Why corn plants are hummingbirds’ biggest pollinators
Posted May 08, 2019 04:24:40 It’s the world’s largest plant.
And it’s the most pollinated.
But as the U.S. economy gets back on track, a new report finds that the hummingbird is poised to overtake the corn plant in terms of pollination.
Researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and University of Iowa in Iowa City compared the two plants.
They found that while corn is hummingbird’s biggest pollinator, corn plants can be more than 10 times more pollinator-friendly than the hummingbirds.
The scientists examined corn plants from 10 different fields in Iowa and New York.
They collected nearly 1,000 corn flowers and more than 1,500 corn flowers in both Iowa and Minnesota, along with about 4,500 flowers from corn plants in Texas, South Dakota and Arizona.
“This shows that we can have more success with corn plants if we have better understanding of how they interact with the other plant,” said Michael J. Hsu, a co-author of the study and a professor of entomology at Cornell.
The study, published online May 08 in the journal Plant Biology, also found that corn plants produce more pollen than other plants, which could make it more difficult for hummingbirds to reach their flower beds.
The researchers looked at corn plants that were planted from the fall to spring.
In Iowa, for example, the corn plants were planted in April, May and June.
In Minnesota, they planted corn in June, July and August.
Corn plants can take between three to seven years to reach flower maturity.
In the study, the researchers also looked at the time period when the hummingbees were looking for the flowers, which may have affected the overall productivity of the corn.
“There is some evidence that corn flowers get more pollinated when there is a lot of water in the environment, or when there are lots of pollen grains in the air,” said J. Michael Daley, an entomologist and co-senior author of the paper.
“The question is how the plants respond to changing environmental conditions.”
The researchers found that in both cases, corn and the hummingbee had lower levels of water-holding plants.
This is because corn plants rely on water for photosynthesis, which involves photosynthesis that takes place in the soil.
This process requires the presence of many water-containing plants.
In this case, the scientists found that the corn flowers were pollinated less often when there was a lot more water in both the environment and in the fields.
“A lot of the work that has been done on the water-sucking plants is focused on the plants in the tropics, and the water they use is often the same as that in the warmer areas of the tropic,” said Daley.
“So the corn in the Minnesota field has a lot less water-carrying plants, so the pollen can’t be as efficient.
And that may be what is happening here, too.”