Journal Article

Uniting pattern and process in plant–animal mutualistic networks: a review

Diego P. Vázquez, Nico Blüthgen, Luciano Cagnolo and Natacha P. Chacoff

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 103, issue 9, pages 1445-1457
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp057
Uniting pattern and process in plant–animal mutualistic networks: a review

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background

Ecologists and evolutionary biologists are becoming increasingly interested in networks as a framework to study plant–animal mutualisms within their ecological context. Although such focus on networks has brought about important insights into the structure of these interactions, relatively little is still known about the mechanisms behind these patterns.

Scope

The aim in this paper is to offer an overview of the mechanisms influencing the structure of plant–animal mutualistic networks. A brief summary is presented of the salient network patterns, the potential mechanisms are discussed and the studies that have evaluated them are reviewed. This review shows that researchers of plant–animal mutualisms have made substantial progress in the understanding of the processes behind the patterns observed in mutualistic networks. At the same time, we are still far from a thorough, integrative mechanistic understanding. We close with specific suggestions for directions of future research, which include developing methods to evaluate the relative importance of mechanisms influencing network patterns and focusing research efforts on selected representative study systems throughout the world.

Keywords: Ant–plant interactions; forbidden links; mutualism; neutrality; trait matching; plant–animal interactions; pollination; seed dispersal

Journal Article.  8642 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.