- Subject: Re: Holes
- From: Hannon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2012 16:00:24 -0800
One possibile explanation that has been suggested is that leaves with perforations look like they have been eaten and this deters a potential herbivore attack because the attacker is looking for more suitable leaf material (leaves healthier, free of competition, etc.).
Another reason could be structural-- the same leaf in 'solid' form might be too heavy or prone to wind damage, while the perforated version allows more leeway to find better light situations-- longer petioles, better wind resistance, etc.
In terms of strategies adapted for similar purposes there seems to be a gray area between lobed or compound leaves and those with actual holes. In both cases the outline of the leaf blade is larger than the actual surface area. Your example, M. deliciosa, is unusual in having both lobes and holes.
Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.
— John Milton, Areopagitica: A speech for the liberty of unlicensed printing to the Parliament of England, 1644
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