Being the first day of spring of this 2014 we could not do another article that was not pollination . The flowers begin to appear and the insects eager for their nectar come out to suck to feed and begin their frenzied activity. On this occasion, Eduardo delights us with a detailed and fascinating photographic report where he has hunted these essential pollinators with his camera.
We start badly if we kill them, let them do their work valued at many billions of euros, around € 265,000,000,000, it turns out that they work as much as we do and that they do it in the worst valued environment such as agriculture. I assure you that if they were necessary for the mobile, computer, or similar, everyone would have bees at home.
Einstein already warned us, humanity would have a few years to live if bees disappeared . Let’s listen to him. But I extend to a number of insects that suck our flowers, to try to use more selective traps.
THE IMPORTANCE OF POLLINATION IN CROPS IS CRUCIAL
I don’t have good data at hand but I can tell you that in avocado 80% of the pollination is from it, half in watermelon, almost all of almond, cherries, plums, walnuts, they also do it in our precious garden plants , but it is not only bees, a multitude of insects carry out this work so beneficial for our environment, I will show you:
The flower is responsible for sexual reproduction in spermatophyte plants, sperm (seed, so we all come from a seed) and phyton (plant), plants that produce seed, also known as phanerogams because the two groups encompass the same type of plants.
They are also known as siphonogamous embryophytes, or what is the same: plants that reproduce by means of a tube, referring to the pollen tube. One day I spoke about the sodium-potassium pump, and that it was the one that had made us who we are thanks to the intercommunication of cells, today I tell you that the sexual system invented by nature is not very different: sperm, embryo, tube , I mean by this that “what works does not have to be changed”, it can be perfected, adapted, evolved and be more or less effective or pleasant, but the idea itself is the same: that half of the chromosomes, male gamete , reach the other half, female gamete and form an egg or zygote from which the embryo of a living being will develop.
We are going to see the entire reproductive system, the parts of the flower, the male and the female. In this case the ovary is hidden and protected by the sepals. Just above the style you can see pollen grains falling from the anthers located on it. In the later photograph I have enlarged and the stigma is better seen.
You must look at the Stigma, it is already surrounded by pollen and has completely opened, possibly it is already fertilized. But look at the anthers, they have also matured and no longer have the smoothness of the previous photograph, they already hang lower than the style and the pollen will not be able to fall on it and carry out its fertilization work.
I have carried out the pollination in an artificial way, which does not mean that it will come to fruition, time will tell me. But now we are in the field, we see a flower similar to this and, out of curiosity, someone asks how or who pollinates this type of flower. Let’s analyze: thinking a little, we can guess that by the length of the style the pollinating insect must have a spirit similar to that of the Macroglossum , which you will see pollinating a flower in the following images. It must have a somewhat large testa, because while it drinks it must touch the anthers and be stained with pollen.
Another simpler solution would be the action carried out by the air, anemophilia, anemo es wind (anemometer), this anemophilic pollination is typical of ferns and fungi, as well as dominant species in a given environment, which is not typical of the flower of our photo, therefore it appears to be a zoophilic plant, but we will quarantine it while waiting for an expert.
- Left: This kind of trunk is called a spirit tube and it is inserted into the flower to suck. While it is doing it, it is stained with pollen that it will introduce into another flower, fertilizing it.
- Right: You have just extended the spirit tube by inserting it into the flower. This species is called Macroglossum stellatarum, the Lepidopteran Hummingbird Sphinx, classified as a night butterfly although I see it a lot during the day, it is a good pollinator of garden species.