Abstract Detail



Ecology

Avanesyan, Alina [1], Lamp, William [2].

Variation in plant responses to grasshopper herbivory among the cultivars of the introduced Miscanthus sinensis.

Miscanthus sinensis is an introduced ornamental grass which has more than 100 cultivars with various invasive potential. Previous studies have demonstrated that the invasive potential of M. sinensis cultivars may be linked to their morphological and physiological traits, such as coloration, growth rate, plant architecture, etc. Little is known, however, whether these traits are associated with M. sinensis defense to herbivory, and whether plant herbivore defenses vary among cultivars and a wild type of M. sinensis; which, in turn, can contribute to invasive potential of M. sinensis cultivars. We have addressed this issue in our 1-year study on herbivore resistance and tolerance of five cultivars of M. sinensis. Using field and greenhouse experiments with grasshopper herbivory, we demonstrated that plant responses to herbivory varied among the cultivars during a season with significant difference in biomass changes in the beginning and at the end of the growing season. 'Gracillimus' cultivar (presumably more aggressive cultivar) showed consistently the highest tolerance to grasshopper herbivory under both field and greenhouse conditions. 'Morning Light' showed the lowest resistance to grasshopper herbivory in the beginning of the season, but the highest overall resistance during the season in the field. "Autumn Anthem" showed the lowest resistance to grasshopper herbivory under greenhouse conditions. Differences in plant responses to herbivory (both plant resistance and tolerance) among other cultivars of M. sinensis were insignificant. These results have important applications for management of invasive plants, as well as for biotic resistance of native communities to plant invasions, and specifically consumptive resistance provided by native insect herbivores.


1 - 4960 Walking Stick Rd. Apt F, Ellicott City, MD, 21043, United States
2 - University of Maryland, Entomology

Keywords:
invasion ecology
herbivory
Plant-Animal Interactions
plant tolerance
plant resistance.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: ECO3002
Abstract ID:234
Candidate for Awards:None


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