Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Ecology

Pollination drives floral clock

The closure of flower heads is driven not only by falling light or temperature, as previously thought, but also by pollinators. In a set of field experiments, Jochen Fründ at Georg August University in Göttingen, Germany, and his team show that flowers in the Asteraceae family, including smooth hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris), close within three hours of pollination. By contrast, the heads of unpollinated flowers stayed open for hours longer — until late afternoon.

Flower-head closure earlier in the day affects interactions between plants and the pollinators of the surrounding area, and can change the times at which some insects are active. The authors suggest that their results be considered in plant and pollinator field surveys to ensure accuracy.

Ecol.Lett.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01654.x(2011)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pollination drives floral clock. Nature 476, 9 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/476009d

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/476009d

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing