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Pollination is the process by which pollen grains from the male part of a flower, called the anther, are transferred to the female part of another flower, called the stigma. This transfer of pollen can occur either within the same flower, known as self-pollination, or between different flowers of the same or different plants, known as cross-pollination.
Pollination is essential for the reproduction of flowering plants, as it leads to the fertilization of the ovules within the flower. Once the pollen grain lands on the stigma, it sends out a tube that grows down through the style and into the ovary, where it fertilizes the ovules. This fertilization process leads to the formation of seeds, which eventually develop into new plants.
Pollination can occur through different mechanisms, including wind, water, and animals. Insects, such as bees, butterflies, and moths, are some of the most common pollinators, as they visit flowers in search of nectar and inadvertently pick up and transfer pollen while doing so. Other animals, such as birds, bats, and even some mammals, can also act as pollinators.
Pollination is crucial not only for the survival and reproduction of plants but also for the maintenance of ecosystems and the production of food for humans and animals. Without pollinators, many plant species would decline or disappear, and entire ecosystems could be disrupted.