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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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(p.136) Chapter Seven Epilogue
Mutualistic Networks

Jordi Bascompte

Pedro Jordano

Princeton University Press

This epilogue summarizes key themes and presents some final thoughts. This book examined one of the most intriguing and central components of biodiversity: ecological interactions. The analysis has revealed some patterns in the structure of mutualistic networks that pervade their organization despite the variable environmental settings where they occur. Network theory describes an intermediate scenario to the extremes of highly specific one-on-one coevolution and largely intractable diffuse coevolution. Network theory also provides useful tools aimed at the identification of the key elements supporting these complex networks. Understanding the modular structure of the interaction networks is central to identifying the basic coevolutionary units.

Keywords:   ecological interactions, mutualistic networks, mutualism, network theory, coevolution

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