• K. R. Shivanna
  • Rajesh Tandon


Reproductive ecology covers all aspects of reproductive events and their interactions with biotic and abiotic components of the environment. Although reproductive strategy of all organisms is to maximize reproductive success and genetic diversity, they differ in the means of achieving these goals. The main reproductive strategies in plants are largely dictated by their immobility. They have to use other agents particularly animals to perform some of their reproductive functions. A large number of flowering plants follow a dual strategy of reproduction through seeds as well as through vegetative propagules (asexual/vegetative reproduction); this dual strategy maximizes fitness by combining the advantages of both the types of reproduction. Important means of natural vegetative propagation are the production of: bulbs (onions, lily and tulip), corms (Gladiolus, Crocus and Freesia), stem tubers (potato), tuberous roots (sweet potato, dahlia, Canna and turmeric), rhizomes (iris and ginger), suckers (chrysanthemums), runners (strawberry) and bulbils (Agave). Vegetative reproduction facilitates colonization and local dominance of the population in well-adapted niches by rapid lateral expansion. However, it limits genetic variability due to lack of gene exchange and also dispersal benefits. Increased homozygosity in the species also becomes an impediment for long-time survival, as it hinders the competitive ability of the plants to adapt to new niches in changing environments and thereby restricting the populations to specialized habitats.


Pollen Tube Sexual Reproduction Crop Species Reproductive Event Pollination Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ahmad F, Uma P, Joshi SR, Gurung MB (2004) Indigenous honeybees: allies for mountain farmers. LEISA Mag 20(4):12–13Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous (2004) The Plant Cell: Special issue on reproduction in flowering plants. 16(Suppl 1):S1−S247Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous (2009) Annals of Botany: Special issue on plant-pollinator interaction. 103:1355–1600Google Scholar
  4. Anonymous (2010) New Phytologist: Special issue on pollinator-mediated selection and floral evolution. 188:303–637Google Scholar
  5. Anonymous (2011a) American Journal of Botany: Special issue on biodiversity. 98:333–598Google Scholar
  6. Anonymous (2011b) Journal of Experimental Botany: Special issue on plant reproduction development: from recombination to seeds. 62:1531–1707Google Scholar
  7. Anonymous (2012) Annals of Botany: Special issue on mating system. 109:493–679Google Scholar
  8. Armstrong TT, Fitzjohn RG, Newstrom LE, Wilton AD, Lee WG (2005) Transgenic escape: what potential for crop-wild hybridization? Mol Ecol 14:2111–2132PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Barcaccia G, Albertini E (2013) Apomixis in plant reproduction: a novel perspective on an old dilemma. Plant Reprod 26:159–179PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Baskin CC, Baskin JM (1988) Seeds: ecology, biogeography, evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  11. Bawa KS, Hadley M (eds) (1990) Reproductive ecology of tropical forest plants, vol 7, Man and biosphere series. UNESCO/The Parthenon Publishing Co., Paris/Park RidgeGoogle Scholar
  12. Bawa KS, Primack RB, Oommen MN (2011) Conservation biology: a primer for South Asia. Universities Press, HyderabadGoogle Scholar
  13. Biesmeijer JC, Roberts SPM, Reemer M et al (2006) Parallel declines in pollinators and insect-pollinated plants in Britain and the Netherlands. Science 313:351–354PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brittain C, Kremen C, Klein A-M (2013a) Biodiversity buffers pollination from changes in environmental conditions. Glob Change Biol 19:540–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brittain C, Williams N, Kremen C, Klein A-M (2013b) Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services. Proc R Soc B 280:20122767, PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cameron SA, Lozier JD, Strange JP et al (2011) Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108:662–667PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chugh S, Guha S, Rao IU (2009) Micropropagation of orchids: a review on the potential of different explants. Sci Hortic 122:507–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Corlett RT (2004) Flower visitors and pollinators in the Oriental (Indomalayan) region. Biol Rev 79:497–532PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Corlett RT (2007) Pollination or seed dispersal: which should worry about most? In: Dennis AJ, Schupp EW, Green RJ, Wescott DA (eds) Seed dispersal: theory and its application in a changing world. CAI International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  20. Dafni A (1992) Pollination ecology: a practical approach. IRL Press, Oxford/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Dafni A, Kevan PG, Husband BC (2005) Practical pollination biology. Enviroquest, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  22. Dalling JW, Muller-Landau HC, Wright SJ, Huell SP (2002) Role of dispersal in the recruitment limitation of Neotropical pioneer species. J Ecol 90:714–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Deodikar GB, Suryanarayana MC (1977) Pollination in the services of increasing farm production in India. In: Nair PKK (ed) Advances in pollen spore research. Today and Tomorrow Printers and Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  24. Dulta P, Verma LR (1987) Role of insect pollinators on yield and quality of apple fruit. Indian J Hortic 44:274–279Google Scholar
