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Keywords:

  • Asymmetric interactions;
  • extinction risk;
  • habitat fragmentation;
  • mutualism disruption;
  • niche breadth;
  • plant–animal mutualism;
  • plant reproductive success;
  • pollination specialization;
  • reproductive susceptibility

Abstract

  • 1
    Although 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.
  • 2
    We 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.
  • 3
    Plant 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.