Landscape effects on pollination networks in Mediterranean gypsum islands



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Santamaría, S. and Sánchez, A. M. and López-Angulo, J. and Ornosa Gallego, Concepción and Mola, I. and Escudero, A. (2018) Landscape effects on pollination networks in Mediterranean gypsum islands. Plant Biology, 20 (S1). pp. 184-194. ISSN 1435-8603, ESSN: 1438-8677

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•Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of global change that has operated historically on Mediterranean ecosystems. However, more needs to be understood about how fragmentation influences ecological interactions, particularly pollination. Gypsum outcrops are historically fragmented Mediterranean habitats and settings for the evolution of many endangered soil-specialist plants with narrow ranges.
•In this study, we aimed to determine how fragmentation (area and connectivity) affects: (i) pollinator community composition and (ii) structural properties of pollination networks; and whether there are differences in the effects of fragmentation on: (iii) the number of interactions and visits among pollinator functional groups; and (iv) the number of interactions and specialisation degree between soil-specialist and soil-generalist plants. We characterised the degree of fragmentation and the pollination network structures in 12 gypsum habitat fragments embedded in a cropland matrix during two consecutive years.
•We found significant relationships between fragmentation and network structure. The effects of fragmentation differed among pollinator functional groups, but not between soil-specialist and soil-generalist plants, in terms of number of interactions. However, the relatively higher pollinator specialisation of soil-specialist plants suggested greater dependence on pollinators.
•Inter-annual variations in the network structures demonstrated the importance of temporal replication. The observed patterns related to the landscape structure and pollination at both the network and species levels provide insights into the key ecological processes in gypsum islands. These findings may help to identify the potential drivers of species persistence, especially for endangered soil-specialist plants with narrow ranges in a changing scenario with exacerbated habitat fragmentation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Connectivity; Ecological network; Fragment area; Fragmentation; Gypsum; Soil-specialist plants
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
Medical sciences > Biology > Insects
ID Code:47431
Deposited On:08 May 2018 08:19
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:25

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