Data from: A shift from phenol to silica-based leaf defenses during long-term soil and ecosystem development

Félix De Tombeur, Etienne Laliberté, Hans Lambers, Michel-Pierre Faucon, Graham Zemunik, Benjamin Turner, Jean-Thomas Cornélis & Grégory Mahy
The resource availability hypothesis predicts that plants adapted to infertile soils have high levels of anti-herbivore leaf defenses. This hypothesis has been mostly explored for secondary metabolites such as phenolics, while it remains underexplored for silica-based defenses. We determined leaf concentrations of total phenols and silicon (Si) in plants growing along the 2-million-year Jurien Bay chronosequence, exhibiting an extreme gradient of soil fertility. We found that nitrogen (N) limitation on young soils led to a...
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