, 78:107 | Cite as

How do macrophytes growing in or close to water reduce their consumption by aquatic herbivores?

  • C. Otto
  • B. S. Svensson


Larvae of Potamophylax cingulatus (Steph.) (Trichoptera) which are polyphagous herbi- and detritivorous, were used as test organism to investigate the palatability of aquatic and terrestrial macrophytes. In 7 out of 9 plant pairs the consumption rate was low on the species growing in or close to water. The consumption rate was negatively correlated with the nitrogen content of the plant. It is argued that the majority of the aquatic plants produce secondary plant substances, which reduce the attacks by aquatic herbivores. A restricted distribution, the long time of exposure to herbivores, as well as the relatively large probability of being discovered at the border of an inhabitable area, are factors suggested to have influenced the development of chemical defence mechanisms in aquatic macrophytes.


Aquatic macrophytes consumption caddis larvae 


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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk b. v. Publishers 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Otto
    • 1
  • B. S. Svensson
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Animal EcologyUniv. of Lund, Ecology BuildingLundSweden

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