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Trade-off among different anti-herbivore defence strategies along altitudinal gradient

Salvia nubicola growing along a broad altitudinal range in Himalayas (photo taken by Tomáš Dostálek).
Salvia nubicola growing along a broad altitudinal range in Himalayas (photo taken by Tomáš Dostálek).

The type and intensity of plant–herbivore interactions are likely to be changed under climate change as a consequence of differential dispersal rates of plants and their herbivores. In a new study published in AoB PLANTS, Dostálek et al. found that Salvia nubicola distributed along a broad altitudinal gradient developed a range of defence strategies against insect herbivores. The strategies, however, do not seem to be used simultaneously in all populations even though most of them are correlated with the altitudinal gradient along which herbivore pressure is decreasing. This shows the importance of simultaneous study of different defence strategies since understanding trade-offs among them could be necessary for detecting the mechanisms by which plants are able to cope with changes in plant–herbivore interactions as a consequence of future climate change.

Written by AoBPLANTS

AoB PLANTS is an open-access, online journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of environmental and evolutionary biology. Published by Oxford University Press, AoB PLANTS provides a fast-track pathway for publishing high-quality research, where papers are available online to anyone, anywhere free of charge. Reasons to publish in AoB PLANTS include double-blind peer review of manuscripts, rapid processing time and low open-access charges.

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