Plant and animal functional diversity drive mutualistic network assembly across an elevational gradient

Albrecht, Jörg; Classen, Alice; Vollstädt, Maximilian G. R.; Mayr, Antonia; Mollel, Neduvoto P.; Schellenberger Costa, David; Dulle, Hamadi I.; Fischer, Markus; Hemp, Andreas; Howell, Kim M.; Kleyer, Michael; Nauss, Thomas; Peters, Marcell K.; Tschapka, Marco; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Schleuning, Matthias (2018). Plant and animal functional diversity drive mutualistic network assembly across an elevational gradient. Nature communications, 9(1) Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/s41467-018-05610-w

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Species' functional traits set the blueprint for pair-wise interactions in ecological networks. Yet, it is unknown to what extent the functional diversity of plant and animal communities controls network assembly along environmental gradients in real-world ecosystems. Here we address this question with a unique dataset of mutualistic bird-fruit, bird-flower and insect-flower interaction networks and associated functional traits of 200 plant and 282 animal species sampled along broad climate and land-use gradients on Mt. Kilimanjaro. We show that plant functional diversity is mainly limited by precipitation, while animal functional diversity is primarily limited by temperature. Furthermore, shifts in plant and animal functional diversity along the elevational gradient control the niche breadth and partitioning of the respective other trophic level. These findings reveal that climatic constraints on the functional diversity of either plants or animals determine the relative importance of bottom-up and top-down control in plant-animal interaction networks.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Mollel, Neduvoto Piniel and Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

2041-1723

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

13 Aug 2018 10:26

Last Modified:

19 Aug 2018 02:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41467-018-05610-w

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.119241

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/119241

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