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The friendship paradox in species-rich ecological networks: Implications for conservation and monitoring

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Pires, Mathias M. ; Marquitti, Flavia M. D. ; Guimaraes, Jr., Paulo R.
Número total de Autores: 3
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: Biological Conservation; v. 209, p. 245-252, MAY 2017.
Citações Web of Science: 1

A great challenge in ecology and conservation biology is to deal with the inherent complexity of ecological systems. Because species are embedded in species-rich systems characterized by multiple interactions, it is often hard to identify which species are really important for ecological processes such as pollination. Here we show that species-rich networks describing plant-pollinator interactions share a property with networks depicting social relationships, the friendship paradox, which allows identifying highly-connected species without detailed information on the whole network of interactions. Numerical simulations support that the identified species are those more likely to affect community structure and ecological dynamics. A sampling protocol taking into account the friendship paradox property could be adapted to field studies, helping in the search for conservation surrogates or to monitor changes in the communities, such as functional extinction or the increase in ecological importance of invasive species. We hypothesize that the friendship paradox is likely to arise in networks describing other types of ecological interactions. Besides being useful for conservation and ecosystem management, the friendship paradox may have relevant implications in other areas of biology as well. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 09/54567-6 - Redes tróficas do Pleistoceno: estrutura e fragilidade
Beneficiário:Mathias Mistretta Pires
Linha de fomento: Bolsas no Brasil - Doutorado
Processo FAPESP: 16/00635-4 - O papel da ploidia e do método de reprodução na evolução da cooperação entre espécies
Beneficiário:Flávia Maria Darcie Marquitti
Linha de fomento: Bolsas no Exterior - Estágio de Pesquisa - Pós-Doutorado
Processo FAPESP: 15/11985-3 - Evolução da cooperação entre diferentes espécies
Beneficiário:Flávia Maria Darcie Marquitti
Linha de fomento: Bolsas no Brasil - Pós-Doutorado