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More electric fields

We know that plants and bees share a close relationship developed through their coevolution. This has been most closely studied in terms of colours and odours. This paper from Clarke et al. shows how another channel might also be used a signal between plant and bee. They showed that floral electric fields, which are impacted by visits from naturally charged bees, can be discriminated by bees, providing extra information about the shape and recent history of a flower. As the authors say “… our study provides a framework for exploring the function and adaptive value of the perception of weak electric fields by bees in nature.”

 Dominic Clarke, Heather Whitney, Gregory Sutton, and Daniel Robert (2013) Detection and Learning of Floral Electric Fields by Bumblebees Science 5 April 2013: 340 (6128), 66-69
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Categories: Papers from 2013
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