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The Effects of Dietary Carotenoid Supplementation and Retinal Carotenoid Accumulation on Vision-Mediated Foraging in the House Finch

Figure 1

A comparison of carotenoid and visual pigment absorbance spectra, food and background reflectance, and irradiance spectra of the experimental lighting.

(A) Absorbance spectra of single-cone photoreceptors before (gray lines) and after (black lines) carotenoid-pigmented cone oil-droplet filtering. Spectral sensitivities are based upon measures from the canary (Serinus canaria; [28]), the house finch's closest relative for which these values are known. Microspectorphotometric studies [10] suggest that the long-wavelength-sensitive cone (LWS) is filtered by an oil droplet pigmented with astaxanthin, the medium-wavelength-sensitive cone (MWS) is filtered by a zeaxanthin-pigmented oil droplet, the short-wavelength-sensitive cone (SWS) is filtered by a galloxanthin-containing oil droplet, and the ultraviolet-sensitive cone (UVS) has a transparent oil droplet. (B) Normalized absorbance spectra of carotenoids found in the house finch retina: astaxanthin (asta), galloxanthin (gal), zeaxanthin (zea), lutein (lut), and ε-carotene (ε-car). (C) Sample irradiance spectra from the full and red-filtered room lights and reflectance spectra of the food pellets and distracters. Irradiance spectra are presented in gray and are associated with the y-axis on the left. Reflectance spectra are presented in black and associated with the y-axis on the right.

Figure 1

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021653.g001