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Ecology, 84(4), 2003, pp. 890897 2003 by the Ecological Society of America
 

Summary: 890
Reports
Ecology, 84(4), 2003, pp. 890897
2003 by the Ecological Society of America
INTENSE DISTURBANCE ENHANCES PLANT SUSCEPTIBILITY TO
HERBIVORY: NATURAL AND EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE
DAVID A. SPILLER1,3
AND ANURAG A. AGRAWAL2
1Section of Evolution and Ecology and Center for Population Biology, One Shields Avenue, University of California,
Davis, California 95616 USA
2Department of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3B2
Abstract. Following Hurricane Lili, which passed directly over the site of our ongoing
study in Great Exuma, Bahamas, herbivory increased on devastated islands exposed to the
storm surge, but not on protected islands. Observations suggested that foliage sprouting
on severely damaged shrubs was more susceptible to herbivores than was new foliage on
undamaged shrubs. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a controlled field experiment:
hurricane damage was simulated by pruning shrubs on replicated islands. Seven months
after the manipulation, herbivory was 68% higher on pruned shrubs than on controls. Leaf
size and percentage of nitrogen were higher, and leaf toughness and trichome density were
lower on pruned shrubs than on controls. The experimental results indicate that enhanced

  

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

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology