Ontogeny of Herbivory on Leaves in a Tropical Rain Forest in Madagascar

  • Harold Heatwole
  • Sybille Unsicker
  • Margaret Lowman


Leaves undergo ontogenetic changes in their toughness, chemical composition, and texture, all of which affect their palatability to herbivores and pathogens and their resistance to physical agents (Lowman and Box 1983; Lowman 1995; Coley and Kursar 1996; Coley et al. 2006). Consequently, rates of herbivory and other damage would be expected to change during the life of the leaf, and hence, there may be temporal as well as spatial dimensions to the vicissitudes of leaves. The present study was carried out to ascertain the changes in vulnerability of leaves to damage by various agents as the leaves undergo ontogeny.


Canopy Epiphyllae Galls Herbivory Madagascar • Ontogeny 



We thank Pro-Natura International and Operation Canopée for financial and logistic support; Judith Thomas for use of the leaf meter; Francis Hallé for sharing his expertise; the dirigible pilots, Dany Cleyet-Marrel and Jean Drouault, for their expert flying; Giles Ebersolt, Thierry Aubert, and François Idiené, for technical support and teaching us to fly the helium balloon; the late Audry Heatwole and the late Shirley Waters for laboratory assistance; and Susan King for critical comment on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Heatwole
    • 1
  • Sybille Unsicker
    • 2
  • Margaret Lowman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Institute of EcologyUniversity of JenaJenaGermany
  3. 3.North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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