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2012 (Vol. 4, Issue: 2)
Article Information:

Variation in Allocation of Mechanical Defence Resources in Acacia drepanalobium at Different Foraging Regimes around Hellís Gate National Park, Kenya

Richard Chepkwony, David Maleko, William Nambiza and Woldemedhin Zebene Mulatu
Corresponding Author:  David Maleko 

Key words:  Acacia drepanalobium, browsing, mechanical defence, thorns, , ,
Vol. 4 , (2): 225-228
Submitted Accepted Published
2011 December, 18 2011 January, 13 2012 March, 10
Abstract:

Variation in allocation of mechanical defence resources in Acacia drepanalobium plants in different foraging regimes was investigated around Hellís Gate National Park, Kenya. The aim of this study was to find out how individual A. drepanalobium plants around Hellís Gate National Park allocate their mechanical defence resources with varying foraging pressure. Plant architectural attributes (representingmechanical defence) were sampled in 90 individual trees located along transects placed within three foraging regimes: heavily-browsed, moderately-browsed and un-browsed. Thirty trees were sampled in each category. There was a significant increase in defence attributes (thorn size and density) with increasing browsing intensity. On the contrary, trees in the unbrowsed and moderately-browsed area had larger leaf sizes than those in the heavily browsed areas. The study concluded that plants allocated more defence resources with increasing browsing intensity, which had ramifications on plant growth through reduced leaf production. This could have produced the stunted tree growth that was found in the highly browsed area. Thus, our findings suggest that foraging intensity does influence plant architecture.
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  Cite this Reference:
Richard Chepkwony, David Maleko, William Nambiza and Woldemedhin Zebene Mulatu, 2012. Variation in Allocation of Mechanical Defence Resources in Acacia drepanalobium at Different Foraging Regimes around Hellís Gate National Park, Kenya.  Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 4(2): 225-228.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-0778
ISSN (Print):   2041-076X
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