Document Detail

Male spotted bowerbirds propagate fruit for use in their sexual display.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22537626     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Cultivation may be described as a process of co-evolution and niche construction, with two species developing a mutualistic relationship through association, leading to coordinated change [1]. Cultivation is rare but taxonomically widespread, benefiting the cultivator, usually through increased access to food, and the cultivar, by improved growth and protection, driving co-evolutionary changes (Supplemental information). Humans cultivate more than food, producing clothing, construction materials, fuel, drugs, and ornaments. A population of male spotted bowerbirds Ptilonorhynchus (Chlamydera) maculata uses fruits of Solanum ellipticum (Figure 1A), not as food but as important components of their sexual display [2,3]. Here, we show that males indirectly cultivate plants bearing these fruit - the first example of cultivation of a non-food item by a species other than humans. Plants appear at bowers following male occupation (Figure 1B). Males benefit, exhibiting more fruit at their bowers. Plants benefit because fruit are deposited in better germination sites. Fruits from plants near bowers differ visually from those far from bowers, and look more similar to fruits that are preferred by males in choice tests.
Joah R Madden; Caroline Dingle; Jess Isden; Janka Sparfeld; Anne W Goldizen; John A Endler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Letter    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current biology : CB     Volume:  22     ISSN:  1879-0445     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-04-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9107782     Medline TA:  Curr Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  R264-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK.
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