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      Spatial Heterogeneity Regulates Plant-Pollinator Networks across Multiple Landscape Scales

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          Abstract

          Mutualistic plant-pollinator interactions play a key role in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functioning. In a community, the combination of these interactions can generate emergent properties, e.g., robustness and resilience to disturbances such as fluctuations in populations and extinctions. Given that these systems are hierarchical and complex, environmental changes must have multiple levels of influence. In addition, changes in habitat quality and in the landscape structure are important threats to plants, pollinators and their interactions. However, despite the importance of these phenomena for the understanding of biological systems, as well as for conservation and management strategies, few studies have empirically evaluated these effects at the network level. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the influence of local conditions and landscape structure at multiple scales on the characteristics of plant-pollinator networks. This study was conducted in agri-natural lands in Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil. Pollinators were collected in 27 sampling units distributed orthogonally along a gradient of proportion of agriculture and landscape diversity. The Akaike information criterion was used to select models that best fit the metrics for network characteristics, comparing four hypotheses represented by a set of a priori candidate models with specific combinations of the proportion of agriculture, the average shape of the landscape elements, the diversity of the landscape and the structure of local vegetation. The results indicate that a reduction of habitat quality and landscape heterogeneity can cause species loss and decrease of networks nestedness. These structural changes can reduce robustness and resilience of plant-pollinator networks what compromises the reproductive success of plants, the maintenance of biodiversity and the pollination service stability. We also discuss the possible explanations for these relationships and the implications for landscape planning in agricultural areas.

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          The architecture of mutualistic networks minimizes competition and increases biodiversity.

          The main theories of biodiversity either neglect species interactions or assume that species interact randomly with each other. However, recent empirical work has revealed that ecological networks are highly structured, and the lack of a theory that takes into account the structure of interactions precludes further assessment of the implications of such network patterns for biodiversity. Here we use a combination of analytical and empirical approaches to quantify the influence of network architecture on the number of coexisting species. As a case study we consider mutualistic networks between plants and their animal pollinators or seed dispersers. These networks have been found to be highly nested, with the more specialist species interacting only with proper subsets of the species that interact with the more generalist. We show that nestedness reduces effective interspecific competition and enhances the number of coexisting species. Furthermore, we show that a nested network will naturally emerge if new species are more likely to enter the community where they have minimal competitive load. Nested networks seem to occur in many biological and social contexts, suggesting that our results are relevant in a wide range of fields.
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            Functional landscape heterogeneity and animal biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

            Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes can be increased with conversion of some production lands into 'more-natural'- unmanaged or extensively managed - lands. However, it remains unknown to what extent biodiversity can be enhanced by altering landscape pattern without reducing agricultural production. We propose a framework for this problem, considering separately compositional heterogeneity (the number and proportions of different cover types) and configurational heterogeneity (the spatial arrangement of cover types). Cover type classification and mapping is based on species requirements, such as feeding and nesting, resulting in measures of 'functional landscape heterogeneity'. We then identify three important questions: does biodiversity increase with (1) increasing heterogeneity of the more-natural areas, (2) increasing compositional heterogeneity of production cover types and (3) increasing configurational heterogeneity of production cover types? We discuss approaches for addressing these questions. Such studies should have high priority because biodiversity protection globally depends increasingly on maintaining biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
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              A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems.

              Bees provide essential pollination services that are potentially affected both by local farm management and the surrounding landscape. To better understand these different factors, we modelled the relative effects of landscape composition (nesting and floral resources within foraging distances), landscape configuration (patch shape, interpatch connectivity and habitat aggregation) and farm management (organic vs. conventional and local-scale field diversity), and their interactions, on wild bee abundance and richness for 39 crop systems globally. Bee abundance and richness were higher in diversified and organic fields and in landscapes comprising more high-quality habitats; bee richness on conventional fields with low diversity benefited most from high-quality surrounding land cover. Landscape configuration effects were weak. Bee responses varied slightly by biome. Our synthesis reveals that pollinator persistence will depend on both the maintenance of high-quality habitats around farms and on local management practices that may offset impacts of intensive monoculture agriculture. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                9 April 2015
                2015
                : 10
                : 4
                : e0123628
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Zoology Department, Federal University of Bahia, UFBA, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
                [2 ]Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Literature of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, FFCLRP-USP, São Paulo, Brazil
                University of New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: EFM DB BFV. Performed the experiments: EFM DB BFV. Analyzed the data: EFM DB BFV. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: EFM DB BFV. Wrote the paper: EFM DB BFV.

                Article
                PONE-D-13-54287
                10.1371/journal.pone.0123628
                4391788
                25856293
                7d4d2a77-91c2-43e5-8191-531fc3ec56be
                Copyright @ 2015

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                History
                : 12 January 2014
                : 5 March 2015
                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, Pages: 19
                Funding
                The present work had funding support from the Brazilian governmental agencies: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico(CNPq – URL: http://www.cnpq.br/ - Edital MCT/CNPq/CT-AGRO - Nº 24/2009), who financed the purchase of equipment and field data collections campaigns; Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES - URL: http://www.capes.gov.br/index.php), who granted a scholarship during the master's degree course of Eduardo Freitas Moreira (first author). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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