The peacock anemone (Anemone pavonina) is an herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean Region. As in other species of the genus Anemone, different color morphs are known. In Greece, populations on the slopes of Mount Olympus possess mainly red flowers at low elevations, but purple flowers dominate at higher altitudes. Furthermore, mixed-colored populations occur in the transition zone in between. Red flowers only reflect light within the visible spectrum, but purple flowers are also UV-reflecting. Beetles of the genus Pygopleurus are the main pollinators of the red color morphs whereas purple flowers are primarily pollinated by bees.
In my project, I will investigate if flower color polymorphism is caused and stabilized by a coevolutionary process in terms of a mutual adaptation of plant and pollinator or if abiotic factors like precipitation or temperature are the main drivers.
1.Boetzl, F. A., Krauss, J., Heinze, J., Hoffmann, H., Juffa, J., König, S., Krimmer, E., Prante, M., Martin, E. A., Holzschuh, A., and Steffan-Dewenter, I. (2021) A multitaxa assessment of the effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes for biodiversity management, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118, e2016038118.