Would this happen? Do species evolve to avoid being consumed, especially the animal species which have no need to leave seeds?


1 Answer 1


Plant defense against herbivory

Plenty of plant species evolved defense mechanisms. There is a large variety of defense mechanism. Have a look at the wikipedia article Plant defense against herbivory for more information. Such defense mechanism often comes at a cost and therefore the mechanism can be maintained only if herbivory is sufficiently common and costly. Note that herbivory might be beneficial to some animal species typically as it can help to disperse the seeds.

plant-herbivores Co-evolution

Herbivores co-evolve with plants and develop mechanism to deal with plant defense mechanism. Such coevolution often yield herbivores to specialize in feeding in a handful of plant species only.

Human consumption

Most of what human consume is artificially selection. We specifically allow the breeding of individuals that present trait that are pleasant to us. In such condition, a defense mechanism would be a highly deleterious trait.

Do species evolve to avoid being consumed, especially the animal species which have no need to leave seeds?

I don't understand this sentence. Do you mean "[..] especially plant species being consumed by animal species that don't help spreading the seeds"?

If this is what you meant, then yes. If herbivory comes at non benefit for the plant, the overall cost of herbivory will be more important for the plant. All else being equal, a mutant that present a defense mechanism would have a higher fitness if the herbivores do not offer any benefit to the plant being eaten.

  • $\begingroup$ It's a yes or no question $\endgroup$
    – D J Sims
    May 31, 2016 at 1:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you rephrased the question "without artificial selection" instead of "without breeding and domestication" (which sounds really alike but has the advantage to clarify your question), then the answer to the title question (there are actually more than one question in the post) is yes if we assume that our consumption comes at a cost (that outweigh potential benefit) to the plant and note that it may take quite a bit of time for it to evolve. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    May 31, 2016 at 1:29

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