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PDF 294 KB
Pages 983-986
First published 30 July 2014

Evolution of Chemical Signals in ecological system evoked by the "cry-wolf" plants

Megumi Sakai and Yasuhiro Suzuki

Abstract (Excerpt)

We model the tritrophic system composed of plants, herbivores, and carnivores, where plants produce chemical signals when they suffer from feeding damage by herbivores; and this chemical, Herbivore Induced Plant Volatile (HIPV) attracts carnivores, thus plants can indirectly protect themselves from feeding damages caused by herbivores. Carnivores in this system are able to evaluate and learn its usefulness of the chemical signals, therefore plants do not emit the chemical signals until the population of herbivores becomes large enough for carnivores, where in the coupled tritrophic system, it has been confirmed that there are plants called "cry wolf plants" that emit chemical signals even if there are few herbivores. It has been pointed out that if there emerges cry wolf plants in this system, chemical signals may change in order to preserve the quality of information and keep on attracting carnivores. We model the tritrophic system including cry wolf plants, and we confirm that the chemical signal may change through simulations of the model. Further we show the chemical signal may not change when plants grow densely in the field.