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Transpiration Effects and Inquilines in a Lepidopteran Stem Gall

Abstract

I measured transpiration rate and cross-sectional xylem area of Conostegia oerstediana branches with and without stem galls induced by Mompha sp. Xylem area was reduced from an average of 2.61mm2 in an ungalled stem to an average of 0.31mm2 at the widest point of the gall, but transpiration did not differ significantly between galled (0.11 mL/30min/100cm2 leaf area) and ungalled (0.13 mL/30min/100cm2 leaf area) branches. This could be due to contributions to transpiration rate by gall lenticels. Many of the galls (46%), including those still occupied by Mompha sp., had peripheral cavities likely made by other insects; I found the arboreal ant Procryptocerus batesi nesting in one of these.

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