  25. Dunnell KL, Travers SE (2011) Shifts in the flowering phenology of the northern Great Plains: patterns over 100 years. Am J Bot 98:935–945PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Erdtman G (1969) Handbook of palynology. Hafner, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Faegri K, van der Pijl L (1979) The principles of pollination ecology, 3rd edn. Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  28. Fenner M, Thompson K (2005) The ecology of seeds. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Free JB (1993) Insect pollination of crops, 2nd edn. Academic, OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  30. Garibaldi LA, Steffan-Dewenter I, Winfree R et al (2013) Wild pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey bee abundance. Science 339:1608–1611PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ghazoul J, Sheil D (2010) Tropical rain forest ecology, diversity, and conservation. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Greyson RI (1994) The development of flowers. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Harder LD, Barrett SCH (2006) Ecology and evolution of flowers. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Hooper DU, Adair EC, Cardinale BJ, Byrnes JE (2012) A global synthesis reveals biodiversity loss as a major driver of ecosystem change. Nature 486:105–108PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. James RR, Pitts-Singer TL (eds) (2008) Bee pollination in agricultural ecosystems. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. Johri BM, Ambegaokar KB, Srivastava PS (1992) Comparative embryology of angiosperms. Springer, Berlin/HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jones CE, Little RJ (eds) (1983) Handbook of experimental pollination biology. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Kearns A, Inouye DW (1993) Techniques for pollination biologists. University Press Colorado, NiwotGoogle Scholar
  39. Kinver M (2010) ‘Pollination crisis’ hitting India’s vegetable farmers. BBC News, Science and Environment, 28 Sept 2010.
  40. Koltunow AM (1993) Apomixis: embryo sacs and embryos formed without meiosis or fertilization of ovules. Plant Cell 5:1425–1437PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kozai T (1991) Photoautotrophic micropropagation. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol 27:47–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kwak MM, Bekker RM (2006) Ecology of plant reproduction: extinction risks and restoration perspectives of rare plant species. In: Waser NM, Ollerton J (eds) Plant-pollinator interactions: from specialization to generalization. University Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  43. Lenzen M, Moran D, Kanemoto K et al (2012) International trade drives biodiversity threats in developing nations. Nature 486:109–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lovejoy TE, Hannah L (eds) (2005) Climate change and biodiversity. Yale University Press, New Haven/LondonGoogle Scholar
  45. Mabberley DJ (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book: a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses, 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press, New York/OxfordGoogle Scholar
  46. Mader E, Spivak M, Evans E (2010) Managing alternative pollinators: a handbook for beekeepers, growers, and conservationists. Sustainable Agriculture Network, BeltsvilleGoogle Scholar
  47. Maheshwari P (1950) Introduction to the embryology of angiosperms. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. Maheshwari P (ed) (1963) Recent advances in the embryology of angiosperms. International Society of Plant Morphologists, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  49. Marvier M (2008) Implication of transgenic escape for conservation. In: Carroll SP, Fox CW (eds) Conservation biology: evolution in action. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  50. McGregor SC (1976) Insect pollination of cultivated plants, USDA agricultural handbook no. 496. USDA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  51. Mckey D, Elias M, Pujol B, Duputie A (2010) The evolutionary ecology of clonally propagated domesticated plants. New Phytol 186:318–332PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Memmott J, Craze PG, Waser NM, Price MV (2007) Global warming and the disruption of plant-pollinator interactions. Ecol Lett 10:710–717PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Moore PD, Webb JA (1978) An illustrated guide to pollen analysis. Hodder & Stoughton, LondonGoogle Scholar
  54. Mudoi KD, Saikia SP, Goswami A et al (2013) Micropropagation of important bamboos: a review. Afr J Biotechnol 12:2770–2785Google Scholar
