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Above- and belowground herbivory jointly impact defense and seed dispersal traits in Taraxacum officinale

Authorsde la Pe?a, E.; Bonte, D.
Issue Date2014
CitationEcology and Evolution 4: 3309- 3319 (2014)
AbstractPlants are able to cope with herbivores by inducing defensive traits or growth responses that allow them to reduce or avoid the impact of herbivores. Since above- and belowground herbivores differ substantially in life-history traits, for example feeding types, and their spatial distribution, it is likely that they induce different responses in plants. Moreover, strong interactive effects on defense and plant growth are expected when above- and belowground herbivores are jointly present. The strengths and directions of these responses have been scarcely addressed in the literature. Using Taraxacum officinale, the root-feeding nematode Meloidogyne hapla and the locust Schistocerca gregaria as a model species, we examined to what degree above- and belowground herbivory affect (1) plant growth responses, (2) the induction of plant defensive traits, that is, leaf trichomes, and (3) changes in dispersal-related seed traits and seed germination. We compared the performance of plants originating from different populations to address whether plant responses are conserved across putative different genotypes. Overall, aboveground herbivory resulted in increased plant biomass. Root herbivory had no effect on plant growth. Plants exposed to the two herbivores showed fewer leaf trichomes than plants challenged only by one herbivore and consequently experienced greater aboveground herbivory. In addition, herbivory had effects that reached beyond the individual plant by modifying seed morphology, producing seeds with longer pappus, and germination success. ? 2014 The Authors.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1172
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/ece3.1172
issn:: 2045-7758
Appears in Collections:(IHSM) Artículos
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