Publication details.


Author(s):C. Tur, R. Castro-Urgal, A. Traveset
Title:Linking plant specialization to dependence in interactions for seed set in pollination networks
Journal:PLoS One
JCR Impact Factor:3.534
Issue No.:10
Abstract:© 2013 Tur et al. Studies on pollination networks have provided valuable information on the number, frequency, distribution and identity of interactions between plants and pollinators. However, little is still known on the functional effect of these interactions on plant reproductive success. Information on the extent to which plants depend on such interactions will help to make more realistic predictions of the potential impacts of disturbances on plant-pollinator networks. Plant functional dependence on pollinators (all interactions pooled) can be estimated by comparing seed set with and without pollinators (i.e. bagging flowers to exclude them). Our main goal in this study was thus to determine whether plant dependence on current insect interactions is related to plant specialization in a pollination network. We studied two networks from different communities, one in a coastal dune and one in a mountain. For ca. 30% of plant species in each community, we obtained the following specialization measures: (i) linkage level (number of interactions), (ii) diversity of interactions, and (iii) closeness centrality (a measure of how much a species is connected to other plants via shared pollinators). Phylogenetically controlled regression analyses revealed that, for the largest and most diverse coastal community, plants highly dependent on pollinators were the most generalists showing the highest number and diversity of interactions as well as occupying central positions in the network. The mountain community, by contrast, did not show such functional relationship, what might be attributable to their lower flower-resource heterogeneity and diversity of interactions. We conclude that plants with a wide array of pollinator interactions tend to be those that are more strongly dependent upon them for seed production and thus might be those more functionally vulnerable to the loss of network interaction, although these outcomes might be contextdependent.

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