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Research article2003Peer reviewed

Adult beetle grazing induces willow trichome defence against subsequent larval feeding

Dalin P, Bjorkman C


Induced increases in trichome density to grazing by herbivores have been suggested to increase plant resistance to future herbivore attack. In this paper we present results which show that plants of Salix cinerea L. respond to adult leaf beetle (Phratora vulgatissima L.) grazing by developing new leaves with an increased trichome density. The same plants are usually attacked again later in the season when the next 'generation of larvae hatches on the plants. The effect of the induced response was studied by comparing larval growth and feeding on newly developed leaves of plants exposed to different defoliation treatments. Larvae on plants previously exposed to adult grazing consumed less total leaf area and showed more dispersed feeding than larvae on plants protected from previous grazing. Larvae on plants exposed to mechanical defoliation responded intermediately. These results corresponded to the increased trichome density of defoliated plants. However, we found this larval response only in whole plant tests - when reared on single, excised leaves in petri dishes, larvae in all treatments behaved similarly. This discrepancy between the on-plant experiment and that in petri dishes highlights how experimental design may alter the conclusion of a study. We suggest that the induced response to adult grazing may act as a defence against subsequent larval feeding

Published in

2003, Volume: 134, number: 1, pages: 112-118

      SLU Authors

      • Dalin, Peter

        • Department of Entomology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Renewable Bioenergy Research

      Publication identifier


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