Tuning of flower colours to the visual systems of pollinators

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


Plants attract pollinators by displaying colourful flowers. The coloration of flowers is due to reflection of light by structures inside the flower and filtering of reflected light by floral pigments. Floral visual signals comprise several components, such as hue, brightness and saturation, that are generated by specific anatomical structures and pigmentation. A challenge for modern studies on plant-pollinator co-evolution is understanding which perceptual factors are biologically relevant for plant reproduction, and how these colour signals evolved with respect to the visual system of pollinators. For example, bees, birds and butterflies have very different visual systems and will thus impose different selective pressures on floral visual signals. In this talk, I present results from an Angiosperm-wide comparative study on the optical and anatomical characteristics of flowers. Using a combination of optics, anatomy and evolutionary modelling, I show how floral visual signals are tuned so to yield strong stimuli to pollinators.
EvenementstitelNetherlands Society for Evolutionary Biology Meeting 2019
LocatieEde, Netherlands
Mate van erkenningInternational