Inducing condensed tannin production in Colophospermum mopane: Absence of response to soil N and P fertility and physical damage

Jelle G. Ferwerda*, Sipke E. Van Wieren, Andrew K. Skidmore, Herbert H T Prins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of available soil N and P and the effect of simulated browsing (leave removal) on foliar condensed tannin (CT) concentration were tested on young Colophospermum mopane (J. Kirk ex Benth) J. Leonard (Mopane) plants. Although clear differences in growth occurred between different levels of soil N, no differences in foliar CT concentration were found. Changes in available soil P and physical damage did not affect the plant growth or chemical composition. The complete absence of response of CT concentration to physical damage and soil nutrients may be related to the age of the trees in this study. It is proposed that existing theories on the interaction between soil properties and carbon based defences in trees are expanded, to include the potential responses of young trees to different soil nutrient levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Colophospermum mopane
  • condensed tannin
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • physical damage


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