06 January, 2016

Floral symmetry affects bumblebee approach consistency in artificial flowers

by Brett Culbert and Jessica Forrest

Across flowering plants, many lineages have transitioned from radially symmetric flowers (with multiple planes of symmetry) to bilaterally symmetric flowers (with a single plane of symmetry). Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this trend, including the “pollen placement hypothesis”. This hypothesis reasons that a reduction in the number of planes of floral symmetry should result in more precise placement of pollen (and stigmas) onto pollinators as a result of more consistent pollinator entry into flowers. The resulting improvement in pollen-transfer efficiency should increase the plant’s potential reproductive output per unit floral reward produced. 

Read the whole summary in: English!
Read the scientific publication in JPE.
Bombus impatiens visiting a real bilaterally symmetric flower - a snapdragon