The effect of fire on biotic interactions in mediterranean basin ecosystems: Pollination and seed dispersal

Amots Dafni, Ido Izhaki, Gidi Ne'eman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mediterranean type ecosystems are among the world's most fire-prone regions. Focusing on the Mediterranean basin, we review the literature and propose conceptual models to explain the direct and indirect effects of fire on plant-pollinator interactions, seed dispersers, and predators, as well as the temporal changes in these systems along post-fire succession and ecosystem recovery processes. Post-fire plant communities change in their composition, structure, floral resources, as well as seed and fruit resources. Fire directly affects communities of pollinators, seed dispersers, and seed predators mainly by mortality, and indirectly through changes in the quality and quantity of food and nesting resources. Pollinators, seed-dispersers, and seed predators depend on plant community composition and on the flower, seed, and fruit resources they produce. As a consequence, their community composition, structure, and function are expected to vary in response to post-fire temporal and spatial changes in plant communities, which in turn depend on fire severity, frequency, scale, and the distance from fire-edge, as well as their foraging range. In return, the changes resulting from fire in pollinator, seed-disperser and seed predator communities may affect plant fecundity and plant community composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-250
Number of pages16
JournalIsrael Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.D. wants to thank the Dorothy and Henk Schussheim Fund for Ecological Research in Mt. Carmel for the generous support.


  • ants
  • bees
  • birds
  • diversity
  • nectar
  • nesting sites
  • seed-bank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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