Species-specific pollination: a help or a limitation to range extension?

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Abstract

Reproduction at low densities is a critical factor favoring invasion capacity. Species-specific pollination has often been viewed as an efficient means of pollination at low densities. It is however shown here that, in Ficus, an obligate mutualistic pollination system is limiting potential range extension.

There are many known instances of Ficus species introduced as ornamen- taltrees into places their pollinators have never reached: in these places the figs have remained sterile. Evidence is also given demonstrating that potential range extension in Ficus carica is limited by the inability of its pollinator to complete its yearly cycle under cooler conditions.