Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomus intraradices) on the oviposition of rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus)

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Root-feeding insects are important drivers in ecosystems, and links between aboveground oviposition preference and belowground larval performance have been suggested. The root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play a central role in plant nutrition and are known to change host quality for root-feeding insects. However, it is not known if and how AMF affect the aboveground oviposition of insects whose offspring feed on roots. According to the preference-performance hypothesis, insect herbivores oviposit on plants that will maximize offspring performance. In a greenhouse experiment with rice (Oryza sativa), we investigated the effects of AMF (Glomus intraradices) on aboveground oviposition of rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus), the larvae of which feed belowground on the roots. Oviposition (i. e., the numbers of eggs laid by weevil females in leaf sheaths) was enhanced when the plants were colonized by AMF. However, the leaf area consumed by adult weevils was not affected. Although AMF reduced plant biomass, it increased nitrogen (N) and phosphorus concentrations in leaves and N in roots. The results suggest that rice water weevil females are able to discriminate plants for oviposition depending on their mycorrhizal status. The discrimination is probably related to AMF-mediated changes in plant quality, i. e., the females choose to oviposit more on plants with higher nutrient concentrations to potentially optimize offspring performance. AMF-mediated change in plant host choice for chewing insect oviposition is a novel aspect of below- and aboveground interactions. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

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