6. Measuring harvest and post-harvest effects of pollination
The economic impact of pollinators on agricultural output transcends simple yield measures and extends into harvest and post-harvest effects as well (Bommarco et al., 2012; Dag et al., 2007; Gaaliche et al., 2011). These include things like fruit sweetness, shape, weight, texture, and other flavour metrics (Gallai et al., 2009). Many of these quality criteria are affected by seed number which in turn is a result of pollination efficiency (Dag and Mizrahi, 2005; Dag et al., 2007). However, even when fruit have only one seed, pollination can affect fruit-quality parameters since fruit resulting from cross-pollination might differ from those stemming from self-pollination, as has been reported in mango (Dag et al., 1999), avocado (Degani et al., 1990) and other crops. In this section, we describe major quality criteria and provide methods for their quantification. The presented protocols for assessing fruit quality are based on Kader (2002). For each crop, researchers need to define which parameters are relevant in the context of pollination efficiency.