Niche complementarity among pollinators increases community-level plant reproductive success

10.24072/pcjournal.1 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article no. e1.

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Our understanding of how the structure of species interactions shapes natural communities has increased, particularly regarding plant-pollinator interactions. However, research linking pollinator diversity to reproductive success has focused on pairwise plant-pollinator interactions, largely overlooking community-level dynamics. Here, we present one of the first empirical studies linking pollinator visitation to plant reproduction from a community-wide perspective. We use a well-replicated dataset encompassing 16 plant-pollinator networks and data on reproductive success for 19 plant species from Mediterranean shrub ecosystems. We find that statistical models including simple visitation metrics are sufficient to explain the variability observed. However, a mechanistic understanding of how pollinator diversity affects reproductive success requires additional information on network structure. Specifically, we find positive effects of increasing complementarity in the plant species visited by different pollinators on plant reproductive success. Hence, maintaining communities with a diversity of species but also of functions is paramount to preserving plant diversity.
Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.1
Magrach, Ainhoa 1, 2; Molina, Francisco P. 3; Bartomeus, Ignasi 3

1 Basque Centre for Climate Change-BC3, Edif. Sede 1, 1o, Parque Científico UPV-EHU, Barrio Sarriena s/n, 48940, Leioa, Spain
2 IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, María Díaz de Haro 3, 48013, Bilbao, Spain
3 Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Avda. Américo Vespucio 26, Isla de la Cartuja, 41092, Sevilla, Spain
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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Magrach, Ainhoa; Molina, Francisco P.; Bartomeus, Ignasi. Niche complementarity among pollinators increases community-level plant reproductive success. Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article  no. e1. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.1.

Peer reviewed and recommended by PCI : 10.24072/pci.ecology.100037

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