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Disentangling Plant-Animal Interactions into Complex Networks: A Multi-view Approach and Perspectives

Abstract

Animals and plants are involved in a great number of trophic relationships that are responsible for the origin, maintenance and function of biodiversity. This great number of interactions between animals and plants gives rise to large and complex networks of ecological interactions. In the past few decades, the study of plant-animal interaction networks has provided novel insights into how communities are assembled and ultimately how they evolve. In this chapter we aim to present a perspective on what is known regarding the properties and dynamics of plant-animal interaction networks. We start by explaining how interactive communities and populations generate organized networks and how these ecological networks vary over space and time. We also give an additional explanation of how both stochastic and deterministic mechanisms explain the organized structure of plant-animal networks and their variation over natural gradients. Moreover, we highlight the multilayer nature of ecological networks and provide insight on how to employ this novel approach to study the complexities of plant-animal relationships. Finally, we call attention to the importance of plant-animal networks in understanding the mechanisms and processes driving the geographic mosaic of coevolution.

Keywords

  • Complexity
  • Individual-based networks
  • Modularity
  • Multilayer networks
  • Nestedness
  • Species interaction networks

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-66877-8_10
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Further Reading/Additional Resources

  • Dáttilo W, Rico-Gray V (eds) (2018) Ecological networks in the tropics: an integrative overview of species interactions from some of the most species-rich habitats on earth. Springer, Cham

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Luna, P., Dáttilo, W. (2021). Disentangling Plant-Animal Interactions into Complex Networks: A Multi-view Approach and Perspectives. In: Del-Claro, K., Torezan-Silingardi, H.M. (eds) Plant-Animal Interactions. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66877-8_10

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