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Title: Interaction Intimacy Affects Structure and Coevolutionary Dynamics in Mutualistic Networks
Authors: Guimarães, Paulo Roberto V.
Rico-Gray, Víctor
Oliveira, Paulo S.
Izzo, Thiago Junqueira
Reis, Sérgio Furtado dos
Thompson, John N.
Keywords: Animals
Biological Model
Plant Physiology
Models, Biological
Plant Physiology
Issue Date: 2007
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Current Biology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 17, Número 20, Pags. 1797-1803
Abstract: The structure of mutualistic networks provides clues to processes shaping biodiversity [1-10]. Among them, interaction intimacy, the degree of biological association between partners, leads to differences in specialization patterns [4, 11] and might affect network organization [12]. Here, we investigated potential consequences of interaction intimacy for the structure and coevolution of mutualistic networks. From observed processes of selection on mutualistic interactions, it is expected that symbiotic interactions (high-interaction intimacy) will form species-poor networks characterized by compartmentalization [12, 13], whereas nonsymbiotic interactions (low intimacy) will lead to species-rich, nested networks in which there is a core of generalists and specialists often interact with generalists [3, 5, 7, 12, 14]. We demonstrated an association between interaction intimacy and structure in 19 ant-plant mutualistic networks. Through numerical simulations, we found that network structure of different forms of mutualism affects evolutionary change in distinct ways. Change in one species affects primarily one mutualistic partner in symbiotic interactions but might affect multiple partners in nonsymbiotic interactions. We hypothesize that coevolution in symbiotic interactions is characterized by frequent reciprocal changes between few partners, but coevolution in nonsymbiotic networks might show rare bursts of changes in which many species respond to evolutionary changes in a single species. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.09.059
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