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Relative effects of anthropogenic pressures, climate, and sampling design on the structure of pollination networks at the global scale

Abstract : Pollinators provide crucial ecosystem services that underpin to wild plant reproduction and yields of insect-pollinated crops. Understanding the relative impacts of anthropogenic pressures and climate on the structure of plant–pollinator interaction networks is vital considering ongoing global change and pollinator decline. Our ability to predict the consequences of global change for pollinator assemblages worldwide requires global syntheses, but these analytical approaches may be hindered by variable methods among studies that either invalidate comparisons or mask biological phenomena. Here we conducted a synthetic analysis that assesses the relative impact of anthropogenic pressures and climatic variability, and accounts for heterogeneity in sampling methodology to reveal network responses at the global scale. We analyzed an extensive dataset, comprising 295 networks over 123 locations all over the world, and reporting over 50,000 interactions between flowering plant species and their insect visitors. Our study revealed that anthropogenic pressures correlate with an increase in generalism in pollination networks while pollinator richness and taxonomic composition are more related to climatic variables with an increase in dipteran pollinator richness associated with cooler temperatures. The contrasting response of species richness and generalism of the plant–pollinator networks stresses the importance of considering interaction network structure alongside diversity in ecological monitoring. In addition, differences in sampling design explained more variation than anthropogenic pressures or climate on both pollination networks richness and generalism, highlighting the crucial need to report and incorporate sampling design in macroecological comparative studies of pollination networks. As a whole, our study reveals a potential human impact on pollination networks at a global scale. However, further research is needed to evaluate potential consequences of loss of specialist species and their unique ecological interactions and evolutionary pathways on the ecosystem pollination function at a global scale.
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Contributor : Maël DORÉ Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, January 4, 2021 - 11:07:43 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 15, 2022 - 3:35:18 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, April 5, 2021 - 6:38:07 PM


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M. Doré, Colin Fontaine, Elisa Thébault. Relative effects of anthropogenic pressures, climate, and sampling design on the structure of pollination networks at the global scale. Global Change Biology, Wiley, 2020, ⟨10.1111/GCB.15474⟩. ⟨mnhn-03068210⟩



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