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Plant nutrient supply determines competition between phytophagous insects

Staley, Joanna T., Stafford, David B., Green, Emma R., Leather, Simon R., Rossiter, John T., Poppy, Guy M. and Wright, Denis J. (2011) Plant nutrient supply determines competition between phytophagous insects Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278, (1706), pp. 718-724. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1593). (PMID:20843847).

Record type: Article


Indirect competition is often mediated by plant responses to herbivore feeding damage and is common among phytophagous insect species. Plant-mediated responses may be altered by abiotic conditions such as nutrient supply, which can affect plant growth, morphology, and the concentration of primary and secondary metabolites. Nutrient supply can be manipulated by the type and amount of fertilizer applied to a plant. Brassica oleracea plants were grown in several types of fertilizer, including those commonly used in sustainable and conventional agricultural systems. The occurrence of indirect competition between two phytophagous species from different feeding guilds (a phloem-feeder and leaf-chewer) was assessed. The leaf-chewer reduced aphid populations on plants growing in most fertilizer treatments, but not on those in the ammonium nitrate fertilizer treatment, which caused the highest concentration of foliar nitrogen. The potential consequences of our findings are discussed for phytophagous species in conventional and sustainable agricultural systems.

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Published date: 7 March 2011


Local EPrints ID: 181691
ISSN: 1471-2954
PURE UUID: 82e3b663-f38b-40cd-9d11-4e8703239814

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Date deposited: 19 Apr 2011 14:43
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:58

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Author: Joanna T. Staley
Author: David B. Stafford
Author: Emma R. Green
Author: Simon R. Leather
Author: John T. Rossiter
Author: Guy M. Poppy
Author: Denis J. Wright

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