the astonishing camouflage power of plants

the astonishing camouflage power of plants
the astonishing camouflage power of plants

Research on plant camouflage is limited compared to the wealth of knowledge about how animals conceal themselves. However, work carried out by scientists at the University of Exeter and the Kunming Institute of Botany has revealed that plants use a range of techniques long known to be used… by animals. The study was published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

The art of disappearing into the background

Among these methods, we find homochromy, which consists of adapting to colorscolors of the environment. Colors are not necessarily solid: spots, stripes or other shapes can be part of this adaptation phenomenon. “ It is clear that plants do not just attract pollinators and ensure photosynthesis thanks to their colors: they also hide in eyeseyes of their enemies », says Professor Martin Stevens, from Center for Ecology and Conservation at the Penryn campus in Exeter, Cornwall (UK).

One of the species that uses this method is Corydalis hemidicentra, a plant whose leaves are the same color as the rocks where it grows. Additionally, different populations of this species vary in appearance, depending on where they are found: a wonderful example of how camouflage can be adapted to different habitats.

Of the ” decorationdecoration » — which consists of accumulating elements such as dust or sand on their surface — to the adoption of colors disruptivedisruptive, highly contrasted — making it possible to blur the contours and better blend in with the elements around them — plants use many methods identical to those of animals to camouflage themselves. “ We now need to discover how important a role camouflage plays in plant ecology and evolution. “, says Martin Stevens. Plant camouflage constitutes a new field of experimentation in mattermatter ecology and evolution.

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