozone levels. Herbivore-feeding induced the emission of several VOCs, while ozone alone had no significant effect. However, exposure to 120 ppb ozone, followed by 24 hr of herbivore-feeding, induced higher emissions of all VOCs as compared to herbivore-feeding alone. In accordance, herbivore-damaged plants elicited more oriented flights than undamaged plants, whereas plants exposed to 120 ppb ozone and 24 hr of herbivore-feeding elicited more oriented flights than plants subjected to herbivore-feeding alone. Ozone enrichment of the wind-tunnel air appeared to negatively affect orientation of parasitoids at 70 ppb, but not at 120 ppb. These results suggest that the combination of ozone and P. brassicae-feeding modulates VOC emissions, which significantly influence foraging efficiency of C. glomerata.

  9. Normal glucose metabolism of healthy carnivores mimics diabetes pathology of non-carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eSchermerhorn

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Carnivores, such as the dolphin and the domestic cat, have numerous adaptations that befit consumption of diets with high protein and fat content, with little carbohydrate content. Consequently, nutrient metabolism in carnivorous species differs substantially from that of non-carnivores. Important metabolic pathways known to differ between carnivores and non-carnivores are implicated in the development of diabetes and insulin resistance in non-carnivores: 1. the hepatic glucokinase (GCK pathway is absent in healthy carnivores yet GCK deficiency may result in diabetes in rodents and humans, 2. healthy dolphins and cats are prone to periods of fasting hyperglycemia and exhibit insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes in non-carnivores. Similarly, carnivores develop naturally-occurring diseases such as hemachromatosis, fatty liver, obesity and diabetes that have strong parallels with the same disorders in humans. Understanding how evolution, environment, diet and domestication may play a role with nutrient metabolism in the dolphin and cat may also be relevant to human diabetes.

  10. Host microhabitat location by stem-borer parasitoidCotesia flavipes: the role of herbivore volatiles and locally and systemically induced plant volatiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potting, R P; Vet, L E; Dicke, M

    1995-05-01

    The origin of olfactory stimuli involved in the host microhabitat location inCotesia flavipes, a parasitoid of stem-borer larvae, was investigated in a Y-tube olfactometer. The response of femaleC. flavipes towards different components of the plant-host complex, consisting of a maize plant infested with two or more larvae of the stem borerChilo partellus, was tested in dualchoice tests. The concealed lifestyle of the stem-borer larvae did not limit the emission of volatiles attractive to a parasitoid. A major source of the attractive volatiles from the plant-host complex was the stem-borer-injured stem, including the frass produced by the feeding larvae. Moreover, the production of volatiles attractive to a parasitoid was not restricted to the infested stem part but occurs systemically throughout the plant. The uninfested leaves of a stem-borer-infested plant were found to emit volatiles that attract femaleC. flavipes. We further demonstrate that an exogenous elicitor of this systemic plant response is situated in the regurgitate of a stem-borer larva. When a minor amount of regurgitate is inoculated into the stem of an uninfested plant, the leaves of the treated plant emit volatiles that attract femaleC. flavipes.

  11. Effects of sap-feeding insect herbivores on growth and reproduction of woody plants: a meta-analysis of experimental studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zvereva, Elena L; Lanta, Vojtech; Kozlov, Mikhail V

