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Do the ants living in ant-plants chase off pollinators of the plant?

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Here is an article about this topic.  I have not yet found a way to access the article without the fee:

Fee access is here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0096300315003756


Stability of plant–pollinator–ant co-mutualism

    Yuanshi Wang, Hong Wu,


    Received 20 June 2014, Revised 24 February 2015, Accepted 14 March 2015, Available online 21 April 2015+



    Pollination-mutualisms are described by a Beddington–DeAngelis form.

    Dynamics of the model show that ants and pollinators can coexist.

    A threshold in the ant aggressiveness against pollinators is defined.

    Weak aggressiveness with ant-plant mutualism can lead to increase of pollinators.

    Strong aggressiveness will lead to extinction of pollination-mutualisms.



This paper considers plant–pollinator–ant systems in which both the plant–pollinator interaction and plant–ant interaction are mutualistic, but where the second mutualism affects the first, because ants prevent pollinators from visiting plants. We assume the two mutualistic interactions exhibit Beddington–DeAngelis functional responses while the ant-pollinator interaction exhibits a Holling type II formula. Using dynamical systems theory, it is shown that the ant and pollinator can coexist upon the plant in the sense of uniform persistence. Moreover, we define a threshold in the ant aggressiveness against pollinators, which varies with parameters (factors) in the systems. When the level of ant aggressiveness is below the threshold, pollination mutualism is shown to persist in the presence of ants. When the level is above the threshold, the model demonstrates that pollination mutualisms will be driven into extinction by ant aggressiveness.

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