Plants vs. Predators
Maarten van Helden
Maarten.vanhelden at medew.ento.wau.nl
Thu May 18 05:03:06 EST 1995
In article <3pc5gd$grj at newsbf02.news.aol.com>, tcrancue at aol.com says...
>While plants don't seem to react to attack, there is evidence that if a
>single plant is damaged, either by an animal or the blow of an axe, the
>chemical balance of trees surrounding the damaged tree changes. You could
>say that they "sense" this damage and make moves to adjust their chemical
>states to the best advantage during an attack. This "sense" is probably a
>simple chemical reaction to the release of chemicals from the damaged
>Hope this helps!
Hello out there, you seem to have overlooked some of the latest discoveries.
When a plant is attacked by an insect it can start to produce compounds
like phenolics which deter an insect/predator. This is a very important
phenomena eventhough the underlyiing mechanism is not very well understood.
Moreover there have been a number of papers which describe that an
phytophagous organism, while eating from a plant induces the production of
volatile compounds by the plant, which then attract predators of the
phytophagous attacker. You might say that the plants "cry for help". Since the
first discovery of this phenomena some years ago a large number of examples
has been found. The volatile compounds are often attacker specific and
therefore also attract only the specific predators !!
Some recent publications even suggest that neighbouring plants might join the
chorus and produce these volatiles even though they are not damaged
themselves. For more info: contact Marcel Dicke at
"Marcel.dicke at medew.ento.wau.nl"
||\\ //|| Maarten van Helden
|| \\// || Dept. of Entomology
|| \/ || Wageningen Agricultural University
|||||||||| Binnenhaven 7, 6709 PD
|| || Wageningen, the Netherlands
|| || Tel +31-8370-85118 Fax +31-8370-84821
|| || Email: <maarten.vanhelden at medew.ento.wau.nl>
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