    2010-08-01

    The majority of generalisations concerning plant responses to herbivory are based on studies of natural or simulated defoliation. However, effects caused by insects feeding on plant sap are likely to differ from the effects of folivory. We assessed the general patterns and sources of variation in the effects of sap feeding on growth, photosynthesis, and reproduction of woody plants through a meta-analysis of 272 effect sizes calculated from 52 papers. Sap-feeders significantly reduced growth (-29%), reproduction (-17%), and photosynthesis (-27%); seedlings suffered more than saplings and mature trees. Deciduous and evergreen woody plants did not differ in their abilities to tolerate damage imposed by sap-feeders. Different plant parts, in particular below- and above-ground organs, responded similarly to damage, indicating that sap-feeders did not change the resource allocation in plants. The strongest effects were caused by mesophyll and phloem feeders, and the weakest by xylem feeders. Generalist sap-feeders reduced plant performance to a greater extent than did specialists. Methodology substantially influenced the outcomes of the primary studies; experiments conducted in greenhouses yielded stronger negative effects than field experiments; shorter (<12 months) experiments showed bigger growth reduction in response to sap feeding than longer experiments; natural levels of herbivory caused weaker effects than infestation of experimental plants by sap-feeders. Studies conducted at higher temperatures yielded stronger detrimental effects of sap-feeders on their hosts. We conclude that sap-feeders impose a more severe overall negative impact on plant performance than do defoliators, mostly due to the lower abilities of woody plants to compensate for sap-feeders' damage in terms of both growth and photosynthesis.

  12. Managing conflict between large carnivores and livestock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Eeden, Lily M; Crowther, Mathew S; Dickman, Chris R; Macdonald, David W; Ripple, William J; Ritchie, Euan G; Newsome, Thomas M

    2017-05-29

    Large carnivores are persecuted globally because they threaten human industries and livelihoods. How this conflict is managed has consequences for the conservation of large carnivores and biodiversity more broadly. Mitigating human-predator conflict should be evidence-based and accommodate people's values while protecting carnivores. Despite much research into human and large-carnivore coexistence strategies, there have been few attempts to document the success of conflict-mitigation strategies on a global scale. We conducted a meta-analysis of global research on conflict mitigation related to large carnivores and humans. We focused on conflicts that arise from the threat large carnivores pose to livestock. We first used structured and unstructured searching to identify replicated studies that used before-after or control-impact design to measure change in livestock loss as a result of implementing a management intervention. We then extracted relevant data from these studies to calculate an overall effect size for each intervention type. Research effort and focus varied among continents and aligned with the histories and cultures that shaped livestock production and attitudes toward carnivores. Livestock guardian animals most effectively reduced livestock losses. Lethal control was the second most effective control, although its success varied the most, and guardian animals and lethal control did not differ significantly. Financial incentives have promoted tolerance of large carnivores in some settings and reduced retaliatory killings. We suggest coexistence strategies be location-specific, incorporate cultural values and environmental conditions, and be designed such that return on financial investment can be evaluated. Improved monitoring of mitigation measures is urgently required to promote effective evidence-based policy. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  13. Are carnivores universally good sentinels of plague?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkerhoff, R Jory; Collinge, Sharon K; Bai, Ying; Ray, Chris

    2009-10-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a flea-borne disease that primarily affects rodents but has been detected in over 200 mammal species worldwide. Mammalian carnivores are routinely surveyed as sentinels of local plague activity, since they can present antibodies to Y. pestis infection but show few clinical signs. In Boulder County, Colorado, USA, plague epizootic events are episodic and occur in black-tailed prairie dogs. Enzootic hosts are unidentified as are plague foci. For three years, we systematically sampled carnivores in two distinct habitat types to determine whether carnivores may play a role in maintenance or transmission of Y. pestis and to identify habitats associated with increased plague prevalence. We sampled 83 individuals representing six carnivore species and found only two that had been exposed to Y. pestis. The low overall rate of plague exposure in carnivores suggests that plague may be ephemeral in this study system, and thus we cannot draw any conclusions regarding habitat-associated plague foci or temporal changes in plague activity. Plague epizootics involving prairie dogs were confirmed in this study system during two of the three years of this study, and we therefore suggest that the targeting carnivores to survey for plague may not be appropriate in all ecological systems.

  14. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Zach J.; Golden, Christopher D.; Karpanty, Sarah; Murphy, Asia; Stauffer, Dean; Ratelolahy, Felix; Andrianjakarivelo, Vonjy; Holmes, Christopher M.; Kelly, Marcella J.

