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Open AccessArticle

Hummingbird–Plant Interactions Are More Specialized in Forest Compared to Coffee Plantations

by Beth M. L. Morrison 1,2,*,† and Chase D. Mendenhall 3,*,†
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
Section of Birds, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Diversity 2020, 12(4), 126;
Received: 27 February 2020 / Revised: 23 March 2020 / Accepted: 25 March 2020 / Published: 27 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use Change Impacts on Tropical Vertebrates)
Deforestation transforms habitats, displacing vertebrates and the other dimensions of biodiversity they support through their interactions. Few empirical studies have quantified the effect deforestation has on vertebrate–pollinator interaction networks. Here we quantify how hummingbird–plant networks change in relation to hummingbird diversity across a deforestation gradient. We found that, overall, hummingbird–plant interactions were significantly more specialized in forests and specialized interactions decayed rapidly with the loss of tree cover at small spatial scales. Hummingbird species interaction specialization was also higher in forest habitats compared to coffee plantations, but we found no support for a morphological hummingbird trait that predicted interaction specialization or forest dependence. Finally, we developed spatially explicit models for quantifying impacts of land-use decisions on hummingbird species and the biodiversity they support. These tools can be used to identify and prioritize important habitats for conservation activities, like creating new protected areas and improving agricultural lands for biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity loss; coextinction; species–area relationship; pollen; Costa Rica biodiversity loss; coextinction; species–area relationship; pollen; Costa Rica
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Morrison, B.M.L.; Mendenhall, C.D. Hummingbird–Plant Interactions Are More Specialized in Forest Compared to Coffee Plantations. Diversity 2020, 12, 126.

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