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Pollination is essential to the survival of most plants on Earth. Some plants rely on the wind to transport pollen from one flower to another. Others employ an array of ingenious strategies to attract and exploit pollinators, whether they be insects, birds, or mammals. This beautifully illustrated book provides an unprecedented look at the wonders of pollination biology, drawing on the latest science to explain the extraordinarily complex relationship between plant and pollinator, and revealing why pollination is vital for healthy ecosystems and a healthy planet.
Timothy Walker offers an engaging introduction to pollination biology and explores the many different tactics of plant reproduction. He shows how wind and water can be effective yet wildly unpredictable means of pollination, and describes the intimate interactions of pollinating plants with bees and butterflies, beetles and birds, and lizards and bats. Walker explores how plants entice pollinators using scents, colours, and shapes, and how plants rely on rewards as well as trickery to attract animals. He sheds light on the important role of pollination in ecology, evolution, and agriculture, and discusses why habitat management, species recovery programs, and other conservation efforts are more critical now than ever.
Featuring hundreds of colour photos and illustrations, Pollination is suitable for undergraduate study and is an essential resource for naturalists, horticulturalists, and backyard gardeners.
Chapter 1. What is Pollination? 8
Chapter 2. Wind and Water 44
Chapter 3. Animals 66
Chapter 4. Attraction 96
Chapter 5. Rewards 126
Chapter 6. The Biological Significance of Pollination 154
Chapter 7. Pollination, Pollinators and People 182
Chapter 8. Conservation of Pollinators 198
Picture Credits 224
Timothy Walker is lecturer in plant sciences at Somerville College, University of Oxford. He is the author of Plant Conservation: Why It Matters and How It Works, Plants: A Very Short Introduction, and Euphorbias.
"Timothy Walker's book is an interesting and well-written introduction to an important and fascinating subject."
– Jeff Ollerton, author of Pollinators & Pollination: Nature and Society