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Trends Ecol Evol. 2005 Nov;20(11):617-24. Epub 2005 Aug 29.

Linking aboveground and belowground interactions via induced plant defenses.

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  • 1Laboratory of Nematology, Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 8123, 6700 ES Wageningen, the Netherlands. martijn.bezemer@wur.nl

Abstract

Plants have a variety of chemical defenses that often increase in concentration following attack by herbivores. Such induced plant responses can occur aboveground, in the leaves, and also belowground in the roots. We show here that belowground organisms can also induce defense responses aboveground and vice versa. Indirect defenses are particularly sensitive to interference by induced feeding activities in the other compartment, and this can disrupt multitrophic interactions. Unravelling the involvement of induced plant responses in the interactions between aboveground and belowground communities associated with plants is likely to benefit from comprehensive metabolomic analyses. Such analyses are likely to contribute to a better understanding of the costs and benefits involved in the selection for induced responses in plants.

PMID:
16701445
[PubMed]
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