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Journal of Theoretical Biology 245 (2007) 595596 Letter to the editor
 

Summary: Journal of Theoretical Biology 245 (2007) 595596
Letter to the editor
Colour preference as evidence for the theories on the
evolution of autumn colours
The coevolution theory of autumn colours (Archetti,
2000; Hamilton and Brown, 2001; Archetti and Brown,
2004) posits that the bright colours of deciduous tree
species in autumn are an adaptation to avoid parasites: if
leaf colour signals the level of defenses of the tree, then
trees with bright leaves may avoid being colonised by
insects (for example aphids) that migrate to the trees in
autumn to lay their eggs; at the same time insects, by
avoiding bright colours, may avoid trees with high levels of
defenses. This signalling system is stable under certain
reasonable conditions (Archetti, 2000) and can explain
aphid preference for green (Hagen et al., 2003, 2004;
Archetti and Leather, 2005; Karageorgou and Manetas,
2006). It can also explain why tree species with bright
autumn colours have a higher diversity of associated
aphids species (Hamilton and Brown, 2001).

  

Source: Archetti, Marco - Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine