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Trends Ecol Evol. 2009 Mar;24(3):166-73. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.10.006. Epub 2009 Jan 27.

Unravelling the evolution of autumn colours: an interdisciplinary approach.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK. marco.archetti@zoo.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Leaf colour change is commonly observed in temperate deciduous forests in autumn. This is not simply a side effect of leaf senescence, and, in the past decade, several hypotheses have emerged to explain the evolution of autumn colours. Yet a lack of crosstalk between plant physiologists and evolutionary ecologists has resulted in slow progress, and so the adaptive value of this colour change remains a mystery. Here we provide an interdisciplinary summary of the current body of knowledge on autumn colours, and discuss unresolved issues and future avenues of research that might help reveal the evolutionary meaning of this spectacle of nature.

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PMID:
19178979
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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