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Title: Interspecific variation and elevated CO 2 influence the relationship between plant chemical resistance and regrowth tolerance

To understand how comprehensive plant defense phenotypes will respond to global change, we investigated the legacy effects of elevated CO2on the relationships between chemical resistance (constitutive and induced via mechanical damage) and regrowth tolerance in four milkweed species (Asclepias). We quantified potential resistance and tolerance trade‐offs at the physiological level following simulated mowing, which are relevant to milkweed ecology and conservation. We examined the legacy effects of elevated CO2on four hypothesized trade‐offs between the following: (a) plant growth rate and constitutive chemical resistance (foliar cardenolide concentrations), (b) plant growth rate and mechanically induced chemical resistance, (c) constitutive resistance and regrowth tolerance, and (d) regrowth tolerance and mechanically induced resistance. We observed support for one trade‐off between plant regrowth tolerance and mechanically induced resistance traits that was, surprisingly, independent of CO2exposure. Across milkweed species, mechanically induced resistance increased by 28% in those plants previously exposed to elevated CO2.In contrast, constitutive resistance and the diversity of mechanically induced chemical resistance traits declined in response to elevated CO2in two out of four milkweed species. Finally, previous exposure to elevated CO2uncoupled the positive relationship between plant growth rate and regrowth tolerance following damage. Our data highlight the complex and dynamic nature of plant defense phenotypes under environmental change and question the generality of physiologically based defense trade‐offs.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Ecology and Evolution
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 5416-5430
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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