Effects of nutrient contents and defense compounds on herbivory in reproductive organs and leaves of Iris gracilipes

Hirohumi Onodera, Michio Oguro, Satoki Sakai

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Optimal defense theory (ODT) states that the plant tissue with the highest value to fitness will receive the most protection compared with other plant parts. ODT can be applied to the differences in defenses among floral organs, although most studies have concentrated on the comparison between leaves and flowers. Using Iris gracilipes, we investigated whether ODT is supported when primary and accessory floral organs and leaves are distinguished. We found that anthers and perianths tended to be attacked more severely than ovaries and leaves in the bud and flower stages and that anthers contained the highest nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. Although ovaries were also found to contain high nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations, they were less severely attacked by herbivores than anthers, perhaps because ovaries contained the highest condensed tannins concentrations among the floral organs except for perianths in the flower stage. Thus, noting that the number of ovules is very much smaller than that of pollen grains, we concluded that ovaries are the most intensively protected, consistent with the prediction of ODT as applied to floral organs. ODT is applicable to the difference in defense allocation among floral organs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1025-1035
    Number of pages11
    JournalPlant Ecology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sep 1


    • Defense allocation
    • Floral herbivore
    • Floral organ
    • Florivory
    • Leaf herbivore
    • Nutrient contents
    • Optimal defense theory
    • Plant–herbivore interactions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Plant Science


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