Oecologia

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 544–548

Leaf palatability, life expectancy and herbivore damage

  • T. R. E. Southwood
  • V. K. Brown
  • P. M. Reader
Original Papers

Summary

Observations on leaves from plants with a wide range of life-forms, ruderals to trees, indicate that palatability to insect herbivores is strongly correlated with the life-expectancy of the leaves. The amount of damage suffered in the field is however inversely correlated with palatability; although the rate of damage is less on unpalatable leaves, their longer life means that they accumulate damage over a longer period. It is only with extremely well-defended evergreen leaves, that the total damage is less than that experienced by less palatable (but short-lived) leaves. These observations are related to the current theories on relative palatability (the apparency theory and the resource availability theory), within the framework of the habitat templet.

Key words

Leaves Palatability Life-expectancy Herbivory Apparency 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brown VK (1984) Secondary succession: insect-plant relationships. Bio Science 34:710–716Google Scholar
  2. Brown VK, Southwood TRE (1983) Trophic diversity in the breadth and generation times of exopterygote insects in a secondary succession. Oecologia (Berlin) 56:220–225Google Scholar
  3. Brown VK, Southwood TRE (1986) Secondary succession: Patterns and strategies. In: Gray A, Edwards P, Crawley MJ (eds) Colonisation, Succession & Stability. Symp Brit Ecol Soc 26 (in press)Google Scholar
  4. Coley PD (1983a) Intraspecific variation in herbivory on two tropical tree species. Ecology 64:426–433Google Scholar
  5. Coley PD (1983b) Herbivory and defensive characteristics of tree species in a lowland tropical forest. Ecol Monographs 53:209–213Google Scholar
  6. Coley PD, Bryant JP, Chapin FS (1985) Resource availability and plant antiherbivore defense. Science 230:895–899Google Scholar
  7. Edlin HL (1985) Broad leaves (2nd ed., revised by Mitchell AF) HMSOGoogle Scholar
  8. Feeny P (1976) Plant apparency and chemical defense. Rec Adv Phytochem 10:1–40Google Scholar
  9. Greenslade PJM (1983) Adversity selection and the Habitat Templet. Amer Nat 122:352–365Google Scholar
  10. Grime JP (1977) Evidence for the existence of three primary strategies in plants and its relevance to ecological and evolutionary theory. Amer Nat 111:1169–1194Google Scholar
  11. Grime JP (1979) Plant Strategies and Vegetation Processes. J Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Grime JP (1986) Dominant and subordinate components of plant communities — implications for succession, stability and diversity. In Gray A, Edwards P, Crawley MJ (eds). Colonization, Succession & Stability Symp Brit Ecol Soc 26 (in press)Google Scholar
  13. McNeill S, Prestidge RA (1982) Plant nutritional strategies and insect herbivore community dynamics. Proc 5th int Symp Insect-Plant relationships, Wageningen (Pudoc Wageningen)Google Scholar
  14. Painter RH (1951) Insect resistance in crop plants. Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Peterken GF, Lloyd PS (1967) Ilex aquilifolium L (Biological Flora of the British Isles 108). J Ecol 55:841–858Google Scholar
  16. Rathcke B (1985) Slugs as generalist herbivores: tests of three hypotheses on plant choices. Ecology 66:828–836Google Scholar
  17. Reader PM, Southwood TRE (1981) The relationship between palatability to invertebrates and the successional status of a plant. Oecologia (Berlin) 51:271–275Google Scholar
  18. Rhoades DF, Cates RG (1976) Towards a general theory of plant antiherbivore chemistry. Rec Adv Phytochem 10:168–213Google Scholar
  19. Southwood TRE (1977) Habitat, the templet for ecological strategies? J Anim Ecol 46:337–365Google Scholar
  20. Southwood TRE (1978) Ecological methods with particular reference to the study of insect populations. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Southwood TRE, Brown VK, Reader PM (1979) The relationships of plant and insect diversities in succession. Biol J Linn Soc 12:327–348Google Scholar
  22. Southwood TRE, Brown VK, Reader PM (1983) Continuity of vegetation in space and time: a comparison of insects' habitat templet in different successional stages. Res Popul Ecol Supplement 3:61–74Google Scholar
  23. Strong DR, Lawton JH, Southwood TRE (1984) Insects on Plants. Blackwells, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. R. E. Southwood
    • 1
  • V. K. Brown
    • 2
  • P. M. Reader
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Department of Pure and Applied BiologyImperial CollegeLondonUK

Personalised recommendations