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Does the 'Old Bag' Make a Good 'Wind Bag'?: Comparison of Four Fabrics Commonly Used as Exclusion Bags in Studies of Pollination and Reproductive Biology
Annals of Botany, . V. 93. No. 5. P. 603607 (5).
Background and Aims. Fabrics used in pollination bags may exclude pollen carried by biotic vectors, but have varying degrees of permeability to wind‐borne pollen. The permeability of bags to wind‐borne pollen may have important consequences in studies of pollination and reproductive biology. The permeability of four fabrics commonly used in the construction of pollination bags was examined.

Methods Deposition. of wind‐borne pollen on horizontally and vertically oriented microscope slides was assessed on slides enclosed in pollination bags, as well as on control slides. Key Results. It was found that the permeability of fabrics to wind‐borne pollen, as measured by deposition on both horizontally and vertically oriented slides, decreased with pore size. However, deposition on horizontal slides was always greater than on vertical slides for a given fabric; this could manifest itself as differential success of pollination of flowers in bags—dependent on flower orientation.

Conclusions. Obviously, bags with mesh size smaller than most pollen grains are impermeable to pollen. However, material for such bags is very expensive. In addition, it was also observed that bags with even moderately small pore size, such as pores (approx. 200 µm) in twisted fibre cotton muslin, offered highly significant barriers to passage of wind‐borne pollen. Such bags are sufficiently effective in most large‐sample‐size reproductive biology studies.