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Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma. The goal of every living organism, including plants, is to create offspring for the next generation. One of the ways that plants can produce offspring is by making seeds.

What is Pollination?  US Forest Service



  1. Bees are important, the argument goes, because they flit about from flower to flower, picking up pollen from one plant and inadvertently depositing it on another. In other words, they facilitate plant sex. And plant sex is how you get fruits and nuts…lots of the tasty things we humans like to...
  2. Some global statistics illustrate the scale of pollinator contribution to agriculture and food security: Of the 115 leading global crops consumed by humans, 87 rely on animal pollination, to some degree. 35 percent of the crops we eat, in terms of the volume produced globally, depend on animal...
  3. Abstract, Proceedings of the Royal Society B / Biological Sciences, 2014 Pollinators contribute around 10% of the economic value of crop production globally, but the contribution of these pollinators to human nutrition is potentially much higher. Crops vary in the degree to which they benefit...
  4. Abstract, Proceedings of the Royal Society B / Biological Sciences, 2007 The extent of our reliance on animal pollination for world crop production for human food has not previously been evaluated and the previous estimates for countries or continents have seldom used primary data. In this...
  5. Many flowers are pollinated without the aid of animals (insect, bird, or mammal). Some are pollinated as the currents of wind or water act as vectors. These flowers do not generally attractanimalpollinators. Most conifers and about 12% of the world’s flowering plants are wind-pollinated. Wind...
  6. Abstract, Biodiversity Science, 2017 The transfer of pollen in most seed plants relies on diverse pollination vectors. In comparison with animal pollination (zoophily), wind pollination (anemophily) has long been regarded as an inefficient mode and thus has received relatively little attention....
  7. Abstract, Insect Conservation and Diversity, 2017 Current research, management and outreach programmes relevant to insect pollinator conservation are strongly focused on relationships between pollinators and insect‐pollinated crops and wild plants. Pollinators also visit wind‐pollinated plants to...
  8. Pollination occurs when pollen grains move from anthers to a reproductively mature stigma. After pollen lands on the stigma, it initiates pollen tube formation. Pollen tubes are channels which grow down the length of the style to the ovules. After a pollen grain travels down a pollen tube it...
  9. This bulletin, based on contributions from various contributors and edited by Dr. D.W. Roubik, introduces the reader to various aspects of natural and insect pollination. It discusses the pollinators themselves, and the ecological and economic importance of pollination, as well as applied...
  10. 2015-07-14 In northern Thailand, widespread mono-cropping has led to environmental changes which have affected the natural habitat of bees, resulting in diminishing numbers and reduced honey production. As ECHO Asia already has a variety of different flower species, trialing honey production seemed like a...
  11. 2015-01-20 Sorghum is primarily self-pollinated, meaning that a sorghum plant will accept pollen from its own flowers. Sorghum can also accept pollen from other sorghum plants (cross-pollination) by means of wind or insect transfer. Cultivated sorghum is generally cross-pollinated between 2 and 10%, with...
  12. 1976-01-19 Worldwide, more than 3,000 plant species have been used as food, only 300 of which are now widely grown, and only 12 of which furnish nearly 90 percent of the world's food. These 12 include the grains: rice, wheat, maize (corn), sorghums, millets, rye, and barley, and potatoes, sweet potatoes,...
  13. Anemophily is the process when pollen is transported by air currents from one individual plant to another. About 12% of the world’s flowering plants are wind-pollinated, including grasses and cereal crops, many trees, and the infamous allergenic ragweeds. Wind pollinating plants release billions...
  14. Abstract, Scientific Reporst, 2017 Mutualistic biotic interactions as among flowering plants and their animal pollinators are a key component of biodiversity. Pollination, especially by insects, is a key element in ecosystem functioning, and hence constitutes an ecosystem service of global...
  15. 2007-01-20 Hand pollination of atemoya flowers is a simple procedure based on the interesting fact that the female and male parts (Figure 1) of each flower mature at different times.
  16. Pollinators are an element ofcrop associated biodiversity, and provide an essential ecosystem service to both natural and agricultural ecosystems. In the case of agricultural ecosystems, pollinators and pollination can be managed ("planned" crop associated biodiversity) to maximize or improve...
