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Using historic data sets, we quantified the degree to which global change over 120 years disrupted plant-pollinator interactions in a temperate forest understory community in Illinois, USA. We found degradation of interaction network structure and function and extirpation of 50% of bee species. Network changes can be attributed to shifts in forb and bee phenologies resulting in temporal mismatches, nonrandom species extinctions, and loss of spatial co-occurrences between extant species in modified landscapes. Quantity and quality of pollination services have declined through time. The historic network showed flexibility in response to disturbance; however, our data suggest that networks will be less resilient to future changes.


This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science 2013 Mar 29;339(6127):1611-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1232728.

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burkleFig1.pdf (17 kB)
Figure 1

burkleFig2A.pdf (22 kB)
Figure 2A

BurkleFig2B.pdf (13 kB)
Figure 2B

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