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J Chem Ecol ; 47(10-11): 889-906, 2021 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34415498


How climate change will modify belowground tritrophic interactions is poorly understood, despite their importance for agricultural productivity. Here, we manipulated the three major abiotic factors associated with climate change (atmospheric CO2, temperature, and soil moisture) and investigated their individual and joint effects on the interaction between maize, the banded cucumber beetle (Diabrotica balteata), and the entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. Changes in individual abiotic parameters had a strong influence on plant biomass, leaf wilting, sugar concentrations, protein levels, and benzoxazinoid contents. Yet, when combined to simulate a predicted climate scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, RCP 8.5), their effects mostly counter-balanced each other. Only the sharp negative impact of drought on leaf wilting was not fully compensated. In both current and predicted scenarios, root damage resulted in increased leaf wilting, reduced root biomass, and reconfigured the plant sugar metabolism. Single climatic variables modulated the herbivore performance and survival in an additive manner, although slight interactions were also observed. Increased temperature and CO2 levels both enhanced the performance of the insect, but elevated temperature also decreased its survival. Elevated temperatures and CO2 further directly impeded the EPN infectivity potential, while lower moisture levels improved it through plant- and/or herbivore-mediated changes. In the RCP 8.5 scenario, temperature and CO2 showed interactive effects on EPN infectivity, which was overall decreased by 40%. We conclude that root pest problems may worsen with climate change due to increased herbivore performance and reduced top-down control by biological control agents.

Ecol Evol ; 11(9): 4182-4192, 2021 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33976802


Climate change will profoundly alter the physiology and ecology of plants, insect herbivores, and their natural enemies, resulting in strong effects on multitrophic interactions. Yet, manipulative studies that investigate the direct combined impacts of changes in CO2, temperature, and precipitation on the third trophic level remain rare. Here, we assessed how exposure to elevated CO2, increased temperature, and decreased precipitation directly affect the performance and predation success of species from four major groups of herbivore natural enemies: an entomopathogenic nematode, a wolf spider, a ladybug, and a parasitoid wasp. A four-day exposure to future climatic conditions (RCP 8.5), entailing a 28% decrease in precipitation, a 3.4°C raise in temperature, and a 400 ppm increase in CO2 levels, slightly reduced the survival of entomopathogenic nematodes, but had no effect on the survival of other species. Predation success was not negatively affected in any of the tested species, but it was even increased for wolf spiders and entomopathogenic nematodes. Factorial manipulation of climate variables revealed a positive effect of reduced soil moisture on nematode infectivity, but not of increased temperature or elevated CO2. These results suggest that natural enemies of herbivores may be well adapted to short-term changes in climatic conditions. These findings provide mechanistic insights that will inform future efforts to disentangle the complex interplay of biotic and abiotic factors that drive climate-dependent changes in multitrophic interaction networks.

J Chem Ecol ; 45(7): 638-648, 2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31227972


Although the production of phytohormones has been commonly associated with production of plant defence and stress-related traits, few studies have simultaneously investigated this phenomenon across several plant species that grow along large-scale ecological gradients. To address these knowledge gaps, we performed a common garden experiment with six Cardamine species, which collectively encompass an elevational gradient of 2000 m. We quantified constitutive and Pieris brassicae caterpillars-induced phytohormones and chemical defences in leaves. We found a correlated expression of phytohormone production and the subsequent induction of chemical defences, and this correlated expression reduced herbivore performance. Furthermore, we found that abiotic conditions associated with the optimal elevation range of each species influenced the production of phytohormones and chemical defences, as well as plant growth and productivity. In particular, we found that plant species adapted to milder abiotic conditions at low elevations grew faster, were more productive and produced greater levels of chemical defences. In contrast, plant species adapted to harsher abiotic conditions at high elevations tended to produce greater levels of defence-related oxylipins. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of disentangling the role of phytohormones in mediating plant adaptations to shifting biotic and abiotic conditions.

Cardamine/química , Glucosinolatos/química , Himenópteros/fisiologia , Reguladores de Crescimento de Plantas/química , Animais , Cardamine/metabolismo , Cromatografia Líquida de Alta Pressão , Glucosinolatos/farmacologia , Herbivoria , Interações Hospedeiro-Parasita/efeitos dos fármacos , Himenópteros/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Larva/efeitos dos fármacos , Larva/fisiologia , Reguladores de Crescimento de Plantas/farmacologia , Folhas de Planta/química , Folhas de Planta/metabolismo , Espectrometria de Massas em Tandem
Ecol Evol ; 8(13): 6756-6765, 2018 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30038772


Climate change is predicted to increase the risk of drought in many temperate agroecosystems. While the impact of drought on aboveground plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions has been studied, little is known about its effects on belowground tritrophic interactions and root defense chemistry. We investigated the effects of low soil moisture on the interaction between maize, the western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera), and soil-borne natural enemies of WCR. In a manipulative field experiment, reduced soil moisture and WCR attack reduced plant performance and increased benzoxazinoid levels. The negative effects of WCR on cob dry weight and silk emergence were strongest at low moisture levels. Inoculation with entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) was ineffective in controlling WCR, and the EPNs died rapidly in the warm and dry soil. However, ants of the species Solenopsis molesta invaded the experiment, were more abundant in WCR-infested pots and predated WCR independently of soil moisture. Ant presence increased root and shoot biomass and was associated with attenuated moisture-dependent effects of WCR on maize cob weight. Our study suggests that apart from directly reducing plant performance, drought can also increase the negative effects of root herbivores such as WCR. It furthermore identifies S. molesta as a natural enemy of WCR that can protect maize plants from the negative impact of herbivory under drought stress. Robust herbivore natural enemies may play an important role in buffering the impact of climate change on plant-herbivore interactions.

Front Microbiol ; 6: 1309, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26640460


Late blight, caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans, is the most devastating disease of potato. In organic farming, late blight is controlled by repeated applications of copper-based products, which negatively impact the environment. To find alternative solutions for late blight management, we have previously isolated a large collection of bacteria from the phyllosphere and the rhizosphere of potatoes. Here we report the antagonistic potential of these strains when co-cultivated with P. infestans as well as with other potato pathogens. We then focused on three Pseudomonas strains and compared their protective impact against late blight to that of well-known biocontrol strains in planta using a high-throughput leaf disk assay with automated picture analysis. When sprayed on the leaves of potatoes in the greenhouse, the strains were able to survive for at least 15 days. Under field conditions, populations decreased faster but all tested strains could still be retrieved after 8 days. The most active strain in vitro, P. chlororaphis R47, was also the best protectant on leaf disks from plants grown in the greenhouse experiment, but its protection potential could not be verified in the field due to unfavorable infection conditions. However, its protective effect against P. infestans in planta, its survival in the phyllosphere as well as its ability to colonize the potato rhizosphere in very high population densities, suggest a potential for field application, e.g., in the form of tuber treatment or leaf spray.