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Re: Holes


No one has figured out definitely what is the function of holes, but several ideas have been proposed in the literature.  One -- which I consider the least plausible -- is to fool insects: supposedly, insects see the leaves appearing already to have been eaten and move on, as if to avoid a plant with higher concentrations of defensive compounds, or possibly competition from other insects.  This theory does, however, raise questions about how important visual cues are to herbivorous insects.  Another idea is that the holes increase air circulation around the leaves, possibly providing "air conditioning" or facilitating gas exchange.  To me this seems more likely.

Jason Hernandez
Naturalist-at-Large



Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 20:55:14 -0400
From: "John" <criswick@spiceisle.com>
Subject: [Aroid-l] Holes
To: "'Discussion of aroids'" <aroid-l@www.gizmoworks.com>
Message-ID: <auto-000487290283@cgpfe4.candwall.com" href="mailto:auto-000487290283@cgpfe4.candwall.com">auto-000487290283@cgpfe4.candwall.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Can anyone say what might be the biological purpose of leaves with holes in
them?  A typical example would be Monstera deliciosa.



John.
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  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re: Holes
      • From: Alistair Hay <ajmhay@hotmail.com>

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