Trees can defend themselves against deer

Scientists from the German Institute for Integrative Biodiversity Research, together with researchers from the University of Leipzig, have found that trees defend themselves against deer biting them. They become less appetizing for them.

According to a study by German scientistsóIn the study, trees can recognise whether they have been damaged by mechanical factors or by deer eating them. OdróThey find it by the saliva of animals left on the tree. Researchers have shown that trees then produce more salicylic acid, and thus – tannin. They become less palatable to snackers.

Scientists studied the common beech and sycamore. In addition to finding that the trees defend themselves against deer, the researchers also noted that the trees increased the concentration of the hormoneóIn particular, growth hormone supports the development ofój momentumów.

During the study, a tree was damaged and liquefied with animal saliva, simulating the feeding of deer. It has been observed that damaged trees, whichóThe plants were not sprinkled with animal saliva and did not produce salicylic acid or tannins.

German researchers now want to look at other tree species and learn their strategy for fighting animals that prey on them. In the future, this study may be used to maintain natural róin the forest. The results of the study were published in the journal „Functional Ecology”.