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Trends Plant Sci. 2002 Jun;7(6):270-7.

Pollination failure in plants: why it happens and when it matters.

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Dept of Plant and Soil Science, University of Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, Aberdeen, UK


Pollination is the primary step in seed formation. Pollination biologists have shown that pollination failure can occur at all steps in the dispersal process and at several different levels. Increased risk of pollination failure is associated with pollen if it is delivered to a stigma too little, too much, too late, too mixed in composition or too poor in quality. It is associated with pollinators when they are too few or too inconstant, and with plants when they are too specialized or too selective. It is associated with populations when they are too sparse, too small in number or too uniform genetically, and with communities when they are too fragmented, genetically impoverished or under rapid modification. Understanding the causes of pollination failure in plants can aid the successful conservation and recovery of rare plants, maintenance of crop yields, and sustainable use of wild plant resources such as forest timber.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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