Trade-off among different anti-herbivore defence strategies along altitudinal gradient

Salvia nubicola growing along a broad altitudinal range in Himalayas (photo taken by Tomáš Dostálek).
Salvia nubicola growing along a broad altitudinal range in Himalayas (photo taken by Tomáš Dostálek).

The type and intensity of plant–herbivore interactions are likely to be changed under climate change as a consequence of differential dispersal rates of plants and their herbivores. In a new study published in AoB PLANTS, Dostálek et al. found that Salvia nubicola distributed along a broad altitudinal gradient developed a range of defence strategies against insect herbivores. The strategies, however, do not seem to be used simultaneously in all populations even though most of them are correlated with the altitudinal gradient along which herbivore pressure is decreasing. This shows the importance of simultaneous study of different defence strategies since understanding trade-offs among them could be necessary for detecting the mechanisms by which plants are able to cope with changes in plant–herbivore interactions as a consequence of future climate change.

Reference List

Tomáš Dostálek, Maan Bahadur Rokaya, Petr Maršík, Jan Rezek, Jiří Skuhrovec, Roman Pavela, Zuzana Münzbergová, 2016, 'Trade-off among different anti-herbivore defence strategies along an altitudinal gradient', AoB Plants, vol. 8, p. plw026 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plw026