JOURNAL ARTICLE

Plant defense and density dependence in the population growth of herbivores

Anurag A Agrawal
American Naturalist 2004, 164 (1): 113-20
15266375
Long-standing theory has predicted that plant defensive and nutritional traits contribute to the population dynamics of insect herbivores. To examine the role of plant variation in density dependence, I took a comparative approach by conducting density manipulation experiments with the specialist aphid, Aphis nerii, on 18 species of milkweed (Asclepias spp.). The strength of density dependence varied on the plant species. Variation in plant secondary compounds (cardenolides), trichomes, leaf carbon and nitrogen concentrations, and seed mass of the milkweed species predicted the R(max) of aphid populations, while specific leaf weight, carbon concentration, latex, water content, and trichome density were significant predictors of the strength of density dependence. Thus, plant traits that probably evolved for primary and defensive functions contribute to the ecological dynamics of herbivore populations.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
15266375
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"