Interspecific Drought Cuing in Plants

Omer Falik, Ariel Novoplansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Plants readily communicate with their pollinators, herbivores, symbionts, and the predators and pathogens of their herbivores. We previously demonstrated that plants could exchange, relay, and adaptively utilize drought cues from their conspecific neighbors. Here, we studied the hypothesis that plants can exchange drought cues with their interspecific neighbors. Triplets of various combinations of split-root Stenotaphrum secundatum and Cynodon dactylon plants were planted in rows of four pots. One root of the first plant was subjected to drought while its other root shared its pot with one of the roots of an unstressed target neighbor, which, in turn, shared its other pot with an additional unstressed target neighbor. Drought cuing and relayed cuing were observed in all intra- and interspecific neighbor combinations, but its strength depended on plant identity and position. Although both species initiated similar stomatal closure in both immediate and relayed intraspecific neighbors, interspecific cuing between stressed plants and their immediate unstressed neighbors depended on neighbor identity. Combined with previous findings, the results suggest that stress cuing and relay cuing could affect the magnitude and fate of interspecific interactions, and the ability of whole communities to endure abiotic stresses. The findings call for further investigation into the mechanisms and ecological implications of interplant stress cuing at the population and community levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1200
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Cynodon dactylon
  • drought stress
  • interspecific plant communication
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • root communication
  • Stenotaphrum secundatum
  • stomata
  • stress cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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