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Do multiple herbivores maintain chemical diversity of Scots pine monoterpenes?


Iason, GR and O'Reilly-Wapstra, JM and Brewer, MJ and Summers, RW and Moore, BD, Do multiple herbivores maintain chemical diversity of Scots pine monoterpenes?, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 366, (1569) pp. 1337-1345. ISSN 0962-8436 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 The Royal Society

DOI: doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0236


A central issue in our understanding of the evolution of the diversity of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) is whether or not compounds are functional, conferring an advantage to the plant, or nonfunctional. We examine the hypothesis that the diversity of monoterpene PSMs within a plant species (Scots pine Pinus sylvestris) may be explained by different compounds acting as defences against high-impact herbivores operating at different life stages. We also hypothesize that pairwise coevolution, with uncorrelated interactions, is more likely to result in greater PSM diversity, than diffuse coevolution. We tested whether up to 13 different monoterpenes in Scots pine were inhibitory to herbivory by slugs (Arion ater), bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), each of which attack trees at a different life stage. Plants containing more a-pinene were avoided by both slugs and capercaillie, which may act as reinforcing selective agents for this dominant defensive compound. Herbivory by red deer and capercaillie were, respectively, weakly negatively associated with d3-carene, and strongly negatively correlated with the minor compound b-ocimene. Three of the four herbivores are probably contributory selective agents on some of the terpenes, and thus maintain some, but by no means all, of the phytochemical diversity in the species. The correlated defensive function of a-pinene against slugs and capercaillie is consistent with diffuse coevolutionary processes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:coevolution; diversity; plant secondary metabolites; selection
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:O'Reilly-Wapstra, JM (Associate Professor Julianne O'Reilly-Wapstra)
ID Code:76652
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2012-03-09
Last Modified:2012-08-10

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