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Plant-pollinator interactions under climate change: The use of spatial and temporal transplants.

  • Author(s): Morton, Eva M
  • Rafferty, Nicole E
  • et al.
Abstract

Climate change is affecting both the timing of life history events and the spatial distributions of many species, including plants and pollinators. Shifts in phenology and range affect not only individual plant and pollinator species but also interactions among them, with possible negative consequences for both parties due to unfavorable abiotic conditions or mismatches caused by differences in shift magnitude or direction. Ultimately, population extinctions and reductions in pollination services could occur as a result of these climate change-induced shifts, or plants and pollinators could be buffered by plastic or genetic responses or novel interactions. Either scenario will likely involve altered selection pressures, making an understanding of plasticity and local adaptation in space and time especially important. In this review, we discuss two methods for studying plant-pollinator interactions under climate change: spatial and temporal transplants, both of which offer insight into whether plants and pollinators will be able to adapt to novel conditions. We discuss the advantages and limitations of each method and the future possibilities for this area of study. We advocate for consideration of how joint shifts in both dimensions might affect plant-pollinator interactions and point to key insights that can be gained with experimental transplants.

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