Scientists found the Fritillaria delavayi plant on the rocky slopes of China‘s Hengduan mountains. In fact, this plant was once found in the area where they live.
This discovery led to the evolution of plant species in new color forms, in particular Fritillaria delavayi. These plants camouflage themselves well so have a higher chance of survival.
Scientists from the Kunming Institute of Botany (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and University of Exeter, UK, are measuring how close plants are from different populations. They also spoke with local residents to estimate how much the medicinal plants yielded at each location.
“It’s incredible to see how humans can have such a direct and dramatic impact on the coloring of wild organisms, not only on their survival but also on their own evolution,” said Professor Martin Stevens of the University of Exeter’s Center for Ecology and Conservation. Scitechdaily.
They found that the level of camouflage in plants was related to the rate of harvest. The more camouflage that occurs, the less harvesting the local community can do.
“A lot of plants appear to be using camouflage to hide from herbivores that may eat them but here we see camouflage developing in response to human collectors,” he added.