Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A model to predict the influence of insect flower constancy on interspecific competition between insect pollinated plants
Authors: Goulson, Dave
Contact Email:
Issue Date: 7-Jun-1994
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Goulson D (1994) A model to predict the influence of insect flower constancy on interspecific competition between insect pollinated plants, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 168 (3), pp. 309-314.
Abstract: Honeybees and bumblebees, among the most important pollinators in many plant communities, are known to exhibit flower constancy. When foraging, bees do not sample flowers randomly as they encounter them, but rather they exhibit a strong preference for one species of flower, and will ignore other species that they encounter. The species favoured depends on previous foraging success: ifa species of flower has previously provided a high reward, it will be favoured to the exclusion of others. Various models have been developed to describe the optimal foraging pattern of flower feeding insects, which explain, at least in part, observed behaviour. However, they do not consider the importance consequences of flower constancy for competition between plants dependant upon insects for pollination. Bees are most likely to favour a common species which they encounter frequently, and will fly directly between individuals of the favoured species, and thus provide efficient pollination. Conversely, they are unlikely to develop a preference for a scarce flower which necessarily is rarely encountered. A simple two-flower species model is developed which predicts the proportion of insects which will favour each of the two species for particular flower densities, assuming that individual insects favour the species which provides them with the greatest reward per time. The model predicts that scarce plant species will receive no pollinators below a threshold density of reward, and that scarce plants must provide a relatively huge reward per flower to achieve pollination. The threshold is lowered at high insect densities when the reward offered by the more common species becomes depleted. The implications of flower constancy to plant communities are discussed.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
goulson model to predict.pdf305.37 kBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 31/12/2999     Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.