Herbivory and individual plants tolerance or defense

The effects of herbivory on a plant depend on which herbivores are involved, which plant parts are affected, and the timing of attack relative to the plant's development. In some insect-plant interactions as much as 140 g, and in others as little as 3 g, of plant tissue are required to produce 1 g of insect tissue (Gavloski & Lamb, 2000a) - clearly some herbivores will have a greater impact than others. Moreover, leaf biting, sap sucking, mining, flower and fruit damage and root pruning are all likely to differ in the effect they have on the plant. Furthermore, the consequences of defoliating a germinating seedling are unlikely to be the same as those of defoliating a plant that is setting its own seed. Because the plant usually remains alive in the short term, the effects of herbivory are also crucially dependent on the response of the plant. Plants may show tolerance of herbivore damage or resistance to attack.

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