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A technique for measuring petal gloss, with examples from the Namaqualand flora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29476
JournalPLoS ONE
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2012


The degree of floral gloss varies between species. However, little is known about this distinctive floral trait, even though it could be a key feature of floral biotic and abiotic interactions. One reason for the absence of knowledge is the lack of a simple, repeatable method of gloss measurement that can be used in the field to study floral gloss. A protocol is described for measuring gloss in petal samples collected in the field, using a glossmeter. Repeatability of the technique is assessed. We demonstrate a simple yet highly accurate and repeatable method that can easily be implemented in the field. We also highlight the huge variety of glossiness found within flowers and between species in a sample of spring-blooming flowers collected in Namaqualand, South Africa. We discuss the potential uses of this method and its applications for furthering studies in plant-pollinator interactions. We also discuss the potential functions of gloss in flowers.

Additional information

Publisher: Public Library of Science Rose publication type: Article Sponsorship: HMW and AGE were funded by a networking grant from the Royal Society (United Kingdom) and the National Research Foundation (South Africa). Equipment was funded by a Royal Society Research grant. HMW was funded by a Lloyds of London Tercentenary fellowship. Terms of use: (c) 2012 Whitney et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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