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Theoretical Population Biology 61, 251263 (2002) doi:10.1006/tpbi.2001.1571, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
 

Summary: Theoretical Population Biology 61, 251263 (2002)
doi:10.1006/tpbi.2001.1571, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
Ecological and Evolutionary Conditions for Fruit
Abortion to Regulate Pollinating Seed-Eaters and
Increase Plant Reproduction
J. Nathaniel Holland1
Department of Biology, University of Miami, P.O. Box 249118, Coral Gables, Florida 33124
and
Donald L. DeAngelis
U.S. Geological Survey/Biological Resources Division, Department of Biology, University of Miami, P.O. Box 249118, Coral Gables,
Florida 33124
Received September 24, 1999
Coevolved mutualisms, such as those between senita cacti, yuccas, and their respective obligate
pollinators, benefit both species involved in the interaction. However, in these pollination mutualisms the
pollinator's larvae impose a cost on plants through consumption of developing seeds and fruit. The effects
of pollinators on benefits and costs are expected to vary with the abundance of pollinators, because large
population sizes result in more eggs and larval seed-eaters. Here, we develop the hypothesis that fruit
abortion, which is common in yucca, senita, and plants in general, could in some cases have the function of
limiting pollinator abundance and, thereby, increasing fruit production. Using a general steady-state model
of fruit production and pollinator dynamics, we demonstrate that plants involved in pollinating seed-eater

  

Source: Azevedo, Ricardo - Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston
Holland, J. Nathaniel - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology