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The enemy release and EICA hypothesis revisited: incorporating the fundamental difference between specialist and generalist herbivores


Joshi, J; Vrieling, K (2005). The enemy release and EICA hypothesis revisited: incorporating the fundamental difference between specialist and generalist herbivores. Ecology Letters, 8(7):704-714.

Abstract

The success of invasive plants has been attributed to their escape from natural enemies and subsequent evolutionary change in allocation from defence to growth and reproduction. In common garden experiments with Senecio jacobaea, a noxious invasive weed almost worldwide, the invasive populations from North America, Australia, and New Zealand did indeed allocate more resources to vegetative and reproductive biomass. However, invasive plants did not show a complete change in allocation from defence to growth and reproduction. Protection against generalist herbivores increased in invasive populations and pyrrolizidine alkaloids, their main anti-herbivore compounds, did not decline in invasive populations but were higher overall compared with native populations. In contrast, invasive plants lost additional protection against specialist herbivores adapted to pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Hence, the absence of specialist herbivores in invasive populations resulted in the evolution of lower protection against specialists and increased growth and reproduction, but also allowed a shift towards higher protection against generalist herbivores.

The success of invasive plants has been attributed to their escape from natural enemies and subsequent evolutionary change in allocation from defence to growth and reproduction. In common garden experiments with Senecio jacobaea, a noxious invasive weed almost worldwide, the invasive populations from North America, Australia, and New Zealand did indeed allocate more resources to vegetative and reproductive biomass. However, invasive plants did not show a complete change in allocation from defence to growth and reproduction. Protection against generalist herbivores increased in invasive populations and pyrrolizidine alkaloids, their main anti-herbivore compounds, did not decline in invasive populations but were higher overall compared with native populations. In contrast, invasive plants lost additional protection against specialist herbivores adapted to pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Hence, the absence of specialist herbivores in invasive populations resulted in the evolution of lower protection against specialists and increased growth and reproduction, but also allowed a shift towards higher protection against generalist herbivores.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:biodiversity, biological invasion, defence, herbivory, Senecio jacobaea, alkaloids
Language:English
Date:2005
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:21
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1461-023X
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00769.x

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