Oecologia

, Volume 135, Issue 4, pp 601–605

Effects of below- and above-ground herbivores on plant growth, flower visitation and seed set

  • Katja Poveda
  • Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
  • Stefan Scheu
  • Teja Tscharntke
Plant Animal Interactions

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-003-1228-1

Cite this article as:
Poveda, K., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Scheu, S. et al. Oecologia (2003) 135: 601. doi:10.1007/s00442-003-1228-1

Abstract

Separate and combined effects of root and leaf herbivores on plant growth, flower visitation and seed set were tested in a factorial experiment using potted mustard, Sinapis arvensis, at an old fallow field. A 50% leaf removal by cabbageworms (Pieris rapae) when the seedlings had their first four leaves reduced plant height and shoot mass, and delayed the onset of flowering. Root herbivory by two wireworms (Agriotes sp.) over the whole experiment changed flower visitation; the number of flower visitors per plant was higher in plants with root herbivores than in plants without root herbivores. Combined leaf and root herbivory affected flowering period, number of fruits per plant and number of seeds per fruit. Plants attacked by leaf and root herbivores had a shorter flowering period and produced fewer fruits per plant than plants with root herbivores only. Although the experimental plants faced major herbivore-induced growth changes, plant reproduction (seed set and weight per plant) was similar in all treatments, documenting their ability to effectively compensate for leaf and root herbivory.

Keywords

Cabbageworms Compensatory plant growth Herbivory Sinapis arvensis Wireworms 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katja Poveda
    • 1
  • Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
    • 1
  • Stefan Scheu
    • 2
  • Teja Tscharntke
    • 1
  1. 1.AgroecologyGöttingen University GöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Institut für ZoologieTechnische UniversitätDarmstadtGermany

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