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Agricultural intensification drives changes in hybrid network robustness by modifying network structure

Citation

Morrison, Beth; Brosi, Berry; Dirzo, Rodolfo (2019), Agricultural intensification drives changes in hybrid network robustness by modifying network structure, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.12jm63xt7

Abstract

Within ecological communities, species engage in myriad interaction types, yet empirical examples of hybrid species interaction networks composed of multiple types of interactions are still scarce. A key knowledge gap is understanding how the structure and stability of such hybrid networks are affected by anthropogenic disturbance. Using 15,169 interaction observations, we constructed 16 hybrid herbivore-plant-pollinator networks along an agricultural intensification gradient to explore changes in network structure and robustness to local extinctions. We found that agricultural intensification led to declines in modularity but increases in nestedness and connectance. Notably, network connectance, a structural feature typically thought to increase robustness, caused declines in hybrid network robustness, but the directionality of changes in robustness along the gradient depended on the order of local species extinctions. Our results not only demonstrate the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on hybrid network structure, but they also provide unexpected insights into the structure-stability relationship of hybrid networks.