Oecologia

, Volume 93, Issue 2, pp 153–155 | Cite as

Sub-lethal plant defences: the paradox remains

  • S. R. Leather
  • P. J. Walsh
Original Papers

Abstract

Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) trees of two different seed origins, one a poor quality host (Alaskan lodgepole pine), the other a good quality host (south coastal lodgepole pine), were infested with known numbers of eggs of the pine beauty moth, Panolis flammea. Each tree had paired sleeves, one allowing access by invertebrate predators, the other denying this access. When the sleeves were removed, the numbers of larvae surviving, their weights and developmental stages were assessed. Larvae reared on south coastal lodgepole pine (SLP) in the absence of predators were significantly heavier and had significantly better survival rates than larvae reared in comparable conditions on Alaskan lodgepole pine (ALP). However, in the open sleeves, although the larvae reared on SLP were significantly heavier than those on ALP, survival was significantly greater on ALP. Thus predation was greater on the faster developing larvae on the better quality host. These results indicate that slow growth by a herbivore does not necessarily result in greater vulnerability to predators.

Key words

Panolis flammea Natural enemies Host quality Larval development Pinus contorta 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Leather
    • 1
  • P. J. Walsh
    • 1
  1. 1.Forestry CommissionNorthern Research StationMidlothianUK

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