    2015-01-01

    The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting) affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar’s largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar’s largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana) occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica). Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (x¯ = 90 individuals consumed/year), the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans) (x¯ = 58 consumed/year), and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (x¯ = 31 consumed/year). Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are

  15. 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 toma

  16. NaJAZh Regulates a Subset of Defense Responses against Herbivores and Spontaneous Leaf Necrosis in Nicotiana attenuata Plants[C][W][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T.; Gális, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    The JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins function as negative regulators of jasmonic acid signaling in plants. We cloned 12 JAZ genes from native tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata), including nine novel JAZs in tobacco, and examined their expression in plants that had leaves elicited by wounding or simulated herbivory. Most JAZ genes showed strong expression in the elicited leaves, but NaJAZg was mainly expressed in roots. Another novel herbivory-elicited gene, NaJAZh, was analyzed in detail. RNA interference suppression of this gene in inverted-repeat (ir)JAZh plants deregulated a specific branch of jasmonic acid-dependent direct and indirect defenses: irJAZh plants showed greater trypsin protease inhibitor activity, 17-hydroxygeranyllinalool diterpene glycosides accumulation, and emission of volatile organic compounds from leaves. Silencing of NaJAZh also revealed a novel cross talk in JAZ-regulated secondary metabolism, as irJAZh plants had significantly reduced nicotine levels. In addition, irJAZh spontaneously developed leaf necrosis during the transition to flowering. Because the lesions closely correlated with the elevated expression of programmed cell death genes and the accumulations of salicylic acid and hydrogen peroxide in the leaves, we propose a novel role of the NaJAZh protein as a repressor of necrosis and/or programmed cell death during plant development. PMID:22496510

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    the drought treatment, and there was a three-way interaction between time, CO2, and drought. Survival was lowest when drought, warming, and elevated CO2 were combined. Effects of climate change drivers depended on other co-acting factors and were mediated by changes in plant secondary compounds, nitrogen......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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Peter

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Franziska; Berens, Dana G; Farwig, Nina

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Effects of Local Tree Diversity on Herbivore Communities Diminish with Increasing Forest Fragmentation on the Landscape Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Franziska; Berens, Dana G.; Farwig, Nina

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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...... the drought treatment, and there was a three-way interaction between time, CO2, and drought. Survival was lowest when drought, warming, and elevated CO2 were combined. Effects of climate change drivers depended on other co-acting factors and were mediated by changes in plant secondary compounds, nitrogen...... 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...

  4. The acclimation of carnivorous round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) to solar radiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tkalec, Mirta; Doboš, Marko; Babić, Marija; Jurak, Edita

    2015-01-01

    Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) is a carnivorous plant which inhabits nutrient-poor, moist, and sun-exposed areas such as peat bogs and sandpits. These habitats are threatened by succession which could lead to substantial shading of sundews. Nevertheless, D. rotundifolia can also gr

  5. The acclimation of carnivorous round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) to solar radiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tkalec, Mirta; Doboš, Marko; Babić, Marija; Jurak, Edita

    2015-01-01

    Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) is a carnivorous plant which inhabits nutrient-poor, moist, and sun-exposed areas such as peat bogs and sandpits. These habitats are threatened by succession which could lead to substantial shading of sundews. Nevertheless, D. rotundifolia can also

  6. Crop resistance traits modify the effects of an aboveground herbivore, brown planthopper, on soil microbial biomass and nematode community via changes to plant performance.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, J.; Liu, M.; Chen, F.; Griffiths, B.S.; Chen, X.; Johnson, S.N.; Hu, F.

