"Essential to Life"
Pollination occurs when birds, bees, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, other animals,water, or the wind carries pollen from flower to flower or it is moved within flowers.
The successful transfer of pollen in and between flowers of the same plant species leads to fertilization, successful seed development, and fruit production.
Even you and I are pollinators, knowingly and unknowingly.
Other factors such as drought, extreme temperature shifts, or diseases may prevent full fruit and seed production.
Floral Strategies and Pollinator Adaptations.
The great variety in color, form, and scent we see in flowers is a direct result of the intimate association of flowers and the creatures they attract.
The various flower traits associated with different pollinators are known as pollination syndromes.
God Created two Methods for Plants:
1) without the involvement of organisms (abiotic),
2) mediated by animals (biotic).
About 80% of all pollinated plants are due to animals.
The remaining 20% of abiotically fertilized species is 98% by wind and 2% by water.
Plants that use wind to be cross-pollinated generally have flowers that appear early in the spring, before or as the plant's leaves are emerging. This prevents the leaves from interfering with the dispersal of the pollen from the anthers and provides for the reception of the pollen on the stigmas of the flowers.
In species like oaks, birch, and cottonwood, male flowers are arranged in long pendant catkins or long upright inflorescences in which the flowers are small, green, and grouped together, and produce very large amounts of pollen.
Conifers require wind as well for. Female cones are fertilized when the males release copious amount of pollen into the air.
Grasses are mostly wind aided as well.
Pollen of wind-aided plants is lightweight, smooth, and small.
Plants that are wind pollinated generally occur as large populations so that the female flowers have a better chance of receiving pollen.
The small percentages of plants that are fertilized by water are aquatic plants. These plants release their
seeds directly into the water.
Here's a Fun Fact:
It is no coincidence that plants have differing flowering times that occur throughout the growing season to decrease competition for pollinators and to provide pollinators with a constant supply of food.
From the first hints of warmth in late winter through spring and summer, until last call in autumn, flowering plants are available to their pollinators providing pollen and nectar in exchange for their service.
You can help by planting natives with different bloom times. From 'Columbines' (Aquilegia) for spring blooms, to fall bloomers like 'Bugbane'(Cimicifuga) and several others.
Pollinators and Pollination
Orchard Mason Bees
Birds, Butterflies, Bees and much more are needed to keep our plants fertilized. Not simply for our food, but to feed nature, like birds and animals.
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