When you work in a group you sometimes have to sacrifice your comfort for the betterment of your team. This also happens in the plant world. A reduction in individual growth can boost the entire community.
Paul Glaum from the University of Michigan's and André Kessler of Cornell University carried out some studies, the results of which explained the persistence of some plant species when the theories had predicted them to go extinct. One of the researchers said that the chemical defense of plants not just deter away herbivores but also deters pollinators at times. But one surprising element of the research that he found was that while this concept may lead to fitness loss for the individual it end ups giving positive results for pollinators and plants under some specific conditions.
Both Glaum and Kessler constructed a computer model that demonstrated the decreased growth of the individual plant that helped in benefiting its entire community. The scientists are puzzled about plants have maintained such a costly defense mechanism and how does such a plant population strategy even exists.
By: Srishti Anand