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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reproductive strategies vs Resource allocation


The act of evolution has the two key strategies when it comes to mutual interaction. Pollination service is one such natural phenomenon in ecological world. The major factors of this plant-animal interaction involves reproductive strategy by one and resource allocation by other.

The art of pollination is slightly biased by the plants where they attract the pollinators by using cues like colour, smell and rewards (can be nectar, pollens and even proteins). This can be taken as one of the classic example of how plants exploit their pollinators. Releasing nectars in small dosage keeps the pollinator hungry and hence attracts them again and again to the flowers of the plant/tree. The release of nectar in small amount is a trap lining strategy and the squirrels (also birds and bees, in many cases) hover from flower to flower to flowers in search of the resource thus aiding pollination, and benefiting the plant.

Squirrels (The Indian Palm Squirrel, Funambulus palmarum) being opportunists, don't leave the golden chance and hence usually fights between fellow mates (mostly males, in this case) are seen over resource (nectar) hunting.

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