Global importance of vertebrate pollinators for plant reproductive success: a meta-analysis

Ratto, Fabrizia, Simmons, Benno I., Spake, Rebecca, Zamora-Gutierrez, Veronica, MacDonald, Michael A., Merriman, Jennifer C., Tremlett, Constance J., Poppy, Guy M., Peh, Kelvin S.-H. and Dicks, Lynn V. ORCID: (2018) Global importance of vertebrate pollinators for plant reproductive success: a meta-analysis. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment, 16 (2). 82–90. ISSN 1540-9295

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (371kB) | Preview


Vertebrate pollinators are increasingly threatened worldwide, but little is known about the potential consequences of their declines for plants and wider ecosystems. We present the first global assessment of the importance of vertebrate pollinators for zoophilous plant reproduction. Our meta-analysis of 126 experiments on plants revealed that excluding vertebrate pollinators reduced fruit and/or seed production by 63% on average. We found bat-pollinated plants to be more dependent on pollinators than bird-pollinated plants (an average 84% reduction in fruit/seed production when bats were being excluded, compared to 46% when birds were excluded). Dependence on vertebrate pollinators for fruit/seed production was greater in the tropics than at higher latitudes. With such a large potential impact of vertebrate pollinator loss, there is a clear need for prompt, effective conservation action for threatened flower-visiting vertebrate species. More research is needed on how such changes might affect wider ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2018 17:30
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2023 13:53
DOI: 10.1002/fee.1763


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item