By Herman A. Verhoef, Peter J. Morin
Nice source for graduate scholars and researchers. offers an excellent history within the present realizing and uncertainty surrounding group ecology.
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Additional resources for Community Ecology: Processes, Models, and Applications
That is, more specialized mutualists tend to interact with a proper subset of the species that more generalist mutualists interact with. One consequence is that there is a set of species that form a highly connected ‘core’ in mutualistic networks. This makes the number of links across the network required to connect any two species rather short (Olesen et al. 2006). Indeed, mutualistic networks tend to be more nested than food webs and to have shorter paths between any two species than food webs (Bascompte et al.
Across a compilation of 36 plant–pollinator and 23 plant–frugivore networks, there was a signiﬁcant effect of phylogeny on the number of links of a species in 25–39% of the networks. That is, more closely related species tended to both be specialists (or generalists) than more distant ones. The amount of phylogenetic similarity of two species was also found to predict the ecological similarity (measured as the standardized number of interactions in common) in nearly 50% of the networks. These analyses provide good evidence that evolutionary history at least partly explains some of the structural regularities of mutualistic networks.
5. The species are not depicted on different trophic levels, as in food webs, and only interactions between the two groups of mutualists are considered (no direct competitive interactions are included). Mutualistic networks appear to have several types of structural regularity. First, there are nested sets of interactions (Bascompte et al. 2003; Lewinsohn et al. 2006). That is, more specialized mutualists tend to interact with a proper subset of the species that more generalist mutualists interact with.