Simultaneous effects of food limitation and inducible resistance on herbivore population dynamics.
Many herbivore populations fluctuate temporally, but the causes of those fluctuations remain unclear. Plant inducible resistance can theoretically cause herbivore population fluctuations, because herbivory may induce plant changes that reduce the survival or reproduction of later-feeding herbivores. Herbivory can also simply reduce the quantity of food available for later feeders and this, too, can cause population fluctuations. Inducible resistance and food limitation often occur simultaneously, yet whether they jointly facilitate or suppress herbivore fluctuations remains largely unexplored. We present models that suggest that food limitation and inducible resistance may have synergistic effects on herbivore population dynamics. The population-level response of the food plant to herbivory and the details of how inducible resistance affects herbivore performance both influence the resulting herbivore dynamics. Our results identify some biological properties of plant-herbivore systems that might determine whether or not cycles occur, and suggest that future empirical and theoretical population dynamics studies should account for the effects of both food limitation and inducible resistance.
Abbott, KC; Morris, WF; Gross, K
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