Multiple stressors on biotic interactions: how climate change and alien species interact to affect pollination



Global change may substantially affect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning but little is known about its effects on essential biotic interactions. Since different environmental drivers rarely act in isolation it is important to consider interactive effects. Here, we focus on how two key drivers of anthropogenic environmental change, climate change and the introduction of alien species, affect plant–pollinator interactions. Based on a literature survey we identify climatically sensitive aspects of species interactions, assess potential effects of climate change on these mechanisms, and derive hypotheses that may form the basis of future research. We find that both climate change and alien species will ultimately lead to the creation of novel communities. In these communities certain interactions may no longer occur while there will also be potential for the emergence of new relationships. Alien species can both partly compensate for the often negative effects of climate change but also amplify them in some cases. Since potential positive effects are often restricted to generalist interactions among species, climate change and alien species in combination can result in significant threats to more specialist interactions involving native species.