Pollination is the means of sexual reproduction in plants.
Most flowering plants go for sexual reproduction by this method.
The plants secrete pollen grains (male gametes) from the anther (male organ).
These pollen reach on to the stigma which is a part of female organ in the flower.
The pollen then unite with ova to form a zygote and embryo the seed which is ready for propagation into new plant.
However, this pollination has many benefits to animals and man in their lives.
- Helps in maintenance of plant diversity
- Help in sustenance of genetic resilience
- Supports plant breeding
- Supplies food for the entire food chain
- Helps in reproduction of few animals like birds and insects.
Helps in maintenance of plant resilience: Sexual reproduction enhances genetic vitality and adaptability of plants to changing environmental and external conditions. Pollination being a process of sexual reproduction helps to maintain plant characters.
Help in sustenance of plant distribution: The seeds are carried by animals as a part of eating the fruit and dropped in different places. These seeds grow into plants in the distant place from mother. Such distance distribution is kept alive due to distribution of pollen to distant plants.
Supports plant breeding: The plant breeding done by many scientists like Gregor mendel, Hugo de Vries etc. was through use of techniques like self pollination, cross pollination etc. This pollination is quite easy method for genetic variation studies compared to other methods.
Supplies food: In biotic pollination, insects and birds land over flowers to drink nectar. In doing so, few pollen stick to their limbs which are dispersed on to other flowers.
So, flowers provide food in the form of nectar to insects and birds. Hence, honey bees collect honey from flowers which is again stored in the honey comb. We humans take it for food. Thus pollination indirectly provides food to animals.
Supports reproduction in animals. Many birds and insects have breeding time around the flowering season. This is because during flowering season, insects can find food and support their offspring. These larva in-turn become food for birds. Hence, many birds and insects reproduce during flowering season. It is experimentally found that as the time for flowering changes, the reproduction cycle of birds and insects too change.