Are naive birds attracted to herbivore-induced plant defences?

Luisa Amo*, Marcel Dicke, Marcel E. Visser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arthropod herbivory induces the emission of plant volatiles that can be used by natural enemies of the herbivores to find their prey. Recently it has been shown that insectivorous birds also use these volatiles to locate their prey. Results of a previous study showed that birds with experience in foraging for caterpillars in trees were able to discriminate between caterpillar-infested and uninfested trees, even in the absence of caterpillars or their damage on leaves. Here, we tested whether the attraction to caterpillar-infested trees is exhibited in birds naive with respect to finding caterpillars on trees. Results show that naive great tits (Parus major) were not attracted to infested trees, when they could not see the larvae or their feeding damage. Naive birds cannot discriminate between caterpillar-infested and uninfested trees. Therefore, the attraction to caterpillar-infested trees does not seem to be innate in great tits, and may be acquired through learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-366
Number of pages14
JournalBehaviour
Volume153
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • multitrophic interactions
  • induced indirect plant defence
  • insect herbivores
  • insectivorous birds
  • foraging
  • avian olfaction
  • innate
  • learning
  • PREDATOR-PREY INTERACTIONS
  • INSECTIVOROUS BIRDS
  • DIMETHYL SULFIDE
  • INFOCHEMICAL USE
  • PARASITIC WASPS
  • VOLATILES
  • TREES
  • INSECTS
  • FOOD
  • DAMAGE

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