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Biology Department NSF

Preliminary work on the volatile compounds in Lindera benzoin indicates that sun leaves overall have more volatile compounds and a greater proportion of lower molecular weight compounds than shade leaves, and that a number of them that we have identified including ocimene and α-curcumene have been shown to cue parasitoids. We have preliminary documentation that E. hortaria is parasitized by a number of parasitic chalcid wasps and tachinid flies. Rates of parasitism of field-collected larvae have been has high as 20%. Thus, tritrophic interactions could be important in our system. Given that volatile chemistry varies with light environment, it follows that rates of parasitism as well as patterns of oviposition should also vary with light environment.


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