Communication is an essential factor underpinning the interactions between species and the structure of their communities. Plant-animal interactions are particularly diverse due to the complex nature of their mutualistic and antagonistic relationships. However the evolution of communication and the underlying mechanisms responsible remain poorly understood.
Plant-Animal Communication is a timely summary of the latest research and ideas on the ecological and evolutionary foundations of communication between plants and animals, including discussions of fundamental concepts such as deception, reliability, and camouflage. It introduces how the sensory world of animals shapes the various modes of communication employed, laying out the basics of vision, scent, acoustic, and gustatory communication.
Subsequent chapters discuss how plants communicate in these sensory modes to attract animals to facilitate seed dispersal, pollination, and carnivory, and how they communicate to defend themselves against herbivores. Potential avenues for productive theoretical and empirical research are clearly identified, and suggestions for novel empirical approaches to the study of communication in general are outlined.
Preface; 1. Communication and the Evolution of Plant-Animal Interactions; 2. Animal Sensory Ecology and Plant Biochemistry; 3. Animals as Seed Dispersers; 4. Visual Communication in Fleshy Fruits; 5. Evolutionary Ecology of Non-Visual Fruit Traits; 6. Flower Signals and Pollination; 7. The Potential for Leaf Colouration to Communicate to Animals; 8. Plant Crypsis, Aposematism, and Mimicry; 9. Chemical Communication by Plants about Herbivores; 10. Sensory Aspects of Carnivorous Plants; 11. Final Thoughts; Glossary; References; Index