The Resilience of Plant–Pollinator Networks

Jordi Bascompte*, Marten Scheffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


There is growing awareness of pollinator declines worldwide. Conservation efforts have mainly focused on finding the direct causes, while paying less attention to building a systemic understanding of the fragility of these communities of pollinators. To fill this gap, we need operational measures of network resilience that integrate two different approaches in theoretical ecology. First, we should consider the range of conditions compatible with the stable coexistence of all of the species in a community. Second, we should address the rate and shape of network collapse once this safe operational space is exited. In this review, we describe this integrative approach and consider several mechanisms that may enhance the resilience of pollinator communities, chiefly rewiring the network of interactions, increasing heterogeneity, allowing variance, and enhancing coevolution. The most pressing need is to develop ways to reduce the gap between these theoretical recommendations and practical applications. This perspective shifts the emphasis from traditional approaches focusing on the equilibrium states to strategies that allow pollination networks to cope with global environmental change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-380
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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