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A mathematical model of kin selection in floral displays

Sun, S., Broom, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1698-5495, Johanis, M. & Rychtar, J. (2021). A mathematical model of kin selection in floral displays. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 509, article number 110470. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2020.110470


Plants can adjust their competitive traits for acquiring resources in response to the relatedness of their neighbours. Recently, it has been found that plants can alter their investment in traits of attracting pollinators based on kin-interaction. We build a mathematical model to study the optimal floral display to attract pollinators in a patch with kin structure. We show that when plants can attract pollinators to a whole patch through the magnet effect, the floral display should increase with the increasing relatedness of the plants in the patch. Our model also indicates that increasing investment into attracting pollinators is a form of altruism, reducing a plant’s own seed production but increasing the contribution of other plants to its fitness. We also predict that seed production should increase with increasing relatedness in the patch. Our model provides the explicit conditions when resource allocation to attract pollinators in response to neighbour relatedness can be favoured by kin selection, and a possible mechanism for the plants to deal with the consequent loss of pollinator diversity and abundance.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Magnet effect, Pollinator attraction, Optimal allocation, Altruism, Cooperation
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QK Botany
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of SBJR2021Floral_display_and_kin_selection.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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