Pollination and Airflow Patterns Around Conifer Ovulate Cones

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Science  30 Jul 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4558, pp. 442-444
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4558.442


Wind-tunnel studies indicate that the geometry of Pinus ovulate cones may enhance the probability of pollen entrapment by aerodynamically predetermining airflow patterns around scale-bract complexes. Pollination experiments reveal that pollen from a particular species has the highest probability of reaching the ovules of its own species. The phenomenon of species-specific pollination appears to be related to the specific morphometry of scale-bract complexes and the terminal settling velocity of pollen of the same species. These data are interpreted as evidence for a reciprocity between the aerodynamic characteristics of airborne pollen and ovulate cones of some conifer species.