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Nature Macmillan Publishers Ltd 1997 scientific correspondence

Summary: Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 1997
scientific correspondence
562 NATURE | VOL 387 | 5 JUNE 1997
Domatia mediate plant­
arthropod mutualism
Leaf domatia are small hair-tufts or pockets
on the lower surface of leaves, and are
exceedingly common among perennial
angiosperms, having been reported in 277
plant families and nearly 2,000 species1
Domatia seem to provide refuges for preda-
tory arthropods. Here we show that cotton
plants with experimentally added leaf
domatia host larger populations of preda-
tory arthropods and smaller populations of
herbivorous mites than control plants. Total
fruit production was increased by 30 per
cent in plants with domatia -- the first
demonstration that plants benefit from


Source: Agrawal, Anurag - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Entomollogy, Cornell University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology