How does variation among and within plants affect interactions with herbivores?
My research focuses on how and why plant phenotypes vary within species, and the consequences of that variation at higher trophic levels. In particular, I am interested in mechanisms of population-level variation in plant defense traits and in plant ontogeny as an important axis of trait diversity across scales.
For my current experiments, I am working with common milkweed and its insect herbivores. I am investigating how climate and genetic variation interact with plant ontogeny to shape milkweed trait diversity and associated insect communities. Publications (Google Scholar): Cope, OL, Keeefover-Ring, K, Kruger, EL, and RL Lindroth. 2021. Growth-defense trade-offs shape population genetic composition in an iconic forest tree species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (Early Online) https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2103162118
Cope, OL, Lindroth, RL, Helm, A, Keefover-Ring, K, and EL Kruger. 2021. Trait plasticity and tradeoffs shape intra-specific variation in competitive response in a foundation tree species. New Phytologist 230(2):710-719. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.17166
Cope, OL, KF Rubert-Nason, EL Kruger, and RL Lindroth. 2019. Chemical defense at decadal scales: ontogenetic trajectories and consequences for fitness in a foundation tree species. Functional Ecology 33:2105-2115. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365‐2435.13425
Cope, OL. 2015. Transpiration effects and inquilines in a lepidopteran stem gall. Berkeley Scientific Journal 19(2):49-51.
Presentations: Cope OL. "What drives within-species variation in plant defense?". Invited seminar, Colorado State University Dept. of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management. 23 Oct. 2019.
Cope OL, K Keefover-Ring, EL Kruger, and RL Lindroth. “Competiton-mediated costs of defense and their consequences for aspen populations”. Ecological Society of America Meeting, 15 Aug. 2019
Cope OL, K Keefover-Ring, EL Kruger, and RL Lindroth. “Competiton-mediated costs of defense shape trajectories of herbivore resistance traits in aspen populations”. Gordon Research Conference on Plant-Herbivore Interactions, 26 Feb. 2019
Cope OL, K Keefover-Ring, EL Kruger, and RL Lindroth. “Does competition shape evolutionary trajectories of insect resistance in forest stands?”. Entomological Society of America Joint Annual Meeting, 12 Nov. 2018
Cope OL and RL Lindroth. “Clonal ramets of trembling aspen do not coordinate defense induction”. Entomological Society of America North Central Branch Meeting, 19 Mar. 2018
Cope OL, EL Kruger, KF Rubert-Nason, and RL Lindroth. “Long-term developmental trajectories in herbivore defense in a foundation tree species”. Ecological Society of America Meeting, 10 Aug. 2017