Faculty Publications

Title

Effects of below-ground herbivory by Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera) on biomass allocation and carbohydrate storage of maize

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Biomass partitioning, Growth plasticity, Root herbivory, Source-sink relationships, Zea mays

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Applied Soil Ecology

Volume

7

Issue

3

First Page

213

Last Page

218

Abstract

Effects of herbivory by larvae of western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera Leconte on the roots of maize, Zea mays, and interactions with soil moisture on plant biomass and leaf carbohydrate concentrations were investigated. Maize was infested with 0, 50 or 100 larvae of D. virgifera virgifera at the six-leaf stage of development. Water stress was induced at cyclic intervals to half of the plants in each treatment. Maize suffered extensive damage with the 50-larval infestation removing 13.8% of the root mass, and the 100-larval infestation removing 49.5% of the root mass. After 55 days, plants had recovered as roots of damaged and non-damaged plants were of equal mass. Biomass of leaves and stalk were reduced by herbivory, but leaf-areas were not different. Grain biomass was not reduced by root damage. These results suggest that maize damaged by D. virgifera virgifera during early growth stages may regrow damaged roots by shifting carbon resources from above ground to below ground sinks. © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1998

DOI of published version

10.1016/S0929-1393(97)00044-9

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