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Mutualism and impacts of global change: response of an important and neglected component of the biodiversity; Mutualisme et impacts des changements globaux: reponse d'une composante importante et negligee de la biodiversite

Abstract

We are studying the impact of global change on two obligate species-specific insect-plant mutualisms. Our approach combines correlative methods (examining spatial patterns of genetic diversity in populations of pairs of mutualists, to examine their responses to past climate change) and experiments (studying responses of plant partners to CO{sub 2} fertilization). Mutualisms function because the partners have contrasting and complementary biological traits, so that a service implying only a low cost to one partner may confer a great benefit to the other. Because they can lead mutualist partners to respond differently to rapid ecological change, the biological differences that are fundamental to mutualisms may also make them vulnerable. Imbalances thereby introduced can disrupt the functioning of the mutualism. By comparing two strongly contrasting systems-fig/wasp pollination mutualisms and ant-plant protection mutualisms-we aim to characterize the diversity of responses of mutualisms to global change. By identifying points in common, we also aim to propose robust generalizations about the response to global change of obligate, specific mutualisms, an important and neglected component of tropical biodiversity. Our results show that the two mutualisms studied differ greatly in their response to Pleistocene and Holocene climatic fluctuations. Fig/wasp systems show little spatial genetic differentiation, indicating that the  More>>
Authors:
Hossaert-Mckey, M [1] 
  1. Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), UMR CNRS 5175, 34 - Montpellier (France)
Publication Date:
Jul 01, 2007
Product Type:
Miscellaneous
Report Number:
INIS-FR-08-0760
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CARBON DIOXIDE; CLIMATIC CHANGE; ECOLOGY; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; NITROGEN; TROPICAL REGIONS
OSTI ID:
21058006
Research Organizations:
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 34 - Montpellier (France)
Country of Origin:
France
Language:
French
Other Identifying Numbers:
TRN: FR0704185075285
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form
Submitting Site:
FRN
Size:
8 pages
Announcement Date:
Aug 15, 2008

Citation Formats

Hossaert-Mckey, M. Mutualism and impacts of global change: response of an important and neglected component of the biodiversity; Mutualisme et impacts des changements globaux: reponse d'une composante importante et negligee de la biodiversite. France: N. p., 2007. Web.
Hossaert-Mckey, M. Mutualism and impacts of global change: response of an important and neglected component of the biodiversity; Mutualisme et impacts des changements globaux: reponse d'une composante importante et negligee de la biodiversite. France.
Hossaert-Mckey, M. 2007. "Mutualism and impacts of global change: response of an important and neglected component of the biodiversity; Mutualisme et impacts des changements globaux: reponse d'une composante importante et negligee de la biodiversite." France.
@misc{etde_21058006,
title = {Mutualism and impacts of global change: response of an important and neglected component of the biodiversity; Mutualisme et impacts des changements globaux: reponse d'une composante importante et negligee de la biodiversite}
author = {Hossaert-Mckey, M}
abstractNote = {We are studying the impact of global change on two obligate species-specific insect-plant mutualisms. Our approach combines correlative methods (examining spatial patterns of genetic diversity in populations of pairs of mutualists, to examine their responses to past climate change) and experiments (studying responses of plant partners to CO{sub 2} fertilization). Mutualisms function because the partners have contrasting and complementary biological traits, so that a service implying only a low cost to one partner may confer a great benefit to the other. Because they can lead mutualist partners to respond differently to rapid ecological change, the biological differences that are fundamental to mutualisms may also make them vulnerable. Imbalances thereby introduced can disrupt the functioning of the mutualism. By comparing two strongly contrasting systems-fig/wasp pollination mutualisms and ant-plant protection mutualisms-we aim to characterize the diversity of responses of mutualisms to global change. By identifying points in common, we also aim to propose robust generalizations about the response to global change of obligate, specific mutualisms, an important and neglected component of tropical biodiversity. Our results show that the two mutualisms studied differ greatly in their response to Pleistocene and Holocene climatic fluctuations. Fig/wasp systems show little spatial genetic differentiation, indicating that the great dispersal capacities of both figs and their pollinating wasps resulted in maintenance of high effective population sizes throughout cycles of climatic and vegetation change. In contrast, limited dispersal capacity of both ant and plant partners has resulted in greater impact of climatic fluctuations on ant/plant protection mutualisms: species-distribution patterns suggest restriction of the system to refugia, and strong spatial genetic structure indicates widespread bottlenecks during fragmentation and expansion. Alternate contraction and expansion of lowland and sub-montane-forest climatic zones led to disruption of ant-plant mutualisms, as ants were more affected by climate change than were plants. Preliminary results of experiments in controlled atmospheres indicate that the plant partners in these mutualisms respond to CO{sub 2} fertilization by increased growth rate and/or by modified chemical composition of their tissues. We are pursuing the study of these changes, which could also lead to imbalances affecting the functioning of mutualisms. (author)}
place = {France}
year = {2007}
month = {Jul}
}