What is pollen dispersal?Please, I really need your help. I can't find any definition in Google! If you'd answer, It will really mean to me. Thank you!

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pacorz's profile pic

pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Pollen is the male part of a plant. Every pollen grain carries two sperm cells inside it. Pollen is produced in the anther, the male part of the flower. In some species of plant, the male and female parts are right next to each other (example: apple blossoms). In others there may be separate male and female flowers on the same plant (ex: squash plants), and in still others the entire plant may be male or female (ex: holly). In any of these cases, it's generally considered desirable for pollen to be transferred to a different, unrelated plant if possible, since this maximizes genetic diversity in the resulting offspring, which increases their odds of survival.

Pollen grains are dispersed a variety of ways. Dispersal is simply the term for moving the pollen to the female parts of the plant. Bees and other insects are very common pollinators; they are efficient because they tend to stick to the same type of flower, and so carry pollen from one flower to others of the same species. Hummingbirds also do this, but they tend to visit flowers of different size and shape than the ones the bees like. The plant often "pays" these pollinators by producing nectar to attract them and reward them.

Other plants, including most members of the grass family, use wind pollination. In this case the plant must produce very large amounts of pollen, because only a small percentage of it will actually hit the target. A few aquatic plants have their pollen carried by water, which is similar.

After pollen reaches the stigma, which is the receptive surface of the female part of the plant, the pollen sprouts, almost like a little seed, and grows a hollow tube into the female plant's ovary. The sperm then swim down this pollen tube and find the egg cell.

In short, pollen dispersal is any mechanism a plant uses to transfer pollen, which contains the male genetic contribution, to the female part of the plant, so that sperm can reach egg.

siroin's profile pic

siroin | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Basically pollen dispersal is pollination...the transfer of pollen from one plant to another for fertilization.  Fertilization allows the plant to create seeds.  Pollen can be dispersed in different ways.  Wind can carry pollen in the air or animals like bees, buttflies and hummingbirds can carry pollen from one plant to another. 

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