Forschungs- & Publikationsdatenbank

Publikation Nr. 3932 - Details

Remmele, M., Wieland, E., Hahn, L., Klein, P. & Lindemann-Matthies, P. (2024). Flower or leaf characteristics, coloured or black and white illustrations – what helps student teachers to identify plants? , Journal of Biology Education.


For a sound understanding of biological diversity, it is not only important to identify species and recall their names, but to be able to distinguish between organisms based on a range of characteristic traits. However, whether flower or leaf characteristics are more important in identifying plant species and whether colour illustrations in identification books are more helpful than black and white ones is largely unexplored. With the help of a mobile eye-tracking device and pictures from two plant identification books, this study aimed to contribute to filling this knowledge gap. Thirty student teachers, all undergraduates in biology, were shown two freshly picked wildflowers (Medicago sativa and Echium vulgare) and asked to select the corresponding illustration from each of four plants on an identification sheet, which was either in colour or in black and white. For both plants, the number of fixations, and positively correlated fixation duration, were significantly higher for the flower than the leaf part. Although flowers and leaves were fixated longer and more frequently in the black-and-white illustrations, correct identifications were more likely with the coloured identification sheets. The results indicate that colour illustrations and sorting by flower characteristics are particularly helpful in identification aids for undergraduate students.

Art der Begutachtung: Peer Review(Double-blind peer review)
Print: Ja
Online: Ja, ohne Open Access
Datenmedium: Nein