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Visual modelling suggests a weak relationship between the evolution of ultraviolet vision and plumage coloration in birds.

Lind, Olle LU and Delhey, K (2015) In Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28(3). p.715-722
Abstract
Birds have sophisticated colour vision mediated by four cone types that cover a wide visual spectrum including ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Many birds have modest UV sensitivity provided by violet-sensitive (VS) cones with sensitivity maxima between 400 and 425 nm. However, some birds have evolved higher UV sensitivity and a larger visual spectrum given by UV-sensitive (UVS) cones maximally sensitive at 360-370 nm. The reasons for VS-UVS transitions and their relationship to visual ecology remain unclear. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of UVS-cone vision is linked to plumage colours so that visual sensitivity and feather coloration are 'matched'. This leads to the specific prediction that UVS-cone vision enhances the... (More)
Birds have sophisticated colour vision mediated by four cone types that cover a wide visual spectrum including ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Many birds have modest UV sensitivity provided by violet-sensitive (VS) cones with sensitivity maxima between 400 and 425 nm. However, some birds have evolved higher UV sensitivity and a larger visual spectrum given by UV-sensitive (UVS) cones maximally sensitive at 360-370 nm. The reasons for VS-UVS transitions and their relationship to visual ecology remain unclear. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of UVS-cone vision is linked to plumage colours so that visual sensitivity and feather coloration are 'matched'. This leads to the specific prediction that UVS-cone vision enhances the discrimination of plumage colours of UVS birds while such an advantage is absent or less pronounced for VS-bird coloration. We test this hypothesis using knowledge of the complex distribution of UVS cones among birds combined with mathematical modelling of colour discrimination during different viewing conditions. We find no support for the hypothesis, which, combined with previous studies, suggests only a weak relationship between UVS-cone vision and plumage colour evolution. Instead, we suggest that UVS-cone vision generally favours colour discrimination, which creates a nonspecific selection pressure for the evolution of UVS cones. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
bird vision, evolution, plumage coloration, spectral sensitivity, ultraviolet sensitivity, visual ecology
in
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
volume
28
issue
3
pages
715 - 722
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • pmid:25664902
  • wos:000352628400017
  • scopus:84926251861
ISSN
1420-9101
DOI
10.1111/jeb.12595
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ad29fef6-af8f-480a-98c7-56a5d14f557f (old id 5144994)
date added to LUP
2015-03-06 10:57:42
date last changed
2017-04-23 03:11:49
@article{ad29fef6-af8f-480a-98c7-56a5d14f557f,
  abstract     = {Birds have sophisticated colour vision mediated by four cone types that cover a wide visual spectrum including ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Many birds have modest UV sensitivity provided by violet-sensitive (VS) cones with sensitivity maxima between 400 and 425 nm. However, some birds have evolved higher UV sensitivity and a larger visual spectrum given by UV-sensitive (UVS) cones maximally sensitive at 360-370 nm. The reasons for VS-UVS transitions and their relationship to visual ecology remain unclear. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of UVS-cone vision is linked to plumage colours so that visual sensitivity and feather coloration are 'matched'. This leads to the specific prediction that UVS-cone vision enhances the discrimination of plumage colours of UVS birds while such an advantage is absent or less pronounced for VS-bird coloration. We test this hypothesis using knowledge of the complex distribution of UVS cones among birds combined with mathematical modelling of colour discrimination during different viewing conditions. We find no support for the hypothesis, which, combined with previous studies, suggests only a weak relationship between UVS-cone vision and plumage colour evolution. Instead, we suggest that UVS-cone vision generally favours colour discrimination, which creates a nonspecific selection pressure for the evolution of UVS cones.},
  author       = {Lind, Olle and Delhey, K},
  issn         = {1420-9101},
  keyword      = {bird vision,evolution,plumage coloration,spectral sensitivity,ultraviolet sensitivity,visual ecology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {715--722},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  title        = {Visual modelling suggests a weak relationship between the evolution of ultraviolet vision and plumage coloration in birds.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12595},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2015},
}