Reports that some plants have evolved and are difficult to collect from humans

Humans have a great impact on the natural world, such as extinct plants 500 times faster than the natural world, but cases of 'plants whose body color has changed' that have rapidly evolved due to new human activities have been reported. I will.

Commercial Harvesting Has Driven the Evolution of Camouflage in an Alpine Plant: Current Biology (20) 31655-9

Chinese flower has evolved to be less visible to pickers | Plants | The Guardian

The green flower ' Fritillaria delavayi ' that inhabits the alpine zone of China is a plant of the Liliaceae family whose bulbs are also used as Chinese herbs. In recent years, the price has come to be traded at about 480 dollars (about 50,000 yen) per kg, so it has come to be collected in large quantities. A paper that such Fritilaria delavayi has evolved to bloom inconspicuous brown and gray flowers in order to escape from the human eye has been published in Current Biology , a biology-related journal.

'We initially thought that the change in body color of Fritillaria delavayi was caused by herbivore predation,' said Yang Niu, a researcher at the Kunming Institute of Botanical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences , who reported on changes in Fritillaria delavayi. However, I couldn't find such a herbivore around me, so I suspected that it was caused by human collection. '

Researchers at the Kunming Institute of Botanical Research and the University of Exeter of the Chinese Academy of Sciences visited the site, such as the distance between the place where Fritillaria delavayi lives and the village where people live, and the accessibility of humans, and sometimes interviewed local people. I investigated while.

As a result of the survey, many of the Fritillaria delavayi living in areas where humans are difficult to enter and collection is not active have a green body color as shown in the photo on the left, but in areas where collection is active, the right side It became clear that many individuals had a brown or gray body color as shown in the photograph.

In addition, computer experiments have shown that humans spend more time discovering Fritillaria delavayi, which has a brown or gray body color. From these facts, the research team concludes that the change in body color of Fritillaria delavayi is influenced by human collection.

'This case shows how humans have a tremendous impact on wildlife,' said Martin Stevens of the University of Exeter Center for Environmental Conservation . Many plants have bodies to combat herbivore predation. Although changing colors, Fritilaria delavayi changed body color to avoid human collection, although there should be other cases where human influences have encouraged the rapid evolution of plants. Surprisingly, there are few such studies. '

in Science, Posted by log1o_hf