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Data from: Effects of hummingbird morphology on specialization in pollination networks vary with resource availability


Tinoco, Boris A.; Graham, Catherine H.; Aguilar, Juan M.; Schleuning, Matthias (2016), Data from: Effects of hummingbird morphology on specialization in pollination networks vary with resource availability, Dryad, Dataset,


Specialization of species in interaction networks influences network stability and ecosystem functioning. Spatial and temporal variation in resource availability may provide insight into how ecological factors, such as resource abundance, and evolutionary factors, such as phylogenetically conserved morphological traits, influence specialization within mutualistic networks. We used independent measures of hummingbird abundance and resources (nectar), information on hummingbird traits and plant–hummingbird interactions to examine how resource availability and species' morphology influence the specialization of hummingbirds in three habitat types (forest, shrubs, cattle ranch) sampled over 10 sessions across two years in the southern Andes of Ecuador. Specialization of hummingbird species in the networks was measured by three indices: d' (related to niche partitioning), generality (related to niche width) and PSI (related to pollination services). Specialization indices d', generality and PSI of hummingbird species were influenced by resource availability. All indices indicated that specialization of hummingbirds increased when the availability of resources decreased. Variation in d' was also explained by an interaction between resource availability and bill length; hummingbirds with a long bill switched from being more specialized than other species when resource availability was low to being similarly specialized when availability was high. Overall, our results highlight the importance of ecological and evolutionary factors determining the specialization of species in interaction networks. We demonstrate in particular that ecological gradients in resource availability cause substantial changes in consumers' foraging behavior contingent on their morphology. Changes in pollinator specialization along resource gradients can have impacts on ecosystem functions, such as pollination by animals.

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