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Err, no

Flowers ‘giving up’ on scarce insects and evolving to self-pollinate, say scientists

Anyone who’s saying something so damn stupid isn’t a scientist.

Those flowers which do self-pollinate are producing more of the next generation than those which use insects. Got to get evolution the right way around. It’s not “in order to” it’s always “because they did”.

9 thoughts on “Err, no”

  1. In my experience scientists happily chatter away in bad metaphors and analogies, then tighten up the logic when they write. Or, at least, that is the way it used to be.

  2. A study has found the flowers of field pansies growing near Paris….are also less frequented by insects.

    Life is increasingly hard for pansies near Paris? Not really surprising – blame the rise in mosque-ito numbers.

  3. A study has found the flowers of field pansies growing near Paris…
    Does one detect a reluctance to depart from the safe space of the university campus?

  4. BiS, of course… imagine having to go out into the Real World and Tread Mud..

    So.. The field pansy “evolved” self-pollination, because the decline of pollinators…
    Fire each and every “Academic” involved in or having allowed that statement to propagate, and revoke their degrees.
    And hang, draw, and quarter the editors of that Phytorag the article appeared in. Then burn whatever remains, with prejudice.

    All the viola species can and do self-pollinate to begin with, and have been doing so since forever.
    It’s part of their survival strategy as an opportunistic perennial: They are not going to kindly wait for a pollinator to come by eventually when it’s Time to Seed and Go Forth into the next generation.

    In fact, at any given time about 50-ish% of seeds from that plant family are self-poliinated as a “backup measure” against too much variation and/or cross-pollination by their various very closely related cousins.
    Which the authors should have known, and would have if they actually had entered the Library and looked up research in this field from Before Google The Internet.
    In fact, this particular behaviour ensured that Mendel gave up on them as a model species for his theories, because he quickly figured out the plants didn’t use The Right Kind of Inheritance to prove his theories.

    So the poor daisies around Paris (at least) didn’t evolve self-pollination, they simply decided that it was a good idea to primarily start going Back to Basics, because ??Reasons??.

    There’s actually various possible reasons why they’d do that, without even considering a Decline in Pollinators Because Evil Hyumans and Gaia ( yes, the “scientific magazine” is of that bent…), most of them actually being the result of people enforcing Things to Protect Gaia.

    These and other viola hybrids are actively seeded with other perennial flowering species on “field edges” ( read: road/highway embankments..) to Provide Opportunities For Pollinators to Survive and Save the Planet.
    Being commercially multiplied, those seeds are not “pure” , but heavily cross-contaminated with cultivars.
    Out in the Wild, the plants shed those cultivated traits ( including those enlarged flowers and exaggerated nectar/olfactory compound traits) , and revert to wild-form over a number of generations, and most importantly re-enforce the particular traits they need to attract their orgininal main pollinators.

    Which aren’t bees or their relatives. They’re actually a side hustle for field daisies.
    Their actual pollinators and kind spreaders/undertakers of seeds are….. [drumroll]… ants.
    Who don’t need fancy flowers and tons of nectar to do their job.

    Which is something a “Phytologist” should have known from the start if (s)he was going to make this particular genus the focus of Study to Prove a Point.
    Or had actually seen a real wild type…

  5. The primary vector for cross-fertilisation for most plants is airborne, aerosol spread (just like respiratory viruses) – hence hayfever (and why distancing from source, wearing masks does not protect hayfever sufferers from pollen and why masks don’t help prevent spread of respiratory viruses which are multiple times smaller than pollen particles).

    Any plant reliant on a single external vector for fertilisation – such as bees – is maladaptable and likely to become extinct.

  6. “Flowers ‘giving up’ on scarce insects and evolving to self-pollinate, say scientists”

    At first reading, I thought this was about the new tech nerds who can’t get dates but are evolving in response.

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