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Anemophily or wind pollination is a form of
pollination Pollination is the transfer of pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat ...

pollination
whereby
pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are microsporophytes of seed plants The spermatophytes (; ), also known as phanerogams (taxon Phanerogamae) or phaenogams (taxon Phaenogamae), comprise those plant Plant ...

pollen
is distributed by
wind Wind is the natural movement of air or other gases relative to a planet's surface. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm, is a storm characterized by th ...

wind
. Almost all
gymnosperm The gymnosperms ( lit. revealed seeds) are a group of seed-producing plants that includes conifers Conifers are a group of cone-bearing seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the division Pinophyta (), also ...
s are anemophilous, as are many plants in the order
Poales The Poales are a large order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or wa ...
, including
grasses Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous Family (biology), family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and species cultivated in ...
,
sedges The Cyperaceae are a family of graminoid In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in t ...
, and rushes. Other common anemophilous plants are ,
pecans The pecan (''Carya illinoinensis'') is a species of hickory Hickory is a type of tree, comprising the genus ''Carya'', which includes around 18 species. Five or six species are native to China China, officially the People's Republic ...

pecans
,
pistachios The pistachio (, ''Pistacia vera''), a member of the cashew family, is a small tree originating from Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from A ...

pistachios
, , and members of the family
Juglandaceae The Juglandaceae are a plant family known as the walnut family. They are trees, or sometimes shrubs, in the order Fagales. Members of this family are native to the Americas, Eurasia, and Southeast Asia. The nine or ten genera in the family have a ...
(hickory or walnut family). Approximately 12% of plants across the globe are benefited by anemophily, including
cereal crops A cereal is any Poaceae, grass cultivated (grown) for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, cereal germ, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain i ...

cereal crops
like
rice Rice is the seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was relea ...

rice
and
corn Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of the Americas, indige ...

corn
and other prominent crop plants like
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

wheat
,
rye Rye (''Secale cereale'') is a grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of ev ...

rye
,
barley Barley (''Hordeum vulgare''), a member of the grass family Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recogn ...

barley
, and
oats The oat (''Avena sativa''), sometimes called the common oat, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A spec ...
. In addition, many , , and are wind-pollinated, and people rely on these hardwood trees for their survival.


Syndrome

Features of the wind-pollination syndrome include a lack of scent production, a lack of showy floral parts (resulting in small, inconspicuous flowers), reduced production of
nectar Nectar is a sugar Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkag ...

nectar
, and the production of enormous numbers of pollen grains. This distinguishes them from
entomophilous covered with pollen Entomophily or insect pollination is a form of pollination whereby pollen of plants, especially but not only of flowering plants, is distributed by insects. Flowers pollinated by insects typically advertising in biology, adve ...
and zoophilous species (whose pollen is spread by
insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...

insect
s and
vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an indiv ...
s respectively). Anemophilous
pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are microsporophytes of seed plants The spermatophytes (; ), also known as phanerogams (taxon Phanerogamae) or phaenogams (taxon Phaenogamae), comprise those plant Plant ...

pollen
grains are smooth, light, and non-sticky, so that they can be transported by air currents. Wind-pollinating plants have no predisposition to attract pollinating organisms. They freely expel a myriad of these pollen grains, and only a small percentage of them ends up captured by the female floral structures on wind-pollinated plants. They are typically in diameter, although the pollen grains of ''
Pinus A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The divi ...

Pinus
'' species can be much larger and much less dense. Anemophilous plants possess lengthy, well-exposed
stamen The stamen (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ve ...
s to catch and distribute pollen. These stamens are exposed to wind currents and also have large, feathery
stigma Stigma or plural stigmata, stigmas may refer to: * Social stigma, the disapproval of a person based on physical or behavioral characteristics that distinguish them from others Symbolism * Stigmata, bodily marks or wounds resembling the crucifix ...
to easily trap airborne pollen grains. Pollen from anemophilous plants tends to be smaller and lighter than pollen from entomophilous ones, with very low nutritional value to insects due to their low protein content. However, insects sometimes gather pollen from staminate anemophilous flowers at times when higher-
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
pollens from entomophilous flowers are scarce. Anemophilous pollens may also be inadvertently captured by
bee Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the western honey bee, for producing honey. Bees are a monophyly, monophyletic lineage within the ...

bee
s'
electrostatic Electrostatics is a branch of physics that studies electric charges at Rest (physics), rest (static electricity). Since classical antiquity, classical times, it has been known that some materials, such as amber, attract lightweight particles af ...
field. This may explain why, though bees are not observed to visit
ragweed Ragweeds are flowering plants in the genus ''Ambrosia'' in the aster family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to m ...

ragweed
flowers, its pollen is often found in
honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some other Bee, bees. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretion ...

honey
made during the ragweed floral bloom. Other flowers that are generally anemophilous are observed to be actively worked by bees, with solitary bees often visiting
grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain ...
flowers, and the larger
honeybee A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles t ...

honeybee
s and
bumblebee A bumblebee (or bumble bee, bumble-bee, or humble-bee) is any of over 250 species in the genus ''Bombus'', part of Apidae, one of the bee families. This genus is the only Extant taxon, extant group in the tribe Bombini, though a few extinct ...

bumblebee
s frequently gathering pollen from
corn Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of the Americas, indige ...

corn
tassels and other grains. Anemophily is an
adaptation In , adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits s to their environment, enhancing their . Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that process. Thirdly, it is a or adapti ...

adaptation
that helps to separate the male and female reproductive systems of a single plant, reducing the effects of
inbreeding Inbreeding is the production of offspring In biology, offspring are the young born of living organism, organisms, produced either by a single organism or, in the case of sexual reproduction, two organisms. Collective offspring may be known as ...
. It often accompanies
dioecy Dioecy (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 1 ...
– the presence of male and female reproductive structures on separate plants.


Allergies

Almost all pollens that are
allergen An allergen is a type of antigen In immunology Immunology is a branch of biology that covers the study of immune systems in all organisms. Immunology charts, measures, and contextualizes the Physiology, physiological functioning of the im ...
s are from anemophilous species. People allergic to the pollen produced by anemophilous plants often have symptoms of hay fever. Grasses (
Poaceae Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain ...
) are the most important producers of aeroallergens in most temperate regions, with lowland or meadow species producing more pollen than upland or
moorland Moorland or moor is a type of habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physi ...
species. In Morocco, it was found that asthma caused by pollen from Poaceae accounted for 10% of the clinical respiratory diseases that patients faced. The nature of how species of Poaceae grasses flower results in an increase in the time that the allergenic pollen circulates through the air, which is not favorable to people who are hypersensitive to it.


References


External links

* {{pollination
Plant morphology ''Plant morphology'' is the field in botany that studies the diversity in forms, with the naked eye or slight optical magnification. This is opposed to plant anatomy (see :Plant anatomy) that needs to cut into plants to be able to study its subject, ...
Pollination Wind