Herbivory differentially alters plant litter dynamics of evergreen and deciduous trees

Samantha K. Chapman, Thomas G Whitham, Merriam Powell, Jennifer A. Schweitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Here we propose that herbivore-induced changes in leaf litter quality can modify aboveground litterfall dynamics differentially in evergreen and deciduous trees. Because aboveground plant litterfall is an important source of nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems, any factor that alters plant litter quality can have large "afterlife" effects on the decomposition rate of that litter and the subsequent rate of nutrient release. Two contrasting patterns emerge from the literature and are corroborated by our two experimental case studies. First, in evergreens, herbivory commonly results in premature leaf abscission, improved litter "quality" and an acceleration of litter decomposition. Second, in deciduous trees, herbivory commonly results in the induction of secondary compounds that decelerates decomposition. We argue that these broad patterns reflect predictable differential responses to herbivores that can have important consequences for terrestrial nutrient cycling and productivity and that warrant more attention in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-574
Number of pages9
JournalOikos
Volume114
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Fingerprint

evergreen tree
deciduous tree
herbivory
plant litter
litter
herbivores
litterfall
decomposition
degradation
herbivore
abscission
leaf abscission
nutrient
nutrients
nutrient cycling
leaf litter
terrestrial ecosystem
biogeochemical cycles
experimental study
case studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Herbivory differentially alters plant litter dynamics of evergreen and deciduous trees. / Chapman, Samantha K.; Whitham, Thomas G; Powell, Merriam; Schweitzer, Jennifer A.

In: Oikos, Vol. 114, No. 3, 09.2006, p. 566-574.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chapman, Samantha K. ; Whitham, Thomas G ; Powell, Merriam ; Schweitzer, Jennifer A. / Herbivory differentially alters plant litter dynamics of evergreen and deciduous trees. In: Oikos. 2006 ; Vol. 114, No. 3. pp. 566-574.
@article{6bf240e3dd82423ba14e89315aab6321,
title = "Herbivory differentially alters plant litter dynamics of evergreen and deciduous trees",
abstract = "Here we propose that herbivore-induced changes in leaf litter quality can modify aboveground litterfall dynamics differentially in evergreen and deciduous trees. Because aboveground plant litterfall is an important source of nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems, any factor that alters plant litter quality can have large {"}afterlife{"} effects on the decomposition rate of that litter and the subsequent rate of nutrient release. Two contrasting patterns emerge from the literature and are corroborated by our two experimental case studies. First, in evergreens, herbivory commonly results in premature leaf abscission, improved litter {"}quality{"} and an acceleration of litter decomposition. Second, in deciduous trees, herbivory commonly results in the induction of secondary compounds that decelerates decomposition. We argue that these broad patterns reflect predictable differential responses to herbivores that can have important consequences for terrestrial nutrient cycling and productivity and that warrant more attention in the literature.",
author = "Chapman, {Samantha K.} and Whitham, {Thomas G} and Merriam Powell and Schweitzer, {Jennifer A.}",
year = "2006",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1111/j.2006.0030-1299.14676.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "114",
pages = "566--574",
journal = "Oikos",
issn = "0030-1299",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Herbivory differentially alters plant litter dynamics of evergreen and deciduous trees

AU - Chapman, Samantha K.

AU - Whitham, Thomas G

AU - Powell, Merriam

AU - Schweitzer, Jennifer A.

PY - 2006/9

Y1 - 2006/9

N2 - Here we propose that herbivore-induced changes in leaf litter quality can modify aboveground litterfall dynamics differentially in evergreen and deciduous trees. Because aboveground plant litterfall is an important source of nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems, any factor that alters plant litter quality can have large "afterlife" effects on the decomposition rate of that litter and the subsequent rate of nutrient release. Two contrasting patterns emerge from the literature and are corroborated by our two experimental case studies. First, in evergreens, herbivory commonly results in premature leaf abscission, improved litter "quality" and an acceleration of litter decomposition. Second, in deciduous trees, herbivory commonly results in the induction of secondary compounds that decelerates decomposition. We argue that these broad patterns reflect predictable differential responses to herbivores that can have important consequences for terrestrial nutrient cycling and productivity and that warrant more attention in the literature.

AB - Here we propose that herbivore-induced changes in leaf litter quality can modify aboveground litterfall dynamics differentially in evergreen and deciduous trees. Because aboveground plant litterfall is an important source of nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems, any factor that alters plant litter quality can have large "afterlife" effects on the decomposition rate of that litter and the subsequent rate of nutrient release. Two contrasting patterns emerge from the literature and are corroborated by our two experimental case studies. First, in evergreens, herbivory commonly results in premature leaf abscission, improved litter "quality" and an acceleration of litter decomposition. Second, in deciduous trees, herbivory commonly results in the induction of secondary compounds that decelerates decomposition. We argue that these broad patterns reflect predictable differential responses to herbivores that can have important consequences for terrestrial nutrient cycling and productivity and that warrant more attention in the literature.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33845654904&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33845654904&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.2006.0030-1299.14676.x

DO - 10.1111/j.2006.0030-1299.14676.x

M3 - Article

VL - 114

SP - 566

EP - 574

JO - Oikos

JF - Oikos

SN - 0030-1299

IS - 3

ER -