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Most studies of plant-animal mutualisms involve a small number of species. There is almost no information on the structural organization of species-rich mutualistic networks despite its potential importance for the maintenance of diversity. Here we analyze 52 mutualistic networks and show that they are highly nested; that is, the more specialist species(More)
The mutually beneficial interactions between plants and their animal pollinators and seed dispersers have been paramount in the generation of Earth's biodiversity. These mutualistic interactions often involve dozens or even hundreds of species that form complex networks of interdependences. Understanding how coevolu-tion proceeds in these highly diversified(More)
Frugivores are highly variable in their contribution to fruit removal in plant populations. However, data are lacking on species-specific variation in two central aspects of seed dispersal, distance of dispersal and probability of dispersal among populations through long-distance transport. We used DNA-based genotyping techniques on Prunus mahaleb seeds(More)
The interactions between plants and their animal pollinators and seed dispersers have moulded much of Earth's biodiversity. Recently, it has been shown that these mutually beneficial interactions form complex networks with a well-defined architecture that may contribute to biodiversity persistence. Little is known, however, about which ecological and(More)
In natural communities, species and their interactions are often organized as nonrandom networks, showing distinct and repeated complex patterns. A prevalent, but poorly explored pattern is ecological modularity, with weakly interlinked subsets of species (modules), which, however, internally consist of strongly connected species. The importance of(More)
The mutualistic interactions between plants and their pollinators or seed dispersers have played a major role in the maintenance of Earth's biodiversity. To investigate how coevolutionary interactions are shaped within species-rich communities, we characterized the architecture of an array of quantitative, mutualistic networks spanning a broad geographic(More)
In this paper we analyze the seed dispersal stage of the Prunus mahaleb–frugivorous bird interaction from fruit removal through seed delivery within the context of disperser effectiveness. The effectiveness of a frugivorous species as a seed disperser is the contribution it makes to plant fitness. Effectiveness depends on the quantity of seed dispersed(More)
Plant–animal mutualistic networks are interaction webs consisting of two sets of entities, plant and animal species, whose evolutionary dynamics are deeply influenced by the outcomes of the interactions, yielding a diverse array of coevolutionary processes. These networks are two-mode networks sharing many common properties with others such as food webs,(More)
Growth in seed dispersal studies has been fast-paced since the seed disperser effectiveness (SDE) framework was developed 17 yr ago. Thus, the time is ripe to revisit the framework in light of accumulated new insight. Here, we first present an overview of the framework, how it has been applied, and what we know and do not know. We then introduce the SDE(More)
A long-standing challenge in studies of seed dispersal by animal frugivores has been the characterization of the spatial relationships between dispersed seeds and the maternal plants, i.e. the seed shadow. The difficulties to track unambiguously the origin of frugivore-dispersed seeds in natural communities has been considered an unavoidable limitation of(More)