A recent New Zealand study compared the size, shape and pigmentation of hundreds of leaves of Pseudowintera axillaris (horopito, also known as the New Zealand pepper tree) and small Alseuosmia macrophylla (toropapa) plants, and found a match. Over a third of the leaves of the two species cannot be statistically distinguished from one another. Toropapa were possibly eaten by moa before the arrival of humans quickly decimated the moa population. Unless the plants are flowering or fruiting, the only fast way to tell them apart is to taste a leaf. Horopito leaves a pungent, hot peppery taste and a numb tongue when the leaf is chewed, while toropapa is highly palatable.
Name and describe the relationship between Pseudowintera axillaris and Alseuosmia macrophylla.
Discuss the adaptive advantages and disadvantages of the relationship to the two species of New Zealand flora, including any survival strategies they employ.
Planning my answer:
- Their relationship (batesian)
- Definition of Batesian
- What about these 2 that make it (batesian)
- Advantages (natural selection)
- Survival strategies (chemical protection) e.g so the herbivorous will avoid the plant.
The two species is Pseudowintera axillaris known as horopito, and Alseuosmia macrophylla known as toropapa. The relationship between them is batesian.