|Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106) - Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.employees.csbsju.edu/ssaupe|
Private Lives of Plants #3: Birds and Bees
Overview: Consider the plant-way-of-life. One problem associated with their stationary lifestyle is how to get the gametes (sex cells = egg & sperm) from one individual to another. As a consequence, flowering plants have evolved a variety of fascinating mechanisms to transfer the sperm-producing pollen to the egg-bearing pistil of the female. This video highlights some of the vectors that plants use to carry out this transfer and from a green perspective; many of these vectors have become �slaves� to the plants.
Matching Question: Match the
following floral features with the likely pollinator
a. bird b. fly c. insect d. wind
|red flowers||plants pollinated by this method are likely to cause hayfever|
|rancid, foetid odor||the stigmas (receptive surface of the female) are feathery|
|copious pollen produced||flowers produce nectar and/or odor (2 answers)|
|flowers not colorful||flowers often maroon or dark-red in color|
|flowers in clusters called catkins||flowers blue or other colors|
|flowers without odor (2 answers)||male flowers and female flowers on separate plants|
Fill-In-the-Blank Question: Identify the pollination vector for each of the following
|pohutakawa (New Zealand)|
|traveler palm (Madagascar)|
|orchids (in general)|
Short Answer Questions:
A species of protea in South Africa is pollinated by
mice. What are some of the features this plant has evolved for mouse
Identify at least FOUR ways that plants use to attract
and reward its pollinator.
The titan lily is the largest flowering unit. Why did
evolution favor the evolution of such a large flower? In other words, of what
advantage is a large flower? For more information about this plant check out
this web site from the
University of Wisconsin Greenhouse.
Most pollen is released from the anther of the stamen individually, as separate pollen grains. In some plants, however, the pollen remains clumped in a large waxy mass, called a pollinium (plural � pollinia) that must be transferred as an entire unit.
- Name a group of plants that produce pollen in pollinia ____________________________
- Do you hypothesize that plants that rely on the transfer of pollinia will produce many, or just a few, seeds in each of their seed pods. Explain.
- Do you hypothesize that plants that rely on the transfer of pollinia will rely on a single specialized pollinator, or be pollinated by a variety of pollinators? Explain.
- Do you hypothesize that plants that rely on the transfer of pollinia will be common or rare. Explain.
Multiple Choice: Which of the following can you find inside a fig?
a. dead male wasps d. female flowers
b. fig seeds e. all of the above
c. male flowers
Last updated: 02/10/2005 / � Copyright by SG Saupe