    2012-01-01

    Plant-mediated effects of aboveground herbivory on the belowground ecosystem are well documented, but less attention has been paid to agro-ecosystems and in particular how crop cultivars with different traits (i.e. resistance to pests) shape such interactions. A fully factorial experiment was conduc

  7. The tritrophic system hyptis suaveolens (Lamiaceae - agromyzid leafminers (Diptera: Agromyzidae - parasitoids (Hymenoptera: effects of herbivore density, host plant patch size, and habitat complexity on parasitism rate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarbas Marcal de Queiroz

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study a tritrophic system was evaluated to measure the contributions of the insect host density and its host plant concentration in simple and diversified habitat on the rate of parasitism. The system was composed of the plant Hyptis suaveolens, two species of agromyzid leafminers, and three morphospecies of parasitoids. The parasitism rate, patch size, and habitat complexity were found to be interdependent. If only the habitat complexity or patch size was take into account the differences in parasitism rate are not significant, although habitat diversity seemed to contribute more than the host plant concentration to increase the parasitism rate. The leaves or plants with different number of mines were equally attacked by the parasitoids. The results were representative of what happened to the leafminers at different host plant densities under the homogeneous and heterogeneous habitat condition. This work could help to reinforce the idea of the importance of the plant diversity for enhancing the biological control of the pests by the parasitoids in the managed ecosystems.Foi avaliado um sistema tritrófico para medir os efeitos da densidade de insetos minadores e a concentração da planta hospedeira em habitats simples e diversificados sobre a taxa de parasitismo. O sistema era composto pela planta Hyptis suaveolens, duas espécies de agromizídeos minadores de folhas e três morfoespécies de parasitóides. A taxa de parasitismo, tamanho da mancha e a complexidade do habitat foram interdependentes. Se levarmos em consideração apenas a complexidade ou tamanho de mancha, as diferenças na taxa de parasitismo não foram significativas, embora a diversidade de habitat pareça ter contribuido mais do que a concentração da planta hospedeira para aumentar a taxa de parasitismo. Folhas ou plantas com diferentes números de minas foram igualmente parasitadas. Nossos resultados são representativos do que acontece com insetos minadores em

  8. Plant Feeding in an Omnivorous Mirid, Dicyphus hesperus: Why Plant Context Matters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Gillespie

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available True omnivores that feed on both plant and animal tissues are not additive combinations of herbivore and predator (carnivore. Because true omnivores must distribute adaptive feeding decisions among two disparate tissue types, understanding the context that plants provide for foraging is important to understand their role in food webs. We varied prey and plant resources to investigate the plant context in an omnivorous true bug, Dicyphus hesperus. The contribution of plant species to fitness was unimportant in water acquisition decisions, but affected numbers of prey consumed over longer periods. In plant communities, in the absence of prey, D. hesperus moved to plants with the highest resource quality. Unlike pure predators facing declining prey, omnivores can use a nondepleting resource to fund future foraging without paying a significant cost. However, the dual resource exploitation can also impose significant constraints when both types of resources are essential. The presence of relatively profitable plants that are spatially separate from intermediate consumer populations could provide a mechanism to promote stability within food webs with plant-feeding omnivores. The effects of context in omnivores will require adding second-order terms to the Lotka-Volterra structure to explicitly account for the kinds of interactions we have observed here.

  9. Aquatic herbivores facilitate the emission of methane from wetlands

    OpenAIRE

    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 shoots of wetland plants can modulate methane emission from wetlands. Diffusive methane emission was monitored inside and outside bird exclosures, using static flux chambers placed over whole vege...

  10. Tall Grass Invasion After Grassland Abandonment Influences the Availability of Palatable Plants for Wild Herbivores: Insight into the Conservation of the Apennine Chamois Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corazza, Marcello; Tardella, Federico Maria; Ferrari, Carlo; Catorci, Andrea

