Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Fungal endosymbionts of plants reduce lifespan of an aphid secondary parasitoid and influence host selection


Härri, S A; Krauss, J; Müller, C B (2008). Fungal endosymbionts of plants reduce lifespan of an aphid secondary parasitoid and influence host selection. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1651):2627 -2632.

Abstract

Complex biotic interactions shape ecological communities of plants, herbivores and their natural enemies. In studies of multi-trophic interactions, the presence of small, invisible micro-organisms associated with plants and those of a fourth above-ground trophic level have often been neglected. Incorporating these neglected factors improves our understanding of the processes within a multi-trophic network. Here, we ask whether the presence of a fungal endosymbiont, which alters plant quality by producing herbivore-toxic substances, trickles up the food chain and affects the performance and host-selection behaviour of aphid secondary parasitoids. We simultaneously offered hosts from endophyte-free and endophyte-infected environments to secondary parasitoids. Older and more experienced parasitoid females discriminated against hosts from the endophyte-infected environment. Developing in lower quality hosts from the endophyte-infected environment reduced the lifespan of secondary parasitoids. This indicates that aphid secondary parasitoids can perceive the disadvantage for their developing offspring in parasitoids from the endophyte environment and can learn to discriminate against them. In the field, this discrimination ability may shift the success of primary parasitoids to endophyte-infected plants, which co-occur with endophyte-free plants. Ultimately, the control of aphids depends on complex interactions between primary and secondary parasitoids and their relative sensitivity to endophytic fungi.

Abstract

Complex biotic interactions shape ecological communities of plants, herbivores and their natural enemies. In studies of multi-trophic interactions, the presence of small, invisible micro-organisms associated with plants and those of a fourth above-ground trophic level have often been neglected. Incorporating these neglected factors improves our understanding of the processes within a multi-trophic network. Here, we ask whether the presence of a fungal endosymbiont, which alters plant quality by producing herbivore-toxic substances, trickles up the food chain and affects the performance and host-selection behaviour of aphid secondary parasitoids. We simultaneously offered hosts from endophyte-free and endophyte-infected environments to secondary parasitoids. Older and more experienced parasitoid females discriminated against hosts from the endophyte-infected environment. Developing in lower quality hosts from the endophyte-infected environment reduced the lifespan of secondary parasitoids. This indicates that aphid secondary parasitoids can perceive the disadvantage for their developing offspring in parasitoids from the endophyte environment and can learn to discriminate against them. In the field, this discrimination ability may shift the success of primary parasitoids to endophyte-infected plants, which co-occur with endophyte-free plants. Ultimately, the control of aphids depends on complex interactions between primary and secondary parasitoids and their relative sensitivity to endophytic fungi.

Statistics

Citations

17 citations in Web of Science®
16 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

75 downloads since deposited on 16 Jan 2009
18 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

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:Asaphes vulgaris, bottom-up cascade, endophytic fungi, mummy parasitoids, Neotyphodium lolii, oviposition strategy
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:16 Jan 2009 12:49
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:37
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8452
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2008.0594
PubMed ID:18682373

Download