Is life in the garden less dangerous?

You might think that plants growing in gardens would face fewer pest problems as gardeners vigilantly defend them against unsightly leaf damage and flower mangling.  For introduced ornamental plants this could be just the boost they need to escape the garden walls and become invasive.  However, a study comparing herbivory on native and non-native plants in garden and natural settings, found no difference in herbivory for plants grown in different settings.  Native plants did suffer more insect damage than introduced plants, but it didn’t matter where they grew.

Matter, S. F., Brzyski, J. R., Harrison, C. J., Hyams, S., Loo, C., Loomis, J., Lubbers, H.R., Seastrum, L., Stamper, T. I., Stein, A. M., Stokes, R. and Wilkerson, B. S. 2012. Invading from the garden? A comparison of leaf herbivory for exotic and native plants in natural and ornamental settings. Insect Science. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7917.2012.01524.x

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