2.2. Testing for pollinating agents and pollination deficit

Once one has learned about the plant mating system, it is of paramount importance to determine the agents capable of pollinating the flowers. Candidate pollinators can be abiotic (wind, water, gravity, electrostatic forces, rain) or biotic (birds, bats, insects and even mammals), but most of the time wind and insects are the major pollinators, and we will concentrate on these. It is useful to know whether a pollinating agent can meet the plant’s full potential fruit-set or only a fraction of it. In the latter case, the plant may be under a pollination deficit and its fruit or seed production sub-optimal.