Induced responses to grazing by an insect herbivore (Acentria ephemerella) in an immature macrophyte (Myriophyllum spicatum) : an isotopic study

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2015
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Ecology and Evolution. 2015, 5(17), pp. 3657-3665. eISSN 2045-7758. Available under: doi: 10.1002/ece3.1624
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While the mechanisms by which adult terrestrial plants deploy constitutive and induced responses to grazing pressure are well known, the means by which young aquatic plants defend themselves from herbivory are little studied. This study addresses nitrogen transport in the aquatic angiosperm Myriophyllum spicatum in response to herbivore exposure. Nitrogen tracers were used to monitor nitrogen uptake and reallocation in young plants in response to grazing by the generalist insect herbivore Acentria ephemerella. Total nitrogen content (N%) and patterns of nitrogen uptake and allocation (δ15N) were assessed in various plant tissues after 24 and 48 h. Following 24 h exposure to herbivore damage (Experiment 1), nitrogen content of plant apices was significantly elevated. This rapid early reaction may be an adaptation allowing the grazer to be sated as fast as possible, or indicate the accumulation of nitrogenous defense chemicals. After 48 h (Experiment 2), plants' tips showed depletion in nitrogen levels of ca. 60‰ in stem sections vulnerable to grazing. In addition, nitrogen uptake by grazed and grazing-prone upper plant parts was reduced and nutrient allocation into the relatively secure lower parts increased. The results point to three conclusions: (1) exposure to an insect herbivore induces a similar response in immature M. spicatum as previously observed in mature terrestrial species, namely a rapid (within 48 h) reduction in the nutritional value (N%) of vulnerable tissues, (2) high grazing intensity (100% of growing tips affected) did not limit the ability of young plants to induce resistance; and (3) young plants exposed to herbivory exhibit different patterns of nutrient allocation in vulnerable and secure tissues. These results provide evidence of induced defense and resource reallocation in immature aquatic macrophytes which is in line with the responses shown for mature aquatic macrophytes and terrestrial plants.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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Acentria, freshwater macrophytes, herbivory, Myriophyllum, nitrogen sectoriality, nutrient reallocation, stable isotope
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ISO 690ROTHHAUPT, Karl-Otto, Felix FORNOFF, Elizabeth YOHANNES, 2015. Induced responses to grazing by an insect herbivore (Acentria ephemerella) in an immature macrophyte (Myriophyllum spicatum) : an isotopic study. In: Ecology and Evolution. 2015, 5(17), pp. 3657-3665. eISSN 2045-7758. Available under: doi: 10.1002/ece3.1624
BibTex
@article{Rothhaupt2015Induc-32037,
  year={2015},
  doi={10.1002/ece3.1624},
  title={Induced responses to grazing by an insect herbivore (Acentria ephemerella) in an immature macrophyte (Myriophyllum spicatum) : an isotopic study},
  number={17},
  volume={5},
  journal={Ecology and Evolution},
  pages={3657--3665},
  author={Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto and Fornoff, Felix and Yohannes, Elizabeth}
}
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