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Colour polymorphism protects prey individuals and populations against predation
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9598-7618
2016 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, article id 22122Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Colour pattern polymorphism in animals can influence and be influenced by interactions between predators and prey. However, few studies have examined whether polymorphism is adaptive, and there is no evidence that the co-occurrence of two or more natural prey colour variants can increase survival of populations. Here we show that visual predators that exploit polymorphic prey suffer from reduced performance, and further provide rare evidence in support of the hypothesis that prey colour polymorphism may afford protection against predators for both individuals and populations. This protective effect provides a probable explanation for the longstanding, evolutionary puzzle of the existence of colour polymorphisms. We also propose that this protective effect can provide an adaptive explanation for search image formation in predators rather than search image formation explaining polymorphism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 6, article id 22122
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-50890DOI: 10.1038/srep22122ISI: 000370687100001PubMedID: 26902799Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84959096679OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-50890DiVA, id: diva2:912511
Available from: 2016-03-16 Created: 2016-03-16 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Karpestam, EinatForsman, Anders

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