Thursday, August 7, 2008 - 1:50 PM

COS 97-2: The effects of simulated herbivory and vernalization on growth and survivorship in Arabidopsis thaliana

Hannah Larson, Matti Emery, Michele Weir, and Kathleen Engelmann. University of Bridgeport


Herbivory can have a wide range of consequences for the individual plant and plant populations. We examined the fitness consequences of  the timing of leaf damage on two strains of Arabidopsis thaliana, Bay-0 and PNA-17. Damage was inflicted prior to and after a brief a two week vernalization period. Fitness was measured by overall survivorship, height of the plants at the end of the study, and number of leaves on each plant at the end of the study.


Damage appears to reduce the survivorship rate of Bay-0 by a substantial amount.   Additionally, the height of the plants was significantly reduced in the Bay-0 individuals which underwent damage early in their development. This result is dependent on the timing of the damage.