Teleology (was: Why do trees change color in the fall?)

Tony Travis ajt at
Tue Aug 24 06:11:06 EST 1993

Cameron Laird (claird at com.NeoSoft) wrote:
: [...]
: tionary bent takes) to final ones.  My favorite
: just-so story involving fall foliage is that it's a co-
: evolved trait, one that's supposed to signal "EAT HERE"
: to the great migratory flocks of seed-dispersers.  A
: [...]

I rather suspect it is the colour of the berries, rather than the
foliage, that signal "EAT HERE" and that is why they are brightly
coloured ...

The colour of the leaves during senescence is a consequence of the
pigments remaining in the leaf as the photosynthetic pigments are
broken down prior to leaf abscission.

Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  JANET: <ajt at>
Rowett Research Institute,            |  other: <ajt at>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  phone: +44 (0)224 712751
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |    fax: +44 (0)224 715349

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