A view of pollination systems is that they tend to generalization. Here we show that patterns exist in pollination systems that suggest otherwise. We examine how specialization may be affected by latitude, species richness and plant life-forms in 33 plant-pollinator interaction networks. Connectance increases with latitude (P = 0.040), but specialization at the community level significantly declines with increasing latitude, with the strongest evidence in the Northern Hemisphere (P = 0.001). The relationship between specialization level and connectance is negative (P < 0.001). While plants are more specialized in tropical areas and are more generalized at higher latitudes, specialization level also increases with plant richness (P < 0.001), total species richness (P = 0.041) and network size (P = 0.009). Specialization level of life forms of 1129 species differ substantially (P < 0.001), with herbs showing the highest specialization (74%), and tree species the lowest (62%).
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: May 20, 2017
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