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Reshaping our understanding of the roles of species in landscape-scale networks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcology Letters
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 16 May 2019

Abstract

In network ecology, landscape-scale processes are often overlooked, yet there is increasing evidence that species and interactions spill-over between habitats, calling for further study of inter-habitat dependencies. Here we investigate how species connect a mosaic of habitats based on the geography of their mutualistic and antagonistic interactions using two multilayer networks, combining pollination, herbivory and parasitism in the UK and New Zealand. Developing novel methods of network analysis for landscape-scale ecological networks, we discovered that a few plant and pollinator species acted as connectors or hubs, both within and among habitats, whereas herbivores and parasitoids typically have more peripheral network roles. Insect species’ roles depend on factors other than just the abundance of taxa in the lower trophic level, exemplified by larger Hymenoptera connecting networks of different habitats and insects relying on different resources across different habitats. Our findings provides a broader perspective for landscape-scale management and ecological community conservation.

    Research areas

  • ecological networks, landscape, pollination, herbivory, host-parasitoid interactions, species roles, habitat diversity, multilayer networks

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