Both plant and insect communities undergo phenological changes across the season, leading to seasonal changes in species diversity and interactions. Network theory offers important tools for understanding how groups of flowering plants and insects interact. However, most studies of plant pollinator networks aggregate samples over time, masking phenological changes in the network over the growing season. Furthermore, estimates of biodiversity are derived from network observations, meaning that the ecological community is not assessed independently from the structure of the network. Understanding how biodiversity influences network structure over time is important for predicting how global change will affect the ecological processes shaping networks. In this study, we sampled the flower community, insect community, and the pollination network of a high Arctic dwarf-shrub ecosystem over the course of an entire growing season. We found that the flower community was a stronger predictor of network complexity and interaction diversity than the insect community. We suggest that studying networks at scales relevant to both plants and pollinators can provide insight into the mechanisms underlying network formation. This improved knowledge could help to better understand and predict the ongoing phenological changes in Arctic and alpine ecosystems.

Flower-power: Flower diversity is a stronger predictor of network structure than insect diversity in an Arctic plant–pollinator network / S. Robinson, G. Losapio, H. Henry Gregory. - In: ECOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY. - ISSN 1476-945X. - 36(2018), pp. 1-6. [10.1016/j.ecocom.2018.04.005]

Flower-power: Flower diversity is a stronger predictor of network structure than insect diversity in an Arctic plant–pollinator network

G. Losapio
Secondo
;
2018

Abstract

Both plant and insect communities undergo phenological changes across the season, leading to seasonal changes in species diversity and interactions. Network theory offers important tools for understanding how groups of flowering plants and insects interact. However, most studies of plant pollinator networks aggregate samples over time, masking phenological changes in the network over the growing season. Furthermore, estimates of biodiversity are derived from network observations, meaning that the ecological community is not assessed independently from the structure of the network. Understanding how biodiversity influences network structure over time is important for predicting how global change will affect the ecological processes shaping networks. In this study, we sampled the flower community, insect community, and the pollination network of a high Arctic dwarf-shrub ecosystem over the course of an entire growing season. We found that the flower community was a stronger predictor of network complexity and interaction diversity than the insect community. We suggest that studying networks at scales relevant to both plants and pollinators can provide insight into the mechanisms underlying network formation. This improved knowledge could help to better understand and predict the ongoing phenological changes in Arctic and alpine ecosystems.
Biotic interactions; Complexity; Path analysis; Phenology; Seasonality
Settore BIO/03 - Botanica Ambientale e Applicata
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
Settore AGR/11 - Entomologia Generale e Applicata
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/899386
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