Chapter

Consequences of Within-Plant Variation for Interacting Animals: <i>Phytophagous animals' discrimination among organs of the same plant can lead to the most profitable choice but has attendant costs that may influence their overall performance and promote among-plant selectivity</i>.

Carlos M. Herrera

in Multiplicity in Unity

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226327938
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226327952 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226327952.003.0008
Consequences of Within-Plant Variation for Interacting Animals: Phytophagous animals' discrimination among organs of the same plant can lead to the most profitable choice but has attendant costs that may influence their overall performance and promote among-plant selectivity.

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This chapter reviews the consequences for animals of within-plant variation in characteristics of reiterated organs. The vast experimental evidence on variance-sensitive animals supports the hypothesis that within-plant variation in organ traits may lead to among-plant selection by consumers. Most theoretical models and experimental results for variance behaviors are specifically concerned with responses to variability in energetic rewards, to a large extent because such models initially arose as an outgrowth of optimal foraging theory. These models suggest that as far as nonlinearities, the law of diminishing returns, and Jensen's effects are involved, variance-sensitive behaviors will also develop in response to variability in plant organ traits which, although not directly affecting the energetic rewards of animals, may affect other components of their fitness or short-term performance. Thus, empirical studies are required that explicitly look for animal responses to naturally occurring variation in the field.

Keywords: within-plant variation; reiterated organs; among-plant selection; variance behaviors; short-term performance; empirical studies

Chapter.  20558 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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