Predictability of Biotic Stress Structures Plant Defence Evolution

Daan Mertens*, Karina Boege, André Kessler, Julia Koricheva, Jennifer S. Thaler, Noah K. Whiteman, Erik H. Poelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

To achieve ecological and reproductive success, plants need to mitigate a multitude of stressors. The stressors encountered by plants are highly dynamic but typically vary predictably due to seasonality or correlations among stressors. As plants face physiological and ecological constraints in responses to stress, it can be beneficial for plants to evolve the ability to incorporate predictable patterns of stress in their life histories. Here, we discuss how plants predict adverse conditions, which plant strategies integrate predictability of biotic stress, and how such strategies can evolve. We propose that plants commonly optimise responses to correlated sequences or combinations of herbivores and pathogens, and that the predictability of these patterns is a key factor governing plant strategies in dynamic environments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • anticipatory responses
  • growth-defence strategy
  • induced defence
  • predictability
  • risk perception

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