Relation between flower head traits and florivory in asteraceae: A phylogenetically controlled approach

Michio Oguro, Satoki Sakai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    • Premise of the study: While much research has examined the relation between leaf traits and herbivory, very little is known about the interaction between floral traits, particularly biochemical traits, and florivory. We investigated patterns between floral traits and florivory across multiple species using phylogenetic comparative approaches to enhance our understanding of the evolution of plant–florivore interactions. • Methods: The relation between the intensity of florivory and five biochemical traits (concentrations of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, water, and total phenolics) and two morphological traits (diameter and number of flower heads) were investigated in wild individuals of 18 native species of Asteraceae. The phylogenetic signals in the morphological traits and intensity of florivory were also tested. • Key results: We found that species with higher nitrogen, water, and total phenolics and lower phosphorus concentrations in the flower heads and species with a large number and diameter of flower heads tended to be attacked by florivores. In addition, we found significant phylogenetic signals in florivory and morphological traits. • Conclusions: Our results clearly show that biochemical traits also play important roles in plant–florivore interactions, as previously shown in plant–leaf herbivore interactions. The positive relationship between florivory and total phenolics implies that phenolic compounds in flower heads may not act as a defense in the species. In addition, the observed pattern of signals in florivory might not be solely explained by the signals of the measured traits and other plant traits may also play significant roles in plant–florivore interaction in these species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)407-416
    Number of pages10
    JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Asteraceae
    • Biochemical traits
    • Floral defense
    • Floral display
    • Floral herbivory
    • Floral traits
    • Florivory
    • Interspecific comparison
    • Morphological traits
    • Phenolics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Genetics
    • Plant Science


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