Mutualistic interactions among plants and animals have played a paramount role in shaping biodiversity. Yet the majority of studies on mutualistic interactions have involved only a few species, as opposed to broader mutual connections between communities of organisms. Mutualistic Networks is the first book to comprehensively explore this burgeoning field. Integrating different approaches, from the statistical description of network structures to the development of new analytical frameworks, Jordi Bascompte and Pedro Jordano describe the architecture of these mutualistic networks and show their importance for the robustness of biodiversity and the coevolutionary process.
Making a case for why we should care about mutualisms and their complex networks, this book offers a new perspective on the study and synthesis of this growing area for ecologists and evolutionary biologists. It will serve as the standard reference for all future work on mutualistic interactions in biological communities.
Jordi Bascompte is a professor at the Spanish Research Council. He is the coauthor of Self-Organization in Complex Ecosystems (Princeton). Pedro Jordano is a professor at the Spanish Research Council and honorary professor at the University of Sevilla.
"Until recently, the study of mutualism was replete with lovely natural history details, but largely divorced from ecological theory. In this fine book, Bascompte and Jordano take an important step toward rectifying this situation, by applying a rich array of network tools and phylogenetically informed analyses to webs of mutualistic interactions. The authors deftly synthesize a wide range of empirical case studies and theoretical perspectives, draw a number of intriguing and unexpected conclusions, and provide useful, detailed methodological appendices which will facilitate future studies of mutualism in a community context."--Robert D. Holt, University of Florida
"This engaging book is required reading for anyone interested in how the web of life is organized. With impeccable scholarship, a broad and careful presentation, and nuanced interpretation, it probes deep questions about the structure of biodiversity, and weaves innovative approaches with insightful interpretations."--John Thompson, University of California, Santa Cruz
"This useful book examines the structure of mutualistic networks by delving into emerging structures from mutualistic network research, explaining what drives the structure, and investigating its implications on the robustness of ecological communities. Comprehensively reviewing this important field, this work will find a significant readership and promote further research."--Kevin McCann, University of Guelph
Table of Contents
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Jordi Bascompte: