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The functional roles of species in metacommunities, as revealed by metanetwork analyses of bird–plant frugivory networks

The functional roles of species in metacommunities, as revealed by metanetwork analyses of... Understanding how biodiversity and interaction networks change across environmental gradients is a major challenge in ecology. We integrated metacommunity and metanetwork perspectives to test species’ functional roles in bird–plant frugivory interactions in a fragmented forest landscape in Southwest China, with consequences for seed dispersal. Availability of fruit resources both on and under trees created vertical feeding stratification for frugivorous birds. Bird–plant interactions involving birds feeding only on‐the‐tree or both on and under‐the‐tree (shared) had a higher centrality and contributed more to metanetwork organisation than interactions involving birds feeding only under‐the‐tree. Moreover, bird–plant interactions associated with large‐seeded plants disproportionately contributed to metanetwork organisation and centrality. Consequently, on‐the‐tree and shared birds contributed more to metanetwork organisation whereas under‐the‐tree birds were more involved in local processes. We would expect that species’ roles in the metanetwork will translate into different conservation values for maintaining functioning of seed‐dispersal networks. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Letters Wiley

The functional roles of species in metacommunities, as revealed by metanetwork analyses of bird–plant frugivory networks

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References (55)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS
ISSN
1461-023X
eISSN
1461-0248
DOI
10.1111/ele.13529
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Understanding how biodiversity and interaction networks change across environmental gradients is a major challenge in ecology. We integrated metacommunity and metanetwork perspectives to test species’ functional roles in bird–plant frugivory interactions in a fragmented forest landscape in Southwest China, with consequences for seed dispersal. Availability of fruit resources both on and under trees created vertical feeding stratification for frugivorous birds. Bird–plant interactions involving birds feeding only on‐the‐tree or both on and under‐the‐tree (shared) had a higher centrality and contributed more to metanetwork organisation than interactions involving birds feeding only under‐the‐tree. Moreover, bird–plant interactions associated with large‐seeded plants disproportionately contributed to metanetwork organisation and centrality. Consequently, on‐the‐tree and shared birds contributed more to metanetwork organisation whereas under‐the‐tree birds were more involved in local processes. We would expect that species’ roles in the metanetwork will translate into different conservation values for maintaining functioning of seed‐dispersal networks.

Journal

Ecology LettersWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2020

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;

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