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- Integrative Cancer Therapies 11/2013; 12(6):453. DOI:10.1177/1534735413502077
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ABSTRACT: Insects and nematodes are the most diverse and abundant groups of multicellular animals feeding on plants on either side of the soil-air interface. Several herbivore-induced responses are systemic, and hence can influence the preference and performance of organisms in other plant organs. Recent studies show that plants mediate interactions between belowground plant parasitic nematodes and aboveground herbivorous insects. Based on the knowledge of plant responses to pathogens, we review the emerging insights on plant systemic responses against root-feeding nematodes and shoot-feeding insects. We discuss the potential mechanisms of plant-mediated indirect interactions between both groups of organisms and point to gaps in our knowledge. Root-feeding nematodes can positively or negatively affect shoot herbivorous insects, and vice versa. The outcomes of the interactions between these spatially separated herbivore communities appear to be influenced by the feeding strategy of the nematodes and the insects, as well as by host plant susceptibility to both herbivores. The potential mechanisms for these interactions include systemic induced plant defence, interference with the translocation and dynamics of locally induced secondary metabolites, and reallocation of plant nutritional reserves. During evolution, plant parasitic nematodes as well as herbivorous insects have acquired effectors that modify plant defence responses and resource allocation patterns to their advantage. However, it is also known that plants under herbivore attack change the allocation of their resources, e.g. for compensatory growth responses, which may affect the performance of other organisms feeding on the plant. Studying the chemical and molecular basis of these interactions will reveal the molecular mechanisms that are involved. Moreover, it will lead to a better understanding of the ecological relevance of aboveground-belowground interactions, as well as support the development of sustainable pesFrontiers in Plant Science 04/2013; 4:87. DOI:10.3389/fpls.2013.00087
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ABSTRACT: Seasonal dietary composition and food habits of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) were studied in Babile Elephant Sanctuary, Ethiopia. Both focal watch and indirect methods such as analyzing habitat, interviews, and identifying seeds in the dung were used to collect data. Food habit was quantified by calculating preference indices. Elephants consumed 73 plant species. Data on fresh feeding signs either browsed or debarked showed 51 species, while an examination of elephant dung piles yielded seeds representing 21 species. Among the plants consumed by elephants, Opuntia ficus-indica was utilized the most (23.81 %), followed by Acacia robusta (20.17 %), Acacia nigrii (12.61 %) and Opuntia stricta (10.20 %). All other recorded plants were utilized below 10 %. This is a relict population of African elephant, which is in danger of extinction due to habitat loss and degradation.
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