Data_Sheet_2_How Much Pigment Should Flowers Have? Flowers With Moderate Pigmentation Have Highest Color Contrast.docx (25.59 kB)
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Data_Sheet_2_How Much Pigment Should Flowers Have? Flowers With Moderate Pigmentation Have Highest Color Contrast.docx

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posted on 23.09.2021, 04:22 by Casper J. van der Kooi

Floral pigments are a core component of flower colors, but how much pigment a flower should have to yield a strong visual signal to pollinators is unknown. Using an optical model and taking white, blue, yellow and red flowers as case studies, I investigate how the amount of pigment determines a flower’s color contrast. Modeled reflectance spectra are interpreted using established insect color vision models. Contrast as a function of the amount of pigment shows a pattern of diminishing return. Low pigment amounts yield pale colors, intermediate amounts yield high contrast, and extreme amounts of pigment do not further increase, and sometimes even decrease, a flower’s color contrast. An intermediate amount of floral pigment thus yields the highest visibility, a finding that is corroborated by previous behavioral experiments on bees. The implications for studies on plant-pollinator signaling, intraspecific flower color variation and the costs of flower color are discussed.

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