Correlations between physical and chemical defences in plants: tradeoffs, syndromes, or just many different ways to skin a herbivorous cat?
Repository Usage Stats
Most plant species have a range of traits that deter herbivores. However, understanding of how different defences are related to one another is surprisingly weak. Many authors argue that defence traits trade off against one another, while others argue that they form coordinated defence syndromes. We collected a dataset of unprecedented taxonomic and geographic scope (261 species spanning 80 families, from 75 sites across the globe) to investigate relationships among four chemical and six physical defences. Five of the 45 pairwise correlations between defence traits were significant and three of these were tradeoffs. The relationship between species' overall chemical and physical defence levels was marginally nonsignificant (P = 0.08), and remained nonsignificant after accounting for phylogeny, growth form and abundance. Neither categorical principal component analysis (PCA) nor hierarchical cluster analysis supported the idea that species displayed defence syndromes. Our results do not support arguments for tradeoffs or for coordinated defence syndromes. Rather, plants display a range of combinations of defence traits. We suggest this lack of consistent defence syndromes may be adaptive, resulting from selective pressure to deploy a different combination of defences to coexisting species.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/nph.12116
Publication InfoMoles, Angela T; Peco, Begoña; Wallis, Ian R; Foley, William J; Poore, Alistair GB; Seabloom, Eric W; ... Hui, Francis KC (2013). Correlations between physical and chemical defences in plants: tradeoffs, syndromes, or just many different ways to skin a herbivorous cat?. The New phytologist, 198(1). pp. 252-263. 10.1111/nph.12116. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17634.
This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.
More InfoShow full item record
Associate Professor of Tropical Ecology
John Poulsen is an ecologist with broad interests in the maintenance and regeneration of tropical forests and conservation of biodiversity. His research has focused on the effects of anthropogenic disturbance, such as logging and hunting, on forest structure and diversity, abundance of tropical animals, and ecological processes. He has conducted most of his research in Central Africa, where he has also worked as a conservation manager, directing projects to sustainably manage natural resources i
Articles written by Duke faculty are made available through the campus open access policy. For more information see: Duke Open Access Policy
Rights for Collection: Scholarly Articles
Works are deposited here by their authors, and represent their research and opinions, not that of Duke University. Some materials and descriptions may include offensive content. More info