Pollinators: Not just bees and butterflies

Hoverfly from insect family Syrphidae
Everyone is familiar with the importance of native bees and butterflies in plant pollination, but beetles, moths, mosquitoes, ants and wasps also contribute to pollination.

Pollinators may be our planet's most ecologically and economically important group of animals. Over 250,000 native wild plants depend on pollinators to reproduce and continue to exist. They provide stability for every terrestrial ecosystem in the world, because wild flowering plants depend on them

Non-bees pollinators perform about 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although bees were more effective pollinators, they made fewer visits. These two factors compensate for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees.

  Why Is Pollination Important?

Virtually all of the world’s seed plants need to be pollinated. This is just as true for cone-bearing plants, such as pine trees, as for the more colorful and familiar flowering plants. Pollen, looking like insignificant yellow dust, bears a plant’s male sex cells and is a vital link in the reproductive cycle.

With Adequate Pollination Services

Plants maintain genetic diversity within a population

Flowering plants reproduce and they produce enough seeds for dispersal and propagation

Flowering plants produce adequate fruits to entice seed dispersers

  Why Is Pollination Important To Humans?

It is an essential ecological survival function. Without pollinators, the human race and all of earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive. Of the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world, almost 80% require pollination by animals.

Visits from bees and other pollinators also result in larger, more flavorful fruits and higher crop yields. In the United States alone, pollination of agricultural crops is valued at $10 billion annually. Globally, pollination services are likely worth more than $3 trillion.

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