Rapid Changes in Tree Leaf Chemistry Induced by Damage: Evidence for Communication Between Plants

  title={Rapid Changes in Tree Leaf Chemistry Induced by Damage: Evidence for Communication Between Plants},
  author={Ian Thomas Baldwin and Jack C. Schultz},
  pages={277 - 279}
Potted poplar ramets showed increased concentrations and rates of synthesis of phenolic compounds within 52 hours of having 7 percent of their leaf area removed by tearing, as did undamaged plants sharing the same enclosure. Damaged sugar maple seedlings responded in a manner similar to that of the damaged poplars. Nearby undamaged maples had increased levels of phenolics and hydrolyzable and condensed tannin within 36 hours, but exhibited no change in rates of synthesis. An airborne cue… 

Communication between plants: induced resistance in poplar seedlings following herbivore infestation, mechanical wounding, and volatile treatment of the neighbors

Induced responses against feeding injury, mechanical wounding, and volatile treatment in expression levels of PPO, POD, PAL, and LOX suggest interplant communication between poplar seedlings.

Plant responses induced by herbivores.

  • J. Schultz
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 1988

A Role for Volatiles in Intra- and Inter-Plant Interactions in Birch

This work provides strong evidence of inter-plant signaling by volatiles, and an intra-plant systemic response in birch, however, the responses are specific, with emissions of different groups of plant volatile typifying the primed response.


Herbivorous snails (Littorina sitkana) showed a preference for clipped plants after they were wounded, however, over a 2-wk period the snails shifted their preference towards the uninjured control plants, corresponding with the increase in polyphenolic levels within the experimentally damaged plants.

The Panglossian paradigm and delayed inducible accumulation of foliar phenolics in mountain birch

We review some hypotheses for outlining how the nutrient status of deciduous woody plants may affect the accumulation of foliar phenolics, and how defoliation may alter the plant carbon/nutrient

Induction of phenolics in black cherry in response to herbivory: does it occur and, if so, does it matter?

P. serotina tree damage had no effect on M. americanum larval performance and induction may be favored against a generalist feeder over a specialist herbivore because of the intricate relationship between a specialist feeder and its host plant.

Environmentally Induced Differences in Plant Traits: Consequences for Susceptibility to a Leaf‐Cutter Ant

It is suggested that spatial variation in resource availability in lowland tropical rainforests would result in differences in tannin chemistry, and in susceptibility to leaf-cutter ants, if the duration of the change were long enough to allow new leaves to be produced.


A review of the literature on insect-plant interactions documents mechanisms by which herbivores regulate the transfer of materials from host plants to litter and soil decomposer communities.

Light-induced variation in phenolic levels in foliage of rain-forest plants

The results of this study suggest that the production of phenolics in relation to variation in incident light is a finely tuned process, which must be explained in terms of plant physiology and intermediate metabolism rather than in Terms of resource allocation or a direct response to herbivory.

Effective distance of volatile cues for plant–plant communication in beech

It is suggested that green leaf volatiles such as (Z)‐3‐hexenol and (Z]‐3-hexenyl acetate and other volatile organic compounds emitted from clipped trees induced defenses in the neighboring trees within the 5 m radius.



Oak Leaf Quality Declines in Response to Defoliation by Gypsy Moth Larvae

Leaves of red oak trees that had been defoliated by gypsy moth larvae during the previous year and again during the period of the study had higher values of tanning coefficients, total phenolics,

Chemical Feeding Deterrent Mobilized in Response to Insect Herbivory and Counteradaptation by Epilachna tredecimnotata

Experimentally damaged leaves of Cucurbita moschata mobilize substances to the damaged region within 40 minutes, which stimulate feeding by Acalymma vittata and inhibit feeding by Epilacha tredecimnotata.

Phytochemical Deterrence of Snowshoe Hare Browsing by Adventitious Shoots of Four Alaskan Trees

The production of adventitious shoots after intense hare browsing and the avoidance of these shoots by hares may play an important role in the 10-year hare cycle.

An example is the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar L