Adapted dandelions trade dispersal for germination upon root herbivore attack

Bont, Zoe; Pfander, Marc; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Huber, Meret; Poelman, Erik H.; Raaijmakers, Ciska E.; Erb, Matthias (2020). Adapted dandelions trade dispersal for germination upon root herbivore attack. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological sciences, 287(1921), p. 20192930. The Royal Society 10.1098/rspb.2019.2930

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A plant's offspring may escape unfavourable local conditions through seed dispersal. Whether plants use this strategy to escape insect herbivores is not well understood. Here, we explore how different dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) populations, including diploid outcrossers and triploid apomicts, modify seed dispersal in response to root herbivore attack by their main root-feeding natural enemy, the larvae of the common cockchafer Melolontha melolontha. In a manipulative field experiment, root herbivore attack increased seed dispersal potential through a reduction in seed weight in populations that evolved under high root herbivore pressure, but not in populations that evolved under low pressure. This increase in dispersal potential was independent of plant cytotype, but associated with a reduction in germination rate, suggesting that adapted dandelions trade dispersal for establishment upon attack by root herbivores. Analysis of vegetative growth parameters suggested that the increased dispersal capacity was not the result of stress flowering. In summary, these results suggest that root herbivory selects for an induced increase in dispersal ability in response to herbivore attack. Induced seed dispersal may be a strategy that allows adapted plants to escape from herbivores.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Bont, Zoe Kalina; Pfander, Marc; Robert, Christelle Aurélie Maud and Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1471-2954

Publisher:

The Royal Society

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

15 Nov 2021 13:34

Last Modified:

21 Nov 2021 01:47

Publisher DOI:

10.1098/rspb.2019.2930

PubMed ID:

32097589

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/160597

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/160597

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