pollinators important in more ways than you might think
Pollination • Pollination - When pollen is moved within flowers or carried from flower to flower by pollinating animals, the wind, or water. • About 80% of all plants are pollinated by biotic pollinators http://www.pollinator.org/pollination.htm http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/plantstrategies/index.shtml
Pollinators • An animal that carries pollen from one flower to another • Pollinators get two things by visiting plants: • Nectar - Liquid sugar, a high energy substance • Pollen – High protein substance • Bees may collect this & feed to their young • Other pollinators pick this up unintentionally in their hair.
Why Plants Need Pollinators • The transfer of pollen in and between flowers of the same species leads to fertilization, and successful seed and fruit production for plants. • Pollination ensures that a plant will produce full-bodied fruit and a full set of viable seeds. http://www.pollinator.org/pollination.htm
Did you know? • At least 1/3 of all the foods you eat are dependent upon pollinators. • This means that millions of plants are dependent on pollinators to reproduce! http://entomology.cornell.edu
Plant Strategies • Attracting pollinators is so important that plants have adapted strategies to attract pollinators to them: • Color • Form or shape • Scent
Invertebrate Pollinators • Bees • Wasps • Beetles • Butterflies • Moths • Flies
Bee Pollinated Plants • In the United States, there are over 4,000 species of native bees. What a human sees… What a bee sees… http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/bees.shtml
Butterfly Pollinated Plants • Butterflies are less efficient than bees at moving pollen between plants. http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/butterflies.shtml
Moth Pollinated Plants • Most moths pollinate the plants at night http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/moths.shtml
Vertebrate Pollinators • Bats • Hummingbirds • Lizards
Bat Pollinated Plants • Most moths pollinate the plants at night http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/bats.shtml
Hummingbird Pollinated Plants • In the continental United States, hummingbirds are key in wildflower pollination. http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/birds.shtml
Lizard Pollinated Plants • Although uncommon, lizards, skinks, and geckos may be pollinator http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/unususal.shtml
Checking Up • Why are pollinators important to the survival of plants? • How do plants ensure pollinators will visit them? • What do you think would happen if a plant was pollinated by only one or two species of pollinators?