  17. Hand-pollination is a technique used by seed savers to ensure that plants produce seed that is true-to-type and that flowers are not contaminated by the pollen from another variety. The process varies among species, but with plants that produce unisexual flowers like corn, the uncontaminated...
  18. Not all edible crops need to be pollinated by bugs. Some don’t need bees, or other pollinators, at all; and some benefit from them but can still produce even if they are not around.
  19. 1999-07-19 In Honduras, after Hurricane Mitch, several NGO's working with small farmers were concerned that cross-pollination occurring between the hybrid maize variety and existing open-pollinated varieties would reduce yields of both traditional varieties and the new, improved open-pollinated varieties in...
  20. 2014-10-20 The ECHO Florida Seed Bank offers a wide variety of useful crops, many of which naturally attract pollinators (Fig. 3). Encouraging beneficial insects in your garden is a key component in promoting biodiversity, controlling unwanted pests and increasing pollination of your crops. If you live in...
  21. Betsy Langford (now Betsy Myhre), ECHO staff presents on how to hand pollinate pumpkins for seed saving and genetic preservation.
  22. This book invites readers involved in agriculture and biodiversity conservation to think about the essential service that pollinators provide. Its twofold purpose is to inform and encourage.
  23. 2014-10-20 Worldwide, the number of insect pollinators has declined sharply in recent years. Beekeepers have experienced heavy loss of honey bee colonies; in the United States, the number of managed colonies is half of what it was sixty or seventy years ago (USDA). The number of wild pollinators has also...
  24. 1996-05-01 Consider this: Without interaction between animals and flowering plants, the seeds and fruits that make up nearly eighty percent of the human diet would not exist.InThe Forgotten Pollinators, Stephen L. Buchmann, one of the world's leading authorities on bees and pollination, and Gary Paul...
  25. As a nonprofit, Seed Savers Exchange aims to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.
  26. You should probably hand pollinate if: You don’t see bees or other insects hovering around your flowering plants You’re growing indoors, in a greenhouse or on a screened-in porch Your plants produce fruit that shrivels and dies before maturing Even with healthy pollinator activity, you may...
  27. A multinational team of researchers has identified countries where agriculture's increasing dependence on pollination, coupled with a lack of crop diversity, may threaten food security and economic stability. The study, which was published in the journalGlobal Change Biologyon July 11, 2019, is...
  28. Abstract, PLOS ONE, 2018 Climate change has the potential to enhance or disrupt biological systems, but currently, little is known about how organism plasticity may facilitate adaptation to localised climate variation. The bee-flower relationship is an exemplar signal-receiver system that may...
  29. Pollination studies in East Asia have been developing rapidly in recent decades. East Asia may provide important information on many aspects of plant-pollinator interactions because of the rich fauna and flora and highly heterogeneous environments that occur there. In this review,...
  30. Abstract, Journal of Pollination Ecology, 2012 Science has shown the importance of animal pollinators to human food security, economy, and biodiversity conservation. Science continues to identify various factors causing pollinator declines and their implications. However, translation of the...
  31. Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research.
  32. By Abram Bicksler and Alessandra Guidotti, Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations Through the years, there have been many challenges related to the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment. Today one of the main challenges is to protect pollinators from the threats that...
  33. Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. Pollinating animals travel from plant to...
  34. Abstract, Environmental Research Letters, 2019 There is a growing concern about the status and trends of animal pollinators worldwide. Pollinators provide a key service to both wild plants and crops by mediating their reproduction, so pollinator conservation is of fundamental importance to...
  35. Journal of Pollination Ecologyis an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that aims to promote the exchange of original knowledge and research in any area of pollination issues. Journal of Pollination Ecologyinvites manuscripts, short communications and reviews based on original descriptive...

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