Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2024

A Trip Back Home: Resistance to Herbivores of Native and Non-Native Plant Populations of Datura stramonium

Nunez-Farfan, Juan; Velazquez-Marquez, Sabina; Torres-Garcia, Jesus R.; De-la-Cruz, Ivan M.; Arroyo, Juan; Valverde, Pedro L.; Flores-Ortiz, Cesar M.; Hernandez-Portilla, Luis B.; Lopez-Cobos, Diana E.; Matias, Javier D.; Traw, Brian

Abstract

When colonizing new ranges, plant populations may benefit from the absence of the checks imposed by the enemies, herbivores, and pathogens that regulated their numbers in their original range. Therefore, rates of plant damage or infestation by natural enemies are expected to be lower in the new range. Exposing both non-native and native plant populations in the native range, where native herbivores are present, can be used to test whether resistance mechanisms have diverged between populations. Datura stramonium is native to the Americas but widely distributed in Spain, where populations show lower herbivore damage than populations in the native range. We established experiments in two localities in the native range (Mexico), exposing two native and two non-native D. stramonium populations to natural herbivores. Plant performance differed between the localities, as did the abundance of the main specialist herbivore, Lema daturaphila. In Teotihuacan, where L. daturaphila is common, native plants had significantly more adult beetles and herbivore damage than non-native plants. The degree of infestation by the specialist seed predator Trichobaris soror differed among populations and between sites, but the native Ticuman population always had the lowest level of infestation. The Ticuman population also had the highest concentration of the alkaloid scopolamine. Scopolamine was negatively related to the number of eggs deposited by L. daturaphila in Teotihuacan. There was among-family variation in herbivore damage (resistance), alkaloid content (scopolamine), and infestation by L. daturaphila and T. soror, indicating genetic variation and potential for further evolution. Although native and non-native D. stramonium populations have not yet diverged in plant resistance/constitutive defense, the differences between ranges (and the two experimental sites) in the type and abundance of herbivores suggest that further research is needed on the role of resource availability and adaptive plasticity, specialized metabolites (induced, constitutive), and the relationship between genealogical origin and plant defense in both ranges.

Keywords

Datura stramonium; native and non-native populations; invasive species; tobacco flea beetle; datura striped beetle; tobacco weevil; enemy release hypothesis; increased competitive ability; tropane alkaloids; jimsonweed; toloache

Published in

Plants
2024, Volume: 13, number: 1, article number: 131
Publisher: MDPI

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Botany

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13010131

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/128173