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

Moles, Angela T. and Wallis, Ian R. and Foley, William J. and Warton, David I. and Stegen, James C. and Bisigato, Alejandro J. and Cella-Pizarro, Lucrecia and Clark, Connie J. and Cohen, Philippe S. and Cornwell, William K. and Edwards, Will and Ejrnaes, Rasmus and Gonzales-Ojeda, Therany and Graae, Bente J. and Hay, Gregory and Lumbwe, Fainess C. and Magana-Rodriguez, Benjamin and Moore, Ben D. and Peri, Pablo L. and Poulsen, John R. and Veldtman, Ruan and von Zeipel, Hugo and Andrew, Nigel R. and Boulter, Sarah L. and Borer, Elizabeth T. and Campon, Florencia Fernandez and Coll, Moshe and Farji-Brener, Alejandro G. and De Gabriel, Jane and Jurado, Enrique and Kyhn, Line A. and Low, Bill and Mulder, Christa P. H. and Reardon-Smith, Kathryn and Rodriguez-Velazquez, Jorge and Seabloom, Eric W. and Vesk, Peter A. and van Cauter, An and Waldram, Matthew S. and Zheng, Zheng and Blendinger, Pedro G. and Enquist, Brian J. and Facelli, Jose M. and Knight, Tiffany and Majer, Jonathan D. and Martinez-Ramos, Miguel and McQuillan, Peter and Prior, Lynda D. (2011) Putting plant resistance traits on the map: a test of the idea that plants are better defended at lower latitudes. New Phytologist, 191 (3). pp. 777-788. ISSN 0028-646X

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 highlatitude 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.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright.
Depositing User: Dr Kathryn Reardon-Smith
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2012 04:25
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2013 06:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: global patterns; latitude; leaf size; leaf toughness; lipid; plant traits; plant–animal interactions; tannin
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 06 Biological Sciences > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060307 Host-Parasite Interactions
06 Biological Sciences > 0607 Plant Biology > 060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified
06 Biological Sciences > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03732.x
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20298

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