Section: Ecology
Topic: Ecology, Evolution, Biology of interactions

Comment on "Information arms race explains plant-herbivore chemical communication in ecological communities"

10.24072/pcjournal.102 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 2 (2022), article no. e19.

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Zu et al (Science, 19 Jun 2020, p. 1377) propose that an ‘information arms-race’ between plants and herbivores explains plant-herbivore communication at the community level. However, the analysis presented here shows that key assumptions of the proposed model either a) conflict with standard evolutionary theory or b) with our current understanding of plant-insect interactions and phytochemical evolution. We investigate whether specific conditional information might be more suitable as a fitness proxy than the community averages proposed by Zu et al. Finally, we show that the presented statistical patterns can be explained more parsimoniously (e.g. through a null model) without invoking an unlikely process of community selection.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.102
Type: Comment & Reply

Bass, Ethan 1; Kessler, André 1

1 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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Bass, Ethan; Kessler, André. Comment on "Information arms race explains plant-herbivore chemical communication in ecological communities". Peer Community Journal, Volume 2 (2022), article  no. e19. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.102.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.ecology.100094

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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