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The importance of considering flower availability when weighing interactions in quantitative flower visitation networks

AuthorsCastro-Urgal, Rocío ; Tur, Cristina ; Albrecht, Matthias; Traveset, Anna
Issue Date25-Sep-2011
PublisherEuropean Ecological Federation
Citation12th EEF Congress (2011)
AbstractDespite considerable work has been carried out describing the structure of weighted and unweighted mutualistic networks, little is known on how different weight measurements can influence network parameters. In this study, we evaluate the importance of different interaction weights in two mutualistic networks, particularly flower visitation networks, from two consecutive years and two different altitudes (1440m and sea level) in the island of Mallorca (Balearic archipelago). We used four types of currency for weighting and calculated several network-level parameters (network size, connectance, weighted nestedness, generality, vulnerability, complementary specialisation H2’ and interaction evenness) and species-level parameters (normalized degree, species specialization index d’ and strength). Results indicate that interaction weight has a relatively weak effect at the species level, but a great effect at the network level. Including flower availability at the community level in the interaction weight caused significant changes in different network parameters: generality, vulnerability and interaction evenness decreased, thus flower visitors and plants become more specialized, and the heterogeneity in the frequency of interactions across the network increased. Our study suggests that in order to give a more realistic weight to the links between plants and flower visitors, and thus to obtain more robust information on the structure of quantitative flower visitation networks, it is essential to consider flower availability of each species in the plant community
DescriptionComunicación presentada en el: 12th EEF (European Ecological Federation) Congress, celebrado del 25 al 29 de septiembre de 2011 en Ávila (España). Congreso en el que se celebraron conjuntamente: 10th Annual Conference of the Spanish Association for Terrestrial Ecology; 13th Annual Meeting of the Portuguese Ecological Society; 3rd Iberian Congress of Ecology
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Comunicaciones congresos
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