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PETER D. MOORE Department of Biology King's College London, U.K. Of what possible value to a plant is a variegated leaf? Such leaves seem to be particularly frequent in sun-dappled understorey plants in partially shaded woodlands. A possible explanation for their occurrence is that they are well camouflaged against grazing mammals. The advantages gained by escaping the attention of grazers must be sufficiently great to warrant the loss of part of the leaf's productive potential in the constru

The Scientist Staff

PETER D. MOORE
Department of Biology
King's College
London, U.K.

Of what possible value to a plant is a variegated leaf? Such leaves seem to be particularly frequent in sun-dappled understorey plants in partially shaded woodlands. A possible explanation for their occurrence is that they are well camouflaged against grazing mammals. The advantages gained by escaping the attention of grazers must be sufficiently great to warrant the loss of part of the leaf's productive potential in the construction of pale patches--a serious loss in a low-light environment.

T.J. Givnish, "Leaf mottling: relation to growth form and leaf phenology and possible role as camouflage," Functional Ecology, 4, 463-74, October 1990. (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

The cichlid fishes of Lake Victoria in East Africa have been classified into about 170 species and 20 genera, and some controversy has surrounded the origin and evolution of these forms.

Sequencing of the mitochondrial DNA of...

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