Why do pollination generalist and specialist plant species show similar reproductive susceptibility to habitat fragmentation?

Authors

  • LORENA ASHWORTH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba – CONICET, CC 495, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina, and
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  • RAMIRO AGUILAR,

    1. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba – CONICET, CC 495, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina, and
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  • LEONARDO GALETTO,

    1. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba – CONICET, CC 495, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina, and
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  • MARCELO ADRIÁN AIZEN

    1. Laboratorio Ecotono, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
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*Correspondence: Lorena Ashworth, CC 495 CP: 5000, Córdoba, Argentina (tel./fax. +45 0351 4332104; e-mail lash@imbiv.unc.edu.ar).

Abstract

  • 1Although reproductive success of pollination specialist plants has been predicted to be more sensitive to habitat fragmentation than that of generalist plants, recent results indicate that effects do not differ between plants with different degrees of specialization.
  • 2We provide an explanation for such unexpected results by linking evidence that specialization of plant–pollinator interactions is asymmetric to observations that generalist pollinators are less affected by habitat fragmentation.
  • 3Plant specialization cannot therefore be considered in isolation from the degree of specialization of the mutualist partners. Evaluation of both sides of the mutualistic interaction will yield insights into the mechanisms behind species’ responses to habitat fragmentation.

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