Herbivore-induced plant volatiles, or HIPVs, are increasingly considered as a biocontrol enhancement tool by constitutively emitting these carnivore-attracting chemicals from agricultural fields. While ample data substantiate the olfactory preference of predators for HIPVs in laboratory environments, little is understood about the consequences of 'turning crops on' in the field. To explore the ramifications for arthropod pest management, a spatially explicit predator-prey population model was constructed that simulated a crop field releasing signals to recruit natural enemies from the surrounding landscape.
The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of a formulated IL-12 plasmid administered intraperitoneally (IP) in conjunction with intravenous (IV) carboplatin/docetaxel in platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer patients.
Despite nearly 100?years of edge studies, there has been little effort to document how edge responses cascade to impact multi-trophic food webs. We examined changes within two, four-tiered food webs located on opposite sides of a habitat edge. Based on a bottom-up resource-based model, we predicted plant resources would decline near edges, causing similar declines in specialist herbivores and their associated predators, while a generalist predator was predicted to increase due to complementary resource use. As predicted, we found declines in both specialist herbivores and predators near edges, but, contrary to expectations, this was not driven by gradients in plant resources. Instead, the increase in generalist predators near edges offers one alternative explanation for the observed declines. Furthermore, our results suggest how recent advances in food web theory could improve resource-based edge models, and vice versa.
The poor prognosis associated with ovarian cancer is primarily the result of delayed diagnosis and the lack of an effective treatment for advanced disease. Use of novel immunotherapy strategies are being evaluated that work to enhance local and systemic immune responses against cancer cells and can possibly work together with traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens to produce more effective treatment options.
1. Entry of substantial numbers of natural enemies from outside a habitat can have profound impacts on food web structure in the recipient habitat, but underlying mechanisms are poorly understood, including the role of relative predator fitness in source and recipient habitats. We studied a naturally occurring annual movement of the salt-marsh spider Pardosa littoralis across habitats in an attempt to clarify factors enhancing and impeding movements of predator populations. 2. Marsh vegetation is dominated by two cordgrass species, Spartina patens, a complex-structured grass with a well-developed litter layer, and Spartina alterniflora, a sparse-structured grass with little thatch accumulation. Pardosa hunts across both habitats and can drastically reduce densities of planthoppers and leafhoppers, the most abundant marsh herbivores. 3. We found an annual subsidy of Pardosa from S. patens, extending hundreds of meters into S. alterniflora made possible by a winter refuge provided by S. patens. As a result, the strength of the subsidy is correlated with the severity of the preceding winter, with the largest subsidies following the coldest winters. 4. Higher Pardosa fitness in the recipient habitat following winter, as indicated by higher growth rates associated with greater prey availability, enhanced the strength of this subsidy. Conversely, lower structural complexity in S. alterniflora, which is associated with higher rates of cannibalism in this spider, may impede the subsidy. 5. The mechanistic underpinnings of the predator subsidy demonstrated here can improve our understanding of subsidies in other contexts, such as conservation biological control. In addition, identifying such subsidies is key to preserving food webs in recipient habitats when source habitats are threatened.
Multichannel omnivory by generalist predators, especially the use of both grazing and epigeic prey, has the potential to increase predator abundance and decrease herbivore populations. However, predator use of the epigeic web (soil surface detritus/microbe/algae consumers) varies considerably for reasons that are poorly understood. We therefore used a stable isotope approach to determine whether prey availability and predator hunting style (active hunting vs. passive web-building) impacted the degree of multichannel omnivory by the two most abundant predators on an intertidal salt marsh, both spiders. We found that carbon isotopic values of herbivores remained constant during the growing season, while values for epigeic feeders became dramatically more enriched such that values for the two webs converged in August. Carbon isotopic values for both spider species remained midway between the two webs as values for epigeic feeders shifted, indicating substantial use of prey from both food webs by both spider species. As the season progressed, prey abundance in the grazing food web increased while prey abundance in the epigeic web remained constant or declined. In response, prey consumption by the web-building spider shifted toward the grazing web to a much greater extent than did consumption by the hunting spider, possibly because passive web-capture is more responsive to changes in prey availability. Although both generalist predator species engaged in multichannel omnivory, hunting mode influenced the extent to which these predators used prey from the grazing and epigeic food webs, and could thereby influence the strength of trophic cascades in both food webs.
Anthropogenic nutrient inputs into native ecosystems cause fluctuations in resources that normally limit plant growth, which has important consequences for associated food webs. Such inputs from agricultural and urban habitats into nearby natural systems are increasing globally and can be highly variable, spanning the range from sporadic to continuous. Despite the global increase in anthropogenically-derived nutrient inputs into native ecosystems, the consequences of variation in subsidy duration on native plants and their associated food webs are poorly known. Specifically, while some studies have examined the effects of nutrient subsidies on native ecosystems for a single year (a nutrient pulse), repeated introductions of nutrients across multiple years (a nutrient press) better reflect the persistent nature of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. We therefore contrasted the effects of a one-year nutrient pulse with a four-year nutrient press on arthropod consumers in two salt marshes. Salt marshes represent an ideal system to address the differential impacts of nutrient pulses and presses on ecosystem and community dynamics because human development and other anthropogenic activities lead to recurrent introductions of nutrients into these natural systems. We found that plant biomass and %N as well as arthropod density fell after the nutrient pulse ended but remained elevated throughout the nutrient press. Notably, higher trophic levels responded more strongly than lower trophic levels to fertilization, and the predator/prey ratio increased each year of the nutrient press, demonstrating that food web responses to anthropogenic nutrient enrichment can take years to fully manifest themselves. Vegetation at the two marshes also exhibited an apparent tradeoff between increasing %N and biomass in response to fertilization. Our research emphasizes the need for long-term, spatially diverse studies of nutrient enrichment in order to understand how variation in the duration of anthropogenic nutrient subsidies affects native ecosystems.
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