    2016-06-01

    Invasion of the tall grass Brachypodium genuense was observed in an area of the central Apennines (Italy) where the population size of Apennine chamois ( Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata) was in strong decline. Since this dominant tall grass threatens biodiversity and forage quality, our hypothesis was that B. genuense abundance influenced that of palatable species for the chamois, depending on their functional traits and distribution patterns. Our sampling design used plots of 10 × 10 m and 1 × 1 m to investigate the plant community level and fine-scale interactions. We analyzed data using correlation, generalized linear models, and redundancy analyses. We found that B. genuense can reach high abundance values on the deepest soils. Its high cover value influences plant community composition by competitive exclusion of subordinate species and suppression of functional features because of temporal or spatial niche overlap. This leads to low cover of palatable species at a fine scale, and to poor pasture quality for chamois at a wider scale. Therefore, we postulated that B. genuense invasion, enhanced by long-term grazing cessation, may reduce the availability of palatable plants for Apennine chamois, especially below the potential timberline (1900-2000 m a.s.l.). The high abundance of B. genuense may amplify the effect of other negative factors, such as competition with red deer ( Cervus elaphus) and climate change, in restricting the suitable habitat of the Apennine chamois to the higher sectors of the central Apennines. Thus, we suggested that B. genuense spread should be monitored carefully and plans to control its invasion should be implemented.

  11. Synergistic effects of amides from two piper species on generalist and specialist herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Lora A; Dyer, Lee A; Smilanich, Angela M; Dodson, Craig D

    2010-10-01

    Plants use a diverse mix of defenses against herbivores, including multiple secondary metabolites, which often affect herbivores synergistically. Chemical defenses also can affect natural enemies of herbivores via limiting herbivore populations or by affecting herbivore resistance to parasitoids. In this study, we performed feeding experiments to examine the synergistic effects of imides and amides (hereafter "amides") from Piper cenocladum and P. imperiale on specialist (Eois nympha, Geometridae) and generalist (Spodoptera frugiperda, Noctuidae) lepidopteran larvae. Each Piper species has three unique amides, and in each experiment, larvae were fed diets containing different concentrations of single amides or combinations of the three. The amides from P. imperiale had negative synergistic effects on generalist survival and specialist pupal mass, but had no effect on specialist survival. Piper cenocladum amides also acted synergistically to increase mortality caused by parasitoids, and the direct negative effects of mixtures on parasitoid resistance and pupal mass were stronger than indirect effects via changes in growth rate and approximate digestibility. Our results are consistent with plant defense theory that predicts different effects of plant chemistry on generalist versus adapted specialist herbivores. The toxicity of Piper amide mixtures to generalist herbivores are standard bottom-up effects, while specialists experienced the top-down mediated effect of mixtures causing reduced parasitoid resistance and associated decreases in pupal mass.

  12. 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.

  13. Protection against herbivores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howe, Gregg A; Chen, Hui

    2014-10-28

    The present invention relates to genes, proteins and methods comprising molecules that alter amino acid levels. In one embodiment, the present invention relates to altering guanidino substrate hydrolysis activities in plants, arthropods and microorganisms using molecules within the arginase family and other molecules that alter an amino acid levels. In ones embodiment, the present invention relates to altering threonine substrate deamination and dehydration activities in plants, arthropods and microorganisms using molecules within the threonine deaminase family and other molecules that alter amino acid levels. In one embodiment, the present invention relates to using genes, proteins and methods comprising arginase or threonine deaminase for altering the pathophysiology of plants, arthropods and microorganisms. In a preferred embodiment, the present invention relates to altering guanidino substrate hydrolysis activity in plants, arthropods, and microorganisms using arginase. In another preferred embodiment, the invention relates to altering threonine substrated deamination and dehydration activity in plants, arthropods, and microorganisms using threonine deaminase. In some embodiments, the invention related to overexpression and increased activity of arginase, threonine deaminase and a proteinase inhibitor.

  14. Protection via parasitism: Datura odors attract parasitoid flies, which inhibit Manduca larvae from feeding and growing but may not help plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, J K; Woods, H A

    2015-12-01

    Insect carnivores frequently use olfactory cues from plants to find prey or hosts. For plants, the benefits of attracting parasitoids have been controversial, partly because parasitoids often do not kill their host insect immediately. Furthermore, most research has focused on the effects of solitary parasitoids on growth and feeding of hosts, even though many parasitoids are gregarious (multiple siblings inhabit the same host). Here, we examine how a gregarious parasitoid, the tachinid fly Drino rhoeo, uses olfactory cues from the host plant Datura wrightii to find the sphingid herbivore Manduca sexta, and how parasitism affects growth and feeding of host larvae. In behavioral trials using a Y-olfactometer, female flies were attracted to olfactory cues emitted by attacked plants and by cues emitted from the frass produced by larval Manduca sexta. M. sexta caterpillars that were parasitized by D. rhoeo grew to lower maximum weights, grew more slowly, and ate less of their host plant. We also present an analytical model to predict how tri-trophic interactions change with varying herbivory levels, parasitization rates and plant sizes. This model predicted that smaller plants gain a relatively greater benefit compared to large plants in attracting D. rhoeo. By assessing the behavior, the effects of host performance, and the variation in ecological parameters of the system, we can better understand the complex interactions between herbivorous insects, the plants they live on and the third trophic level members that attack them.

  15. Surveillance and control of anthrax and rabies in wild herbivores and carnivores in Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, H H

    1993-03-01

    Anthrax has been studied intensively in Etosha National Park, Namibia since 1966; in addition, since 1975, mortality due to rabies and all other causes has been recorded, totalling 6,190 deaths. Standard diagnostic procedures demonstrated that at least 811 deaths (13%) were due to anthrax and 115 deaths (2%) were caused by rabies. Of the total number of deaths due to anthrax, 97% occurred in zebra (Equus burchelli), elephant (Loxodonta africana), wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) while 96% of rabies deaths occurred in kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), jackal (Canis mesomelas), bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) and lion (Panthera leo). Anthrax deaths were highest in the rainy season for zebra, wildebeest and springbok, while elephant mortality peaked during dry seasons. No statistical relationship existed between seasonal rainfall and overall incidence of either anthrax or rabies. Control of anthrax is limited to prophylactic inoculation when rare or endangered species are threatened. Incineration of anthrax carcasses and chemical disinfection of drinking water are not feasible at Etosha. Rabies control consists of the destruction of rabid animals and incineration of their carcasses when possible.

  16. Fast carnivores and slow herbivores: differential foraging strategies among grizzly bears in the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Mark A; Derocher, Andrew E; Hobson, Keith A; Branigan, Marsha; Nagy, John A

    2011-04-01

    Categorizing animal populations by diet can mask important intrapopulation variation, which is crucial to understanding a species' trophic niche width. To test hypotheses related to intrapopulation variation in foraging or the presence of diet specialization, we conducted stable isotope analysis (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) on hair and claw samples from 51 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) collected from 2003 to 2006 in the Mackenzie Delta region of the Canadian Arctic. We examined within-population differences in the foraging patterns of males and females and the relationship between trophic position (derived from δ(15)N measurements) and individual movement. The range of δ(15)N values in hair and claw (2.0-11.0‰) suggested a wide niche width and cluster analyses indicated the presence of three foraging groups within the population, ranging from near-complete herbivory to near-complete carnivory. We found no linear relationship between home range size and trophic position when the data were continuous or when grouped by foraging behavior. However, the movement rate of females increased linearly with trophic position. We used multisource dual-isotope mixing models to determine the relative contributions of seven prey sources within each foraging group for both males and females. The mean bear dietary endpoint across all foraging groups for each sex fell toward the center of the mixing polygon, which suggested relatively well-mixed diets. The primary dietary difference across foraging groups was the proportional contribution of herbaceous foods, which decreased for both males and females from 42-76 to 0-27% and 62-81 to 0-44%, respectively. Grizzlies of the Mackenzie Delta live in extremely harsh conditions and identifying within-population diet specialization has improved our understanding of varying habitat requirements within the population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Ecosystem Responses To Plant Phenology Across Scales And Trophic Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoner, D.; Sexton, J. O.; Nagol, J. R.; Ironside, K.; Choate, D.; Longshore, K.; Edwards, T., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Plant phenology in arid and semi-arid ecoregions is constrained by water availability and governs the life history characteristics of primary and secondary consumers. We related the behavior, demography, and distribution of mammalian herbivores and their principal predator to remotely sensed vegetation and climatological indices across the western United States for the period 2000-2014. Across scales, terrain and topographic position moderates the effects of climatological drought on primary productivity, resulting in differential susceptibility among plant functional types to water stress. At broad scales, herbivores tie parturition to moist sites during the period of maximum increase in local forage production. Consequently, juvenile mortality is highest in regions of extreme phenological variability. Although decoupled from primary production by one or more trophic levels, carnivore home range size and density is negatively correlated to plant productivity and growing season length. At the finest scales, predation influences the behavior of herbivore prey through compromised habitat selection, in which maternal females trade nutritional benefits of high plant biomass for reduced mortality risk associated with increased visibility. Climate projections for the western United States predict warming combined with shifts in the timing and form of precipitation. Our analyses suggest that these changes will propagate through trophic levels as increased phenological variability and shifts in plant distributions, larger consumer home ranges, altered migration behavior, and generally higher volatility in wildlife populations. Combined with expansion and intensification of human land use across the region, these changes will likely have economic implications stemming from increased human-wildlife conflict (e.g., crop damage, vehicle collisions) and changes in wildlife-related tourism.

