Does Plant Pollination Occur By Chance? Or Is It Insect-Instinct?
We all know that bees are popular for pollinating plants, but bees are far from being the only animals to pollinate. In fact, some pollinating animals are not even insects. For example, some types of birds and bats are known to pollinate certain types of plants. In fact, animals don’t even need to be involved in the pollination process in order for pollen transfer to occur. Many times the wind suffices to blow pollen from one plant to another. But, as far as insects and a few animals go, which animals deliberately pollinate plants? Or does pollination occur only by chance encounters between animals and pollen?
First of all, in order for a plant to be pollinated, the flowers of the plant must have sufficiently bloomed in order for the stamen and the stigma to be exposed. Each flower possess one male part, the stamen, and one female part, the stigma. The stamen produces the pollen that is then transferred to the stigma. Once this occurs the process of reproduction begins.
When pollen is transferred between the stamen and stigma of one single plant, the process is called self-pollination. When two different plants reproduce, the process is called cross-pollination. Cross-pollination results in stronger plants. Obviously, in order for cross-pollination to occur, pollen will have to be transferred between two different plants somehow.
Sometimes plants are pollinated by humans themselves in order to produce fruits, vegetables or decorative plants. However, this would be the only case of deliberate pollination. Animals such as bees, butterflies, moths, bats, and birds enjoy feasting on the sweet nectar and/or the pollen produced by plants. While these animals move from plant to plant, they easily transfer pollen as well, resulting in cross-pollination. These animals only seem to be motivated by the taste of pollen or nectar, and not on the health of plants. Much of this information, although commonly taught during early schooling, is surprisingly new to many people.
Did you assume that pollination could only occur through the insect activity?