Constructing more informative plant–pollinator networks: visitation and pollen deposition networks in a heathland plant community

Ballantyne, G., Baldock, Katherine and Willmer, P. G. (2015) Constructing more informative plant–pollinator networks: visitation and pollen deposition networks in a heathland plant community. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1814). p. 20151130. ISSN 0962-8452

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1130

Abstract

Interaction networks are widely used as tools to understand plant–pollinator communities, and to examine potential threats to plant diversity and food security if the ecosystem service provided by pollinating animals declines. However, most networks to date are based on recording visits to flowers, rather than recording clearly defined effective pollination events. Here we provide the first networks that explicitly incorporate measures of pollinator effectiveness (PE) from pollen deposition on stigmas per visit, and pollinator importance (PI) as the product of PE and visit frequency. These more informative networks, here produced for a low diversity heathland habitat, reveal that plant–pollinator interactions are more specialized than shown in most previous studies. At the studied site, the specialization index was lower for the visitation network than the PE network, which was in turn lower than for the PI network. Our study shows that collecting PE data is feasible for community-level studies in low diversity communities and that including information about PE can change the structure of interaction networks. This could have important consequences for our understanding of threats to pollination systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: network, pollination, pollinator effectiveness, pollinator importance, specialization, species interaction
Subjects: C100 Biology
C200 Botany
D700 Agricultural Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 10:08
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 10:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42107

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