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Plant Responses to Herbivory

Plant Responses to Herbivory

Chapter:
(p.83) 6 Plant Responses to Herbivory
Source:
Plant Sensing and Communication
Author(s):
Richard Karban
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226264844.003.0006

Risk of herbivore attack is heterogeneous and plants use information to evaluate their current or future risk and to adjust their defensive phenotypes accordingly. These induced plant responses will only be effective if cues reliably predict future risk. Since plants are made up of semi-autonomous modules that often communicate incompletely, many induced responses to herbivory are localized and increase heterogeneity in plant defensive traits. Vascular communication among organs of individual plants is often poor and many plants rely on volatile cues to coordinate systemic induced responses. Plants also defend themselves indirectly by attracting the predators and parasites of their herbivores; they offer rewards such as food or shelter and, in some cases, information (cues) that these carnivores find valuable.

Keywords:   cues, induced responses, indirect defenses, localized responses, reliability, risk, volatile communication

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