Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 536980
Title Elucidating the interaction between light competition and herbivore feeding patterns using functional-structural plant modelling
Author(s) Vries, Jorad De; Poelman, Erik H.; Anten, Niels; Evers, Jochem B.
Source Annals of Botany 121 (2018)5. - ISSN 0305-7364 - p. 1019 - 1031.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcx212
Department(s) Laboratory of Entomology
EPS
Crop and Weed Ecology
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Brassica - competition - functional-structural plant modelling - growth-defence trade-off - herbivore specialization - herbivory - nigra - plant-herbivore interactions - red far-red ratio
Abstract Background and Aims Plants usually compete with neighbouring plants for resources such as light as well as defend themselves against herbivorous insects. This requires investment of limiting resources, resulting in optimal resource distribution patterns and trade-offs between growth- and defence-related traits. A plant's competitive success is determined by the spatial distribution of its resources in the canopy. The spatial distribution of herbivory in the canopy in turn differs between herbivore species as the level of herbivore specialization determines their response to the distribution of resources and defences in the canopy. Here, we investigated to what extent competition for light affects plant susceptibility to herbivores with different feeding preferences. Methods To quantify interactions between herbivory and competition, we developed and evaluated a 3-D spatially explicit functional-structural plant model for Brassica nigra that mechanistically simulates competition in a dynamic light environment, and also explicitly models leaf area removal by herbivores with different feeding preferences. With this novel approach, we can quantitatively explore the extent to which herbivore feeding location and light competition interact in their effect on plant performance. Key Results Our results indicate that there is indeed a strong interaction between levels of plant-plant competition and herbivore feeding preference. When plants did not compete, herbivory had relatively small effects irrespective of feeding preference. Conversely, when plants competed, herbivores with a preference for young leaves had a strong negative effect on the competitiveness and subsequent performance of the plant, whereas herbivores with a preference for old leaves did not. Conclusions Our study predicts how plant susceptibility to herbivory depends on the composition of the herbivore community and the level of plant competition, and highlights the importance of considering the full range of dynamics in plant-plant-herbivore interactions.
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