The diversity of floral temperature patterns, and their use by pollinators

29Citations
Citations of this article
143Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

Abstract

Pollinating insects utilise various sensory cues to identify and learn rewarding flower species. One such cue is floral temperature, created by captured sunlight or plant thermogenesis. Bumblebees, honeybees and stingless bees can distinguish flowers based on differences in overall temperature between flowers. We report here that floral temperature often differs between different parts of the flower creating a temperature structure or pattern. Temperature patterns are common, with 55% of 118 plant species thermographed, showing within-flower temperature differences greater than the 2°C difference that bees are known to be able to detect. Using differential conditioning techniques, we show that bumblebees can distinguish artificial flowers differing in temperature patterns comparable to those seen in real flowers. Thus, bumblebees are able to perceive the shape of these within-flower temperature patterns. Floral temperature patterns may therefore represent a new floral cue that could assist pollinators in the recognition and learning of rewarding flowers.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Harrap, M. J. M., Rands, S. A., de Ibarra, N. H., & Whitney, H. M. (2017). The diversity of floral temperature patterns, and their use by pollinators. ELife, 6. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.31262

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free