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Eusocial insects and the structure of pollination networks

Grant number: 11/15754-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): July 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Paulo Roberto Guimarães Junior
Grantee:Kate Pereira Maia
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:09/54422-8 - Structure and coevolutionary dynamics in mutualistic networks, AP.JP
Associated scholarship(s):12/22411-0 - Do the phylogenies of plants and their interacting pollinators predict the organization of interaction networks?, BE.EP.MS


One of the current questions of the ecological networks study is to understand how species traits can affect the structure of mutualistic networks. The structure of the mutualistic networks, in its turn, can affect the evolution and coevolution of species in these networks. Therefore, the structure of ecological networks can connect the ecology of species which interacts, with its evolution and coevolution. In mutualisms as pollination by insects, some species which present social behavior, as the honeybee Apis mellifera, are traditionally known as important to the organization of these interactions. In our current research, we seek to investigate how the eusocial behavior of some pollinators can influence the roles these species play in pollination networks. To answer this question we will use empirical data on pollination networks available in the literature, complex network analysis, and knowledge on the social behavior of pollinator species. As a first step we will characterize the structure of the networks, as well as the role and contribution of each pollinator species to this structure. A second step will be to classify the social behavior of each pollinator species. Finally we will control the filogenetic effects to investigate if the eusocial behavior is related to the role of pollinator species in pollination networks. This will be the first investigation about the contribution of species behavior on the assembly of pollination networks. Our project will also contribute with the development of a theory that allows a better understanding of how species life history can influence its evolution and coevolution in interaction networks.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MAIA, KATE P.; RASMUSSEN, CLAUS; OLESEN, JENS M.; GUIMARAES, JR., PAULO R. Does the sociality of pollinators shape the organisation of pollination networks?. OIKOS, v. 128, n. 5, p. 741-752, MAY 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MAIA, Kate Pereira. Social insects and the structure of pollination networks. 2014. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências São Paulo.

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