• Boreal forest;
  • Grosmannia clavigera;
  • induced responses;
  • jack pine budworm;
  • jack pine;
  • monoterpenes;
  • mountain pine beetle;
  • tree-mediated interactions

1. Coniferous trees deploy a combination of constitutive (pre-existing) and induced (post-invasion), structural and biochemical defences against invaders. Induced responses can also alter host suitability for other organisms sharing the same host, which may result in indirect, plant-mediated interactions between different species of attacking organisms.

2. Current range and host expansion of the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins; MPB) from lodgepole pine-dominated forests to the jack pine-dominated boreal forests provides a unique opportunity to investigate whether the colonisation of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) by MPB will be affected by induced responses of jack pine to a native herbaceous insect species: the jack pine budworm (Choristoneura pinus pinus Freeman; JPBW).

3. We simulated MPB attacks with one of its fungal associates, Grosmannia clavigera Robinson-Jeffrey & Davidson, and tested induction of either herbivory by JPBW or inoculation with the fungus followed by a challenge treatment with the other organism on jack pine seedlings and measured and compared monoterpene responses in needles.

4. There was clear evidence of an increase in jack pine resistance to G. clavigera with previous herbivory, indicated by smaller lesions in response to fungal inoculations. In contrast, although needle monoterpenes greatly increased after G. clavigera inoculation and continued to increase during the herbivory challenge, JPBW growth was not affected, but JPBW increased the feeding rate to possibly compensate for altered host quality.

5. Jack pine responses varied greatly and depended on whether seedlings were treated with single or multiple organisms, and their order of damage.