Pollinators’ mating rendezvous and the evolution of floral advertisement

Michael A. Fishman, Lilach Hadany*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Successful cross-fertilization in plant species that rely on animal pollinators depends not just on the number of pollinator visits, but also on these visits’ duration. Furthermore, in non-deceptive pollination, a visit's duration depends on the magnitude of the reward provided to the pollinator. Accordingly, plants that rely on biotic pollination have to partition their investment in cross-fertilization assurance between attracting pollinator visits – advertisement, and rewarding visitors to assure that the visit is of productive duration. Here we analyze these processes by a combination of optimality methods and game theoretical modeling. Our results indicate that the optimality in such allocation of resources depends on the types of reward offered to the pollinators. More precisely, we show that plants that offer both food reward and mating rendezvous to pollinators will evolve to allocate a higher proportion of their cross-fertilization assurance budget to advertisement than plants that offer only food reward. That is, our results indicate that pollinators’ mating habits may play a role in floral evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Alternate rewards
  • Floral advertisement
  • Plant pollinator coevolution
  • Resource allocation
  • Resource defense polygyny


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