Topology of Plant - Flower-Visitor Networks in a Tropical Mountain Forest: Insights on the Role of Altitudinal and Temporal VariationReport as inadecuate




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Understanding the factors determining the spatial and temporal variation of ecological networks is fundamental to the knowledge of their dynamics and functioning. In this study, we evaluate the effect of elevation and time on the structure of plant-flower-visitor networks in a Colombian mountain forest. We examine the level of generalization of plant and animal species and the identity of interactions in 44 bipartite matrices obtained from eight altitudinal levels, from 2200 to 2900 m during eight consecutive months. The contribution of altitude and time to the overall variation in the number of plant P and pollinator A species, network size M, number of interactions I, connectance C, and nestedness was evaluated. In general, networks were small, showed high connectance values and non-nested patterns of organization. Variation in P, M, I and C was better accounted by time than elevation, seemingly related to temporal variation in precipitation. Most plant and insect species were specialists and the identity of links showed a high turnover over months and at every 100 m elevation. The partition of the whole system into smaller network units allowed us to detect small-scale patterns of interaction that contrasted with patterns commonly described in cumulative networks. The specialized but erratic pattern of network organization observed in this tropical mountain suggests that high connectance coupled with opportunistic attachment may confer robustness to plant-flower-visitor networks occurring at small spatial and temporal units.Nota general

Artículo de publicación ISI



Author: Cuartas Hernández, Sandra; - Medel Contreras, Rodrigo; -

Source: http://repositorio.uchile.cl/



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