The role of the extrafloral nectaries of Catalpa speciosa in limiting herbivory and increasing fruit production.

A. G. Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations

Abstract

The leaves of Catalpa speciosa (Bignoniaceae) have extrafloral nectaries that are active from early June-September. Peak nectar secretion occurs in late June and early July when the eggs and young larvae of the first generation of the principal herbivore, Ceratomia catalpae (Sphingidae), are present. Leaves that have been damaged by this herbivore secrete significantly more nectar than undamaged leaves. The nectaries are visited by various species of ants, ladybird beetles, and a parasitoid. These predaceous insects attack and/or remove the eggs and young larvae of the herbivore. Branches without ants have significantly fewer larvae removed, have significantly more leaf herbivory, and produce significantly fewer mature fruits than branches with ants. Secretion of extrafloral nectar and its subsequent harvesting by insects is thus mutually beneficial to both the plant and the predaceous insects.-from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-669
Number of pages7
JournalEcology
Volume63
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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