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Open Access item Habitat loss and the structure of plant–animal mutualistic networks

Authors:Fortuna, Miguel A.
Bascompte, Jordi
Keywords:Community structure, complex networks, habitat fragmentation, metacommunity, nestedness, pollination, seed dispersal
Issue Date:Mar-2006
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
Citation:Ecology Letters, (2006) 9: 281–286
Abstract:Recent papers have described the structure of plant–animal mutualistic networks. However, no study has yet explored the dynamical implications of network structure for the persistence of such mutualistic communities. Here, we develop a patch-model of a whole plant–animal community and explore its persistence. To assess the role of network structure, we build three versions of the model. In the first version, we use the exact network of interactions of two real mutualistic communities. In the other versions, we randomize the observed network of interactions using two different null models. We show that the community response to habitat loss is affected by network structure. Real communities start to decay sooner than random communities, but persist for higher destruction levels. There is a destruction threshold at which the community collapses. Our model is the first attempt to describe the dynamics of whole mutualistic metacommunities interacting in realistic ways.
Publisher version (URL):http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00868.x/pdf
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/41674
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Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos

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