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Trends Plant Sci. 2000 Jul;5(7):309-13.

Overcompensation of plants in response to herbivory and the by-product benefits of mutualism.

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  • 1Department of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, ON, Canada M5S 3B2.


Plants that overcompensate for herbivory are relatively healthier when damaged. In this mutualistic association, the herbivore benefits from the plant, and the plant benefits from the herbivore's actions. As long as the benefit to the plant outweighs the costs imposed by browsing herbivores, this interaction should remain stable. Many apparently parasitic associations can be mutually beneficial under some environmental conditions.

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