Can network metrics predict vulnerability and species roles in bird-dispersed plant communities? Not without behaviour

Teresa Morán-López, Walter D. Espíndola, Benjamin S. Vizzachero, Antonio Fontanella, Letty Salinas, César Arana, Guillermo Amico, Marco A. Pizo, Tomás A. Carlo, Juan M. Morales

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

However, their empirical validation is scarce. Here we parameterized a joint species model of frugivory and seed dispersal with bird movement and foraging data from tropical and temperate communities. With this model, we investigate the effect of frugivore loss on seed rain, and compare our predictions to those of standard coextinction models and network metrics. Topological coextinction models underestimated species loss after the removal of highly linked frugivores with unique foraging behaviours. Network metrics informed about changes in seed rain quantity after frugivore loss. However, changes in seed rain composition were only predicted by partner diversity. Nestedness, closeness, and d’ specialisation could not anticipate the effects of rearrangements in plant–frugivore communities following species loss. Accounting for behavioural differences among mutualists is critical to improve predictions from network models.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)348-358
Number of pages11
JournalEcology Letters
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Extinctions
  • networks
  • plant–frugivore assemblages
  • rewiring
  • seed rain

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    Morán-López, T., Espíndola, W. D., Vizzachero, B. S., Fontanella, A., Salinas, L., Arana, C., Amico, G., Pizo, M. A., Carlo, T. A., & Morales, J. M. (2020). Can network metrics predict vulnerability and species roles in bird-dispersed plant communities? Not without behaviour. Ecology Letters, 23(2), 348-358. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13439