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Effects of natural and simulated herbivory on spine lengths of Acacia drepanolobium in Kenya

We present experimental evidence supporting the hypothesis that increased spine length in acacia species is a defense induced by herbivory. Acacia drepanolobium is the dominant tree over large areas of East Africa. Each individual tree is occupied by one of four ant species at our study site. Using two types of electric fences, we have effectively controlled herbivory by megaherbivores (elephants and giraffes) and other large mammalian herbivores at a field site in Laikipia, Kenya since 1995. Mean spine lengths

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