Successional Change in Phosphorus Stoichiometry Explains the Inverse Relationship between Herbivory and Lupin Density on Mount St. Helens
Apple, Jennifer L.
Wills, S. E.
Bishop, John G.
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The average nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratio (N?P) of insect herbivores is less than that of leaves, suggesting that P may mediate plant-insect interactions more often than appreciated. We investigated whether succession-related heterogeneity in N and P stoichiometry influences herbivore performance on N-fixing lupin (Lupinus lepidus) colonizing primary successional volcanic surfaces, where the abundances of several specialist lepidopteran herbivores are inversely related to lupin density and are known to alter lupin colonization dynamics. We examined larval performance in response to leaf nutritional characteristics using gelechiid and pyralid leaf-tiers, and a noctuid leaf-cutter.