Date of Award


Call Number

QK901 .R68 2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Theresa Theodose

Second Advisor

Michael Mazurkiewicz

Third Advisor

Joseph Staples


Induced plant responses, species interactions, plant-insect herbivore interactions, Biology


In this review, I will discuss indirect species interactions that occur as a result of herbivore-induced trait changes in plants. Species interactions are at the very core of the field of ecology. In particular, plant–insect herbivore interactions are of central importance as these two groups together consist of over 75% of the macroscopic diversity on earth. Historically, research has focused on pair-wise direct interactions however, more recently, the importance of indirect interactions has been widely acknowledged. Indeed, indirect interactions may be as strong and as common as direct interactions. Indirect interactions have been actively investigated in plant–insect systems, which are the primary focus of this paper. Plants exhibit multiple responses to insect herbivory, including changes in chemistry, morphology and physiology. These changes provide the mechanisms for trait-mediated indirect interactions between organisms that utilize the same host plant, whether for food, shelter or oviposition. Indirect plant-mediated interactions include competition and facilitation between insect herbivores as well as interactions that involve higher trophic levels, such as natural enemy attraction. Recent research has begun to elucidate community-level effects of plant responses to insect herbivory, including plant-mediated connections between aboveground and belowground communities. vii


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