Evolution of floral color change: Is an honest signal for pollinators beneficial for flowers?

Koichi Ito
(Kyushu Univ.)

2015/10/27, 13:30- at room C-909

      In order to attract pollinators, insect pollinated flowers have evolved various floral traits, e.g., production of nectar as rewards, or floral colors and volatiles as signals for pollinators. Some empirical studies have reported that a flower often change its color, which is called floral color change. Moreover, the color changed flowers provide little nectar to pollinators. In such cases, floral color can be an honest signal for pollinators about the existence/absence of nectar, which seem to be unbeneficial for flowers because pollinators will avoid to visiting nectar-less flowers.      In order to explain the evolution of floral color change, I focused on the learning ability of pollinators. Pollinators can learn the amount or existence probability of nectar, and change their visiting frequency to flowers. However, the ability of recognizing floral colors or plant individuals is different among pollinator species. The difference of the recognizing ability of pollinator may be a factor causing the evolution of floral color change. In this talk, I will show you when the floral color change can evolve and be maintained.

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