Data from: Lobelia siphilitica plants that escape herbivory in time also have reduced latex production
Parachnowitsch, Amy L.; Caruso, Christina M.; Campbell, Stuart A.; Kessler, Andre (2012), Data from: Lobelia siphilitica plants that escape herbivory in time also have reduced latex production, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n3f4g
Flowering phenology is an important determinant of a plant’s reproductive success. Both assortative mating and niche construction can result in the evolution of correlations between phenology and other reproductive, functional, and life history traits. Correlations between phenology and herbivore defence traits are particularly likely because the timing of flowering can allow a plant to escape herbivory. To test whether herbivore escape and defence are correlated, we estimated phenotypic and genetic correlations between flowering phenology and latex production in greenhouse-grown Lobelia siphilitica L. (Lobeliaceae). Lobelia siphilitica plants that flower later escape herbivory by a specialist pre-dispersal seed predator, and thus should invest fewer resources in defence. Consistent with this prediction, we found that later flowering was phenotypically and genetically correlated with reduced latex production. To test whether herbivore escape and latex production were costly, we also measured four fitness correlates. Flowering phenology was negatively genetically correlated with three out of four fitness estimates, suggesting that herbivore escape can be costly. In contrast, we did not find evidence for costs of latex production. Generally, our results suggest that herbivore escape and defensive traits will not evolve independently in L. siphilitica.