Floresta e Ambiente
https://floram.org/article/doi/10.1590/2179-8087.081017
Floresta e Ambiente
Original Article Conservation of Nature

Effect of Leaf Quality on Herbivory of Three Atlantic Forest Species

Aline Alves do Nascimento; Jefferson Cabral Luiz; Maria Raquel Garcia Vega; Dora Maria Villela; Marcelo Trindade Nascimento

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: The present study evaluated the relationship between herbivory and leaf quality of three abundant tree species (Cupania oblongifolia Mart., Siparuna guianensis Aubl. and Xylopia sericea St. Hill.) in the understory of a eucalyptus plantation and an adjacent Atlantic Rainforest fragment. Herbivory differed among species, since X. sericea was less attacked, while C. oblongifolia and S. guianensis were more. The species showed similar herbivory patterns between the investigated areas (eucalyptus plantation versus forest), although X. sericea showed higher herbivory rates in the forest fragment. Fiber values (NDF, CEL and LIG) varied significantly among the species, being lower in S. guianensis. X. sericea, the species with the highest C/N ratio, higher concentrations of total phenols, smaller leaf area and higher trichome density, showed the lowest leaf herbivory rates, corroborating the hypothesis that herbivory is lower in species with lower nutritional quality and a greater set of leaf defense features.

Keywords

defenses, insect-plant interactions, leaf nutrients

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