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Type:Journal Article
Author:Ödeen, Anders; Håstad, Olle
Date:2010
Title:Pollinating birds differ in spectral sensitivity
Journal:Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Collection:Genetic Resources
Keywords:Colour vision - Pollination - SWS1 pigment opsin - UV sensitivity - Ornithophily
Abstract:
Pollinating animals and their angiosperm hosts often show strong co-adaptation in traits that increase the likelihood of a successful transfer of pollen and nutrient rewards. One such adaptation is the reported colour difference caused by unequal distribution of anthocyanidin pigments amongst plant species visited by hummingbirds and passerines. This phenomenon has been suggested to reflect possible differences in the colour vision of these pollinating birds. The presence of any such difference in colour vision would arguably affect the ecological and evolutionary interactions between flowers and their visitors, accentuating differences in floral displays and attractiveness of plants to the favoured avian pollinators. We have tested for differences in colour vision, as indicated by the amino acid present at certain key positions in the short-wavelength-sensitive type 1 (SWS1) visual pigment opsin, between the major groups of pollinating birds: the non-passerine Trochilidae (hummingbirds), the passerine Meliphagidae (honeyeaters) and Nectariniidae (sunbirds) plus five other Passerida passerine families. The results reveal gross spectral sensitivity differences between hummingbirds and honeyeaters, on the one hand, and the Passerida species, on the other.
Citation:
Ödeen, A., and O. Håstad. 2010. Pollinating birds differ in spectral sensitivity. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 196:91-96.

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