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Publications [#338477] of Kim Valenta

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Journal Articles

  1. Valenta, K; Kalbitzer, U; Razafimandimby, D; Omeja, P; Ayasse, M; Chapman, CA; Nevo, O, The evolution of fruit colour: phylogeny, abiotic factors and the role of mutualists., Scientific Reports, vol. 8 no. 1 (September, 2018), pp. 14302 [doi]
    (last updated on 2019/07/19)

    The adaptive significance of fruit colour has been investigated for over a century. While colour can fulfil various functions, the most commonly tested hypothesis is that it has evolved to increase fruit visual conspicuousness and thus promote detection and consumption by seed dispersing animals. However, fruit colour is a complex trait which is subjected to various constraints and selection pressures. As a result, the effect of animal selection on fruit colour are often difficult to identify, and several studies have failed to detect it. Here, we employ an integrative approach to examine what drives variation in fruit colour. We quantified the colour of ripe fruit and mature leaves of 97 tropical plant species from three study sites in Madagascar and Uganda. We used phylogenetically controlled models to estimate the roles of phylogeny, abiotic factors, and dispersal mode on fruit colour variation. Our results show that, independent of phylogeny and leaf coloration, mammal dispersed fruits are greener than bird dispersed fruits, while the latter are redder than the former. In addition, fruit colour does not correlate with leaf colour in the visible spectrum, but fruit reflection in the ultraviolet area of the spectrum is strongly correlated with leaf reflectance, emphasizing the role of abiotic factors in determining fruit colour. These results demonstrate that fruit colour is affected by both animal sensory ecology and abiotic factors and highlight the importance of an integrative approach which controls for the relevant confounding factors.

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