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Effects of simulated shoot and leaf herbivory on vegetative growth and plant defense in Acacia drepanolobium

Plants have considerable ability to respond to herbivory, both with (above-ground) regrowth and with increased defense. We simulated both leaf and shoot herbivory in controlled, replicated experiments on individuals of Acacia drepanolobium in Laikipia, Kenya. These experiments were carried out on individuals that had experienced different, experimentally controlled histories of large mammalian herbivory. Both forms of simulated herbivory were associated with compensatory regrowth. Branches whose shoots had been removed grew significantly more over the next year than paired control branches,

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Regrowth and palatability of acacia shoots following pruning by African savanna browsers’

Stands of two species of African Acacia were monitored for 1 yr in a natural savanna ecosystem, to compare shoot regrowth and leaf chemistry in lightly browsed and heavily browsed trees. Where ungulates concentrated at a seasonal waterhole, A. nigrescens was more severely browsed than the thornier and finer leafed A. tortilis. Shoot regrowth in heavily browsed A. nigrescens more than compensated for herbivory, as net annual shoot extension was not significantly different from that in lightly browsed trees. Foliage

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