Volume 36 Issue 2
Mar.  2015
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Hao GU, Eben GOODALE, Jin CHEN. Emerging directions in the study of the ecology and evolution of plant-animal mutualistic networks: a review. Zoological Research, 2015, 36(2): 65-71.
Citation: Hao GU, Eben GOODALE, Jin CHEN. Emerging directions in the study of the ecology and evolution of plant-animal mutualistic networks: a review. Zoological Research, 2015, 36(2): 65-71.

Emerging directions in the study of the ecology and evolution of plant-animal mutualistic networks: a review

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  • Corresponding author: Jin CHEN
  • Received Date: 2014-10-21
  • Rev Recd Date: 2014-11-28
  • Publish Date: 2015-03-08
  • The study of mutualistic plant and animal networks is an emerging field of ecological research. We reviewed progress in this field over the past 30 years. While earlier studies mostly focused on network structure, stability, and biodiversity maintenance, recent studies have investigated the conservation implications of mutualistic networks, specifically the influence of invasive species and how networks respond to habitat loss. Current research has also focused on evolutionary questions including phylogenetic signal in networks, impact of networks on the coevolution of interacting partners, and network influences on the evolution of interacting species. We outline some directions for future research, particularly the evolution of specialization in mutualistic networks, and provide concrete recommendations for environmental managers.
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