Role of birds in preserving plant species

in india •  17 days ago

Recently I watched a movie called 2.0 which had a good message about the importance of bird species. After the movie, I did some online reading to understand the importance of birds in preserving plant species. We have lots of advantages in having birds as our buddy in the ecosystem. But especially some of the plants may not be able to survive without the existence of birds. In this article, we will go through the importance of birds and how they can be helpful to the ecosystem.

Pollination

We might have heard about pollination done by insects. We have lots of insect population in this world which is highly responsible for pollination. Out of all the insects we have bees and wasps play a vital role in pollination. Especially we will not be able to taste honey and chocolate if we did not have bees or wasps around us to pollinate them. That too there is a special variety or wasps that are responsible for pollinating the choco flowers. Okay, I'm stopping right here because I'm supposed to talk about how birds help us in pollination.

I started with insects because most of us think that only insects are helpful in pollination. But there are so many birds starting from small species to giant ones that are important for pollination. Rhodoleia championii is one of the plant species that are highly dependent on birds for pollination. These flowers are available in the tropical China region. Birds visit these flowers to taste the nectar and hence help in transporting pollen grains from one flower to the stigma of another flower. Hummingbirds have also been identified as good pollinators.

Some of the birds that have long beaks search inside the tubular structures for nectar and that is when they stick so many pollens in the beaks. When they again visit another flower to taste nectar, they will transfer the pollens that were already available in their beaks. Some of the giant flowers will also be in cup shape that will help the birds sit inside it and stick pollen to their body parts. When they again go and sit in another cup shaped flower, the pollination happens.

Planting seeds

Birds play a vital role in platin seeds. Some of the big forests that we have today are all because of the birds. When birds eat fruits they eat it with the seeds inside it. Later when they poo, the seeds will be dropped along with their poo adding extra nutrition to the seeds. This may not look direct but some of the trees are completely dependent on the birds to eat their fruits and plant the seeds. Though birds are not the only species that help in planting the seeds, they really play a major role in the transportation of seeds from one place to another and even at times from one country to another. The transportation part is not covered by any of the other species and that is quite unique only to the birds.

Birds are good travellers and according to a report, the fruit-eating bird species drop more than one species of seeds in a location leading to the emergence of different types of plants. Some of the bird droppings were examined and it was identified that the seeds in the droppings were healthier than the other seeds that were dropped directly from the trees and plants. Apart from the insects and fruits, birds also feed more on seeds. It is quite common to see a bird feeding on seeds. When they carry seeds in their beak, there is a high possibility for it to fall down and become a plant or a tree. They usually carry seeds in their beaks to feed their young ones.

Controlling insect population

Birds usually feed on small insects. If we don't have birds around us there will not be a proper balance in the insect population in this world. The number of insects around us will drastically increase without any control. It is even believed that some birds feed on the bugs and insects in the farmland helping the farmers. That, in turn, helps in preventing the bugs from destroying the food crops. Some insects create harm to some of the trees and they can be found usually in tree holes. There are also insect species that are capable of destroying a giant tree. Birds usually feed mainly on the insects. Especially when it is the season for flies and other one-day living creatures during a rainy day, it will be a feast for the birds.

Birds not only reach the flowers for drinking the nectar. Some of the insects will also be available inside the flower already enjoying the nectar of the flowers. The birds are usually very curious to eat those insects and they reach out to the flowers. While having their meals they also stick some pollen grains to their body and beak region and transfer them to other flowers when they visit other flowers. So, birds also help in pollination when they look for insects to eat.

When birds help the ecosystem by controlling the insect population, it is also our duty to take care of these birds. We might we lots of bird species around us. It is our duty to provide a helping hand to these birds. If we are unable to provide food for the birds around us, we should at least create a facility in each of our houses so that birds can drink water during the summer season. In order to feed some of the birds, people also keep some artificial necar source in their house for the birds to come and feed nectar from it.

Image Source: Pixabay.com

References:

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/birds.shtml
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithophily
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28311474


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