Invasive and non-invasive congeneric centaurea (Asteraceae) show contrasting patterns of herbivory by snails

Filipe, João C., Jorge, Andreia, Eren, Özkan, Sotes, Gastón, Hierro, José, and Montesinos, Daniel (2016) Invasive and non-invasive congeneric centaurea (Asteraceae) show contrasting patterns of herbivory by snails. Plant Ecology and Evolution, 149 (2). pp. 228-232.

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Background and aims – Once introduced into new regions, exotic species often experience shifts in resource allocation in response to the different environmental conditions found in the introduction range. Plants naturally respond to specialist herbivores with quantitative defences, by producing large amounts of toxic and non-toxic compounds that typically difficult digestion (e.g. tannins, cellulose), and to generalist herbivores with qualitative defences, like specialized noxious chemicals (e.g. alkaloids). The Shifting Defence Hypothesis (SDH) poses that invasive plants decrease the production of defences against specialist herbivores in their introduction range, where specialist herbivores are usually absent, while boosting the production of defences against generalist herbivores.

Methods – We empirically assessed the response of a generalist herbivore, the common garden snail (Helix aspersa), to feeding with leaves of the annual herb Centaurea sulphurea, native to Europe and naturalized in North America; and the congeneric species C. solstitialis, which is also native to Europe and invasive in the Americas.

Key results – Snails fed with leaves from Spanish native populations the non-invasive C. sulphurea grew significantly less compared to snails fed with leaves from non-native California. For snails fed with the invasive C. solstitialis significant differences were also found among regions, but the response was more complex, depending on population, with snails fed with Turkish and Australian plants presenting higher growth rates than the rest of the regions.

Conclusions – Overall, our results stressed the importance of colonization history in shaping adaptive responses, and the stochasticity associated with colonization events of two closely related species, with contrasting invasive success and responses to herbivory.

Item ID: 75112
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2032-3921
Keywords: Centaurea, Chemical defences, Herbivory, Invasive species
Copyright Information: © 2016 Botanic Garden Meise and Royal Botanical Society of Belgium
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2022 23:25
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310302 Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology) @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410202 Biosecurity science and invasive species ecology @ 60%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410203 Ecosystem function @ 10%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180602 Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments @ 100%
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