Climate change, range shifts, and the disruption of a pollinator-plant complex
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Climate change has significant impacts on the distribution of species and alters ecological processes that result from species interactions. There is concern that such distribution shifts will affect animal-plant pollination networks. We modelled the potential future (2050 and 2070) distribution of an endangered migratory bat species (Leptonycteris nivalis) and the plants they pollinate (Agave spp) during their annual migration from central Mexico to the southern United States. Our models show that the overlap between the Agave and the endangered pollinating bat will be reduced by at least 75%. The reduction of suitable areas for Agave species will restrict the foraging resources available for the endangered bat, threatening the survival of its populations and the maintenance of their pollination service. The potential extinction of the bat L. nivalis will likely have negative effects on the sexual reproduction and genetic variability of Agave plants increasing their vulnerability to future environmental changes.
author list (cited authors)
Gómez-Ruiz, E. P., & Lacher Jr., T. E.