Reorganization of mutualistic communities under extinctions

Posted by Juan fernandez on 7 de septiembre de 2022

There are many ecosystems in which mutualistic relations, the ones that are beneficial for both species in interaction, are crucial for their survival. Piotr Kropotkin noticed very early that mutual aid had to be an important factor in evolution. Examples of this kind of ecosystem are the ones in which we have insects pollinating plants. The structure of these ecosystems is captured by bipartite networks and research has already shown that there are several structural characteristics that seem to pervade in them and are crucial for their stability and robustness. Here we use data on interactions between plants and pollinators in Mallorca and show how the progressive extinction of different species under different assumptions changes the characteristics of the network.

Robustness to extinction and plasticity derived from mutualistic bipartite ecological networks

S Sheykhali, J Fernández-Gracia, A Traveset, M Ziegler, CR Voolstra, ...

Scientific reports 10 (1), 1-12