Climate change and extreme events threaten plant-pollinator-networks


From 02/2009

Principal Investigator: Hans-Joachim Poethke, Thomas Hovestadt, Nico Blüthgen
Staff: Gita Benadi

Interactions between flowering plants and pollinators are extremely important both from an economist's and an ecologist's point of view. Plant-pollinator networks (PPN) formed by these interactions are presumably particularly threatened by climate change, since these networks contain mutually dependent species that differ in their responses to projected climatic changes. Of particular concern is the danger of de-synchronisation of plant flowering and insect activity periods. Therefore, this project aims to further our understanding of the structure of interactions in PPNs in order to develop strategies to prevent species loss and preserve the essential ecosystem functions provided by these networks. Results derived from data collected along an alpine elevation gradient will be combined with statistical analysis of existing data sets and those of related FORKAST projects. These data will be used to parameterize prognostic models that will aid in estimation of the consequences of long-term climatic trends and extreme events for PPN stability, and in identification of particularly threatened species.

last modified 2011-11-09