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      Global warming and the disruption of plant?pollinator interactions

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      Ecology Letters
      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Anthropogenic climate change is widely expected to drive species extinct by hampering individual survival and reproduction, by reducing the amount and accessibility of suitable habitat, or by eliminating other organisms that are essential to the species in question. Less well appreciated is the likelihood that climate change will directly disrupt or eliminate mutually beneficial (mutualistic) ecological interactions between species even before extinctions occur. We explored the potential disruption of a ubiquitous mutualistic interaction of terrestrial habitats, that between plants and their animal pollinators, via climate change. We used a highly resolved empirical network of interactions between 1420 pollinator and 429 plant species to simulate consequences of the phenological shifts that can be expected with a doubling of atmospheric CO(2). Depending on model assumptions, phenological shifts reduced the floral resources available to 17-50% of all pollinator species, causing as much as half of the ancestral activity period of the animals to fall at times when no food plants were available. Reduced overlap between plants and pollinators also decreased diet breadth of the pollinators. The predicted result of these disruptions is the extinction of pollinators, plants and their crucial interactions.

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          Impact of climate change on marine pelagic phenology and trophic mismatch.

          Phenology, the study of annually recurring life cycle events such as the timing of migrations and flowering, can provide particularly sensitive indicators of climate change. Changes in phenology may be important to ecosystem function because the level of response to climate change may vary across functional groups and multiple trophic levels. The decoupling of phenological relationships will have important ramifications for trophic interactions, altering food-web structures and leading to eventual ecosystem-level changes. Temperate marine environments may be particularly vulnerable to these changes because the recruitment success of higher trophic levels is highly dependent on synchronization with pulsed planktonic production. Using long-term data of 66 plankton taxa during the period from 1958 to 2002, we investigated whether climate warming signals are emergent across all trophic levels and functional groups within an ecological community. Here we show that not only is the marine pelagic community responding to climate changes, but also that the level of response differs throughout the community and the seasonal cycle, leading to a mismatch between trophic levels and functional groups.
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            Shifts in phenology due to global climate change: the need for a yardstick.

            Climate change has led to shifts in phenology in many species distributed widely across taxonomic groups. It is, however, unclear how we should interpret these shifts without some sort of a yardstick: a measure that will reflect how much a species should be shifting to match the change in its environment caused by climate change. Here, we assume that the shift in the phenology of a species' food abundance is, by a first approximation, an appropriate yardstick. We review the few examples that are available, ranging from birds to marine plankton. In almost all of these examples, the phenology of the focal species shifts either too little (five out of 11) or too much (three out of 11) compared to the yardstick. Thus, many species are becoming mistimed due to climate change. We urge researchers with long-term datasets on phenology to link their data with those that may serve as a yardstick, because documentation of the incidence of climate change-induced mistiming is crucial in assessing the impact of global climate change on the natural world.
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              Generalization in Pollination Systems, and Why it Matters

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecology Letters
                Ecol Letters
                Wiley
                1461-023X
                1461-0248
                August 2007
                August 2007
                : 10
                : 8
                : 710-717
                Article
                10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01061.x
                17594426
                bc42e781-5ddc-4687-881d-9c557ff6e71f
                © 2007

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1


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