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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