Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s00442-023-05361-6
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Effects of plant diversity on species-specific herbivory: patterns and mechanisms
Author Bröcher, M.; Ebeling, A.; Hertzog, L.; Roscher, C.; Weisser, W.; Meyer, S.T.
Source Titel Oecologia
Year 2023
Department iDiv; PHYDIV
Volume 201
Issue 4
Page From 1053
Page To 1066
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords Plant–insect interaction; Ecosystem function; Functional groups; Biodiversity; Grasslands
Abstract Invertebrate herbivory can shape plant communities when impacting growth and fitness of some plant species more than other species. Previous studies showed that herbivory varies among plant species and that species-specific herbivory is affected by the diversity of the surrounding plant community. However, mechanisms underlying this variation are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigate how plant traits and plant apparency explain differences in herbivory among plant species and we explore the effect of plant community diversity on these species-specific relationships. We found that species differed in the herbivory they experienced. Forbs were three times more damaged by herbivores than grasses. Variability within grasses was caused by differences in leaf dry matter content (LDMC). Furthermore, higher plant diversity increased herbivory on 15 plant species and decreased herbivory on nine species. Variation within forb and grass species in their response to changing plant diversity was best explained by species’ physical resistance (LDMC, forbs) and biomass (grasses). Overall, our results show that herbivory and diversity effects on herbivory differ among species, and that, depending on the plant functional group, either species-specific traits or apparency are driving those differences. Thus, herbivores might selectively consume palatable forbs or abundant grasses with contrasting consequences for plant community composition in grasslands dominated by either forbs or grasses.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Bröcher, M., Ebeling, A., Hertzog, L., Roscher, C., Weisser, W., Meyer, S.T. (2023):
Effects of plant diversity on species-specific herbivory: patterns and mechanisms
Oecologia 201 (4), 1053 - 1066 10.1007/s00442-023-05361-6