Importance of Pollination | 5 Major benefits in Life
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).
This pollen reaches on to the stigma which is a part of a female organ in the flower.
The pollen then unites with ova to form a zygote and embryo the seed which is ready for propagation into a new plant.
However, this pollination has many benefits for animals and men in their lives.
- Helps in the maintenance of plant diversity
- Help in the sustenance of genetic resilience
- Supports plant breeding
- Supplies food for the entire food chain
- It helps in the reproduction of a few animals like birds and insects.
- Enhance agriculture yield.
Helps in the maintenance of plant resilience: Sexual reproduction enhances the 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 the 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 the distribution of pollen to distant parts.
Supports plant breeding: The plant breeding is done by many scientists like Gregor Mendel, Hugo de Vries, etc. was through the use of techniques like self-pollination, cross-pollination, etc. This pollination is quite an 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, some pollen sticks 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 are again stored in the honeycomb. 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 the flowering season, insects can find food and support their offspring. These larva in-turns become food for birds. Hence, many birds and insects reproduce during the flowering season. It is experimentally found that as the time for flowering changes, the reproduction cycle of birds and insects too change.
Enhance agriculture yield: In agriculture, there is a practice of manual pollination (mechanical pollination). Farmer uses a soft cloth to rub over different flowers like a sunflower. Doing so will enhance pollination.
Disadvantages of pollination to man:
Pollen is one of the major causes of respiratory disorders in humans. The pollen is allergic to the respiratory tract as it can evoke an immune response. When the pollen enters the bronchi, the tissue secretes histamine and other substances. This leads to the contraction of windpipe leading to difficulty in breathing.
These symptoms are particularly severe during winters.