Ecological communities often show changes in populations and their interactions over time. To date, however, it has been challenging to effectively untangle the mechanisms shaping such dynamics. One approach that has yet to be fully explored is to treat the varying structure of empirical communities—i.e. their network of interactions—as time series. Here, we follow this approach by applying a network-comparison technique to study the seasonal dynamics of plant-pollinator networks. We find that the structure of these networks is extremely variable, where species constantly change how they interact with each other within seasons. Most importantly, we find the holistic dynamic of plants and pollinators to be remarkably coherent across years, allowing us to reveal general rules by which species first enter, then change their roles, and finally leave the networks. Overall, our results disentangle key aspects of species’ interaction turnover, phenology, and seasonal assembly/disassembly processes in empirical plant-pollinator communities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)