Putting plant resistance traits on the map: a test of the idea that plants are better defended at lower latitudes

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Title Putting plant resistance traits on the map: a test of the idea that plants are better defended at lower latitudes
Author Moles, Angela T.; Wallis, Ian R.; Foley, William J.; Warton, David I.; Stegen, James C.; Bisigato, Alejandro J.; Cella-Pizzarro, Lucrecia; Clarke, Connie J.; Cohen, Philippe S.; Cornwell, William K.; Edwards, Will; Ejrnaes, Rasmus; Gonzales-Ojeda, Therany; Graae, Bente J.; Hay, Gregory; Lumbwe, Fainess C.; Magana-Rodiguez, Benjamin; Moore, Ben D.; Peri, Pablo L.; Poulsen, John R.; Veldtman, Ruan; Zeipel, Hugo von; Andrew, Nigel R.; Boulter, Sarah; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Campon, Florencia Fernandez; Coll, Moshe; Farji-Brener, Alejandro G.; Gabriel, Jane De; et al.
Journal Name New Phytologist
Editor Ian Woodward
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Abstract • It has long been believed that plant species from the tropics have higher levels of traits associated with resistance to herbivores than do species from higher latitudes. A meta-analysis recently showed that the published literature does not support this theory. However, the idea has never been tested using data gathered with consistent methods from a wide range of latitudes. • We quantified the relationship between latitude and a broad range of chemical and physical traits across 301 species from 75 sites world-wide. • Six putative resistance traits, including tannins, the concentration of lipids (an indicator of oils, waxes and resins), and leaf toughness were greater in high-latitude species. Six traits, including cyanide production and the presence of spines, were unrelated to latitude. Only ash content (an indicator of inorganic substances such as calcium oxalates and phytoliths) and the properties of species with delayed greening were higher in the tropics. • Our results do not support the hypothesis that tropical plants have higher levels of resistance traits than do plants from higher latitudes. If anything, plants have higher resistance toward the poles. The greater resistance traits of high-latitude species might be explained by the greater cost of losing a given amount of leaf tissue in low-productivity environments.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03732.x
Volume 191
Issue Number 3
Page from 777
Page to 788
ISSN 1469-8137
Date Accessioned 2011-11-14
Date Available 2013-09-01T23:18:46Z
Language en_US
Research Centre Environmental Futures Research Institute
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Plant Physiology
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/42527
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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