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Data from: Density-dependent dispersal strategy of pollinator moderates the adverse effect of habitat loss on plant reproduction

Cite this dataset

Jiao, Le et al. (2022). Data from: Density-dependent dispersal strategy of pollinator moderates the adverse effect of habitat loss on plant reproduction [Dataset]. Dryad.


1. Major challenges for plant conservation are predicting the effect of habitat loss on pollination success and plant reproduction potential. Most studies report that pollinator movement is affected by quantitative and spatial characteristics of landscapes. However, little is known about the role of pollinator movement, impacted by floral volatiles and intraspecies interaction, on plant reproduction in fragmented landscapes.

2. To clarify the effect of pollinator movement on plant reproduction relative to habitat loss, we developed an integrated model incorporating pollinator's foraging response with its dispersal process mediated by a density-dependent dispersal (DDD) strategy. This model performed better in capturing behaviorals response of pollinators than do current methods. The integrated model was verified with field results of pollinator visitation and plant reproduction of saltcedar (Tamarix chinensis) inhabiting the Yellow River Delta, and then was compared against a dispersal strategy called density-independent dispersal (DID). The model was applied to landscapes with various non-habitat percentage (NHP) to explore the effect of habitat loss on plant reproduction.

3. Results suggested that saltcedar populations differ in their responses to habitat loss, which depended on the spatial scales considered. At landscape scale, increasing NHP significantly inhibited the dispersion extent of floral volatiles and therefore reduced pollinator visitation and subsequent seed production, especially when NHP exceeded the critical threshold of 0.6. However, at patch scale, comparing with DID strategy, the DDD strategy enabled pollinators to increase their utilization of flowers by 43.42% and 6.79% in low-density and distant plant patches, whereas their utilization was reduced by 7.75% and 2.24% in high-density and central patches, respectively. Plant reproduction was improved correspondingly in low-density and distant patches under different NHPs.

4. Consequently, habitat loss inhibits the volatiles dispersion and interferes with the foraging success of pollinators, a major factor influencing plant reproduction at landscape scale. At patch scale, adaptive utilization of pollinators exhibiting DDD strategy alleviates the negative effect of habitat loss on plant production and maintains plant population persistence. Since pollinator behavioral response is critical to plant reproduction, we recommend the use of the here-presented integrated model to assess the impact of habitat loss on plant reproduction.

Usage notes

Our data are saved as '.xlsx' file (which can be opened by Microsoft Excel program) and '.npy' files (which can be opened by NumPy package in Python program). 

These data are multidimensional arrays, whose shapes respresent the different simulation scenarios, including six floral volatiles, six non-habitat percentages (NHPs), and six detection threshold of pollinators (Thpo). The shape of multidimensional arrays in each '.npy' file are described as follows,  as well as the scenarios it represented. 


National Natural Science Foundation of China