Tolerance to herbivory in woody vs. herbaceous plants

Citation
E. Haukioja et J. Koricheva, Tolerance to herbivory in woody vs. herbaceous plants, EVOL ECOL, 14(4-6), 2000, pp. 551-562
Citations number
51
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY
ISSN journal
0269-7653 → ACNP
Volume
14
Issue
4-6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
551 - 562
Database
ISI
SICI code
0269-7653(2000)14:4-6<551:TTHIWV>2.0.ZU;2-2
Abstract
Research on plant tolerance to herbivory has been so far largely focussed o n herbaceous plants partly due to the implicit assumption that woody plants are inherently lower in their compensatory potential as compared to herbs. However, tolerance to herbivory should be an important part of resistance of woody plants because their apparency to herbivory is high due to a large size and long life span, and their defence systems cannot completely exclu de herbivory. Moreover, the longer life span, more complex modularity and h igher sectorality of woody plants as compared to herbs imply that compensat ory responses in woody plants may take several years to develop, and that c onsequences of herbivore damage to individual modules may profoundly differ from whole-plant responses. Therefore, short-term studies using branches o r ramets as experimental units are likely to underestimate the tolerance of woody plants to herbivory. In addition, defoliation by insects (the most c ommon type of herbivory experienced by woody plants) is less likely to rele ase apical dominance and trigger biomass compensation than mammalian grazin g on herbaceous plants. We conclude, therefore, that the seemingly differen t recovery potentials exhibited by woody and herbaceous plants are more lik ely to be the consequences of differences between the two types of plants i n modular architecture, longevity and the type of herbivory they commonly e xperience rather than indications of inherent differences in compensatory a bility.