A origem e a evolução dinâmica da transferência de informação química

sexta-feira, dezembro 24, 2010

The origin and dynamic evolution of chemical information transfer

Sandra Steiger1,*, Thomas Schmitt2 and H. Martin Schaefer2

+Author Affiliations

1School of Biological Sciences, Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics Section, Illinois State University, Normal Il61790-4120, USA
2Faculty of Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Animal Ecology, University of Freiburg, Hauptstrasse 1, 79104 Freiburg, Germany

* Author for correspondence (ssteige@ilstu.edu).


Although chemical communication is the most widespread form of communication, its evolution and diversity are not well understood. By integrating studies of a wide range of terrestrial plants and animals, we show that many chemicals are emitted, which can unintentionally provide information (cues) and, therefore, act as direct precursors for the evolution of intentional communication (signals). Depending on the content, design and the original function of the cue, there are predictable ways that selection can enhance the communicative function of chemicals. We review recent progress on how efficacy-based selection by receivers leads to distinct evolutionary trajectories of chemical communication. Because the original function of a cue may channel but also constrain the evolution of functional communication, we show that a broad perspective on multiple selective pressures acting upon chemicals provides important insights into the origin and dynamic evolution of chemical information transfer. Finally, we argue that integrating chemical ecology into communication theory may significantly enhance our understanding of the evolution, the design and the content of signals in general.

chemical communication, signal, cue, volatiles, evolution of communication, pheromone

Received October 20, 2010.
Accepted November 26, 2010.

This Journal is © 2010 The Royal Society


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