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Data from: Influence of the honeybee and trait similarity on the effect of a non-native plant on pollination and network rewiring


Montero-Castaño, Ana; Vilà, Montserrat (2016), Data from: Influence of the honeybee and trait similarity on the effect of a non-native plant on pollination and network rewiring, Dryad, Dataset,


Introduced entomophilous non-native plants usually become well integrated into the diet of generalist pollinators. This integration can affect the entire recipient plant–pollinator network. Effects vary from facilitative to competitive, and understanding the factors that govern such variability is one of the fundamental goals in invasion ecology. Species traits determine the linking patterns between plant and pollinator species. Therefore, trait similarity among plants or among pollinators might modulate how they affect each other. We conducted a flower removal experiment to investigate the effects of the non-native entomophilous legume Hedysarum coronarium on the pollination patterns of a Mediterranean shrubland plant–pollinator network. Specifically, we explored whether effects were influenced by similarity with the resident plant species in flower morphology (papilionate vs. non-papilionate), and whether effects on the pollinator community were influenced by similarity in functional group with its main visitor species (bees vs. non-bees). In addition, we explored whether Hedysarum had an effect on the identity of interactions. For this purpose, we calculated the interaction rewiring, that is the number of plant–pollinator interactions that were gained or lost after invasion. Hedysarum was well integrated into the diet of 15 generalist pollinators having the honeybee as its main visitor species. Such integration did not affect visitation rates, normalized degree (i.e. proportion of pollinators they are visited by) nor niche overlap (i.e. proportion of plant species they share pollinators with) of plants, irrespective of their flower morphology. Only the proportion of honeybee visits to resident plants decreased with invasion. On the other hand, Hedysarum reduced visitation rates and niche overlap of pollinators, mainly those of bee species. Finally, we observed that changes in the foraging behaviour of the honeybee were positively associated with the interaction rewiring involving the rest (92 taxa) of pollinators. In conclusion, pollinators show a plastic use of floral resources, responding to the presence of non-native plants. When the non-native attracts highly competitive pollinators such as the honeybee, plasticity is especially significant in pollinators that are functionally close to that competitive pollinator. The result is an interaction rewiring, probably due to pollinators avoiding competition with the honeybee. Though this plasticity might not quantitatively affect the pollination of plants, consequences on their reproduction and the functioning of the network can derive from the interaction rewiring.

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Balearic Islands