Floral-induced and constitutive defense against florivory: a comparison of chemical traits in 12 herb species

Kae Wakabayashi, Michio Oguro, Tomoyuki Itagaki, Satoki Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Little is known about how plants protect flowers—their reproductive organs—against florivory. Additionally, the induced floral defense system has been examined in only a few species. We tested the inducibility of putative floral defenses and investigated the relationship between natural florivory and the floral defenses of 12 naturally growing plant species. The relationships between florivory and four chemical traits (nitrogen, phosphorus, total phenolics, and condensed tannins) were investigated in 12 plant species. We also studied whether flowers induce changes in chemical defenses in response to artificial damage in 10 plant species. A higher concentration of floral nitrogen was associated with a decreasing frequency of florivore attacks. Among the four traits of the 10 plant species studied, no trait changed in response to the artificial damage. We suggest that induced defense systems may not be advantageous for flowers, although it is also possible that these species simply do not use induced defense in any of their plant parts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-997
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Ecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 1


  • Condensed tannins
  • Floral defense
  • Floral herbivory
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Total phenolics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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