  55. Norjhauer JM, Newberg DM (2010) Recruitment limitation after mast seeding in two African rain forest trees. Ecology 91:2303–2312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Ozias-Akins P, Van Dijk PJ (2007) Mendelian genetics of apomixis in plants. Annu Rev Genet 41:509–537PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Partap U (2010) Honeybees as providers of pollination services. Mount Forum Bull X(1):42–44Google Scholar
  58. Partap U, Partap T (2000) Pollination of apples in China. Beekeep Dev 54:6–7Google Scholar
  59. Partap U, Partap T, Yonghua H (2001) Pollination failure in apple crop and farmers’ management strategies. Acta Hortic 561:225–230Google Scholar
  60. Patiny S (ed) (2012) Evolution of plant-pollinator relationships, vol 81, The systematics association special. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Potts SG, Biesmeijer JC, Kremen C et al (2010) Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers. Trends Ecol Evol 25:345–353PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Prasad D, Hameed SF, Singh R et al (1989) Effect of bee pollination on the quantity and quality of rai crop (Brassica juncea Coss.). Indian Bee J 51:45–47Google Scholar
  63. Primack RB, Higuchi H, Miller-Rushing AJ (2009) The impact of climate change on cherry trees and other species in Japan. Biol Conserv 142(9):1943–1949. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.03.016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Raghavan V (1997) Molecular embryology of flowering plants. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ramawat KG, Merillon J-M, Shivanna KR (2014) Reproductive biology of plants. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  66. Reaka-Kudla ML, Wilson DE, Wilson EO (eds) (1997) Biodiversity II: understanding and protecting our biological resources. Joseph Henry Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  67. Real L (ed) (1983) Pollination biology. Academic, OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  68. Richards AJ (1986) Plant breeding systems. Allen and Unwin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  69. Richards AJ (2003) Apomixis in flowering plants: an overview. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 358:1085–1093CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Roubik DW (ed) (1995) Pollination of cultivated plants in the tropics. FAO Agriculture Service Bulletin 118. FAO, UN, RomeGoogle Scholar
  71. Roubik DW, Sakai S, Karim AAH (eds) (2005) Pollination ecology and the rain forests: Sarawak studies, vol 174, Ecological studies. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  72. Shaanker RU, Chandrashekara RK, Ganeshaiah KN (2010) Biodiversity in India: documentation, utilization and conservation. In: Mohan Ram HY, Tandon PN (eds) Science in India: achievements and aspirations, 75 years of the Academy. Indian National Science Academy, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  73. Shivanna KR (2003) Pollen biology and biotechnology. Science Publishers Inc., Enfield/PlymouthGoogle Scholar
  74. Shivanna KR, Johri BM (1985) The angiosperm pollen: structure and function. Wiley Eastern, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  75. Shivanna KR, Rangaswamy NS (1992) Pollen biology: a laboratory manual. Springer, Berlin/HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Shivanna KR, Sawhney VK (1997) Pollen biotechnology for crop production and improvement. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Sihag SC (1995) Pollination biology: pollination, plant reproduction and crop seed production. Rajendra Scientific Publishers, HissarGoogle Scholar
  78. Slaa EJ, Sanchez-Chaves LA, Malagodi-Braga KS, Hofstede FE (2006) Stingless bees in applied pollination: practice and perspectives. Apidologie 37:293–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Sodhi NS, Ehrlich PR (eds) (2010) Conservation biology for all, Online edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  80. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry: the principles and practice of statistics in biological research, 3rd edn. W.H. Freeman and Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  81. Stanley RG, Linskens HF (1974) Pollen: biology, biochemistry and management. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Turner IM (2001) The ecology of seeds in tropical rain forests. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Tylianakis JM (2013) The global plight of pollinators. Science 339:1532–1533PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Waser NM, Ollerton J (eds) (2006) Plant-pollinator interactions; from specialization to generalization. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  85. Wilcock C, Neiland R (2002) Pollination failure in plants: why it happens and when it matters. Trends Plant Sci 7:270–277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Willmer P (2011) Pollination and floral ecology. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  87. Wilson EO (1997) Introduction. In: Reaka-Kudla ML, Wilson DE, Wilson EO (eds) Biodiversity II. Understanding and protecting our biological resources. Joseph Henry Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. R. Shivanna
    • 1
  • Rajesh Tandon
    • 2
  1. 1.Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)BengaluruIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations