Plant camouflage: ecology, evolution, and implications
Trends in Ecology and Evolution
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Camouflage is a key defensive strategy in animals, used to illustrate and study evolution for 150 years. It is now evident that many camouflage concepts likely also apply to plants, attracting greatly increased attention. Here, we review the hypotheses and evidence for different camouflage strategies used by plants and conceptualise the state of play in plant concealment under a general framework of camouflage theory. In addition, we compare the camouflage strategies used by plants and animals, outline key factors promoting and constraining the evolution of concealment, and highlight the evolutionary-ecology implications of plant camouflage. Ultimately, we show how plant camouflage exhibits many commonalities with animals, and how this understudied parallel phenomenon can inform key questions in ecology and evolution
This work was supported by the Major Program of the NSFC (31590823 to H.S.), the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0505200 to H.S.), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA 20050203 to H. Sun), NSFC (31670214 to Y.N.), Yunnan Applied Basic Research Projects (2016FB035 to Y.N.) and Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS (2018427 to Y.N.).
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