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The role of plant resistance and tolerance to herbivory in mediating the effects of introduced herbivores


Bailey, JK and Schweitzer, JA, The role of plant resistance and tolerance to herbivory in mediating the effects of introduced herbivores, Biological Invasions, 12, (2) pp. 337-351. ISSN 1387-3547 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10530-009-9630-1


While the generally negative consequences of introduced species are well known, little is appreciated on the role of the evolutionary history of plants with herbivores in mediating the indirect impacts of herbivory. We examined how variation in plant resistance and tolerance traits can mediate the effects of herbivory and can have differential indirect impacts on other species and processes. We used two examples of a native and an introduced herbivore, Castor canadensis (American beaver) and Cervus elaphus (Rocky Mountain elk) with Populus spp. to test a conceptual model regarding possible outcomes of species interactions with native and exotic mammalian herbivores. Using these two herbivore test cases, we make two predictions to create testable hypotheses across systems and taxa: First, adaptive traits of tolerance or resistance to herbivory will be fewer when exotic species feed on plant species with which they have no evolutionary history. Second, historical constraints of species interactions will allow for negative feedbacks to stabilize the effects of herbivory by a native species. Overall, these two case studies illustrate that plant resistance and tolerance traits can mediate the indirect consequences of herbivory on associated interacting species. Specifically, when there is no evolutionary history between the plants and herbivores, which is often the case with species introductions, the effects of herbivory are more likely to reduce genetic variation and habitat mosaics, thus indirectly affecting associated species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Beaver, Elk, Genes to ecosystems, Introduced herbivores, Populus, Resistance traits,Tolerance traits
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Biosecurity science and invasive species ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems
UTAS Author:Bailey, JK (Associate Professor Joe Bailey)
UTAS Author:Schweitzer, JA (Dr Jen Schweitzer)
ID Code:67473
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2011-03-04
Last Modified:2011-05-13

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