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Space, time and aliens: Charting the dynamic structure of Galápagos pollination networks

AuthorsTraveset, Anna ; Chamorro, Susana ; Olesen, Jens M.; Heleno, Rubén H.
KeywordsAlien plants
Biological invasions
Global change
Mutualistic interactions
Oceanic islands
Issue Date23-Jun-2015
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationAoB Plants 7(1): plv041 (2015)
Abstract© The Authors 2015. Oceanic archipelagos are threatened by the introduction of alien species which can severely disrupt the structure, function and stability of native communities. Here we investigated the pollination interactions in the two most disturbed Galápagos Islands, comparing the three main habitats and the two seasons, and assessing the impacts of alien plant invasions on network structure.We found that the pollination network structure was rather consistent between the two islands, but differed across habitats and seasons. Overall, the arid zone had the largest networks and highest species generalization levels whereas either the transition between habitats or the humid habitat showed lower values. Our data suggest that alien plants integrate easily into the communities, but with low impact on overall network structure, except for an increase in network selectiveness. The humid zone showed the highest nestedness and the lowest modularity, which might be explained by the low species diversity and the higher incidence of alien plants in this habitat. Both pollinators and plants were alsomore generalized in the hot season, when networks showed to bemore nested. Alien species (both plants and pollinators) represented a high fraction (~56 %) of the total number of interactions in the networks. It is thus likely that, in spite of the overall weak effect we found of alien plant invasion on pollination network structure, these introduced species influence the reproductive success of native ones, and by doing so, they affect the functioning of the community. This certainly deserves further investigation.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plv068
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/aobpla/plv068
issn: 2041-2851
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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