Water content, fibres, and herbivory in leaves of two distinct and adjacent tree communities of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Conteúdo de água, fibras e herbivoria em folhas de duas comunidades arbóreas distintas de Mata Atlântica

Aline Alves do Nascimento Luis Fernando Tavares de Menezes Marcelo Trindade Nascimento About the authors

ABSTRACT

The aims of the present study were to verify whether plants from Mussununga differ from those of Mata Alta in relation to herbivory, water content, and fibres, and to test whether plants with lower leaf water content and higher fibres are less attacked by chewing insects. The results indicated that leaf herbivory percentages and fibres were similar between the two communities, although individuals from Mata Alta showed higher leaf water content than individuals from Mussununga. Thus, the herbivory patterns found for these tree communities do not seem to not be influenced by water content and fibres. Other factors (e.g., chemical defenses and/or herbivores) may be acting as main drivers.

Keywords:
leaf damage area; leaf quality; Mata Alta; Myrtaceae; Mussununga

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