Ecology and evolution of tolerance in two cruciferous species
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Tolerance to herbivory is the ability of plants to maintain fitness in spite of damage. The goal of this thesis is to investigate the genetic variation and expression of tolerance within species, determine whether and in what conditions tolerance has negative side-effects, and how tolerance is affected by different ecological factors. Tolerance is investigated with special focus on the effects of different damage types, competitive regimes, history of herbivory, and polyploidization in plants. Studies are conducted as a literature review and three experiments on two cruciferous species Raphanus raphanistrum and Cardamine pratensis.
In the tolerance experiments, plants are subjected to artificial damage solely, or in a combination with natural damage. A literature review was conducted in order to investigate the effects of damage method. We found that traits related to tolerance, such as growth and fitness were not as sensitive in regard to damage method as measures of induced chemical traits, or measures of secondary herbivory.
Genetic variation of tolerance was demonstrated within populations of R. raphanistrum and between subspecies of C. pratensis. In R. raphanistrum, traits involved in floral display and male fitness were positively associated with plant tolerance to herbivore damage. A potential cost of tolerance was demonstrated as a negative correlation between levels of tolerance in high and low competitive regimes. I found no evidence of other proposed costs of tolerance in terms of highly tolerant plants suffering of reduced fitness in the absence of herbivores or trade-offs in terms of a negative association between tolerance to apical and leaf damage, or between tolerance and competitive ability. In C. pratensis, higher ploidy level in plants involved higher levels of tolerance measured as clonal reproduction. Furthermore, populations exposed to higher levels of herbivory had better tolerance than populations exposed to lower levels of herbivory. In this thesis, I demonstrate evidence of different components for the evolution of tolerance in plants: genotypic variation, selective factors in terms of costs and ploidization, and selective agents in terms of changing environment or herbivore pressure.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Botaniska institutionen , 2008. , 34 p.
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 29
herbivory, tolerance, methodology, Raphanus raphanistrum, Cardamine pratensis, folivory, apex removal, plant competition, ploidy levels, herbivore pressure
Other Biological Topics
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8139ISBN: ISBN 978-91-7155-717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-8139DiVA: diva2:199668
2008-09-26, föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 13:00
Koricheva, Julia, Doktor
Lehtilä, Kari, ProfessorEhrlén, Johan, Professor
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