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Mutualistic Networks$
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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

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Biodiversity and Plant-Animal Coevolution

Biodiversity and Plant-Animal Coevolution

(p.1) Chapter One Biodiversity and Plant-Animal Coevolution
Mutualistic Networks

Jordi Bascompte

Pedro Jordano

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins by tracing the history of research on mutualism. The first studies on mutualism focused on highly specialized one-to-one interactions between one plant and one animal. Examples of these highly specific pairwise interactions include Darwin’s moth and its, long-tongued flies and monocot plants, fig wasps and figs, and yucca moths and yuccas. The discussions then turn to the five major groups of multispecific mutualisms and coevolution in multispecific mutualisms. It argues that the interest in mutualistic interactions and their patterns of evolution and coevolution has been marginal during most of the recent history of ecology, with its central emphasis on antagonistic interactions. A persistent challenge has been to understand how multispecies interactions evolve and coevolve among free-living species.

Keywords:   mutualism, mutualistic interactions, coevolution, multispecific mutualisms, Charles Darwin

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