Animal pollination (Zoophily)
The transfer of pollen grains from a male part of a plant to a female part of a plant, enabling fertilization and the production of seeds, most often by animals or by wind. Insects, birds, and bats; water; wind; and even plants themselves are some example of pollinating agents (pollinator).
Types of pollination:-
Self pollination- This occurs when pollen grains from the anther fall directly onto the stigma of the same flower. It does not require any external source or vector.
Cross pollination- It is more complex than self pollination as it requires an external source or vector for the movement of pollen from one flower to another flower. There are several ways that flowering plants utilizes for the movement of pollen move from one flower to another which includes wind, water, and animal pollinators.
Cross Pollination has been categorized under the following types according to their pollinating agents.
• Zoophily(animals) is further divided into the following:-
? Entomophily(pollination by insects)
? Malacophily(pollination by snails)
? Ophiophily(pollination by snakes)
? Ornithophily(pollination by birds)
? Chiropteriphily(pollination by bats)
1) It is a significant event because it precedes fertilization.
2) It brings the male and female gametes closer for the process of fertilization.
3) Cross pollination introduces variations in plants because of the mixing of different genes these variations further increase the adaptability of plants towards the environment or surroundings.
It is a form of pollination where pollen grains are transferred by animals, usually vertebrates but may include invertebrates, particularly by birds, and bats, also by bears, rabbits, deer, rodents and other animals. The flowers which get pollinated with the help of animals are called ad zoophilous plants. It is known that most species of flowering plants depend on animals, such as bees, butterflies, etc., to move their pollen and enable sexual reproduction, and most animal pollinators, in turn, depend on flowers as sources of food (nectar), shelter or as an ovipositor site. The interaction between the plant and animal is mutualistic, always benefiting each other. However the pollination caused by animals is accidental. They are not trying to pollinate the plant. Usually they are at the plant to get food, when they are feeding; the sticky pollens are accidentally rubbed against the animal and get pollen stuck all over themselves. When they move to another flower to feed, some of the pollen can rub off onto the new plant’s stigma.
Plants that are pollinated by animals often are brightly colored and have a strong smell while some flowers (e.g., orchids) do not have flowers’ nectarines but secrete an edible sap to attract the animal pollinators.
Example:-Ficus carica and other Ficus spp. Of Moraceae:
Flowers of Ficus plants have hypanthodium inflorescences it is enclosed within the hollow pear-shaped. There is a narrow orifice for entering the receptacle within which there are three types of flowers female, male, and gall. The male flowers are situated on the top (near the orifice) while lower down are the long-styled female flowers and the short-styled ‘gall (which also are female). Figs are pollinated by the gall wasp (Blastophaga) they crawl into the receptacle and lays eggs inside the gall
Flower’s ovule. The eggs develop into the larvae which feed on the ovules and form galls. As the larvae develop into mature wasps and crawl out of the fig. In so doing they brush against the male flowers carrying away pollens on their bodies. These pollen-laden insects then enter fresh figs where they pollinate the long-styled female flowers and lay eggs within the ‘gall flowers’ in their turn.