Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Efecto de la intensidad de la luz solar y la cobertura del dosel en la herbivoría en Gunnera insignis (Gunneraceae)


Carolyn Rivers



Download Full Text (279 KB)

Publication Date

May 2008


Studies on the influence of sunlight on herbivory have generally revealed that increased amounts of leaf damage occur in cool, shaded habitats. This study investigates the effects of both sunlight and canopy coverage on herbivore damage in Gunnera insignis by the undescribed beetle Macrohaltica sp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). This beetle is thought to feed on G. insignis because it can obtain secondary metabolites that make it undesirable to predators. In this investigation, all 90 plants studied revealed herbivore damage, with 71% of plants showing evidence of herbivory on the majority of leaves. The highest levels of leaf damage occurred on plants in both high light and high shade habitats, while those in moderate sunlight conditions revealed reduced herbivore damage. Resource availability, nutritional quality, and plant defenses influenced by sunlight could account for the variation in leaf consumption on G. insignis. Because light environment influences a number of factors related to the survival of a plant, the effects of sunlight on herbivory are complex and require further investigation.


Estudios previos en la influencia de la luz solar en la herbivoría generalmente han mostrado un mayor daño en las hojas ocurriendo en hábitats fríos y con sombra. Este estudio investiga el efecto de ambos, la luz solar y la cobertura del dosel en el daño de herbívoros en Gunnera insignis por el escarabajo Macrohaltica sp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).


Herbivores--Ecology, Cloud forest ecology, CIEE Spring 2008

Palabras claves

Herbívoros--Ecología, Ecología del bosque nuboso, CIEE Primavera 2008


7 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Effect of sunlight intensity and canopy coverage on herbivory in Gunnera insignis (Gunneraceae), May 2008



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