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SpecialFeature Ecology, 85(6), 2004, pp. 15191526
 

Summary: 1519
SpecialFeature
Ecology, 85(6), 2004, pp. 15191526
2004 by the Ecological Society of America
ATTRACTING ANTAGONISTS: DOES FLORAL NECTAR INCREASE
LEAF HERBIVORY?
LYNN S. ADLER1,3
AND JUDITH L. BRONSTEIN2
1Department of Biology, 2119 Derring Hall, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg,
Virginia 24061 USA
2Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 USA
Abstract. Traits that are attractive to mutualists may also attract antagonists, resulting
in conflicting selection pressures. Here we develop the idea that increased floral nectar
production can, in some cases, increase herbivory. In these situations, selection for increased
nectar production to attract pollinators may be constrained by a linked cost of herbivore
attraction. In support of this hypothesis, we report that experimentally supplementing nectar
rewards in Datura stramonium led to increased oviposition by Manduca sexta, a sphingid
moth that pollinates flowers, but whose larvae feed on leaf tissue. We speculate that nectar
composition may provide information about plant nutritional status or defense that floral
visitors could use to make oviposition decisions. Thus, selection by floral visitors and leaf

  

Source: Adler, Lynn - Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology