thorny question

Thomas Schlemmermeyer termites at USP.BR
Wed May 17 13:45:46 CDT 2000

OK, Now it is getting really interested! Is there any correlation between the
toxicity and thorniness of plants?

If a plant does invest into thorns, is it worth investing as well in chemicals?
Is one way cheaper than the other, or are both ways usually correlated?

If they are correlated, are there then more toxic plants in xeric than in moist
conditions.....??? etc.etc.

>Not only thornes are defense devices!  Plants produce also many chemicals
>that are toxic (i.e. alkaloids) or make unpalatable the organs (i.e.
>tannins). Sometimes it could be easier eat thorny plants than chemical
>defended ones. Eating of the latter requires the existence of detoxifying
>mechanisms, that are the results of plants and browsers coevolution.
>Guido Flamini
>Dr. Guido Flamini
>Dipartimento di Chimica Bioorganica e Biofarmacia
>Via Bonanno 33, 56126 Pisa, Italia
>Tel: +3905044074; Fax: +3905043321
>e-mail: flamini at

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