Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mutualistic Networks$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jordi Bascompte and Pedro Jordano

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691131269

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691131269.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 11 December 2017

The Structure of Plant-Animal Mutualistic Networks

The Structure of Plant-Animal Mutualistic Networks

Chapter:
(p.42) Chapter Three The Structure of Plant-Animal Mutualistic Networks
Source:
Mutualistic Networks
Author(s):

Jordi Bascompte

Pedro Jordano

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691131269.003.0003

This chapter discusses the structure of mutualistic networks. Despite their apparent complexity, mutualistic networks show repeated, universal structural patterns independent of species composition, size, and other ecological details. First, mutualistic networks are very heterogeneous: whereas the majority of species have only one or a few interactions, a few species are much more connected than expected by chance. Second, mutualistic networks are highly nested, that is, specialists interact with well-defined subsets of the species generalists interact with. Third, mutualistic networks are built on weak, asymmetric interactions among species. Fourth, mutualistic networks have a strong small-world property; that is, they simultaneously have a short path length among any pair of species and a high clustering coefficient. Finally, these networks are significantly modular—that is, there are small groups of species with morphological convergence of traits that interact strongly among themselves and more loosely with species from other modules. These modules can be regarded as the basic building blocks of mutualistic networks and their coevolutionary units.

Keywords:   mutualistic networks, mutualisms, network structure, ecological networks, coevolutionary units

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.