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Herbivory patterns and defense strategy of Restinga communities in edaphic gradients

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to evaluate the spatial distribution of defenses and herbivory rates in 20 plant species and their relationship with the edaphic gradient in four sandbank formations in the State Park of Acaraí (PEA) in Santa Catarina State, Brazil. The morphoanatomical, histochemical and nutritional attributes of the leaves were measured on twenty leaves of ten individuals of each species. Six soil samples were collected in each formation for analysis of macronutrient contents, organic matter, moisture and litter thickness. Statistical analyzes were performed with the R software. The results indicated that herbivory rates vary according to leaf morphoanatomical and histochemical attributes, which respond to the soil’s nutritional and water characteristics and, therefore, influence the anti-herbivory groups in each plant community.

Keywords:
edaphic quality; environmental filter; plant-herbivore interaction; plant-soil relationship

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