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Plant Defense Mechanisms Against Herbivores

I actually could not find a good experimental paper with a hypothesis or anything that would state why the experiment was made. But I did however, find something in the google scholar thing that had plenty of information about plant defenses against herbivores.  In my introduction, instead of stating a hypothesis or why an experiment would have been made, I am going to state a hypothesis that would be answered with the information. I am also going to say something about why experimenting with this would be useful.

Plant Defense Mechanisms Against Herbivores

            Plants have been around for millions of years. They have evolved from single cell organisms to what they are now, in spite of the fact that herbivores have been eating them since the very beginning of their evolutionary history. They have flourished and evolved to fight back against herbivores.  Plants release chemicals to try to keep predators away. An hypothesis that could arise from this situation would be, the more damage a predator does to the plant- the higher quantities of  harmful chemicals the plant releases to protect itself.

A way to test the hypothesis is to get a couple of plants that defend themselves from predators. One of them you would inflict damage slightly and test the atmosphere for the chemicals that would be harmful for insects or that would be chemically attractive to certain insects that would be hurtful for the predator. Then you would damage the other plant more to see if the chemical concentration would be greater. Depending on the species of the plant varies with the chemical release. According to Paul W. Pare and James H. Tumlinson, the more damage the plant receives the more higher quantities of defense chemicals is release to defend itself from herbivores.

Studying how plants defend themselves can help us see characteristics that help us better understand how nature works and how natural selection works its magic in the evolution of variety of chemical defenses/. Chemicals from those plants could be harmful to certain parasites, but harmless and maybe beneficial to humans. Maybe certain species of plants could have the cure for certain human disease. There many things yet for us to discover. It is only a matter of when.










Works Cited

1. Pare, Paul W., and James H. Tumlinson. “Plant Volatiles as a Defense against Insect      Herbivores.” Plant Volatiles as a Defense against Insect Herbivores. American Society             of Plant Physiologists, 1999. Web. 13 Sept. 2013.


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