Journal article Open Access
Tegrovsky, Lara; Pany, Peter
The nectar guides of the common horse chestnut change their colour during the anthesis of a single flower. After anthesis, withering flowers do not drop but remain on the inflorescence. This led to the hypothesis that the white colour of the remaining flowers aids in long-distance pollinator attraction. The present preliminary study explores whether the colour change of the nectar guides is influenced by the pollination status (pollinated versus non-pollinated). We pollinated 49 flowers on three different inflorescences artificially and evaluated the time until colour change. Pollinated flowers changed the colour of their nectar guides one day after pollination while unpollinated flowers started nectar guide colour change only after two days. These results support the hypothesis that the colour change of nectar guides helps pollinators differentiate between pollinated flowers (which do no longer produce nectar) and unpollinated flowers.
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