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Vision Res. 2004 May;44(11):1127-45.

Modelling divergence in luminance and chromatic detection performance across measured divergence in surfperch (Embiotocidae) habitats.

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Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.


This study predicts target detection performance in species-specific habitats for six surfperch (Embiotocidae) living in optically variable California kelp forests. Using species-specific measurements of habitat irradiance and photoreceptor absorbance in a simple dichromatic model for luminance and chromatic detection, the estimated performance of species' measured photopigments was compared to the theoretical maximum for each habitat. Modelling results suggest that changes in peak photoreceptor absorbance (lambda(max)), photoreceptor optical density, and photic environment may affect detection performance. Estimated performances for luminance detection were consistently high, while chromatic detection varied by habitat and demonstrated substantial improvements with increasing optical density differences between cone classes.

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