Plants are boring. They sit there as photosynthesizing while animals have all the fun. All right? Not so much. Look at the interactions between bats and plants – plants have developed features specifically for hanging in a snail, such as juice nectar for eating insects and empty leaves so that shadowing in it. In return, plants use a span to spread their seeds and even act as gardeners. New study in the National Science Academy Transactions breaks down the genetic history of 1,700 species and 10,000 plant plants, and the researchers found that there was a long history of co-evolution of anti-plants and plants beginning with bats feeding on plants and plants later responding through features that ; n unfriendly that evolves.
"My main interest is to explore how interactions between organisms have evolved, and how this interaction is the shape of their evolutionary history. When did ants start using plants, and when did plants begin to make structures to use plates?" Matt Nelsen, researcher of the Museum of Field and lead author of Ph.D. PNAS study.
"There are many different types of plants doing so specifically for adventure use," explained Nelsen, who led the study with fellow researchers and Field Field co-authors Rick Ree to Corrie Moreau. "Some plants have evolved features that persuade bats to protect them from assault of insects and even mammals. These include empty thorns that bats live inside, or Additional nectar on leaves or legs for the eating range. take the nectar and run, but some will keep around and attack anything that is trying to harm plant, "explained Nelsen. Other plants have bats that help to remove their seeds from their surroundings, by bribery with rich food packets attached to seeds of the elaiosomes name. "The ant will pick up the seeds and carry away, eat the packet, and throw the seed – often in a nutritional area where it will be grows better, and because it is far further from his parent, he won, you have to compete for resources. "
But scientists were not sure how the evolutionary relationship between lizards and plants began. If evolution is a race of weapons between species that develop ways to benefit from their neighbors, then scientists wanted to know if plants or bats first fired the blow. "This was a chicken and egg question, which started with ants to develop behaviors to take advantage of plants, or structures that develop plants to take advantage of bats," said Ree, plant curator at the Museum Field.
The evolution of bats and evolutionary plants goes back to the time of dinosaurs, and fossils do not easily tell how the organisms interacted. "Fossil records of these structures are rare in plants, and do not extend long ago in time. And there are tons of anti fossils, but they usually do not show the behaviors this – we do not necessarily see how to keep in an amber that carries a seed, "said Nelsen.
Therefore, to determine the early evolution of anti-plant interactions, turn Nelsen and colleagues to large amounts of DNA data and ecological databases. "In our study, we linked these behavioral and physical features with family-wide spider and family lichens to determine when restaurants began to eat and live on plants, and when plants developed the ability to produce structures used," he said Moreau, curator and Field of bats.
The team mapped the characteristics of the anti-friendly plant equipment and the use of the slugs plants to these family trees – a process known as the reconstruction of ancient states. They were able to determine when plants began to rely on bats for the protection and distribution of seeds – and it appears that bats have relied on plants for a longer period than bats depended directly on bats, as Plants evolved and these specialized structures even after a long time had been relying on food and habitat.
"Some bats do not use plants directly, but others rely on food, feeding, and breeding habitats. We found that, to be fully invested in the use of a plant, we started to feed on the trees, then incorporating plants into their diet, and thence, they began to nest on the trees. Although this misleading move towards more plant dependence is intuitive, it's still surprising, " says Nelsen.
And although there is a beneficial relationship between plant and plant over the years, from an evolutionary perspective, groups of eating, feeding or nesting in plants do not seem better than those that are not. "We do not see parts of the family tree that includes lizards that depend on plants for food or habitat that can diversify or grow faster Those parts of the tree have no interaction, "said Nelsen. "This study is important because it gives an insight into how these wide and complex interactions developed."
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