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Evidence of population differentiation in the dune grass Ammophila arenaria and its associated root-feeding nematodes
de la Peña, E.; Bonte, D.; Moens, M. (2009). Evidence of population differentiation in the dune grass Ammophila arenaria and its associated root-feeding nematodes. Plant Soil 324(1-2): 307-316.
In: Plant and Soil. Kluwer Academic Publishers: The Hague. ISSN 0032-079X; e-ISSN 1573-5036, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 300102 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Plant-parasitic nematodesCoastal dunesRhizosphereHost-pathogenBelowground herbivorySoil biotaLocal adaptation

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    The interactions between herbivores and their host plants determine, to a great extent, the formation, structure and sustainability of terrestrial communities. The selection pressures that herbivores exert on plants and vice versa might vary geographically, leading eventually to population differentiation and local adaptation. In order to test whether there was reciprocal population differentiation among plants and belowground herbivores, we performed a cross-inoculation experiment using combinations of species and populations of root-feeders belonging to the genus Pratylenchus and the dune grass Ammophila arenaria from different geographic origins. Plant and herbivore responses in terms of growth and multiplication, respectively, were assessed at the end of the experiment. The 16 plant-herbivore combinations tested showed a high variation in the outcome of the interaction and revealed population differentiation in the responses of both, the host plant and the root-herbivores. The outcome in plant and herbivore performance was strongly case-dependent and for the sympatric combinations tested, support for local adaptation was not found. Nonetheless, the variation in plant-herbivore responses to experimental conditions highlights the plasticity of the interaction and may be pointing at spatial structuring in belowground plant-herbivore interactions.

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