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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Populus tremuloides ; Carbon/nutrient balance ; Choristoneura conflictana ; Plant/herbivore interaction ; Secondary metabolite
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary We investigated the effects of nitrogen fertilization upon the concentrations of nitrogen, condensed tannin and phenolic glycosides of young quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) leaves and the quality of these leaves as food for larvae of the large aspen tortrix (Choristoneura conflictana), a Lepidopteran that periodically defoliates quaking aspen growing in North America. Nitrogen fertilization resulted in decreased concentrations of condensed tannin and phenolic glycosides in aspen leaves and an increase in their nitrogen concentration and value as food for the large aspen tortrix. These results indicate that plant carbon/nutrient balance influences the quality of aspen leaves as food for the large aspen tortrix in two ways, by increasing the concentrations of positive factors (e.g. nitrogen) and decreasing the concentrations of negative factors (eg. carbon-based secondary metabolites) in leaves. Addition of purified aspen leaf condensed tannin and a methanol extract of young aspen leaves that contained condensed tannin and phenolic glycosides to artificial diets at high and low levels of dietary nitrogen supported this hypothesis. Increasing dietary nitrogen increased larval growth whereas increasing the concentrations of condensed tannin and phenolic glycosides decreased growth. Additionally, the methanol extract prevented pupation. These results indicate that future studies of woody plant/insect defoliator interactions must consider plant carbon/nutrient balance as a potentially important control over the nutritional value of foliage for insect herbivores.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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