Insect pollination increases seed production in cruciferous and umbelliferous crops
R. C. Sihag
The effect of insect visits on seed production was studied in 9 cruciferous and 4 umbelliferous crop species at Hissar, India, by comparing several yield parameters in open-pollinated plants and plants in cages or with stems bagged. Bees (Apis dorsata, A. florea, A. meillfera and 6 solitary species) were the dominant flower visitors, and were the only species which collected pollen and acted as potential pollinators. Weight of seeds per plant and weight of seeds per ha were significantly greater in open plots of both cruciferous and umbelliferous species than in caged plots. Mean pod (silique) length and numbers of seeds set per pod in open plots of cruciferous plants, and numbers of seeds set per plant in open plots of umbelliferous plants, were significantly greater than in caged plots. Seed size (weight/1000 seeds) was greater in caged plots of umbelliferous plants than in open plots. Per cent seed germination did not differ significantly between treatments. The management of bees for seed production in cruciferous and umbelliferous crop species is recommended.