MORALES Carolina Laura
congresos y reuniones científicas
INVASIVE MUTUALISMS AND THE STRUCTURE OF PLANT-POLLINATOR INTERACTIONS IN THE TEMPERATE FOREST OF NW PATAGONIA (ARGENTINA)
MORALES CAROLINA LAURA, AIZEN MARCELO ADRIÁN
Simposio; 12th Symposium Insect-Plant Relationships (SIP12); 2004
Universidad de Berlín
Biological invasions are one of the most important threats to biodiversity. Understanding the factors structuring plant-pollinator interactions is essential to predict the potential impact of alien plants on native flora. Using multivariate ordination analyses, we examined the structure of the plant-pollinator community, comprising both alien and native plants and pollinators, of the temperate forest of NW Patagonia. We were interested in assessing if plant origin (i.e., native or alien) influences the composition of its pollinators fauna. We also examined the independent influence of other potential intrinsic and extrinsic covariates of plant origin such as and flower morphology and color, flowering time, and disturbance. Flowering time was the factor best explaining the structure of plant-pollinator interactions. Within this temporal gradient, flowering plant community was composed by two major groups: ornithophilous which bear red corollas- and entomophilous plants. Among the latter, plant origin greatly influenced the composition of their pollinator faunas. This influence was mostly determined by a significantly closer association between alien plants and alien insects, in particular Apis mellifera, Bombus ruderatus and Vespula germanica. Habitat disturbance also influenced the composition of the pollinator faunas independent of plant origin. Alien plants and pollinators are well integrated to the native biota through plant-pollinator interactions. Nevertheless, we suggest that the plant-pollinator community is diffusely compartmentalized, with compartments reflecting the origin of the plants and their major mutualists. The existence of these invasive mutualisms may increase the success of both alien plants and pollinators.