Pine trees reproduce and thrive in the high elevations of the Rocky Mountains. Here is an overview that explains how they do it.
All forms of life strive to survive and reproduce in order to pass their genes on. It becomes interesting when you actually start to look at how many different strategies life has developed to accomplish this. The Rocky Mountains have an abundance of pine trees and other conifers due to their high altitude. These conifers not only survive, but they thrive in the harsh environment of the mountains.
Two Main Types Of Trees Based On How They Reproduce
Before I explain how pine trees reproduce I want to remind you of the two main types of trees based on how they reproduce. There are flowering trees (angiosperms) and non-flowering or conifers (gymnosperms). Both of these reproduce through seeds, but they have different strategies for how they produce a new seed.
Pine Trees Reproduce – What Needs To Happen To Successfully Reproduce?
In order for a pine tree to reproduce it needs to have three things happen. First, the cone needs to be pollinated in order to develop a seed. Second, the seed needs to be dispersed far from the parent. Third, the seed needs to land in a good spot that allows it to grow into a new tree.
Step 1 In How Pine Trees Reproduce – Pollination
The first step that has to happen is for pollination. Pine trees may not have flowers, but they do have male and female cones. For pollination to occur, the pollen needs to be transferred from the male cones to the female cones.
Most conifers are wind pollinated. This means that the pollen gets spread from the male cones to the female cones by wind. Cones are not designed like flowers with pretty colors or nice scents to attract pollinators, such as birds or bees. You can read this other post for more information on how conifers reproduce.
Step 2 and 3 In How Pine Trees Reproduce – Seed Dispersal And New Growth
The goal here is to get the new seed far from the parent tree. The ability to travel or disperse far from the parent tree will give the seed a chance to land in a good spot that will allow it to grow into a new tree. Hopefully, this new spot will be somewhere that it will not have to compete too much with its parent for light and other resources.