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Factors affecting levels of some phenolic compounds, digestibility, and nitrogen content of the mature leaves ofBarteria fistulosa (Passifloraceae)

Abstract

Levels of total phenolics, condensed tannins, acid detergent fiber, pepsin/cellulase digestibility, and nitrogen in mature leaves of 26 individuals of the ant-plant,Barteria fistulosa, have been determined. Analysis of the results in terms of the presence or absence of ants and the position of the branch from which the leaves were collected showed no relationship with concentrations of phenolics or fiber and only a weak relationship with digestibility and nitrogen. By contrast, light intensity strongly influenced levels of phenolics, notably condensed tannins, so that mature leaves of individuals growing in direct sunlight were less digestible and appeared to be of lower quality as food for herbivores than did mature leaves of individuals in shaded positions. Possible reasons for the variation in condensed tannin levels are discussed.

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Waterman, P.G., Ross, J.A.M. & Mckey, D.B. Factors affecting levels of some phenolic compounds, digestibility, and nitrogen content of the mature leaves ofBarteria fistulosa (Passifloraceae). J Chem Ecol 10, 387–401 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00988087

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00988087

Key words

  • Phenolics
  • tannins
  • condensed tannins
  • fiber
  • digestibility
  • nitrogen content
  • Barteria fistulosa
  • ant-plant
  • mature leaves
  • chemical variation
  • herbivory
  • Pachysima aethiops
  • Hymenotera
  • Formicidae