When plants compete for pollination, it's a jungle out there. Rachel Gotbaum has this week's Note on Emerging Science.
GOTBAUM: When it comes to sex, plants can be fierce competitors. And some scientists say the rivalry can lead to the extinction of species.
Researchers at the University of Calgary studied 166 different plants from around the globe. They found that in places where a diverse population of plants was vying for pollination – from bees, birds and even bats – the greater the number of plants that suffered from low pollination rates. Low pollination means low reproductive rates; the plants are simply not generating enough seeds and fruit to carry on their species.
Scientists worry that in biological hotspots such as tropical rainforests – where plants are already threatened by development and resource extraction – the low pollination rates accelerate habitat destruction. And with the loss of habitat, pollinators are threatened, too, putting ecosystems at risk. That’s this week’s note on emerging science. I’m Rachel Gotbaum.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.
Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.