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Modeling adaptive dynamics in a plant-pollinator ecological system

Grant number: 21/06850-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Mathematics - Applied Mathematics
Principal Investigator:Renato Mendes Coutinho
Grantee:Diogo Augusto Marinotti
Host Institution: Centro de Matemática, Computação e Cognição (CMCC). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil


Pollination plays a fundamental role in the environment because it is the main responsible for the reproduction of a wide range of plant species. One form of pollination is the mutualistic interaction between insects, such as bees and moths, and plants. This relationship requires mutual adaptation of characteristics (traits) of the two species involved - in general, insects specialize in pollinating certain species of plants, and vice versa. For example, deeper flowers require a longer organ length for insects to consume pollen. The interaction between pollinators and plant species influences the population dynamics of both. Moreover, as this relationship is mediated by the characteristics of the two species, there is a selection of those characteristics that are more favorable in view of the characteristics of the mutualist partner, i.e, the evolution of each partner is influenced by the other. In other words, as the two species reproduce and evolve in an interdependent way, their evolutionary (or ``eco-evolutionary'') dynamics are connected. This project aims to formulate, implement and analyze mathematical models for the eco-evolutionary dynamics of two populations in a mutualistic pollination relationship, which follows the change in their protagonists' traits. Therefore, we will use the framework known as adaptive dynamics, expressed as systems of ordinary differential equations, and which describes the variation in size and trait of each population over time, considering negative and positive aspects that influence the populations' growth rates. (AU)

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