Animal visual systems and the evolution of color patterns: Sensory processing illuminates signal evolution

Endler, J. A., Westcott, D. A., Madden, J. R. and Robson, T. (2005) Animal visual systems and the evolution of color patterns: Sensory processing illuminates signal evolution. Evolution, 59 8: 1795-1818.


Author Endler, J. A.
Westcott, D. A.
Madden, J. R.
Robson, T.
Title Animal visual systems and the evolution of color patterns: Sensory processing illuminates signal evolution
Journal name Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0014-3820
Publication date 2005-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1554/04-669.1
Volume 59
Issue 8
Start page 1795
End page 1818
Total pages 24
Editor Donald M. Waller
Place of publication Lawrence
Publisher Soc Study Evolution
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
270799 Ecology and Evolution not elsewhere classified
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract Animal color pattern phenotypes evolve rapidly. What influences their evolution? Because color patterns are used in communication, selection for signal efficacy, relative to the intended receiver's visual system, may explain and predict the direction of evolution. We investigated this in bowerbirds, whose color patterns consist of plumage, bower structure, and ornaments and whose visual displays are presented under predictable visual conditions. We used data on avian vision, environmental conditions, color pattern properties, and an estimate of the bowerbird phylogeny to test hypotheses about evolutionary effects of visual processing. Different components of the color pattern evolve differently. Plumage sexual dimorphism increased and then decreased, while overall (plumage plus bower) visual contrast increased. The use of bowers allows relative crypsis of the bird but increased efficacy of the signal as a whole. Ornaments do not elaborate existing plumage features but instead are innovations (new color schemes) that increase signal efficacy. Isolation between species could be facilitated by plumage but not ornaments, because we observed character displacement only in plumage. Bowerbird color pattern evolution is at least partially predictable from the function of the visual system and from knowledge of different functions of different components of the color patterns. This provides clues to how more constrained visual signaling systems may evolve.
Keyword Bowerbirds
Color Patterns
Correlational Selection
Multiple-trait Evolution
Sensory Drive
Sexual Selection
Signaling
Vision
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Genetics & Heredity
Male Spotted Bowerbirds
Ambient Light
Poecilia-reticulata
Mating Success
Receptor Noise
Ptilonorhynchus-violaceus
Female Preferences
Adaptive Melanism
Satin Bowerbirds
Q-Index Code C1

 
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