Do Epidermal Cell Types Have an Effect Upon Ultraviolet Patterns on Flower Petals?

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Flaherty, Margaux
Epidermal cell type; ultraviolet; reflectance; absorbance; SEM; spectrophotometer; Botany; Plant Biology
project description
Flower petal epidermal cell shape and ultraviolet patterns called nectar guides may have a considerable impact on pollinator behavior and consequently, the reproductive success of the floral species. Similarly, flower petal epidermal cell shape may have an effect on floral color; however, these effects have only been measured in the visible light range (Whitney et al., 2009). This study attempts to determine if epidermal cell shape has an effect upon ultraviolet floral patterns. Experimental results show that all of the floral species studied seem to have a conical epidermal cell shape, but varying levels of ultraviolet reflectance and absorbance; therefore, a relationship does not seem to exist between epidermal cell shape and ultraviolet reflectance. However, the data obtained regarding M. ringens will provide for a good foundation for future studies regarding ultraviolet patterns and any potential effects upon pollinator behavior.