The effects of rainfall on plant-pollinator interactions

Dave Lawson*, Sean Rands

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
260 Downloads (Pure)


As global surface temperatures rise, global precipitation rates are predicted to increase. These localised increases in rainfall patterns may significantly affect plant–pollinator interactions in multiple ways. Detrimental effects to plant–pollinator interactions could have significant ecological and economic consequences, and so it is important to understand the effects that rain has on these mutualisms. Increased rainfall has the potential for population-level effects but there also wide scope for individual-level effects, which have received surprisingly little attention. Changes in rainfall patterns could alter the timings of phenological phases while also increasing the likelihood of pollen degradation and nectar dilution, each having detrimental effects to the fitness of the plant, the pollinator or both parties. Pollinators could also be affected through mechanical and energetic constraints, along with disruption of foraging patterns and disruption to sensory signals. In this review, we demonstrate that there are clear gaps in our knowledge of these events, the exploration of which should open new areas of debate surrounding the effects of climate change on biological systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-569
Number of pages9
JournalArthropod-Plant Interactions
Issue number4
Early online date21 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Climate change
  • Nectar dilution
  • Plant–pollinator interaction
  • Rainfall

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