POLLINATOR DIVERSITY IS MANDATORY FOR CROP DIVERSITY
Pollination is a pivotal process in the reproduction of flowering plants. It has led to more or less specialized interactions between flowers and their pollinators. This in turn has resulted in the huge diversity of flowers and consequently in the tremendous actual biodiversity of flowering plants and of flower-visiting animals. The great range in floral form and function requires an adequate range of pollinators, which fit in dimensions and behaviour. As crop plant diversity is a reflection of plant diversity in general, the need for pollinator diversity is the same in crops. It is much cheaper to use the matching pollinator instead of expensive "assisted pollination" or even hand pollination. Knowledge on floral function and thus the right pollinator is often available already in the scattered technical literature, it only has to be processed and taught to pollination advisers and in the end growers.
Westerkamp, C. and Gottsberger, G. (2001). POLLINATOR DIVERSITY IS MANDATORY FOR CROP DIVERSITY. Acta Hortic. 561, 309-316
pollination, diversity, floral function, costs, database, education campaign