Leaf phenology, seasonal changes in leaf quality and herbivory pattern of Sanguisorba tenuifolia at different altitudes
- Cite this article as:
- Suzuki, S. Oecologia (1998) 117: 169. doi:10.1007/s004420050645
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Leaf demography, seasonal changes in leaf quality and leaf-beetle herbivory of a herbaceous perennial plant, Sanguisorba tenuifolia, were compared between low- and high-elevation sites. Leaf nitrogen concentration was higher and leaf mass per area (LMA) was lower at the higher site than at the lower one. At the lower site, with a long growth period, plants produced many leaf cohorts and leaves emerged throughout the growing season. At the higher site, with a short growth period, however, leaf emergence was concentrated early in the growing season. The improvement of leaf quality and acceleration of leaf emergence at higher altitude are seen as adaptations to a short growing season. Results of a feeding trial suggested that leaf quality for the leaf-beetle Galerucella grisescens was higher at the higher site, but plants at the higher site showed less damage. Oviposition of G. grisescens was seasonal and unimodal at both altitudes, but the period of oviposition was shorter and its density lower at the higher site. The low temperature and short growth period at the higher site appear to reduce the activity of the leaf-beetles, resulting in a decrease in damage by herbivory, despite better leaf quality.