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The robustness and restoration of a network of ecological networks

Pocock, Michael J; Evans, Darren M; Memmott, Jane


Michael J Pocock

Darren M Evans

Jane Memmott


Understanding species' interactions and the robustness of interaction networks to species loss is essential to understand the effects of species' declines and extinctions. In most studies, different types of networks (such as food webs, parasitoid webs, seed dispersal networks, and pollination networks) have been studied separately. We sampled such multiple networks simultaneously in an agroecosystem. We show that the networks varied in their robustness; networks including pollinators appeared to be particularly fragile. We show that, overall, networks did not strongly covary in their robustness, which suggests that ecological restoration (for example, through agri-environment schemes) benefitting one functional group will not inevitably benefit others. Some individual plant species were disproportionately well linked to many other species. This type of information can be used in restoration management, because it identifies the plant taxa that can potentially lead to disproportionate gains in biodiversity.


Pocock, M. J., Evans, D. M., & Memmott, J. (2012). The robustness and restoration of a network of ecological networks. Science, 335(6071), 973-977.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Feb 23, 2012
Publication Date Feb 24, 2012
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 335
Issue 6071
Pages 973-977
Keywords REF 2014 submission, Bio-control, Bio-indicators, Biodiversity, Ecosystem function, Ecosystem services, Extinction, Nature conservation, Plant-animal interaction, Pollination, Restoration
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information 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 journal , 24 Feb 2012: Vol. 335, Issue 6071, pp. 973-977 DOI: 10.1126/science.1214915


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