Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 238–241 | Cite as

Costs and benefits of defense by tannins in a neotropical tree

  • Phyllis D. Coley
Original Papers

Summary

The costs and benefits of defense by tannins were investigated for a neotropical tree, Cecropia peltata L. (Moraceae). Seedlings of equal age were grown under uniform conditions in a greenhouse for 18 months. Within a plant, leaf tannin concentrations measured in different years were highly correlated. Tannin concentrations differed substantially among individuals; plants with high tannin content had lower damage levels in herbivory experiments. The effects of tannin on herbivory appeared to be dosage dependent. There was, however, a cost associated with tannin production in terms of reduced leaf production.

Key words

Defense Herbivory Tannins Cecropia Neotropical trees 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Berenbaum M (1984) Effects of tannin ingestion on two species of papilionid caterpillars. Entomol Exp Appl 34:245–250Google Scholar
  2. Bernays EA (1978) Tannins: An alternative viewpoint. Ent Exp Appl 24:44–53Google Scholar
  3. Bernays EA (1981) Plant tannins and insect herbivores: An appraisal. Ecol Ent 6:353–360Google Scholar
  4. Bernays EA, Chamberlain DJ, McCarthy P (1980) The differential effects of ingested tannic acid on different species of Acridoidea. Entomol Exp Appl 28:158–166Google Scholar
  5. Bernays EA, Woodhead S (1982) Plant phenols utilized as nutrients by a phytophagous insect. Science 219:201–202Google Scholar
  6. Cates RG (1975) The interface between slugs and wild ginger: Some evolutionary aspects. Ecol 56:391–400Google Scholar
  7. Chew FS, Rodman JE (1979) Plant resources for chemical defense. In: Rosenthal GA, Janzen DH (eds) Herbivores: Their interaction with secondary plant metabolites. Academic Press, New York, pp 271–307Google Scholar
  8. Coley PD (1983 a) Herbivory and defensive characteristics of tree species in a lowland tropical forest. Ecol Mongr 53:209–233Google Scholar
  9. Coley PD (1983 b) Intraspecific variation in herbivory on two tropical tree species. Ecol 64:426–433Google Scholar
  10. Coley PD, Bryant JP, Chapin FS III (1985) Resource availability and plant anti-herbivore defense. Science 230:895–899Google Scholar
  11. Denno RF, McClure MS (1983) Variable plants and herbivores in natural and managed systems. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Feeny PP (1968) Effects of oak leaf tannins on larval growth of the winter moth Operophtera brumata. J Insect Physiol 14:805–817Google Scholar
  13. Feeny PP (1969) Inhibitory effects of oak leaf tannins on the hydrolysis of proteins by trypsin. Phytochem 8:2119–2126Google Scholar
  14. Feeny PP (1976) Plant apparency and chemical defense. In: Wallace J, Mansell RL (eds) Biochemical interactions between plants and insects. Rec Adv in Phytochem vol 10, Plenum Press, New York, pp 1–40Google Scholar
  15. Foulds W, Grime JP (1972) The responses of cyanogenic and acyanogenic phenotypes of Trifolium repens to soil moisture supply. Heredity 28:181–187Google Scholar
  16. Gulman SL, Chu CC (1981) The effects of light and nitrogen on photosynthesis, leaf characteristics, and dry matter allocation in the chaparral shrub, Diplacus auranticacus. Oecologia (Berlin) 49:207–212Google Scholar
  17. Gulmon SL, Mooney HA (1986) Costs of defense on plant productivity. In: Givnish TJ (ed) On the Economy of Plant Form and Function. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, pp 681–698Google Scholar
  18. Hagerman AE, Butler LG (1981) The specificity of proanthocyanidin-protein interactions. J Biol Chem 256:4494–4497Google Scholar
  19. Hanover JW (1966) Genetics of terpenes I. Gene control of monoterpene levels in Pinus monticola Dougl. Heredity 21:73–84Google Scholar
  20. Hegnauer R (1969) Chemotaxonomie der Pflanzen. vol V. Birkhauser, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  21. Lubchenco J, Gaines SD (1981) A unified approach to marine plant-herbivore interactions I. Populations and communities. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 12:405–437Google Scholar
  22. Macauley BJ, Fox LR (1980) Variation in total phenols and condensed tannins in Eucalyptus: Leaf phenology and insect grazing. Aust J Ecol 5:31–35Google Scholar
  23. Marquis RJ (1984) Leaf herbivores decrease fitness of a tropical plant. Science 226:537–539Google Scholar
  24. Martin MM, Martin JS (1984) Surfacants: their role in preventing the precipitation of proteins by tannins in insect guts. Oecologia (Berlin) 61:342–345Google Scholar
  25. McKey DB (1979) The distribution of secondary compounds within plants. In: Rosenthal GA, Janzen DH (eds) Herbivores: Their interactions with secondary plant metabolites. Academic Press, New York, pp 55–133Google Scholar
  26. McKey DB, Waterman PG, Mbi CN, Gartlan JS, Strusaker TT (1978) Phenolic content of vegetation in two African rain-forests: Ecological implications. Science 202:61–64Google Scholar
  27. McManus J, Lilley TH, Haslam E (1983) Plant polyphenols and their association with proteins. In: Hedin PA (ed) Plant Resistance to Insects. ACS Symposium Series 208. Am Chem Soc, Washington DC, pp 123–137Google Scholar
  28. Mooney HA, Gulmon SL (1982) Constraints on leaf structure and function in reference to herbivory. Bioscience 32:198–206Google Scholar
  29. Mothes K (1976) Secondary plant substances as materials for chemical high quality breeding in higher plants. In: Wallace J, Mansell RL (eds) Biochemical interactions between plants and insects. Rec Adv Phytochem vol 10, Plenum Press, New York, pp 385–405Google Scholar
  30. Pennig de Vries FWT (1975) The costs of maintenance processes in plant cells. Annals of Botany 39:77–92Google Scholar
  31. Pimentel D (1976) World food crisis: Energy and pests. Bull Ent Soc Amer 22:20–26Google Scholar
  32. Reese JC, Chan BG, Waiss AC Jr (1982) Effects of cotton condensed tannin, maysin (corn) and pinitol (soybeans) on Heliothis zea growth and development. J Chem Ecol 8:1429–1436Google Scholar
  33. Rhoades DF (1977) Integrated antiherbivore, antidesiccant and ultraviolet screening properties of creosotebush resin. Biochem Syst Ecol 5:281–290Google Scholar
  34. Rhoades DF, Cates RG (1976) Toward a general theory of plant antiherbivore chemistry. In: Wallace J, Mansell RL (eds) Biochemical interactions between plants and insects. Rec Adv Phytochem vol 10, Plenum Press, New York, pp 168–213Google Scholar
  35. Rosenthal GA, Janzen DH (1979) Herbivores: Their interaction with secondary plant metabolites. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. Schultz JC, Nothnagle PJ, Baldwin IJ (1982) Seasonal and individual variation in leaf quality of two northern hardwoods tree species. Amer J Bot 69:753–759Google Scholar
  37. Schupp EW (1981) Interactions between ants and plants: Azteca protections of Cecropia. M.A. Thesis, Univ S Florida, Tampa FloridaGoogle Scholar
  38. Swain R (1965) The tannins. In: Bonner J, Varner JE (eds) Plant biochemistry. Academic Press, New York, pp 552–580Google Scholar
  39. Swain T (1979) Tannins and lignins. In: Rosenthal GA, Janzen DH (eds) Herbivores: Their interaction with secondary plant metabolites. Academic Press, New York, pp 657–682Google Scholar
  40. Tester CF (1977) Constituents of soybean cultivars differing in insect resistance. Phytochem 16:1899–1901Google Scholar
  41. Vandenberg P, Matzinger DF (1970) Genetic diversity and heterosis in Nicotiana. III Crosses among tabacco introductions and flue-cured varieties. Crop Sci 10:437–440Google Scholar
  42. Wallace J, Mansell RL (1976) Biochemical interactions between plants and insects. Rec Adv Phytochem vol 10, Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  43. Wheeler WM (1942) Studies of neotropical ant-plants and their ants. Bull of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 90:1–263Google Scholar
  44. Zucker WV (1983) Tannins: Does structure determine function? An ecological perspective. Am Nat 121:335–365Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis D. Coley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

Personalised recommendations