Environmental gradients and herbivore feeding preferences in coastal salt marshes. Goranson, C. E., Ho, C., & Pennings, S. C. Oecologia, 2004.
abstract   bibtex   
Current theories of plant-herbivore interactions suggest that plants may differ in palatability to herbivores as a function of abiotic stress; however, studies of these theories have produced mixed results. We compared the palatability of eight common salt marsh plants that occur across elevational and salinity stress gradients to six common leaf-chewing herbivores to determine patterns of plant palatability. The palatability of every plant species varied across gradients of abiotic stress in at least one comparison, and over half of the comparisons indicated significant differences in palatability. The direction of the preferences, however, was dependent on the plant and herbivore species studied, suggesting that different types of stress affect plants in different ways, that different plant species respond differently to stress, and that different herbivore species measure plant quality in different ways. Overall, 51% of the variation in the strength of the feeding preferences could be explained by a knowledge of the strength of the stress gradient and the type of gradient, plant and herbivore studied. This suggests that the prospects are good for a more complex, conditional theory of plant stress and herbivore feeding preferences that is based on a mechanistic understanding of plant physiology and the factors underlying herbivore feeding preferences.
@article{goranson_environmental_2004,
	title = {Environmental gradients and herbivore feeding preferences in coastal salt marshes},
	volume = {140},
	abstract = {Current theories of plant-herbivore interactions suggest that plants may differ in palatability to herbivores as a function of abiotic stress; however, studies of these theories have produced mixed results. We compared the palatability of eight common salt marsh plants that occur across elevational and salinity stress gradients to six common leaf-chewing herbivores to determine patterns of plant palatability. The palatability of every plant species varied across gradients of abiotic stress in at least one comparison, and over half of the comparisons indicated significant differences in palatability. The direction of the preferences, however, was dependent on the plant and herbivore species studied, suggesting that different types of stress affect plants in different ways, that different plant species respond differently to stress, and that different herbivore species measure plant quality in different ways. Overall, 51\% of the variation in the strength of the feeding preferences could be explained by a knowledge of the strength of the stress gradient and the type of gradient, plant and herbivore studied. This suggests that the prospects are good for a more complex, conditional theory of plant stress and herbivore feeding preferences that is based on a mechanistic understanding of plant physiology and the factors underlying herbivore feeding preferences.},
	journal = {Oecologia},
	author = {Goranson, Carol E. and Ho, Chuan-Kai. and Pennings, Steven C.},
	year = {2004},
	keywords = {GCE, salt marsh, plant stress, plant-herbivore interactions, environmental stress, plant vigor}
}
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