Pollinator service only depends on nectar production rates in sparse populations
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- Klinkhamer, P.G.L. & van der Lugt, PP. Oecologia (2004) 140: 491. doi:10.1007/s00442-004-1569-4
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As predicted, approach rate by bumblebees is strongly related to the nectar production rate of Echium vulgare plants in a sparse population, while in a dense population such a relationship is completely absent. These findings are confirmed by additional experiments with potted plants that were placed inside and outside a natural population. The results suggest that the direction of selection on nectar production may vary in space or time depending on population density. Such variation may help to explain the large genetic variation we found earlier for E. vulgare in our study area.