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item Abts, Anna
item Lang, Kimberly
item Vaughn, Steven
item Morris, Sherri
item Mcconnaughay, Kelli

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/11/2006
Publication Date: 8/11/2006
Citation: Abts, A.J., Lang, K.A., Vaughn, S.F., Morris, S.J., Mcconnaughay, K.D. 2006. Intergenerational differences in defensive chemical production in alliaria petiolata. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Poster 71. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) is an invasive species in temperate forests throughout North America whose presence leads to decreases in species diversity. Garlic mustard produces an arsenal of secondary chemicals, primarily glucosinolates, that serve as defense against herbivores. We previously hypothesized that carbon and nitrogen availabilities in the environment modulate internal (tissue level) C and N availability, which in turn modulate glucosinolate production. We examined variability in plant growth and tissue carbon, nitrogen, and glucosinolate (specifically sinigrin and glucotropaeolin) profiles in natural populations of garlic mustard from five forest sites that vary in light availability, soil pH, and soil nitrogen availability. Our data are partially consistent with our original hypothesis, but obvious and unpredicted differences in sinigrin production between first- and second-year plants were observed. Sinigrin production in first-year plants was highest in sites where sinigrin production was least for second-year plants and vice versa. First-year plants with the highest levels of sinigrin grew in sites with high soil nitrogen availability, consistent with the Carbon/Nutrient Balance Hypothesis. In contrast, glucotropaeolin production was high in sites with limited light availability and reduced growth for first- and second-year plants, consistent with the Resource Availability Hypothesis. We propose that glucosinolate profiles of garlic mustard plants are determined by a complex interplay of resource availability, induction via herbivores, and intergenerational dynamics. Understanding the factors that regulate the cache of glucosinolates in garlic mustard will improve our ability to manage systems that are, or could become, dominated by this aggressive invader.