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Article alert: Plant-Pollinator Interactions over 120 Years: Loss of Species, Co-Occurrence and Function
08.03.2013

Science (2013) doi: 10.1126/science.1232728

Burkle LA, Marlin J, Knight TM

Using historic data sets, we quantified the degree to which global change over 120 years disrupted plant-pollinator interactions in a temperate forest understory community in Illinois, USA. We found degradation of interaction network structure and function and extirpation of 50% of bee species. Network changes can be attributed to shifts in forb and bee phenologies resulting in temporal mismatches, nonrandom species extinctions, and loss of spatial co-occurrences between extant species in modified landscapes. Quantity and quality of pollination services have declined through time. The historic network showed flexibility in response to disturbance; however, our data suggest that networks will be less resilient to future changes.


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