Trichome production does not influence tolerance to simulated leaf and inflorescence damage in the perennial herb Arabidopsis lyrata
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The evolution of plant defenses against herbivory depends on the costs and benefits of traits that deter herbivores (resistance) and traits that maintain fitness after damage (tolerance). In Arabidopsis lyrata, the production of trichomes is associated with a fitness cost in the absence of herbivores. We conducted a field experiment over two years to examine whether trichome production is also associated with reduced tolerance to simulated leaf (0 and 50% of leaf area removed) and inflorescence damage (0 and 50% of inflorescences removed). Trichome-producing plants were not less tolerant than glabrous plants to simulated herbivore damage (no significant morph × leaf or inflorescence damage interaction). Inflorescence and leaf damage had independent negative effects on the reproductive output and growth of damaged plants. Leaf damage reduced rosette size the year of damage, but effects on reproductive output in the year of damage, and on survival and reproductive performance the following year were weak and not statistically significant. Inflorescence damage significantly reduced the number of flowers, fruits and seeds the year of damage, but did not affect plant size, flower or fruit production the year after damage. The effect on seed production was proportional to the damage inflicted, but, because inflorescence damage stimulated the production of new inflorescences, the numbers of flowers and fruits decreased by less than 50%. Thus, irrespective of morph, the study population was more tolerant to leaf than to inflorescence damage. The results suggest that trichome production and tolerance to herbivore damage can evolve independently in A. lyrata.
trade-offs, plant defenses, fitness costs, defoliation, florivory, herbivores
Research subject Biology with specialization in Ecological Botany
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-183428OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-183428DiVA: diva2:564530