Why Are Flowers Different? Pollination Syndromes—The Theory
It is clear from a merely cursory glance around any garden in the summer months that flowers come in an enormous variety of sizes, shapes, colours, and scents. The book now focusses on the differences between flowers, as opposed to the molecular similarities that unite them. This chapter begins by considering the different ways that flowers can be pollinated. It is a basic premise underlying much of floral biology that differences in pollination system explain many of the differences in floral form. The evidence to support this premise is not as compelling as we might like to think, as discussed in later chapters. However, to set the stage for those discussions, this chapter looks at the historical concept of the pollination syndrome and the predictions it makes about floral morphology. The chapter considers the roles different animal pollinators may play in influencing floral evolution.
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