Multifunctionality of floral scents
Anne-Amélie C. Larue, Robert R. Junker
The presence of mutualistic and antagonistic flower-visitors suggests that the composition of floral scents is the result of conflicting selection pressures and represents a trade-off between them. This project aims to understand the complexity of floral scent bouquets and to generate a more sophisticated understanding of their multiple functions. It is planned to identify the behaviorally active compounds within complex bouquets that either attract mutualists and/or repel antagonists. Therefore, the behavior of different insects towards flowers with natural and biochemically or genetically manipulated floral scents will be compared to pinpoint the key-odorants and their effective doses for attraction and defense. Additionally, the adaptive value of floral scents as filters, i.e. their ability to select the most beneficial agent(s) while screening out antagonists, will be investigated.
DFG-project: Complexity and multifunctionality of flower scents and their potential as floral filters