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Fungi reduce preference and performance of insect herbivores on challenged plants

Abstract : Although insect herbivores and fungal pathogens frequently share the same individual host plant, we lack general insights in how fungal infection affects insect preference and performance. We addressed this question in a meta-analysis of 1,113 case studies gathered from 101 primary papers that compared preference or performance of insect herbivores on control vs. fungus challenged plants. Generally, insects preferred, and performed better on, not challenged plants, regardless of experimental conditions. Insect response to fungus infection significantly differed according to fungus lifestyle, insect feeding guild and the spatial scale of the interaction (local/distant). Insect performance was reduced on plants challenged by biotrophic pathogens or endophytes but not by necrotrophic pathogens. For both chewing and piercing-sucking insects, performance was reduced on challenged plants when interactions occurred locally but not distantly. In plants challenged by biotrophic pathogens, both preference and performance of herbivores were negatively impacted, whereas infection by necrotrophic pathogens reduced herbivore preference more than performance and endophyte infection reduced only herbivore performance. Our study demonstrates that fungi are may be important but hitherto overlooked drivers of plant-herbivore interactions, suggesting both direct and plant-mediated effects of fungi on insect's behavior and development.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 4:43:20 AM
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Pilar Fernandez-Conradi, Herve Jactel, Cécile Robin, Ayco J. M. Tack, Bastien Castagneyrol. Fungi reduce preference and performance of insect herbivores on challenged plants. Ecology, 2018, 99 (2), pp.300-311. ⟨10.1002/ecy.2044⟩. ⟨hal-02622124⟩



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