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When Herbivore Numbers Drop, Plants Ditch Thorny Defenses

Plants can persist in landscapes full of hungry plant eaters, or herbivores, either by shielding themselves with special defenses like thorns, or by putting down roots in risky regions where carnivores -- who hunt the herbivores -- roam.

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Funding provided by the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation at AAAS.