Take a long climb in the Hangduan Mountains near Yulong, China and you’ll see Fritillaria Delaware. The small, lovely plants have magnificent green leaves and bell-shaped yellow flowers. The statement wanders like a brooch against each gray screen.
The same mountain range is only 65 miles away, and you have to work hard to see plants of the same species. There, f. Delaware plants are a dull body, like the rocks where they live. Closer to the radish, they are rather dark gray, and in puja, reddish-brown.
Why does this one species come in so many different colors? It may be hidden from you.
Accordingly A paper published last month in current biology, F. Delaware has developed many different color varieties because people harvest its bulbs. Research shows that the plant is the latest example of a visible species in humans Inadvertently Affected In the development of new qualities.
The Effective Move Animals Use Many people know how to disguise themselves, but little attention is paid to plant inspection. Yang Niu, a researcher at the Kunming Institute of Botany at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and lead author of the new paper, Years spent Document possible examples of how plants hide themselves. Some forest plants may have thin leaves Make it tough To find weeds. LithopsBoxes, also known as “living stone plants”, appear to be masked in the form of stones.
These plants are usually trying to fool something special. Dr. Corydalis Benesinka, another alpine plant. Studies Niue, who has “an expert enemy” who said – a butterfly that shakes its leaves. Possibly in response, usually green plant Developed into a microscopic gray form.
“Other such shade plants are known elsewhere around the world – they have enemies,” he said. F. The distinctive hue of Delawai was initially surprising as no animals seemed to eat it.
But bulbs from this and other fritillaria plants are common medicinal ingredients used to treat coughs. People have been harvesting from them for 2,000 years. What if the enemy of this plant is ours? If so, the F.C. Delaware plants that experience more intense collection should be better shaded than places where people choose them less.
To test this, the researchers focused on a population of eight plants. To determine the wind pressure at each site, they sought records from herbal dealers and assigned them to find out if each F.I. What proportion of the population of Delaware is chosen each year for six years? He also estimated how difficult it was to collect plants in different places.
To determine how closely the plants matched their background, they took rock and leaf samples from each site, and compared the color and intensity of the light they emitted.
And to determine if a close match really makes it harder to see the plants, they created an online game called “Plant a plant ” – which in different places f. Delawaye displays photos of plant players, with instructions on how to quickly click on them. Local collectors also told the researchers that they had noticed that in some places the plants were better planted, Dr. Niue said.
When they put these metrics together, they matched as expected. F. For the Delaware population that is mostly left alone, it’s easy to get green. But those who are under the pressure of heavy harvest fade into the background, whether they are tinted, reddish-brown or gray.
The study is “a very convincing case” that humans are investigating the plant, said Ilk Sacheri, a professor of ecological genetics at the University of Liverpool. Studies color changes in insects and butterflies And was not involved in this work. However, he said, more experiments will boost the evidence.
As people continue to manipulate other species, it is good to remember that other species have tried to react to it.
“For thousands of years, humans have been wisely choosing all kinds of plants, animals and yeast,” said Dr. Sacheri. “It’s a good example of an unnecessary choice.”