Globally, there is a consensus among the pollination biologists that the loss of flower is one major reason for the ongoing pollination crisis in plants, particularly in the crop plants. But, our farmer friends tell that the flowering is absolutely normal in their farms! So, the global consensus on flower decline might be applicable only in the temperate climates as many of you think that the global pollinator decline is a phenomenon seen in northern hemisphere! Well, I believe so as our flower watch program showed that pollinators in Indian tropical plants are not unstable!
We agree with Jaboury Ghazoul and Aizen that it is not the pollinators are declining at least in tropical climates, but the pollinator-dependent crops are increasing! We agree with the farmers that pollination is a crisis in their pollinator-dependent field vegetable crops! But, it might be not necessarily due to the decline of pollinators! Several plant-related endogenous factors, viz. Plant physiology, hormonal regulation of flower sex expression and sex ratio could be the proximate plant-related factors to affect pollination in plants! Excellent studies available on the role of climate change on plant physiology and biochemistry!
We initiated the flower watch program in field vegetable crops and plantation crops to examine whether the flowering is really normal and sufficient for crop pollination. While watching flowers, we are also watching the pollinators and other insect visitors to the flowers, and study their impact on crop pollination.
See here for what is really happening in our pumpkin, ash gourd, bitter gourd and other field vegetable crops and plantation crops. We work very closely with the farmers!
Currently, Sangeetha, Sinu, and Neethu are participating in this project