Tropical Plant Research

Tropical Plant Research

An Internationl Journal by Society for Tropical Plant Research

E-ISSN: 2349-1183 P-ISSN: 2349-9265
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2016, VOLUME 3 ISSUE 1Pages: 52-66

Leaf traits and foliar herbivory in tropical dry evergreen forest of India

K. Anil and N. Parthasarathy*
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Abstract:
We investigated leaf traits of 110 plant species and the seasonal patterns of leaf damage by diverse foliar herbivores in tropical dry evergreen forest (TDEF) on the Coromandel Coast of India. The leaves of 110 plant species of TDEF are consumed by fifty-four species of foliar herbivores that includes beetles, larvae and grasshoppers. Mean leaf damage ranged from 1.8% to 21% during the study period (2012–14). The mean leaf damage varied by season with a high value of 16.19±10.44% in monsoon, 9.66±6.66 % in pre-monsoon, 5.24±4.10 % in post-monsoon and 1.97±1.52 % in summer. Among tree species, Memecylon umbellatum showed maximum leaf damage and among liana species, Combretum albidum suffered maximum leaf damage. Information on different leaf resource users and their food-plants provide an insight into the complex web of forest biotic interactions and such data will be valuable for biological conservation.
Various foliar herbivores (beetle, larvae, and grasshoppers) utilized different plant life-forms in tropical dry evergreen forest on the Coromandel Coast of peninsular India; <b>A</b>, Larva on coriaceous leaves of <i>Atlantia monophylla</i>; <b>B</b>, Jewel beetle in membranous leaves of <i>Acacia caesia</i>; <b>C</b>, Grass hopper in sub-coriaceous leaves of <i>Lantana camara</i>; <b>D</b>, Painted hand maiden moth larva in <i>Argyreia cymosa</i>; <b>E</b>, reared adult of Painted hand maiden moth larva; <b>F</b>, Moth larvae in <i>Memecylon umbellatum</i>; <b>G</b>, Larvae of Tawny coster feeding leaves of <i>Ecbolium viride</i>; <b>H</b>, Reared adult of Tawny coster larva; <b>I</b>, Larva in <i>Diospyros ebenum</i>; <b>J</b>, Beetle folivored notophyll leaves of <i>Canthium dicoccum</i>; <b>K</b>, Moth larva in microphyll leaves of <i>Cayratia pedeta</i> and <b>L</b>, Moth larva in mesophyll leaves of <i>Ficus hispida</i>.

Fig.: Various foliar herbivores (beetle, larvae, and grasshoppers) utilized different plant life-forms in tropical dry evergreen forest on the Coromandel Coast of peninsular India; A, Larva on coriaceous leaves of Atlantia monophylla; B, Jewel beetle in membranous leaves of Acacia caesia; C, Grass hopper in sub-coriaceous leaves of Lantana camara; D, Painted hand maiden moth larva in Argyreia cymosa; E, reared adult of Painted hand maiden moth larva; F, Moth larvae in Memecylon umbellatum; G, Larvae of Tawny coster feeding leaves of Ecbolium viride; H, Reared adult of Tawny coster larva; I, Larva in Diospyros ebenum; J, Beetle folivored notophyll leaves of Canthium dicoccum; K, Moth larva in microphyll leaves of Cayratia pedeta and L, Moth larva in mesophyll leaves of Ficus hispida.


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