Topological structure of plant-bee networks in four Mexican environments

Vania A. Ramírez-Flores, Rogel Villanueva-Gutiérrez, David W. Roubik, Carlos H. Vergara, Nubia Lara-Rodríguez, Wesley Dáttilo, Marta E. Bonet Ferrer, Victor Rico-Gray

Abstract


We analyzed the topological structure (e.g., links per species, connectance, core-periphery analyses, specialization, nestedness, modularity) of plant-bee interactions of four areas in Mexico. We used qualitative data (binary networks). Mexico exhibits a complex geography and community variation that can affect bee networks. Network architecture is variable within large spatial scales, thus our results should vary according to site characteristics (La Mancha and Totula in Veracruz, Carrillo Puerto in Quintana Roo, and the Tehuacan-Cuicatlan valley, in Puebla), type of vegetation, endemism, altitude, size of area sampled. Network topology varied among sites, and the presence of nested or modular patterns was analyzed for robustness to simulated species extinctions. The lowest species richness was recorded for the Quintana Roo site (15 plant, 25 bee species), and the highest for the Tehuacan-Cuicatlan valley site (88 plant, 231 bee species). There was a tendency to have more connected networks when species richness was low and networks with greater species richness had a higher number of interactions. The distribution of interactions differed between environments but not due to network size and all were significantly nested. The robustness to cumulative extinctions showed a different pattern at each site; the most robust network was at Carrillo Puerto, which also was the site with less species. Sites with more endemic species (e.g. Tehuacan) had more specialized interactions, and were more susceptible to extinction.


Keywords


bee; plant; network; endemism; Mexico

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v62i1.56-64

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