  19. Chemical defences against herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pavia, Henrik; Baumgartner, Finn; Cervin, Gunnar;

    2012-01-01

    of these theories, concluding with new chemical approaches to tackle the questions and suggestions for future research directions. It explains that aquatic primary producers are a taxonomically and functionally diverse group of organisms that includes macroalgae, microalgae, and vascular plants. It also states...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Gonthier

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

  1. Sequential effects of root and foliar herbivory on aboveground and belowground induced plant defense responses and insect performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, M.; Biere, A.; Putten, van der W.H.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2014-01-01

    Plants are often simultaneously or sequentially attacked by multiple herbivores and changes in host plants induced by one herbivore can influence the performance of other herbivores. We examined how sequential feeding on the plant Plantago lanceolata by the aboveground herbivore Spodoptera exigua an

  2. Herbivore defense responses and associated herbivore defense mechanism as revealed by comparing a resistant wild soybean with a susceptible cultivar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoyi Wang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Plants have evolved sophisticated defense mechanisms against herbivores to help them adapt to the environment. Understanding the defense mechanisms in plants can help us control insects in a more effective manner. In this study, we found that compared with Tianlong 2 (a cultivated soybean with insect susceptibility, ED059 (a wild soybean line with insect resistance contains sharper pubescence tips, as well as lower transcript levels of wound-induced protein kinase (WIPK and salicylic acid-induced protein kinase (SIPK, which are important mitogen-activated protein kinases involved in early defense response to herbivores. The observed lower transcript levels of WIPK and SIPK induced higher levels of jasmonic acid (JA, JA biosynthesis enzymes (AOC3 and some secondary metabolites in ED059. Functional analysis of the KTI1 gene via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in Arabidopsis thaliana indicated that it plays an important role in herbivore defense in ED059. We further investigated the molecular response of third-instar Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner larvae to Tianlong 2 and ED059. We found apoptotic cells only in the midguts of larvae that fed on ED059. Compared with larvae reared on the susceptible cultivar Tianlong 2, transcript levels of catalase (CAT and glutathione S-transferase (GST were up-regulated, whereas those of CAR, CHSB, and TRY were down-regulated in larvae that fed on the highly resistant variety ED059. We propose that these differences underlie the different herbivore defense responses of ED059 and Tianlong 2.

  3. Experimental evidence shows no fractionation of strontium isotopes ((87)Sr/(86)Sr) among soil, plants, and herbivores: implications for tracking wildlife and forensic science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flockhart, D T Tyler; Kyser, T Kurt; Chipley, Don; Miller, Nathan G; Norris, D Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Strontium isotopes ((87)Sr/(86)Sr) can be useful biological markers for a wide range of forensic science applications, including wildlife tracking. However, one of the main advantages of using (87)Sr/(86)Sr values, that there is no fractionation from geological bedrock sources through the food web, also happens to be a critical assumption that has never been tested experimentally. We test this a