Downsizing of animal communities triggers stronger functional than structural decay in seed-dispersal networks

Downsizing of animal communities due to defaunation is prevalent in many ecosystems. Yet, we know little about its consequences for ecosystem functions such as seed dispersal. Here, we use eight seed-dispersal networks s
Downsizing of animal communities due to defaunation is prevalent in many ecosystems. Yet, we know little about its consequences for ecosystem functions such as seed dispersal. Here, we use eight seed-dispersal networks sampled across the Andes and simulate how downsizing of avian frugivores impacts structural network robustness and seed dispersal. We use a trait-based modeling framework to quantify the consequences of downsizing-relative to random extinctions-for the number of interactions and secondary plant extinctions (as measures of structural robustness) and for long-distance seed dispersal (as a measure of ecosystem function). We find that downsizing leads to stronger functional than structural losses. For instance, 10% size-structured loss of bird species results in almost 40% decline of long-distance seed dispersal, but in less than 10% of structural loss. Our simulations reveal that measures of the structural robustness of ecological networks underestimate the consequences of animal extinction and downsizing for ecosystem functioning.
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Metadaten
Author:Isabel Donoso, Marjorie C. Sorensen, Pedro G. Blendinger, W. Daniel Kissling, Eike Lena Neuschulz, Thomas Müller, Matthias Schleuning
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-529314
DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15438-y
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=32221279
Parent Title (English):Nature Communications
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2020/03/27
Date of first Publication:2020/03/27
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/04/08
Volume:11
Issue:Article number: 1582
HeBIS PPN:46390981X
Institutes:Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0

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