Plant–Herbivore Interaction: Beyond a Binary Vision

Authored by: Elena Baraza , Regino Zamora , Jose' A. Hodar , José M. Gomez

Functiona Plant Ecology

Print publication date:  June  2007
Online publication date:  June  2007

Print ISBN: 9780849374883
eBook ISBN: 9781420007626
Adobe ISBN:


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Herbivory is currently defined as the interaction that results when an animal consumes the live tissues of a plant (i.e., a heterotroph preying on an autotroph), usually without causing the plant’s death (Crawley 1983). It is an antagonistic interaction, in which the animal gets food whereas the plant loses live tissues. This makes herbivory the most basic trophic interaction in the food chain. Herbivory has given rise to the appearance of marvelous phenotypic traits both in plants and animals, has molded the vegetation as well as entire landscapes of virtually all the ecosystems known on earth, and, finally, has determined the success of many species, including our own. Herbivory, thus, deserves firm attention from ecologists.

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