Mosaic Landscapes and Ecological Processes

pp 256-288

The plant—pollinator landscape

  • Judith L. Bronstein

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Food resources are patchily distributed for most animals, regulating their feeding behavior, population dynamics, and ultimately their evolution. Other chapters in this book have addressed the effect of mosaic landscapes on predators (Chapter 10), competitors (Chapter 9) and herbivores (Chapter 2). Foraging decisions of mutualistic animals such as pollinators and seed dispersers are also made within patchy environments. Interestingly, however, mutualisms have almost never been studied from a landscape perspective. In general, issues of ecological scale and spatio-temporal heterogeneity have not yet become an important concern in the study of mutualism; most research in this field still focuses on describing the natural history of particular interactions at specific places and times (Bronstein, 1994).