Simulating the Effect of Interspecific Competition in Invaded UMBS Pollination Network – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Simulating the Effect of Interspecific Competition in Invaded UMBS Pollination Network

John Kelly

John Kelly

Pronouns: he/him

Research Mentor(s): Kayla Hale, PhD Candidate
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 8
Presenter: 4

Event Link


While the effects of pollinator visit quality and quantity on the success of alien plant invasion have begun to be well characterized (Valdovinos et al. 2016, 2018, 2020), the effects of interspecific competition within the plant community are mostly unknown. Classical models have shown that greater intraspecific competition within a population relative to interspecific competition between two plant species ensures species coexistence. In nature, invasive plant species are quick to crowd out other plants’ access to resources like sunlight and water, causing population declines and collapse. However, invasive success is also mediated by their ability to attract and reward successful pollinators, compared to native plants. This experiment aims to investigate the effect of this interspecific competition on the plant-pollinator interactions of the community. We simulate the introduction of 10 alien plant species to an empirical pollination network using Valdovinos’ 2018 model, varying for the aliens’ interspecific competition coefficient, expected number of seed per pollination event, and ability of plants to effectively produce and attach pollen. We focus on characterizing how interspecific competition leads to variability in plant abundance and persistence. We identify the driving factors of successful plant invasions.

Authors: John Kelly, Kayla Hale, Fernanda Valdovinos
Research Method: Library/Archival/Internet Research

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