In the new paper “Adaptive foraging allows the maintenance of biodiversity of pollination networks” Fernanda S. Valdovinos and her colleagues present a new population-dynamics model for plant-pollinator interactions:
Here’s Fernanda’s summary of the model: One of the main novelties of our work is the new model of mutualistic networks that we proposed. Our model includes the trophic dimension of mutualistic interactions, by incorporating a separated equation for the dynamics of the resources that plant species offer to their animal visitants. In this way we could incorporate to the analysis of mutualistic networks the next biologically important process: 1) the production and animal consumption rates of plant rewards, 2) the competition and/or facilitation among plants via shared pollen/seed animal vectors, 3) the competition among animals for plant rewards, and 4) the animals’ allocation of foraging efforts. These processes were neglected by the traditionally used models on mutualistic networks, which simply represent mutualistic relationships as phenomenological positive effects among species. I think that these four processes may affect the interplay of network structure and dynamics that some studies have documented during the last years, like are the effects of nestedness, connectance and richness on the species persistence of those networks.