Pollination syndromes are suites of flower traits that have evolved in response to natural selection imposed by different pollen vectors, which can be abiotic (wind and water) or biotic, such as birds, bees, flies, and so forth. These traits include flower shape, size, colour, odour, reward type and amount, nectar composition, timing of flowering, etc. For example, tubular red flowers with copious nectar often attract birds; foul smelling flowers attract carrion flies or beetles, etc.
The "classical" pollination syndromes as they are currently defined (see below) were developed in the 19th Century by the Italian botanist Federico Delpino. Although they have been useful in developing our understanding of plant-pollinator interactions, an uncritical acceptance of pollination syndromes as providing a framework for classifying these relationships is rather out of date.
Famous quotes containing the word syndrome:
“[T]he syndrome known as life is too diffuse to admit of palliation. For every symptom that is eased, another is made worse. The horse leechs daughter is a closed system. Her quantum of wantum cannot vary.”
—Samuel Beckett (19061989)