The area of leaves on birch (Betula pubescens ssp. tortuosa) auxiblasts and brachyblasts and the degree of their damage by the complex of leaf-gnawing and leaf-mining insects were studied in a light birch forest. The results showed that phyllophagous insects, primarily snout beetles, prefer young leaves on the apexes of auxiblasts. Thus, selective damage is inflicted on smaller leaves, both on the auxiblasts and in the entire sample. This phenomenon is widespread and may manifest itself in different ways, depending on the pattern of leaf area distribution along the extended shoot and the feeding preferences of the insects. Thus, it is necessary to reconsider research methods and approaches based on the assumption that insects damage leaves nonselectively, irrespective of their size.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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