KNAW Repository

Chemical diversity in Brassica oleracea affects biodiversity of insect herbivores

Poelman, E.H. and Van Dam, N.M. and Loon van, J.J.A. and Vet, L.E.M. and Dicke, M. (2009) Chemical diversity in Brassica oleracea affects biodiversity of insect herbivores. Ecology, 90, 1863-1877. ISSN 0012-9658.

[img]PDF - Published Version

Official URL:


Intraspecific variation in plants plays a major role in the composition and diversity of the associated insect community. Resistance traits of plants are likely candidates mediating community composition. However, it is debated whether total concentrations of chemical compounds or specific compounds determine herbivore resistance, and how chemical diversity among plant genotypes in turn affects the composition of the associated herbivore community. To study the role of specific chemical compounds in affecting the herbivore community, we used cultivated Brassica oleracea. The cultivars differ qualitatively in glucosinolate profile, i.e., foliar composition of different glucosinolate compounds, and only a little in total concentration of glucosinolates, the secondary metabolites specific for the Brassicaceae family. In field and laboratory experiments, we tested whether individual compounds explained differences in herbivore community compos In the field B. oleracea cultivars differed widely in species richness and composition of the herbivore community, as well as in the density of insects they harbored. Plants with high concentrations of the short side chain alkenyl glucosinolate, glucoiberin, harbored low herbivore diversity. Higher biodiversity was found when plants had glucosinolate profiles containing high concentrations of glucosinolates with elongated side chains, which are biosynthetically linked to glucoiberin. Although gl

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:6176
Deposited On:23 Mar 2010 01:00
Last Modified:14 Oct 2013 12:56

Repository Staff Only: item control page