Pollen limitation or mate search need not induce an Allee effect

J A Stewart-Cox, Nicholas F Britton, M Mogie

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6 Citations (SciVal)


When a process modelling the availability of gametes is included explicitly in population models a critical depensation or Allee effect usually results. Non-spatial models cannot describe clumping and so small populations must be assumed very diffuse. Consequently individuals in small populations experience low contact rates and so reproduction is limited. In Nature invasions into new territory are unlikely to be as diffuse as those described by non-spatial models. We develop pair approximations to a probabilistic cellular automata model with independent pollination and seed setting processes (equivalently mate search and reproduction processes). Each process can be either global (population-wide) or local (within a small neighbourhood) or a mixture of the two. When either process is global the resulting model recaptures the Allee effect found in non-spatial models. However, if both processes are at least partially local we obtain a model in which Allee effects can be avoided altogether if individuals are suitably strong pollinators and colonisers. The Allee effect disappears because small populations are dramatically more clumped when colonisation is local and less wasteful of pollen when pollination is local.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1079
Number of pages31
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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