, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 247-249

Trade-off among antiherbivore defences in a south american blackberry (Rubus bogotensis)

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The idea of trade-offs among antiherbivore defences in plants is examined using data from a South American blackberry (Rubus bogotensis). Two distinct morphs of R. bogotensis, one with glandular trichomes and one without, were compared with respect to leaf toughness, number of prickles and prickle length. The two morphs were sympatric and grew under similar environmental conditions. The morph lacking trichomes had significantly tougher leaves and also tended to have more and longer prickles. Bioassay showed that Ithomiid larvae fed to a lesser extent on tough leaves than on more tender ones. Correlations between antiherbivore defences within each phenotype revealed three significant or almost significant negative relationships. The comparisons support the hypothesis that trade-offs exist among antiherbivore defences.