Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

David Saunders, Honors Thesis Advisor


Plant physiology; Plants--Pollination; Plant-pollinator relationships;


Plants have biotic, abiotic, or both biotic and abiotic adaptations for pollination, depending on how they are structured and the attraction between the plant and pollinator. The main focus for this project was biotic adaptations for pollination, and how various plants are specifically structured for the insect, bird, or mammal to pick up the pollen and carry it to the next plant. Documentation, using image/focus stacking and macro photography, was done of the structures of various plants from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Botanical Center to support the reason for why plants are structured the way they are. While documenting the various plants, new information was discovered about how plant anatomical structures assist in pollination. The structure of a flower and its placement of the reproductive organs seem to be correlated with the type of pollinator of that flower. Some of the patterns observed in certain flowers based on their pollinators included a landing platform, a tubular flower structure, and a specific placement of the reproductive organs within the flower. These patterns were not collectively seen in one flower, but varied in flowers based on the pollinator.

Year of Submission



Department of Biology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (45 pages)



File Format


Included in

Botany Commons