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Correlations between physical and chemical defences in plants: Tradeoffs, syndromes, or just many different ways to skin a herbivorous cat?
Univ New S Wales, Sch Biol Earth & Environm Sci, Evolut & Ecol Res Ctr, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia .
Univ Autonoma Madrid, Fac Ciencias, Dept Interuniv Ecol, Terr Ecol Grp, E-28049 Madrid, Spain .
Australian Natl Univ, Res Sch Biol, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia .
Australian Natl Univ, Res Sch Biol, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia .
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2013 (English)In: New Phytologist, ISSN 0028-646X, E-ISSN 1469-8137, Vol. 198, no 1, 252-263 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most plant species have a range of traits that deter herbivores. However, understanding of how different defences are related to one another is surprisingly weak. Many authors argue that defence traits trade off against one another, while others argue that they form coordinated defence syndromes. We collected a dataset of unprecedented taxonomic and geographic scope (261 species spanning 80 families, from 75 sites across the globe) to investigate relationships among four chemical and six physical defences. Five of the 45 pairwise correlations between defence traits were significant and three of these were tradeoffs. The relationship between species' overall chemical and physical defence levels was marginally nonsignificant (P = 0.08), and remained nonsignificant after accounting for phylogeny, growth form and abundance. Neither categorical principal component analysis (PCA) nor hierarchical cluster analysis supported the idea that species displayed defence syndromes. Our results do not support arguments for tradeoffs or for coordinated defence syndromes. Rather, plants display a range of combinations of defence traits. We suggest this lack of consistent defence syndromes may be adaptive, resulting from selective pressure to deploy a different combination of defences to coexisting species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 198, no 1, 252-263 p.
Keyword [en]
Cyanogenesis, Extrafloral nectaries, Hair, Leaf toughness, Lipid, Plant-herbivore interactions, Spines, Tannin
National Category
Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18640DOI: 10.1111/nph.12116ISI: 000315440400026Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84874195500OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-18640DiVA: diva2:613561
Note

CODEN: NEPHA

Available from: 2013-03-28 Created: 2013-03-27 Last updated: 2013-04-22Bibliographically approved

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von Zeipel, Hugo
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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
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