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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Carmickle, Rachel [1], Horner, John [2].

Preliminary investigations of the effects of herbivory on the carnivorous plant Sarracenia alata by the specialist herbivore Exyra semicrocea .

Carnivorous plants inhabit nutrient-poor environments, and they supplement nutrient uptake by capturing and absorbing nutrients from prey, such as insects. Like other plants, carnivorous plants are subject to loss of nutrient-containing tissues to herbivores. Because they occur in low-nutrient environments, tissue loss to herbivory can be expected to have a particularly strong negative effect on carnivorous plants. However, herbivory in carnivorous plants has not been well studied. In this study, we quantified tissue and nutrient losses sustained from herbivory by larvae of the specialist noctuid, Exyra semicrocea, in a population of pitcher plants, Sarracenia alata. We conducted field surveys, analyses of areal foliar damage, nutrient analyses, and feeding trials. In the study population, 83% (0.83 ± 0.033) (mean ± SE) of pitchers were damaged by E. semicrocea (surveyed in June & September). On average, 15% of each pitcher was consumed. Mean foliar nitrogen concentration was 1.19%, resulting in a mean nitrogen loss to consumption of 0.24 ± 0.041 mg per pitcher (N = 40). Mean foliar phosphorus concentration was 0.044%, resulting in a mean phosphorus loss per pitcher of 0.0086 ± 0.0015 mg (N = 37). Exyra preferentially fed on upper-pitcher ‘waxy’ tissue (25% of waxy tissue damaged) rather than mid-pitcher ‘hairy’ tissue (4.0% of hairy tissue damaged). In preliminary feeding trials, 4th and 5th instar larvae consumed 7.5 ± 0.90 cm2 /day and 7.8 ± 1.0 cm2 /day, respectively. Exyra larvae were observed moving among pitchers. Based on consumption rates, estimated mean time spent feeding on a single pitcher was 2.5 ± 0.18 days (N = 95). Current studies are evaluating the impact of herbivory on the fitness of these plants.

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1 - TCU, Biology, 2955 South University Drive, Fort Worth, TX, 76129, USA
2 - TCU, Biology, 2955 South University Drive, Box 298930, Fort Worth, TX, 76129, USA


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Location: Exhibit Hall/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PSM001
Abstract ID:121
Candidate for Awards:None

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