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Pollination and Floral Ecology$
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Pat Willmer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128610

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128610.001.0001

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Syndromes and Webs: Specialists and Generalists

Syndromes and Webs: Specialists and Generalists

(p.434) Chapter 20 Syndromes and Webs: Specialists and Generalists
Pollination and Floral Ecology

Pat Willmer

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the core issues raised by critiques of pollination syndromes and alternative approaches to characterizing pollination in communities, in the context of floral and pollinator specialization. It first considers theoretical arguments against syndromes and specialization before discussing practical evidence against syndromes, along with proposed alternative approaches, focusing in particular on ecological models of specialization and generalization. It then explores some problems with pollination webs, several key issues relating to specialization and generalization, and selection for specialization in flower–pollinator interactions. It also compares patterns of generalization and specialization in different ecosystems and asks whether generalization can be reversed. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the debate over generalization, specialization, and pollination syndromes.

Keywords:   pollination syndromes, pollination, pollinator specialization, generalization, pollination webs, selection, flower–pollinator interaction, ecosystem

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