Species interactions are essential for the maintenance and persistence of biodiversity, and underlie many ecosystem services including pollination, decomposition, and population regulation. However, global change and anthropogenic threats may alter community composition through species loss, potentially also resulting in interaction loss, and the failure to provide ecosystem services. Following the extinction of interaction partners, a species can either become extinct, or form novel interactions. Novel interactions allow species to respond to shifting ecological contexts, maintaining ecosystem function both between years and over longer time scales. We are identifying which traits that are related to species flexibility, and how that relates to population dynamics. Specifically we are asking:
1. How do we calculate interaction flexibility across different network scales?
2. What ecological traits of species are related to interaction flexibility?
3. How is species landscape occupancy related to interaction flexibility?
Ponisio, L.C., Gaiarsa, M.P. and Kremen, C. 2017. Opportunistic attachment assembles plant-pollinator networks. Ecology Letters. 20:1261–1272 pdf (Github)
Ponisio, L.C. and M'Gonigle, L.K. 2017. Coevolution leaves a weak signal on ecological networks. Ecosphere. 8:e01798. pdf (GitHub)