, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 751-764
Date: 21 Jun 2011

Production of Induced Volatiles by Datura wrightii in Response to Damage by Insects: Effect of Herbivore Species and Time

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Abstract

Natural enemies of herbivorous insects utilize numerous chemical cues to locate and identify their prey. Among these, volatile plant compounds produced after attack by herbivores may play a significant role (hereafter herbivore-induced plant volatiles or HIPVs). One unresolved question is whether the composition of the volatile cue blends induced by different herbivore species differ consistently enough to indicate not only that the plants are damaged by herbivores but also the identity of the herbivore species causing the damage. We studied HIPV production in the undomesticated plant species Datura wrightii in the laboratory when damaged by either of two leaf-chewing herbivore species, Lema daturaphila or Manduca sexta, or when damaged by L. daturaphila and the piercing-sucking bug, Tupiocoris notatus, or both L. daturaphila and T. notatus, for 24 hr. HIPV production was monitored 1 d before induction, the day of induction, and for 7 d after induction. In all experiments, both the quantities and composition of the HIPV blends varied with the time since induction as different components reached peak production at different times after induction. HIPV blends did not differ consistently with the herbivore species causing the damage. For plants damaged by both L. daturaphila and T. notatus, greater amounts of HIPVs were produced than by plants damaged by either species alone, but the amounts did not differ from that predicted as the sum from damage inflicted by each herbivore species independently. The HIPVs of D. wrightii are a general rather than specific indicator of damage by herbivores. Because generalist predators are the most abundant natural enemies in this system, general cues of herbivore damage may be all that are required to facilitate the discovery by predators of plants damaged by any of several suitable prey species.