Ingvarsson PK, Lundberg S
Pollinator Functional-Response and Plant-Population Dynamics - Pollinators as a Limiting Resource
Evolutionary Ecology: 1995 9:421-428
During recent years, much work has focused on which factors limit the reproductive success in plants. Several studies show a strong influence of either resource limitation, pollen limitation or a combined effect of both. The theoretical arguments for resource limitation are abundant, but there has been very little work done concerning the effect of pollinator availability. In this paper we construct a model to study how the reproductive success in plants is influenced by the foraging behaviour of the pollinators. The pollinator population is assumed to have a constant population density. A functional response function for the pollinators is derived. It is similar to a Holling type II functional response. It is shown that, since the pollinators are regulated by factors not included in the model and their capability to pollinate is limited by the functional response, this is sufficient for regulating the plant population. There also exists a threshold condition for the persistence of the plant population that depended on the search rate of the pollinators and the demographic parameters of the plant population. If this threshold condition is not satisfied the plant population cannot persist and will become extinct. If the condition is satisfied the plant population grows until it is limited at the equilibrium mentioned above.
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