Latitudinal trends in plant-pollinator interactions: are tropical plants more specialised?


  • Jeff Ollerton,

  • Louise Cranmer

J. Ollerton and L. Cranmer, School of Environmental Science, Univ. College Northampton, Park Campus, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK (


The increase in richness of species and higher taxa going from higher to lower latitudes is one of the most studied global biogeographical patterns. Latitudinal trends in the interactions between species have, in contrast, hardly been studied at all, probably because recording interactions is much less straightforward than counting species. We have assembled two independent data sets which suggest that plant-pollinator interactions are not more ecologically specialised in the tropics compared to temperate latitudes. This is in contrast to a prevailing view that tropical ecological interactions tend towards higher specificity than their temperate counterparts.