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Putting `red alerts' in an ecological and

Summary: Putting `red alerts'
in an ecological and
evolutionary context
In a recent issue of BioEssays (``Plants on red alert: do
insects pay attention?''), Schaefer and Rolshausen(1)
two hypotheses on the evolution of leaf colours and propose a
different and, according to them, new hypothesis that they call
``Defence Indication''. We would like to point out (i) that there
are some significant misunderstandings in their review and
(ii) that the new hypothesis that they propose is not really new.
Schaefer and Rolshausen(1)
start by stating that according
to the Coevolution Theory(24)
leaf colour indicates plant
fitness. In fact, the Coevolution Theory predicts a correlation
between leaf colour and the level of defensive commitment of
the tree--which may or may be not correlated with the fitness.
This is a misunderstanding that we have already noted


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


Collections: Biology and Medicine