The nectar of plants may be more than just nourishment for the linkurl:birds; and linkurl:bees; that feed off of them - instead, suggests a study published in this week's issue of __Science__, it may be a complex chemical cocktail that simultaneously attracts and repels linkurl:pollinators; in order to optimize the amount of time they spend at each flower and the attention they pay to flowers on different plants. "This paper shows just how sophisticated a plant can be in using chemistry to get what it wants, which is to outcross," said linkurl:Ian Baldwin; from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany, the study's lead author. Baldwin and his colleagues studied a species of tobacco named linkurl:__Nicotiana attenuata__,; which synthesizes linkurl:benzyl acetone; to attract the linkurl:hummingbirds; and linkurl:hawk moths; that spread its pollen and sup on its nectar. That nectar also contains linkurl:nicotine,; which ensures that these pollinators don't...

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