Regional differences in the morphology of a shrub Damnacanthus indicus: An induced resistance to deer herbivory?

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Abstract

We report here the possibility of an induced resistance of a spiny shrub Damnacanthus indicus against deer herbivory. Six characters of D. indicus were compared between regions with and without deer herbivory on the Boso Peninsula. We found that D. indicus in browsed areas produced smaller leaves, thicker spines, and shorter internode distances between spines than those in unbrowsed areas whereas the length of spines and the angle of a pair of spines did not differ significantly. It is likely that D. indicus shows an induced resistance by producing smaller leaves, and by increasing stoutness of spines and spine density.

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