Skip to main content

Data from: Costs and tradeoffs of resistance and tolerance to belowground herbivory in potato

Cite this dataset

Garrido, Etzel et al. (2017). Data from: Costs and tradeoffs of resistance and tolerance to belowground herbivory in potato [Dataset]. Dryad.


1. The success of sustainable crop production depends on our ability to select or create varieties that can allocate resources to both growth and defence. However, breeding efforts have emphasized increases in yields but have partially neglected defence traits against pests. Estimating the costs of multiple defences against tuber herbivores and the tradeoffs among them, as well as understanding the relationship between yield and multiple defences is still unknown but relevant to both basic and applied ecology. 2. Using twenty commercial potato varieties available in Colombia and the tuber herbivore Tecia solanivora, we tested whether high yielding varieties show a reduction in three types of defence: constitutive and induced resistance, as well as tolerance. Specifically, we determined (1) the costs in terms of yield of all three defences, (2) the possible tradeoffs among them, and (3) if oviposition preference was related to the expression of these defences. 3. We detected no costs in terms of yield of constitutive and induced resistance to tuber damage. We did, however, find evidence of costs of being able to tolerate tuber herbivory. While we found no tradeoffs among any of the estimated defences, there was a positive correlation between aboveground compensatory growth and tolerance in terms of tuber production, suggesting that after damage there are no shifts in the allocation of resources from aboveground to belowground biomass. Finally, we found that females laid more eggs on those varieties with the lowest level of constitutive resistance. 4. Synthesis and applications. Our findings suggest that in potatoes, breeding for higher yields has not caused any reduction in constitutive or induced resistance to tuber damage. This is not the case for tolerance where those varieties with higher yields are also less likely to tolerate tuber damage. Given the high incidence of tuber pests in Colombia, selecting for higher tolerance could allow for high productivity in the presence of herbivores. Finding mechanisms to decouple the tolerance response from yield should be a new priority in potato breeding in Colombia to guarantee a higher yield in both the presence and absence of herbivores.

Usage notes