Increased thorn length in Acacia depranolobium —an induced response to browsing
- 137 Downloads
I report here longer thorns induced by large mammal herbivory on the tree Acacia depranolobium. I compared trees that had been browsed by domestic goats to trees protected from goat browsing. Thorns on browsed branches within the reach of goats (<125 cm above the ground) were significantly longer than thorns from higher branches on the same browsed trees, and significantly longer than branches at similar heights on unbrowsed trees. It appears that increased thorn length was an induced response to large mammal herbivory in Acacia depranolobium, both among and within individual trees.
Key wordsInduced defense Herbivory
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Abrahamson WG (1975) Reproductive strategies of dewberries. Ecology 56:721–726Google Scholar
- Cooper SM, Owen-Smith N (1986) Effects of plant spinescence on large mammalian herbivores. Oecologia (Berlin) 68:446–455Google Scholar
- Grimsdell JJR (1979) Changes in populations of resident ungulates. In: Sinclair ARE, Norton-Griffiths M (eds) Serengeti: Dynamics of an Ecosystem. University of Chicago Press, Chicago London, pp 352–359Google Scholar
- Karban R (1983) Induced responses of cherry trees to periodic cicada oviposition. Oecologia (Berlin) 59:226–231Google Scholar
- Karban R, Carey JR (1984) Induced resistance of cotton seedlings to mites. Nature 225:53–54Google Scholar
- McNaughton SJ, Tarrants JL (1983) Grass leaf silification: natural selection for an inducible defense against herbivores. Proc Nat Acad Sci 80:790–791Google Scholar
- Ottichilo WK (1986) Population estimates and distribution patterns of elephants in the Tsavo ecosystem, Kenya, in 1980. Afr J Ecol 24:53–58Google Scholar
- Rhoades DF (1983) Herbivore population dynamics and plant chemistry. In: Denno RF, McClure MS (eds) Variable Plants and Herbivores in Natural System. Academic Press, New York London, pp 155–220Google Scholar
- Shultz JC, Baldwin IT (1982) Oak leaf quality declines in response to defoliation by gypsy moth larvae. Science 217:149–150Google Scholar
- Young TP, Smith AP (1987) Herbivory on alpine Mount Kenya. In: Rundel P (ed) Tropical Alpine Systems: Plant Form and Function. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar