Frugivores and the evolution of fruit colour.


Journal Article

The ecological function of fruit colour has been the focus of many studies. The most commonly tested hypothesis is that fruit colour has evolved to facilitate detection by seed-dispersing animals. We tested whether distributions of fruit colours are consistent with the hypothesis that colour is an evolved signal to seed dispersers using a comparative community approach. We compared the contrast between ripe fruits and leaf backgrounds at two sites, one in Madagascar where seed dispersers are primarily night-active, red-green colour-blind lemurs, and the other in Uganda, where most vertebrate seed dispersers are day-active primates and birds with greater capacity for colour vision. We show that fruits in Uganda have higher contrast against leaf background in the red-green and luminance channels whereas fruits in Madagascar contrast more in the yellow-blue channel. These results indicate that fruit colour has evolved to contrast against background leaves in response to the visual capabilities of local seed disperser communities.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Nevo, O; Valenta, K; Razafimandimby, D; Melin, AD; Ayasse, M; Chapman, CA

Published Date

  • September 26, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 9

PubMed ID

  • 30258028

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30258028

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1744-957X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1744-9561

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0377


  • eng