Faster Growth Linked to Fewer Defense Compounds in Plants

Fast Growth, Low Defense — Plants Facing a Dilemma (From Science Daily)

EXCERPT: Plants are attacked by a multitude of insects and mammals. As defense against these herbivores they developed complex defense mechanisms over the course of evolution: spines, thorns, leaf hairs and a number of toxic chemical substances. For decades it has been controversially discussed whether the production of defense traits incurs costs to the plants. Now, using a new method the ecologists and plant biologists of the University of Zürich together with their American colleagues demonstrate these costs accurately in a Proceedings of the Royal Society article.

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