Flowering plants near ponds may owe their pollination not only to the winged creatures of the air, but also to the finned ones of the deep.
Scientists have discovered that fish indirectly help spread pollen among flowers near the water. Thats because they eat dragonfly larva, which live in freshwater ponds and other water bodies. Adult dragonflies are major predators of bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators. The result is a simple but unexpected cascade: The more fish, the fewer dragonflies, the more bees and butterflies, the more plant pollination, reproduction and seeds.
A paper about the discovery, co-authored by scientists at the University of Florida and Washington University in St. Louis, will appear Thursday in Nature.
Robert Holt | EurekAlert!
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