Publication details.


Author(s):R. Lundgren, Ø. Totland, A. Lázaro
Title:Experimental simulation of pollinator decline causes community-wide reductions in seedling diversity and abundance
JCR Impact Factor:4.809
Issue No.:6
Abstract:© 2016 by the Ecological Society of America. Pollinator decline can disrupt the mutualistic interactions between plants and pollinators and potentially affect the maintenance of plant populations. However, there is still little knowledge on how changes in pollinator abundance can affect seedling recruitment, which is essential for population persistence. We experimentally simulated a community-wide reduction in pollinator availability during four years to examine its effects on seedling recruitment in 10 perennial herbs in a Norwegian hay meadow. Our experimental reduction in pollinator availability significantly reduced community-wide seedling diversity. Overall seedling abundance was also consistently lower under reduced pollinator availability, although this effect was only significant when the most abundant plant species in the community was excluded from the analysis. Despite an overall negative effect on seedling abundance, the experimental reduction in pollinator availability had contrasting effects on individual plant species. This tended to cause a larger change in seedling species composition in the experimental than in the control plots after the four study years. Our study demonstrates for the first time a direct causal link between reduced pollinator availability and reduced plant diversity and abundance.

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