Why is animal pollination more efficient than wind pollination?

1 Answer
Mar 20, 2017

Animal pollination is more effective than wind pollination because it is more precise


Plants that rely on wind for pollination are dependent on weather conditions; if there is no wind, there is no pollination. Pollination due to wind is less precise since the pollen grains will land wherever the wind takes them. Also, even if the pollen finds its way to a flower, it may not be capable of pollinating it. Pollen also generally doesn't travel as far via this method.

Animal pollination is more precise and the chance of cross pollination is less since the animals mostly visit the same kind of flower. Many of the pollinator-pollen pairs have coevolved together, meaning the plant has adapted to attract the pollinator and the pollinator has adapted to better locate or utilize the plant. This also increases reliability/efficiency because the pollinator can be expected to return to the plant if it benefits in some way (food, protection, etc.)

The differences of plants pollinated via wind vs via insects are shown below:

Read more about pollination here.