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Effects of global change on insect pollinators: multiple drivers lead to novel communities

Abstract

Global change drivers, in particular climate change, exotic species introduction, and habitat alteration, affect insect pollinators in numerous ways. In response, insect pollinators show shifts in range and phenology, interactions with plants and other taxa are altered, and in some cases pollination services have diminished. Recent studies show some pollinators are tracking climate change by moving latitudinally and elevationally, while others are not. Shifts in insect pollinator phenology generally keep pace with advances in flowering, although there are exceptions. Recent data demonstrate competition between exotic and native bees, along with rapid positive effects of exotic plant removal on pollinator richness. Genetic analyses tie bee fitness to habitat quality. Across drivers, novel communities are a common outcome that deserves more study.

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