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Ecología austral

On-line version ISSN 1667-782X


VAZQUEZ, Diego P. Introduced herbivores and the Allee effect in animal-pollinated plants. Ecol. austral [online]. 2007, vol.17, n.1, pp.21-36. ISSN 1667-782X.

Interspecific interactions can be modulated by the community context in which they occur. In this paper I focus on plant-pollinator interactions and their modulation by introduced herbivores through changes in plant population density. I first develop a mathematical model that relates the population density of an animal-pollinated plant species with pollinator visitation frequency, pollination, reproduction and per capita growth rate. This model allows me to investigate how several pollination-related parameters -including relative abundance of the focal plant species, pollinator specialization, pollination quantity and quality and pollen limitation of reproduction- influence the relationship between per capita growth rate and population density. I then use this theoretical framework to discuss two case studies that have addressed the density-mediated effects of introduced herbivores on plant reproduction. This exercise allows me to point out several limitations of previous studies and to suggest avenues for future research.

Keywords : Abundance; Allee effect; Density dependence; Introduced herbivores; Mutualism; Plant reproduction; Pollination; Pollinator specialization and generalization; Population dynamics.

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