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Presence of Aposematic (Warning) Coloration in Vascular Plants of Southeastern Ohio

Darrin L. Rubino and Brian C. McCarthy
The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society
Vol. 131, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 2004), pp. 252-256
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/4126955
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4126955
Page Count: 5
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Presence of Aposematic (Warning) Coloration in Vascular Plants of Southeastern Ohio
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Abstract

Aposematic coloration, use of conspicuous colors to advertise unpleasant qualities to potential predators, is well documented in the animal kingdom. However, similar use of warning coloration in plants to advertise physical armaments (spines, thorns, or prickles) has been, until recently, unreported. A preliminary survey of physically armed plants in southeastern Ohio (USA) revealed a high incidence of aposematic coloration-the presence of physical armaments colored differently than the structure on which they are borne. Furthermore, aposematic coloration was found in a wide variety of taxonomically diverse vascular plants. Future research into the possible role of aposematic coloration in vascular plants could greatly expand our knowledge of plant/herbivore interactions.

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