Priorities for research in soil ecology
Eisenhauer, Nico ; Antunes, Pedro M. ; Bennett, Alison E. ; Birkhofer, Klaus ; Bissett, Andrew ; Bowker, Matthew A. ; Caruso, Tancredi ; Chen, Baodong ; Coleman, David C. ; Boer, Wietse de; Ruiter, Peter de; DeLuca, Thomas H. ; Frati, Francesco ; Griffiths, Bryan S. ; Hart, Miranda M. ; Hättenschwiler, Stephan ; Haimi, Jari ; Heethoff, Michael ; Kaneko, Nobuhiro ; Kelly, Laura C. ; Leinaas, Hans Petter ; Lindo, Zoë ; Macdonald, Catriona ; Rillig, Matthias C. ; Ruess, Liliane ; Scheu, Stefan ; Schmidt, Olaf ; Seastedt, Timothy R. ; Straalen, Nico M. van; Tiunov, Alexei V. ; Zimmer, Martin ; Powell, Jeff R. - \ 2017
Pedobiologia 63 (2017). - ISSN 0031-4056 - p. 1 - 7.
Aboveground-belowground interactions - Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning - Biogeography - Chemical ecology - Climate change - Ecosystem services - Global change - Microbial ecology - Novel environments - Plant-microbe interactions - Soil biodiversity - Soil food web - Soil management - Soil processes
The ecological interactions that occur in and with soil are of consequence in many ecosystems on the planet. These interactions provide numerous essential ecosystem services, and the sustainable management of soils has attracted increasing scientific and public attention. Although soil ecology emerged as an independent field of research many decades ago, and we have gained important insights into the functioning of soils, there still are fundamental aspects that need to be better understood to ensure that the ecosystem services that soils provide are not lost and that soils can be used in a sustainable way. In this perspectives paper, we highlight some of the major knowledge gaps that should be prioritized in soil ecological research. These research priorities were compiled based on an online survey of 32 editors of Pedobiologia – Journal of Soil Ecology. These editors work at universities and research centers in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. The questions were categorized into four themes: (1) soil biodiversity and biogeography, (2) interactions and the functioning of ecosystems, (3) global change and soil management, and (4) new directions. The respondents identified priorities that may be achievable in the near future, as well as several that are currently achievable but remain open. While some of the identified barriers to progress were technological in nature, many respondents cited a need for substantial leadership and goodwill among members of the soil ecology research community, including the need for multi-institutional partnerships, and had substantial concerns regarding the loss of taxonomic expertise.
Foraging behaviour of an egg parasitoid exploiting plant volatiles induced by pentatomids : The role of adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces
Frati, Francesca ; Cusumano, Antonino ; Conti, Eric ; Colazza, Stefano ; Peri, Ezio ; Guarino, Salvatore ; Martorana, Letizia ; Romani, Roberto ; Salerno, Gianandrea - \ 2017
PeerJ 2017 (2017)5. - ISSN 2167-8359 - 17 p.
Chemical ecology - Leaf surface - Nezara viridula - Oviposition - Trissolcus basalis - Walking activity - 017-4020
Several phases of herbivorous insect attack including feeding and oviposition are known to induce plant defenses. Plants emit volatiles induced by herbivores to recruit insect parasitoids as an indirect defense strategy. So far, volatiles induced by herbivore walking and their putative role in the foraging behavior of egg parasitoids have not been investigated. In this paper we studied the response of the egg parasitoid Trissolcus basalis toward volatiles emitted by Vicia faba plants as consequence of the walking activity of the host Nezara viridula. Olfactometer bioassays were carried out to evaluate wasp responses to plants in which the abaxial or the adaxial surfaces were subjected to walking or/and oviposition. Results showed that host female walking on the abaxial but not on the adaxial surface caused a repellence effect in T. basalis 24 h after plant treatment. The emission of active volatiles also occurred when the leaf was turned upside-down, indicating a specificity of stress localization. This specificity was supported by the results, which showed that oviposition combined with feeding elicit the induction of plant volatiles, attracting the parasitoid, when the attack occurred on the abaxial surface. Analyses of plant volatile blends showed significant differences between the treatments.
The response of an egg parasitoid to substrate-borne semiochemicals is affected by previous experience
Peri, Ezio ; Salerno, Gianandrea ; Slimani, Takoua ; Frati, Francesca ; Conti, Eric ; Colazza, Stefano ; Cusumano, Antonino - \ 2016
Scientific Reports 6 (2016). - ISSN 2045-2322 - 8 p.
Animals can adjust their behaviour according to previous experience gained during foraging. In parasitoids, experience plays a key role in host location, a hierarchical process in which air-borne and substrate-borne semiochemicals are used to find hosts. In nature, chemical traces deposited by herbivore hosts when walking on the plant are adsorbed by leaf surfaces and perceived as substrate-borne semiochemicals by parasitoids. Chemical traces left on cabbage leaves by adults of the harlequin bug (Murgantia histrionica) induce an innate arrestment response in the egg parasitoid Trissolcus brochymenae characterized by an intense searching behaviour on host-contaminated areas. Here we investigated whether the T. brochymenae response to host walking traces left on leaf surfaces is affected by previous experience in the context of parasitoid foraging behaviour. We found that: 1) an unrewarded experience (successive encounters with host-contaminated areas without successful oviposition) decreased the intensity of the parasitoid response; 2) a rewarded experience (successful oviposition) acted as a reinforcing stimulus; 3) the elapsed time between two consecutive unrewarded events affected the parasitoid response in a host-gender specific manner. The ecological role of these results to the host location process of egg parasitoids is discussed.