Community-wide impacts of herbivore-induced plant regrowth on arthropods in a multi-willow species system


  • Shunsuke Utsumi,

  • Takayuki Ohgushi

S. Utsumi ( and T. Ohgushi, Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto Univ., 509-3, Hirano, Otsu, JP-520-2113 Shiga, Japan.


It has been widely accepted that herbivory induces morphological, phenological, and chemical changes in a wide variety of terrestrial plants. There is an increasing appreciation that herbivore-induced plant responses affect the performance and abundance of other arthropods. However, we still have a poor understanding of the effects of induced plant responses on community structures of arthropods. We examined the community-level effects of willow regrowth in response to damage by larvae of swift moth Endoclita excrescence (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) on herbivorous and predaceous arthropods on three willow species, Salix gilgiana, S. eriocarpa and S. serissaefolia. The leaves of sprouting lateral shoots induced by moth-boring had a low C:N ratio. The overall abundance and species richness of herbivorous insects on the lateral shoots were increased on all three willow species. Densities of specialist chewers and sap-feeders, and leaf miners increased on the newly emerged lateral shoots. In contrast, the densities of generalist chewers and sap-feeders, and gall makers did not increase. Furthermore, ant and spider densities, and the overall abundance and species richness of predaceous arthropods increased on the lateral shoots on S. gilgiana and S. eriocarpa, but not S. serissaefolia. In addition to finding that effects of moth-boring on arthropod abundance and species richness varied among willow species, we also found that moth-boring, willow species, and their interaction differentially affected community composition. Our findings suggest that moth-boring has community-wide impacts on arthropod assemblages across three trophic levels via induced shoot regrowth and increase arthropod species diversity in this three willow species system.