Plants face a daunting array of creatures which eat them, bore into them and use virtually every plant part for food or shelter. However, plants are far from defenceless under attack, often actively altering their chemistry and physiology. This study offers research on responses to herbivory.
Plants face a daunting array of creatures which eat them, bore into them and use virtually every plant part for food or shelter. However, plants are far from defenceless under attack. Although they cannot flee their attackers, they can produce defences, such as thorns, and can actively alter their chemistry and physiology in response to damage. For instance, young potato leaves being eaten by potato beetles respond by producing chemicals which inhibit beetle digestive enzymes. Research on these induced responses to herbivory has proceeded since the 1980s, and this comprehensive evaluation and synthesis of a rapidly-developing field provides state-of-the-discipline reviews, and highlights areas of research which might be productive. This overview should appeal to a wide variety of theoretical and applied researchers in ecology, evolutionary biology, plant biology, entomology and agriculture.
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Richard Karban is professor of entomology and a member of the Center for Population Biology at the University of California, Davis. He is coauthor of How to Do Ecology: A Concise Handbook.
Induced Responses to Herbivory by Richard Karban
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The University of Chicago Press
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