terHorst, C.P. and J.A. Lau. 2012

terHorst, C.P. and J.A. Lau. 2012. Consequences of direct and indirect evolutionary effects on plant-herbivore interactions. Evolutionary Ecology 26:1469-1480 DOI 10.1007/s10682-012-9560-8 Abstract: Theory suggests that environmental effects with transgenerational conse- quences, including rapid evolution and maternal effects, may affect the outcome of eco- logical interactions. However, indirect effects occur when interactions between two species are altered by the presence of a third species, and can make the consequences of trans- generational effects difficult to predict. We manipulated the presence of insect herbivores and the competitor Medicago polymorpha in replicated Lotus wrangelianus populations. After one generation, we used seeds from the surviving Lotus to initiate a reciprocal transplant experiment to measure how transgenerational effects altered ecological inter- actions between Lotus, Medicago, and insect herbivores. Herbivore leaf damage and Lotus fecundity were dependent on both parental and offspring environmental conditions. The presence of insect herbivores and Medicago in the parental environment resulted in transgenerational changes in herbivore resistance, but these effects were non-additive, likely as a result of indirect effects in the parental environment. Indirect transgenerational effects interacted with more immediate ecological indirect effects to affect Lotus fecundity. These results suggest that explanations of ecological patterns require an understanding of transgenerational effects and that these effects may be difficult to predict in species-rich, natural communities where indirect effects are prevalent.

Keywords: Diffuse evolution, Invasive species, Maternal effects, Non-additive interactions, Rapid evolution, Resistance
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