Pedro J. Aphalo
aphalo at cc.joensuu.fi
Mon Jun 5 02:21:16 EST 1995
In article <h+99NQG.nanharrison at delphi.com>, nanharrison at delphi.com
>Guillaume, some research in Calif shows that Oak trees infested
>with tent caterpillars or some other pest will communicate this
>to other Oak trees. They will then become more resistant. No,
>I don't have any references to give you, but I'm just
>suggesting that you are not alone in having heard about this
>kind of phenomenon! A toute a l"heure - Nan in Calif
One recent review on this kind of phenomena is:
Bruin J, Sabelis MW, Dicke M (1995) Do plants tap SOS signals from their
infested neighbours? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10: 167-170.
The idea that neighbours "feel" that a tree is cut and respond by
reinforcing their bark is very unlikely to be true. Above all, because a
thickening of the bark would take a long time to occur! And also because
axes and chainsaws have not been around for long enough for such a
response to evolve!
However, what is the time scale of the supposed response?
In the long term many factors will affect the growth of the remaining
trees: one of them is release from competition, which could potentially
lead to thickening of the bark! Also bear in mind that individual trees
of the same species growing near each other can be connected through
natural root grafts... and neighbours can "adopt" the roots of the felled
tree. There are many ways in which plants can interact, so you may also
want to look at our recent review:
Aphalo,PJ; Ballaré,CL (1995): On the importance of information-acquiring
systems in plant-plant interactions. Functional Ecology 9, 5-14.
I hope this helps.
Pedro J. Aphalo
University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry
P.O. Box 111
FIN-80101 Joensuu, FINLAND
Internet: aphalo at cc.joensuu.fi
fax: +358 73 151 3590, tel: +358 73 1513623 ,,,^..^,,,
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