Most flowering plants can achieve pollination in several different ways. Those that produce pollen and carpels on the same plant may be self-pollinated, but they may also be cross-pollinated by insects or other pollinators. The cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) shown here is able to produce seed whether it is self- or cross-pollinated. Is one type of pollination better for reproductive success than the other?
Researchers conducted controlled experiments to test for effects of different types of pollination on cape gooseberry fruit size and seed production. The types of pollination included self-pollination, cross-pollination by bees, and manual cross-pollination (transferring pollen from one plant to another by hand). Results are shown in the graphs here. Compared to self-pollination, do bees have a significant impact on fruit mass? How about on seed formation?
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