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Specificity and trade-offs in the induced plant defence of common milkweed Asclepias syriaca to
 

Summary: Specificity and trade-offs in the induced plant
defence of common milkweed Asclepias syriaca to
two lepidopteran herbivores
Robin A. Bingham1
* and Anurag A. Agrawal2,3
1
Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Western State College of Colorado, Gunnison, CO 81231, USA;
2
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; and 3
Department of
Entomology, and Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Summary
1. We studied induced defences in common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) to two specialist caterpil-
lars (Danaus plexippus and Euchaetes egle) to test several hypotheses about co-evolution and
defence allocation.
2. Latex, a potent defence of milkweed, showed nearly fivefold variation in the amount exuded
among genetic families and more than doubled production in response to herbivory by D. plexippus;
this induced latex response was fourfold stronger than the latex response to E. egle herbivory. In
contrast, D. plexippus and E. egle equivalently induced foliar cardenolide concentration (an average
increase of 26%).

  

Source: Agrawal, Anurag - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Entomollogy, Cornell University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology