Reciprocal feeding facilitation between above- and below-ground herbivores

McKenzie, Scott W.; Vanbergen, Adam J. ORCID:; Hails, Rosemary S.; Jones, T. Hefin; Johnson, Scott N.. 2013 Reciprocal feeding facilitation between above- and below-ground herbivores. Biology Letters, 9 (5), 20130341. 5, pp.

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Interspecific interactions between insect herbivores predominantly involve asymmetric competition. By contrast, facilitation, whereby herbivory by one insect benefits another via induced plant susceptibility, is uncommon. Positive reciprocal interactions between insect herbivores are even rarer. Here, we reveal a novel case of reciprocal feeding facilitation between above-ground aphids (Amphorophora idaei) and root-feeding vine weevil larvae (Otiorhynchus sulcatus), attacking red raspberry (Rubus idaeus). Using two raspberry cultivars with varying resistance to these herbivores, we further demonstrate that feeding facilitation occurred regardless of host plant resistance. This positive reciprocal interaction operates via an, as yet, unreported mechanism. Specifically, the aphid induces compensatory growth, possibly as a prelude to greater resistance/tolerance, whereas the root herbivore causes the plant to abandon this strategy. Both herbivores may ultimately benefit from this facilitative interaction.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Directors, SCs
ISSN: 1744-9561
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - Official URL link provides full text
Additional Keywords: interspecific competition, plant–insect interactions, Otiorhynchus sulcatus, Amphorophora idaei
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 07 Nov 2013 16:48 +0 (UTC)

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