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Small scale environmental variation modulates plant defence syndromes of understorey plants in deciduous forests of Europe

Pieter Sanczuk (UGent) , Sanne Govaert (UGent) , Camille Meeussen (UGent) , Karen De Pauw (UGent) , Thomas Vanneste (UGent) , Leen Depauw (UGent) , Xoaquín Moreira, Jonas Schoelynck, Marthe De Boevre (UGent) , Sarah De Saeger (UGent) , et al.
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Abstract
Aim: Variation in plant defence traits has been frequently assessed along large‐scale macroclimatic clines. In contrast, local‐scale changes in the environment have recently been proposed to also modulate plant defence traits. Yet, the relative importance of drivers at both scales has never been tested. We aimed to quantify the relative importance of environmental drivers inherent to large and small spatial scales on the physical and chemical defence and tolerance to herbivory in understorey plant species of deciduous forests of Europe. Location: Deciduous forests in Europe. Time period: Present. Major taxa studied: Forest understorey plants. Methods: We sampled four typical ancient forest herbs (Anemone nemorosa, Oxalis acetosella, Deschampsia cespitosa, Milium effusum) along small and large spatial scale gradients (those driven by latitude, elevation, forest management and distance to the forest edge), and analysed a suite of nine constitutively expressed traits associated with overall resistance to herbivory, and their multivariate response to environmental clines. Results: Although our study included a large gradient in macroclimate, we found variation in the local environment at small spatial scales (i.e. soil nutrient concentration and forest structural complexity) to be more important in predicting plant resistance to herbivory. Main conclusions: In addition to macroclimatic conditions, subtle differences in forest microclimate and soil characteristics also played a major role in modulating plant defence phenotypes. These findings highlight the importance of the local habitat structure and environmental conditions in modulating plant resistance to herbivory.
Keywords
CAVElab, Ecology, Global and Planetary Change, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, climate, forest microclimate, forest understorey, latitudinal gradient, plant defence syndrome, plant&#8211, herbivore interactions, resource availability hypothesis, RESOURCE AVAILABILITY HYPOTHESIS, LATITUDINAL VARIATION, HERBIVORE INTERACTIONS, ELEVATIONAL GRADIENTS, CHEMICAL DEFENSES, BIOLOGICAL FLORA, BRITISH-ISLES, GROWTH FORM, TRAITS, PATTERNS

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MLA
Sanczuk, Pieter, et al. “Small Scale Environmental Variation Modulates Plant Defence Syndromes of Understorey Plants in Deciduous Forests of Europe.” GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY, vol. 30, no. 1, 2021, pp. 205–19, doi:10.1111/geb.13216.
APA
Sanczuk, P., Govaert, S., Meeussen, C., De Pauw, K., Vanneste, T., Depauw, L., … De Frenne, P. (2021). Small scale environmental variation modulates plant defence syndromes of understorey plants in deciduous forests of Europe. GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY, 30(1), 205–219. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13216
Chicago author-date
Sanczuk, Pieter, Sanne Govaert, Camille Meeussen, Karen De Pauw, Thomas Vanneste, Leen Depauw, Xoaquín Moreira, et al. 2021. “Small Scale Environmental Variation Modulates Plant Defence Syndromes of Understorey Plants in Deciduous Forests of Europe.” GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY 30 (1): 205–19. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13216.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Sanczuk, Pieter, Sanne Govaert, Camille Meeussen, Karen De Pauw, Thomas Vanneste, Leen Depauw, Xoaquín Moreira, Jonas Schoelynck, Marthe De Boevre, Sarah De Saeger, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, Sara A. O. Cousins, Jan Plue, Martin Diekmann, Bente J. Graae, Per‐Ola Hedwall, Giovanni Iacopetti, Jonathan Lenoir, Anna Orczewska, Quentin Ponette, Federico Selvi, Fabien Spicher, Pieter Vermeir, Kim Calders, Hans Verbeeck, Kris Verheyen, Pieter Vangansbeke, and Pieter De Frenne. 2021. “Small Scale Environmental Variation Modulates Plant Defence Syndromes of Understorey Plants in Deciduous Forests of Europe.” GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY 30 (1): 205–219. doi:10.1111/geb.13216.
Vancouver
1.
Sanczuk P, Govaert S, Meeussen C, De Pauw K, Vanneste T, Depauw L, et al. Small scale environmental variation modulates plant defence syndromes of understorey plants in deciduous forests of Europe. GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY. 2021;30(1):205–19.
IEEE
[1]
P. Sanczuk et al., “Small scale environmental variation modulates plant defence syndromes of understorey plants in deciduous forests of Europe,” GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 205–219, 2021.
@article{8680894,
  abstract     = {{Aim: Variation in plant defence traits has been frequently assessed along large‐scale macroclimatic clines. In contrast, local‐scale changes in the environment have recently been proposed to also modulate plant defence traits. Yet, the relative importance of drivers at both scales has never been tested. We aimed to quantify the relative importance of environmental drivers inherent to large and small spatial scales on the physical and chemical defence and tolerance to herbivory in understorey plant species of deciduous forests of Europe.

Location: Deciduous forests in Europe.
Time period: Present.
Major taxa studied: Forest understorey plants.

Methods: We sampled four typical ancient forest herbs (Anemone nemorosa, Oxalis acetosella, Deschampsia cespitosa, Milium effusum) along small and large spatial scale gradients (those driven by latitude, elevation, forest management and distance to the forest edge), and analysed a suite of nine constitutively expressed traits associated with overall resistance to herbivory, and their multivariate response to environmental clines.

Results: Although our study included a large gradient in macroclimate, we found variation in the local environment at small spatial scales (i.e. soil nutrient concentration and forest structural complexity) to be more important in predicting plant resistance to herbivory.

Main conclusions: In addition to macroclimatic conditions, subtle differences in forest microclimate and soil characteristics also played a major role in modulating plant defence phenotypes. These findings highlight the importance of the local habitat structure and environmental conditions in modulating plant resistance to herbivory.}},
  author       = {{Sanczuk, Pieter and Govaert, Sanne and Meeussen, Camille and De Pauw, Karen and Vanneste, Thomas and Depauw, Leen and Moreira, Xoaquín and Schoelynck, Jonas and De Boevre, Marthe and De Saeger, Sarah and Bollmann, Kurt and Brunet, Jörg and Cousins, Sara A. O. and Plue, Jan and Diekmann, Martin and Graae, Bente J. and Hedwall, Per‐Ola and Iacopetti, Giovanni and Lenoir, Jonathan and Orczewska, Anna and Ponette, Quentin and Selvi, Federico and Spicher, Fabien and Vermeir, Pieter and Calders, Kim and Verbeeck, Hans and Verheyen, Kris and Vangansbeke, Pieter and De Frenne, Pieter}},
  issn         = {{1466-822X}},
  journal      = {{GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY}},
  keywords     = {{CAVElab,Ecology,Global and Planetary Change,Ecology,Evolution,Behavior and Systematics,climate,forest microclimate,forest understorey,latitudinal gradient,plant defence syndrome,plant&#8211,herbivore interactions,resource availability hypothesis,RESOURCE AVAILABILITY HYPOTHESIS,LATITUDINAL VARIATION,HERBIVORE INTERACTIONS,ELEVATIONAL GRADIENTS,CHEMICAL DEFENSES,BIOLOGICAL FLORA,BRITISH-ISLES,GROWTH FORM,TRAITS,PATTERNS}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{205--219}},
  title        = {{Small scale environmental variation modulates plant defence syndromes of understorey plants in deciduous forests of Europe}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geb.13216}},
  volume       = {{30}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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