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It's Not Easy Being Blue: Are There Olfactory and Visual Trade-Offs in Plant Signalling?

Valenta K, Brown KA, Melin AD, Monckton SK, Styler SA, Jackson DA, Chapman CA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Trade-offs in signal investment could impose important physiological constraints on plants, yet have been largely ignored.Blue pigments are the most visually-effective--blue is a colour that is visually salient to all known seed dispersing animals within the study system.Additionally, plants with blue-reflecting fruits are less odiferous than plants that reflect primarily in other regions of the colour spectrum.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Understanding the signals used by plants to attract seed disperses is a pervasive quest in evolutionary and sensory biology. Fruit size, colour, and odour variation have long been discussed in the controversial context of dispersal syndromes targeting olfactory-oriented versus visually-oriented foragers. Trade-offs in signal investment could impose important physiological constraints on plants, yet have been largely ignored. Here, we measure the reflectance and volatile organic compounds of a community of Malagasy plants and our results indicate that extant plant signals may represent a trade-off between olfactory and chromatic signals. Blue pigments are the most visually-effective--blue is a colour that is visually salient to all known seed dispersing animals within the study system. Additionally, plants with blue-reflecting fruits are less odiferous than plants that reflect primarily in other regions of the colour spectrum.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The relationship between overall odour emission (log10 VOC) and reflectance across the 300nm to 700nm colour range.This analysis was based on a natural cubic spline transformation of the spectrum values (300-700nm). Each one-unit increase of reflectance in the blue spectrum (400-500nm) was associated with an 11% decrease (log10 effect = -0.039, p = 0.009) in VOC while reflectance in the UV, green and red spectra were not associated with VOC.
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pone.0131725.g004: The relationship between overall odour emission (log10 VOC) and reflectance across the 300nm to 700nm colour range.This analysis was based on a natural cubic spline transformation of the spectrum values (300-700nm). Each one-unit increase of reflectance in the blue spectrum (400-500nm) was associated with an 11% decrease (log10 effect = -0.039, p = 0.009) in VOC while reflectance in the UV, green and red spectra were not associated with VOC.

Mentions: To control for the confounding effect of fruit size and correlated reflectance bands, we ran a multivariate model that included a spline transformation of the normalized reflectance values (Fig 4). The figure demonstrates that higher reflectance in the 400nm to 600nm range was associated with lower VOC in the fruit sample. Overall, reflectance was a significant predictor of VOC emissions (5 d.f., F = 2.8, p = 0.03). As with our bivariate analyses, we found a substantial negative association between VOC and blue reflectance (log10 effect = -0.039, p = 0.009, R2 = 0.41) and a lack of relationship in the other reflectance bands.


It's Not Easy Being Blue: Are There Olfactory and Visual Trade-Offs in Plant Signalling?

Valenta K, Brown KA, Melin AD, Monckton SK, Styler SA, Jackson DA, Chapman CA - PLoS ONE (2015)

The relationship between overall odour emission (log10 VOC) and reflectance across the 300nm to 700nm colour range.This analysis was based on a natural cubic spline transformation of the spectrum values (300-700nm). Each one-unit increase of reflectance in the blue spectrum (400-500nm) was associated with an 11% decrease (log10 effect = -0.039, p = 0.009) in VOC while reflectance in the UV, green and red spectra were not associated with VOC.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4482676&req=5

pone.0131725.g004: The relationship between overall odour emission (log10 VOC) and reflectance across the 300nm to 700nm colour range.This analysis was based on a natural cubic spline transformation of the spectrum values (300-700nm). Each one-unit increase of reflectance in the blue spectrum (400-500nm) was associated with an 11% decrease (log10 effect = -0.039, p = 0.009) in VOC while reflectance in the UV, green and red spectra were not associated with VOC.
Mentions: To control for the confounding effect of fruit size and correlated reflectance bands, we ran a multivariate model that included a spline transformation of the normalized reflectance values (Fig 4). The figure demonstrates that higher reflectance in the 400nm to 600nm range was associated with lower VOC in the fruit sample. Overall, reflectance was a significant predictor of VOC emissions (5 d.f., F = 2.8, p = 0.03). As with our bivariate analyses, we found a substantial negative association between VOC and blue reflectance (log10 effect = -0.039, p = 0.009, R2 = 0.41) and a lack of relationship in the other reflectance bands.

Bottom Line: Trade-offs in signal investment could impose important physiological constraints on plants, yet have been largely ignored.Blue pigments are the most visually-effective--blue is a colour that is visually salient to all known seed dispersing animals within the study system.Additionally, plants with blue-reflecting fruits are less odiferous than plants that reflect primarily in other regions of the colour spectrum.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Understanding the signals used by plants to attract seed disperses is a pervasive quest in evolutionary and sensory biology. Fruit size, colour, and odour variation have long been discussed in the controversial context of dispersal syndromes targeting olfactory-oriented versus visually-oriented foragers. Trade-offs in signal investment could impose important physiological constraints on plants, yet have been largely ignored. Here, we measure the reflectance and volatile organic compounds of a community of Malagasy plants and our results indicate that extant plant signals may represent a trade-off between olfactory and chromatic signals. Blue pigments are the most visually-effective--blue is a colour that is visually salient to all known seed dispersing animals within the study system. Additionally, plants with blue-reflecting fruits are less odiferous than plants that reflect primarily in other regions of the colour spectrum.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus