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Plants thrive in dynamic environments requiring adaptive strategies in response to environmental stressors. Furthermore, insect herbivores may be attracted or deterred by the expression of these traits. This study examines growth, physiological, and phytochemical adaptations of maple trees in response to stressors and how these stressors effect herbivore feeding behavior within an agricultural production system. Agricultural systems are unique because plants experience environmental stressors unique to production such as herbicide sprays and girdling. Using four environmental stressors commonly observed in agricultural production (control, mechanical defoliation, chemical defoliation, and girdling), applied to two cultivars of red maple (Acer rubrum, ‘Brandywine’ and ‘Franksred’), this study analyzed differentiation of expressed traits in a production system. Responses varied depending on cultivar and stress treatment but had no effect on insect herbivore behavior. Understanding the ecological interactions within these systems will provide information for better plant production and pest management recommendations.

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