, Volume 222, Issue 1-4, pp 113-132

Pollen viability and longevity: Practical, ecological and evolutionary implications

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The present article reviews the various definitions and terminology of pollen viability and longevity as well as the various tests of its assessment. We compare the advantages and the disadvantages of each method and suggest some practical implications as revealed by the extensive data. We recognize eight main hypotheses concerning the ecology and the evolution of pollen longevity and critically evaluated them according to the literature. The hypotheses are grouped as follows: (1) Desiccation risk-carbohydrate content; (2) Pollen packaging; (3) Pollen competitive ability; (4) Pollinator activity-stigma receptivity duration; (5) Self-pollination chance; (6) Pollen exposure schedule; (7) Pollen travel distance, and (8) Pollen removal chance.