Ecological Research

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 26–34 | Cite as

Bottom-up trophic cascades and material transfer in terrestrial food webs

  • Hideki Kagata
  • Takayuki Ohgushi
Special Feature Relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across different scales


In contrast to top-down trophic cascades, few reviews have appeared of bottom-up trophic cascades. We review the recent development of research on bottom-up cascades in terrestrial food webs, focusing on tritrophic systems consisting of plants, herbivorous insects, and natural enemies, and attempt to integrate bottom-up cascade and material transfer among trophic levels. Bottom-up cascades are frequently reported in various tritrophic systems, and are important to determine community structure, population dynamics, and individual performance of higher trophic levels. In addition, we highlight several features of bottom-up cascades. Accumulation or dilution of plant nutritional and defensive materials by herbivorous insects provides a mechanistic base for several bottom-up cascades. Such a stoichiometric approach has the potential to improve our understanding of bottom-up cascading effects in terrestrial food webs. We suggest a future direction for research by integration of bottom-up cascades and material transfer among trophic levels.


Ecological stoichiometry Grazing food chain Herbivorous insects Indirect interaction Tritrophic levels 



We thank T. Hayashi for valuable comments on this manuscript. This research was supported by the 21st Century COE Program to Kyoto University (A14).


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© The Ecological Society of Japan 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ecological ResearchKyoto UniversityOtsuJapan

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