Antiherbivory defense mechanisms along an environmental gradient in restinga

Maiara Matilde da Silva, Maria Regina Torres Boeger, João Carlos Ferreira de Melo Júnior, Bruno Francisco Sant'Anna dos Santos
2017 Acta Botânica Brasílica  
Plant-herbivore interactions have directed the evolution of defense mechanisms in plants, which can vary intraspecifi cally according to environmental quality. Th is study evaluated variation in the production of antiherbivory defenses in plant species distributed along an environmental gradient of restinga. Th e study was performed in Parque Estadual Acaraí, state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Th ree species of four plant formations with diff erent abiotic conditions were selected for study.
more » ... ted for study. Specifi c leaf area; water, nitrogen and carbon content; and presence of phenols, tannins, lignin and alkaloids, were evaluated in leaves of ten plants per species per plant formation. Th e results indicated that Symphyopappus casarettoi possesses Low Nutritional Quality Syndrome, characterized by low specifi c leaf area, presence of secondary metabolites and low nitrogen content. Dodonaea viscosa and Varronia curassavica possess Nutrition and Defense Syndrome, characterized by a balance between nutritional quality (high nitrogen content and lower C:N ratio) and protection (greater thickness of leaves and higher density of trichomes). Th e results did not confi rm the Resource Availability Hypothesis. Th e absence of a pattern in antiherbivory response due to the environmental gradient may indicate that the investment in defense by plants is not unidirectional and that certain morpho-anatomical attributes are typically related to conservation of resources. Acta Botanica Brasilica -31(4): 583-596. October-December 2017 defense mechanisms are associated with attributes that are related to conserving resources.
doi:10.1590/0102-33062017abb0082 fatcat:y6q63dcoqra35bdqvf6nlstkxu