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Eucalyptus foliar chemistry explains selective feeding by koalas

Moore, Ben; Foley, William; Wallis, Ian; Cowling, Ann; Handasyde, Kathrine A


The koala is the quintessential specialist herbivore, feeding almost exclusively on Eucalyptus foliage. Consequently, the limitations imposed on the koala's diet by plant defences indicate the extent to which evolutionary adaptations allow mammalian herbivores to circumvent such defences. We tested whether a recently discovered group of plant secondary metabolites, the formylated phloroglucinol compounds (FPCs), deters koalas from feeding on some eucalypt foliage. We found that captive koalas...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2005
Type: Journal article
Source: Biology Letters
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2004.0255


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