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Trichome production does not influence tolerance to simulated leaf and inflorescence damage in the perennial herb Arabidopsis lyrata
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Keyword [en]
trade-offs, plant defenses, fitness costs, defoliation, florivory, herbivores
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Ecological Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-183428OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-183428DiVA: diva2:564530
Available from: 2012-11-01 Created: 2012-10-25 Last updated: 2013-02-11
In thesis
1. Plant-Herbivore Interactions and Evolutionary Potential of Natural Arabidopsis lyrata Populations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plant-Herbivore Interactions and Evolutionary Potential of Natural Arabidopsis lyrata Populations
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I combined field, greenhouse and common-garden experiments to examine the ecological and evolutionary consequences of plant-herbivore interactions and the genetic architecture of fitness-related traits in the insect-pollinated, self-incompatible, perennial herb Arabidopsis lyrata. More specifically, I examined (1) whether damage to leaves and inflorescences affects plant fitness non-additively, (2) whether trichome production is associated with a cost in terms of reduced tolerance to leaf and inflorescence damage, (3) whether young plant resistance to a specialist insect herbivore varies among populations, and (4) whether the evolution of flowering time, floral display and rosette size is constrained by lack of genetic variation or by genetic correlations among traits.

A two-year field experiment in a Swedish population showed that damage to rosette leaves and to inflorescences can affect both current and future plant performance of A. lyrata, and that effects on some fitness components are non-additive. A two-year field experiment in another Swedish population indicated that trichome-producing plants are not less tolerant than glabrous plants to leaf and inflorescence damage. In a greenhouse experiment, acceptability of young plants (5-6 weeks old) to ovipositing females and damage received by Plutella xylostella larvae varied considerably among twelve A. lyrata populations. Both oviposition and leaf damage were positively correlated with rosette size, but trichome density in the trichome-producing morph was apparently too low at this developmental stage to influence resistance to P. xylostella. In a common-garden experiment, flowering time, floral display and rosette size varied among four Scandinavian A. lyrata populations, and displayed significant additive genetic variation in some populations. Yet, strong genetic correlations between flowering start and number of flowers, and between petal length and petal width suggest that these traits may not evolve independently.

Taken together, the results indicate the need to consider possible long-term and non-additive effects of herbivore damage to different plant parts, that there is no trade-off between trichome production and tolerance to herbivory, that the importance of morphological defenses against herbivory may change through plant ontogeny, and that considerable genetic variation for traits such as flowering time and floral display can be maintained in natural plant populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 47 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 996
Keyword
plant defenses, leaf herbivory, floral herbivory, ontogeny, G-matrix, trade-offs
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Ecological Botany; Biology with specialization in Evolutionary Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-183433 (URN)978-91-554-8535-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-15, Lindahlsalen, Norbyvägen 18A, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-23 Created: 2012-10-25 Last updated: 2013-02-11Bibliographically approved

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