Supplementary material from "Rising temperature drives tipping points in mutualistic networks"

Posted on 2023-01-17 - 03:44
The effect of climate warming on species physiological parameters, including growth rate, mortality rate and handling time, is well established from empirical data. However, with an alarming rise in global temperature more than ever, predicting the interactive influence of these changes on mutualistic communities remains uncertain. Using 139 real plant–pollinator networks sampled across the globe and a modelling approach, we study the impact of species’ individual thermal responses on mutualistic communities. We show that at low mutualistic strength plant–pollinator networks are at potential risk of rapid transitions at higher temperatures. Evidently, generalist species plays a critical role in guiding tipping points in mutualistic networks. Further, we derive stability criteria for the networks in a range of temperatures using a two-dimensional reduced model. We identify network structures that can ascertain the delay of a community collapse. Until the end of this century, many real mutualistic networks can be under the threat of sudden collapse, and we frame strategies to mitigate them. Together, our results indicate that knowing individual species thermal responses and network structure can improve predictions for communities facing rapid transitions.


Bhandary, Subhendu; Deb, Smita; Sharathi Dutta, Partha (2023): Supplementary material from "Rising temperature drives tipping points in mutualistic networks". The Royal Society. Collection.
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