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      Urban drivers of plant-pollinator interactions

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      Functional Ecology
      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Bee foraging ranges and their relationship to body size.

          Bees are the most important pollinator taxon; therefore, understanding the scale at which they forage has important ecological implications and conservation applications. The foraging ranges for most bee species are unknown. Foraging distance information is critical for understanding the scale at which bee populations respond to the landscape, assessing the role of bee pollinators in affecting plant population structure, planning conservation strategies for plants, and designing bee habitat refugia that maintain pollination function for wild and crop plants. We used data from 96 records of 62 bee species to determine whether body size predicts foraging distance. We regressed maximum and typical foraging distances on body size and found highly significant and explanatory nonlinear relationships. We used a second data set to: (1) compare observed reports of foraging distance to the distances predicted by our regression equations and (2) assess the biases inherent to the different techniques that have been used to assess foraging distance. The equations we present can be used to predict foraging distances for many bee species, based on a simple measurement of body size.
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            Tolerance of pollination networks to species extinctions.

            Mutually beneficial interactions between flowering plants and animal pollinators represent a critical 'ecosystem service' under threat of anthropogenic extinction. We explored probable patterns of extinction in two large networks of plants and flower visitors by simulating the removal of pollinators and consequent loss of the plants that depend upon them for reproduction. For each network, we removed pollinators at random, systematically from least-linked (most specialized) to most-linked (most generalized), and systematically from most- to least-linked. Plant species diversity declined most rapidly with preferential removal of the most-linked pollinators, but declines were no worse than linear. This relative tolerance to extinction derives from redundancy in pollinators per plant and from nested topology of the networks. Tolerance in pollination networks contrasts with catastrophic declines reported from standard food webs. The discrepancy may be a result of the method used: previous studies removed species from multiple trophic levels based only on their linkage, whereas our preferential removal of pollinators reflects their greater risk of extinction relative to that of plants. In both pollination networks, the most-linked pollinators were bumble-bees and some solitary bees. These animals should receive special attention in efforts to conserve temperate pollination systems.
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              Plant reproductive susceptibility to habitat fragmentation: review and synthesis through a meta-analysis.

              The loss and fragmentation of natural habitats by human activities are pervasive phenomena in terrestrial ecosystems across the Earth and the main driving forces behind current biodiversity loss. Animal-mediated pollination is a key process for the sexual reproduction of most extant flowering plants, and the one most consistently studied in the context of habitat fragmentation. By means of a meta-analysis we quantitatively reviewed the results from independent fragmentation studies throughout the last two decades, with the aim of testing whether pollination and reproduction of plant species may be differentially susceptible to habitat fragmentation depending on certain reproductive traits that typify the relationship with and the degree of dependence on their pollinators. We found an overall large and negative effect of fragmentation on pollination and on plant reproduction. The compatibility system of plants, which reflects the degree of dependence on pollinator mutualism, was the only reproductive trait that explained the differences among the species' effect sizes. Furthermore, a highly significant correlation between the effect sizes of fragmentation on pollination and reproductive success suggests that the most proximate cause of reproductive impairment in fragmented habitats may be pollination limitation. We discuss the conservation implications of these findings and give some suggestions for future research into this area.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Functional Ecology
                Funct Ecol
                Wiley-Blackwell
                02698463
                July 2015
                July 2015
                : 29
                : 7
                : 879-888
                Article
                10.1111/1365-2435.12486
                e2f25e53-0cb5-4e2b-9368-cc5947e5baa9
                © 2015

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

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