Visual cues in fruit displays from foliage, accessory structures, and ripe fruit color are known to be important in attracting bird seed dispersers to ripe fruit, but the role of color in unripe fruit has not been thoroughly studied. Here, we tested the effects of unripe fruit presence and fruit abundance by offering fruit of a Neotropical tree, Ardisia nigropunctata (Myrsinaceae), in bunches of mixed unripe and ripe fruit and bunches of all-ripe fruit. Additionally, foraging bird species identification and behavior information was collected. Contrary to expectation, birds removed more fruit from all-ripe bunches with the most fruit than from contrastingly colored fruit bunches. We therefore discuss alternate explanations for unripe fruit colors in mixed bunches.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics