Article

Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 1013-1023

First online:

Foliar Phenolics are Differently Associated with Epirrita autumnata Growth and Immunocompetence

  • Sanna HaviolaAffiliated withSection of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku Email author 
  • , Lauri KapariAffiliated withSection of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku
  • , Vladimir OssipovAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Turku
  • , Markus J. RantalaAffiliated withSection of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku
  • , Teija RuuholaAffiliated withSection of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku
  • , Erkki HaukiojaAffiliated withSection of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku

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Abstract

The quality of available food may affect insect herbivores directly (via growth and survivorship) and/or indirectly (by modifying insect vulnerability to parasitoids and pathogens). We examined the relationship between different phenolic compounds, belonging to various phenolic groups, in Betula pubescens spp. czerepanovii (mountain birch) foliage and the larval performance of the geometrid Epirrita autumnata (autumnal moth). Direct effects on insect performance were described by pupal weight, developmental rate, and survivorship; indirect effects were described by the encapsulation rate of an implant inserted into the insect hemocoel, a commonly used way to describe insect immune defense. We found profound differences in the effects of different phenolic categories: several individual hydrolyzable tannins were associated positively with larval performance but negatively with level of immune defense, whereas flavonoid glycosides were inversely related to larval survival but showed no association with the larvae immune defense.

Keywords

Secondary compounds Tritrophic interactions Direct and indirect defense Immunocompetence Encapsulation