Publication details.

Paper

Year:2018
Author(s):A. Traveset, R. Castro-Urgal, X. Rotllàn-Puig, A. Lázaro
Title:Effects of habitat loss on the plant–flower visitor network structure of a dune community
Journal:OIKOS
ISSN:0030-1299
Volume:127
Issue No.:1
Pages:45-55
D.O.I.:10.1111/oik.04154
Web:https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/oik.04154
Abstract:© 2017 The Authors Pollination is a valuable ecosystem service, and plant–pollinator interactions in particular are known to play a crucial role in conservation and ecosystem functioning. These mutualisms, like other ecological interactions, are currently threatened by different drivers of global change, mainly habitat loss, fragmentation, or modification of its quality. Most studies so far have focused on the impact of such disturbances on particular species interactions and we thus need more empirical evidence on the responses at a community-level. Here we evaluated how habitat loss influenced the pattern of interactions between plants and their flower visitors in a coastal dune marshland community. Using data from four years (2008–2011), we assessed the effect of a large disturbance in the area (occurring in 2010) that represented the loss of more than 50% of the vegetation cover. We found a considerable decrease in species richness and abundance of flower visitors, which resulted in a lower number of interactions after the disturbance. Not all functional groups, however, responded similarly. Contrary to the expected from previous findings, bees and wasps were less negatively influenced than beetles, flies and ants, possibly due to their higher movement capacity. Species interactions in the community were more specialized after habitat loss, resulting in a lower level of network nestedness and a higher modularity. At a species level, the number of flower visitors per plant decreased after the disturbance, and plants were visited by less abundant flower visitors. Our findings lead us to predict that the overall plant–flower visitor network became less robust and resilient to future perturbations. However, the fact that each functional group responds distinctly to disturbances makes it more difficult to foresee the final consequences on community composition and ecosystem functioning.

Related staff

  • Amparo Lazaro Castillo
  • Anna Traveset Vilagines
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related research groups

  • Global Change Research