Morris, William F. Department of Zoology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
- Plant adaptations
- Herbivore adaptations
- Ecological context
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The consumption of living plant tissue by animals. Plants and the animals that consume them constitute roughly one-half of the scientifically described species. Herbivorous species occur in most of the major taxonomic groups of animals, including the vertebrates (such as grazing fish, tortoises, geese, and hoofed mammals), echinoderms (sea urchins), mollusks (snails and slugs), nematodes (roundworms), and arthropods (including crabs, lobsters, copepods, amphipods, and isopods; mites; and especially insects, such as beetles, caterpillars of moths and butterflies, larvae of many flies, sawflies, grasshoppers, aphids and their relatives, thrips, and stick insects). Herbivorous insects alone may account for one-quarter of all species. The fraction of all biomass produced by plants that is eaten by herbivores varies widely among plants and ecosystems, ranging from less than 1% to nearly 90%. Thus, in terms of both the number of species involved and the role that herbivory plays in the flow of energy and nutrients in ecosystems, herbivory is a key ecological interaction between species. See also: Marine ecology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 39 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information