Beta diversity of ant-plant interactions over day-night periods and plant physiognomies in a semiarid environment

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Journal of Arid Environments, ISSN: 0140-1963, Vol: 156, Page: 69-76

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Pedro Luna; Yasmira Peñaloza-Arellanes; Ana Lucia Castillo-Meza; Juan H. García-Chávez; Wesley Dáttilo
Elsevier BV
Agricultural and Biological Sciences; Environmental Science; Earth and Planetary Sciences
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article description
Despite the growing knowledge regarding biotic interactions, the diversity and turnover of species interactions is one of the least understood and explored components in studies dealing with species interaction networks. Since the spatial and temporal distribution of animals and plants is unequal, their pairwise interactions are also expected to vary or rewire, generating dissimilarities among species interaction networks. In this study, we evaluated the structure of ant-plant interaction networks and described its dissimilarities by assessing species and the turnover of their interactions between day and night periods across two plant physiognomies in a semiarid Neotropical environment of central Mexico. We found that even though the emergent nested structure of networks remains invariant, the great majority of ant-plant interactions are reassembled in less than one day. Moreover, we observed that, between day-night periods, the interaction turnover was mainly driven by rewiring of interactions while, between plant physiognomies, this was generated by both interaction rewiring and species turnover. We postulate that interaction rewiring across the studied habitats could be influenced by the turnover of the central core of highly interacting species. Furthermore, we highlight that both interaction rewiring and species turnover shape ant-plant interactions turnover over day-night periods and plant physiognomies.