Pollinator declines and the stability of plant-pollinator networks

Ramos-Jiliberto, Rodrigo; De Espanes, Pablo Moisset; Vazquez, Diego P.


Population declines of pollinators constitute a major concern for the fate of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services in a context of global change. Massive declines of pollinator populations driven by habitat loss, pollution, and climate change have been reported, whose consequences at community and ecosystem levels remain elusive. We conducted a mathematical modeling and computer simulation study to assess the dynamic consequences of pollinator declines for the biodiversity of plants and pollinators. Specifically, we evaluated the effects of increased mortality and decreased carrying capacity of specialist vs. generalist and effective vs. ineffective pollinators visiting specialist vs. generalist plants on long-term community biomass and species persistence. Our results reveal that increased larval mortality and increased competition for space among larvae had the greatest impacts on the decline of pollinator diversity. In contrast, the largest sustained decreases in pollinator biomass were driven by increased adult mortality in spite of a small increase in pollinator species persistence. Decreased pollinator diversity led in turn to decreased plant diversity. Attacking pollinators with high degree and connected mostly to low-degree plants produced the greatest losses of plant diversity. Pollinator effectiveness had no noticeable effect on persistence. Our results illuminate our understanding of the consequences of pollinator declines for the maintenance of biodiversity.

Más información

Título según WOS: Pollinator declines and the stability of plant-pollinator networks
Título de la Revista: ECOSPHERE
Volumen: 11
Número: 4
Editorial: Wiley
Fecha de publicación: 2020


Notas: ISI