Research Output

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

  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 Embedded Image was lower for the visitation network than the PE network, which was in turn lower than Embedded Image 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.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    02 September 2015

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    The Royal Society

  • DOI:

    10.1098/rspb.2015.1130

  • Cross Ref:

    10.1098/rspb.2015.1130

  • ISSN:

    0962-8452

  • Library of Congress:

    QP Physiology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    572 Biochemistry

Citation

Ballantyne, G., Baldock, K. C. R., & 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), 20151130. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1130

Authors

Keywords

Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all); Immunology and Microbiology(all); Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all); Environmental Science(all); Medicine(all)

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