When adults and larvae of the weevil Cyrtobagous salviniae destroyed buds and tunnelled through rhizomes of Salvinia molesta, the plant responded by producting new growth which contained higher concentrations of nitrogen than in undamaged plants or in the older parent tissue of the same plant. Damage to leaves by the moth, Samea multiplicalis did not induce the same response. C. salviniae fed on the new growth and the higher nitrogen intake would have increased its reproductive capacity and enhanced its action as a biological control agent.
Damage by both insects resulted in potassium leaching from the plant but no change in concentrations of phosphorus. The results support earlier suggestions that damage by C. salviniae might improve the qualtity of the host plant for this herbivore.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Cary PR, Weerts PGJ (1983) Growth of Salvinia molesta as affected by water temperature and nutrition. I. Effects of nitrogen level and nitrogen compounds. Aquat Bot 16:163–172
Forno IW (1985) How quickly can insects control salvinia in the tropics? 10th Conf. Asian-Pacific Weed Science Soc. Chiangmai Nov. 1985, pp 271–276
Forno IW (1987) Biological control of the floating ferm Salvinia molesta in north-eastern Australia: plant herbivore interactions. Bull Entomol Res 77:9–17
Forno IW, Bourne AS (1985) Feeding by adult Cyrtobagous salviniae on Salvinia molesta under different regimes of temperature and nitrogen content and effects on plant growth. Entomophaga 30:279–286
Forno IW, Sands DPS, Sexton W (1983) Distribution, biology and host specificity of Cyrtobagous singularis Hustache (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for the biological control of Salvinia molesta. Bull Entomol Res 73:85–95
Haukioja E, Suomela J, Neuvonen S (1985) Long-term inducible resistance in birch foliage: triggering cues and efficacy on a defoliator. Oecologia (Berlin) 65:363–369
Hendrix SD, Trapp EJ (1981) Plant-herbivore interactions: insect induced changes to host plant sex expression and fecundity. Oecologia (Berlin) 49:119–112
Julien MH, Bourne AS (1986) Compensatory branching and changes in nitrogen content in the aquatic weed Salvinia molesta in response to disbudding. Oecologia (Berlin) 70:250–257
McNeill S, Southwood TRE (1978) The role of nitrogen in the development of insect/plant relationships. In: Harborne JB (ed) Biochemical aspects of plant and animal co-evolution. Academic Press London, pp 77–98
Mitchell DS, Tur NM (1975) The rate of grwoth of Salvinia molesta (S. auriculata Auct.) in laboratory and natural conditions. J Appl Ecol 12:213–225
Moran N, Hamilton WD (1980) Low nutritive quality as defence against herbivores. J Theor Biol 86:247–254
Ohmart CP, Stewart LG, Thomas JR (1985) Effects of nitrogen concentrations of Eucalyptus blakelyi foliage on the fecundity of Paropsis atomaria (Coleoptera: Chyrsomelidae). Oecologia (Berlin) 68:41–44
Room PM (1983) “Falling apart” as a lifestlye: the rhizome architecture and population growth of Salvinia molesta. J Ecol 71:349–365
Room PM (1986 a) Equations relating growth and uptake of nitrogen by Salvinia molesta to temperature and the availability of nitrogen. Aquat Bot 24:43–59
Room PM (1986b) Biological control is solving the World's Salvinia molesta problems. Proc EWRS/AAB 7th Symp on Aquatic Weeds, Loughborough 1986, 271–276
Room PM, Thomas P (1985) Nitrogen and establishment of a beetle for biological control of the floating weed salvinia in Papua New Guinea. J Appl Ecol 22:134–156
Room PM, Thomas PA (1986) Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in Salvinia molesta Mitchell in the field: effects of weather, insect damage, fertilizers and age. Aquat Bot 24:213–232
Sands DPA, Schotz M, Bourne AS (1983) The feeding characteristics and development of larvae of a salvinia weevil Cyrtobagous sp. Entomol Exp Appl 34:291–296
Sands DPA, Schotz M, Bourne AS (1986) A comparative study on intrinsic rates of increase of Cyrtobagous singularis and C. salviniae on the water weed Salvinia molesta. Entomol Exp Appl 42:231–237
Taylor MFJ (1984) Nitrogen dependent development and fecundity of Samea multiplicalis feeding on Salvinia molesta. J Insect Physiol 30:779–785
Thomas PA, Room PM (1985) Towards biological control of salvinia in Papua New Guinea. In: ES Delfosse (ed) Proc VI Int Symp Biol Contr Weeds 19–25 August 1984. Vancouver Canada. Agric Can 567–574
Thomas PA, Room PM (1986) Taxonomy and control of Salvinia molesta. Nature (London) 320:581–584
Tukey HB (1970) The leaching of substances from plants. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 21:305–324
Webb JW, Moran VC (1978) The influence of the host plant on the population dynamics of Acizzia russellae (Homoptera: Psyllidae). Ecol Entomol 3:313–321
White TCR (1978) The importance of a relative shortage of food in animal ecology. Oecologia (Berlin) 33:71–86
White TCR (1984) The abundance of invertebrate herbivores in relation to the availability of nitrogen in stressed food plants. Oecologia (Berlin) 63:90–105
About this article
Cite this article
Forno, I.W., Semple, J.L. Response of Salvinia molesta to insect damage: changes in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content. Oecologia 73, 71–74 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00376979