Evaluating the spectral discrimination capabilities of different pollinators and their effect on the evolution of flower colors

Mani Raj Shrestha, Adrian Geoffrey Dyer, Martin Christopher Burd

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Important plant pollinators like bees and birds have very different color visual systems. Previous work has attempted to relate flower syndromes to the respective visual capabilities of the most important pollinators, but has often been limited by the lack of robust means to make between-species comparisons of how flower color signals are processed. In a recent study we solved this dilemma by comparing the raw spectral signals, quantifiable by major inflection points on a wavelength scale, from different flowers whose pollinators were known from direct observation. Here we elaborate on how this method allows robust cross species comparisons that are independent of the requirement to know the complex and often inaccessible physiological data about color processing in different animals. The use of this method should thus allow for the testing of pollinator syndrome hypotheses for different animal pollinators from different regions of the world.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere24000
Number of pages4
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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