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Flower Production and Pollination:


to understand how and why the components of the system interact


to identify gaps in our knowledge.


to explore hypotheses that generate the models.

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Slide 14 of 21

The dynamic of an exponential decline in bud opening as pods increase was incorporated into a model of alfalfa pollination.
The model (Strickler 1996, 1997) was based on information in the literature and conversations with other researchers and growers. It was aimed not at predicting but at understanding interactions between components of the system in ways that would be difficult or impossible to test in the field. Modeling helps to identify gaps in our knowledge of the alfalfa seed system. It also stimulates an exploration of the hypotheses that are made to generate the model.
(This is a relatively simple and explanatory model, but if models intimidate you, skip to model insights)

Strickler, K. 1996 Seed and bee yields as a function of forager populations: alfalfa pollination as a model system. J. Kansas Entomol. Soc., 69(4) suppl.: 201-215.

Strickler, K. 1997. Flower production and pollination in Medicago sativa L. Grown for seed: model and monitoring studies. In, K.W. Richards, ed. Proc. Intíl Symp. on Pollination Acta Horticulturae 437, ISHS pp. 109-113.