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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X


FAGUNDES, Marcilio et al. Does inter-plant variation in sprouting time affect the growth/reproduction trade-off and herbivory in a tropical tree species?. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2016, vol.30, n.4, pp.602-608.  Epub Nov 10, 2016. ISSN 0102-3306.

The timing of phenological events varies within and among populations, affecting the performance of individual plants differently. We evaluated the effects of relative variation in sprouting time on the display of reproductive events, vegetative growth and herbivory in Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae). A total of 93 trees of C. langsdorffii was monitored daily to determine their sprouting time. We collected ten terminal branches of each plant to evaluate vegetative growth, production of defense compounds and insect herbivore damage. The sprouting time for the studied population lasted 67 days. Variation in sprouting time did not affect the probability of plants to enter the reproductive stage. Plants that entered the reproductive stage showed greater vegetative biomass. Variation in sprouting time had a negative relationship with branch growth and a positive relationship with the number of leaflets. Leaf phenol concentration did not vary in relation to sprouting time or plant phenology, but herbivory was higher in plants that sprouted later. The relationships among plant sprouting time, vegetative development and display of reproductive stage in C. langsdorffii are discussed. The results of this study also suggest that early sprouting prior to the rainy season is a strategy used by C. langsdorffii to escape herbivores attacks.

Keywords : Copaifera langsdorffii; flowering trigger; herbivory escape; phenological asynchrony; resource allocation.

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