Fusilando un muy interesante post 🙂
This is the third part of a trilogy of papers dedicated to understanding the evolution of fruit colors and visual signals evolved by plants to attract animal mutualists. The paper is now available online at the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biology website.
Theory predicts that trade among mutualists requires high reliability. Here, we show that moderate reliability already allows mutualists to optimize their rewards. The colours of Mediterranean fleshy-fruits indicate lipid rewards (but not other nutrients) to avian seed dispersers on regional and local scales. On the regional scale, fruits with high lipid content were significantly darker and less chromatic than congeners with lower lipid content.
On the local scale, two warbler species (Sylvia atricapilla and Sylvia borin, above) selected fruit colours that were less chromatic, and thereby maximized their intake of lipids—a critical resource during migration and wintering.
Figure. The trade of resources characterizing mutualistic…
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