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FReD: the Floral Reflectance Database - a web portal for analyses of flower colour

FReD: the Floral Reflectance Database - a web portal for analyses of flower colour

Arnold, Sarah E.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7345-0529, Faruq, Samia, Savolainen, Vincent, McOwan, Peter W. and Chittka, Lars (2010) FReD: the Floral Reflectance Database - a web portal for analyses of flower colour. PLoS ONE, 5 (12). e14287. ISSN 1932-6203 (doi:

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Background: Flower colour is of great importance in various fields relating to floral biology and pollinator behaviour. However, subjective human judgements of flower colour may be inaccurate and are irrelevant to the ecology and vision of the flower's pollinators. For precise, detailed information about the colours of flowers, a full reflectance spectrum for the flower of interest should be used rather than relying on such human assessments.

Methodology/Principal Findings: The Floral Reflectance Database (FReD) has been developed to make an extensive collection of such data available to researchers. It is freely available at The database allows users to download spectral reflectance data for flower species collected from all over the world. These could, for example, be used in modelling interactions between pollinator vision and plant signals, or analyses of flower colours in various habitats. The database contains functions for calculating flower colour loci according to widely-used models of bee colour space, reflectance graphs of the spectra and an option to search for flowers with similar colours in bee colour space.

Conclusions/Significance: The Floral Reflectance Database is a valuable new tool for researchers interested in the colours of flowers and their association with pollinator colour vision, containing raw spectral reflectance data for a large number of flower species.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Published December 10, 2010. [2] 1932-6203 (eISSN). [3] Copyright: (c) 2010 Arnold 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. [4] PLoS ONE is an open access publication, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (2.5 Generic) License. Official citation: Arnold SEJ, Faruq S, Savolainen V, McOwan PW, Chittka L, 2010 FReD: The Floral Reflectance Database — A Web Portal for Analyses of Flower Colour. PLoS ONE 5(12): e14287. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014287.
Uncontrolled Keywords: floral reflectance, flower colour, insect vision, trichromacy, colour hexagon, database, web application, spectral reflectance, bees, pollination
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2016 04:46

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