Avocado trees need bees to pollinate their flowers. Scientists have counted an average of 8 grains of pollen per flower stigma when 20 or more bees are present around a single avocado tree. If 80%...

Avocado trees need bees to pollinate their flowers. Scientists have counted an average of 8 grains of pollen per flower stigma when 20 or more bees are present around a single avocado tree. If 80% of the stigmas on the tree are pollinated, how many total grains of pollen would be found on a tree that has 150 flowers?

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lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question about pollination of avocados is rightfully in the "Science" category, but it boils down to essentially a math problem. Some of the aspects do depend on the biology of the avocado tree, in that avocado tree flowers have only one stigma (one of the female parts of the flower). Given in your question are some of the other variables--150 flowers (and therefore 150 stigmata), 80% pollination rate, and 8 grains/stigma found on average. What is not clear is if each stigma received the pollen, whether or not the pollination was successful.

For the case where only the successfully pollinated 80% received the pollen, and using the above figures of 150 flowers, 80% pollination and 8 grains/flower, the number would be 150 (.8)(8) = 960 grains total.

If all stigmata receive pollen, the number becomes 150 (8) = 1200 grains total.

 

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