Resilience enhancement of mutualistic networks

Authors
Rao, Varun
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Other Contributors
Gao, Jianxi
Szymanśki, Bolesław
Varela, Carlos A.
Rose, Kevin C.
Issue Date
2019-12
Keywords
Computer science
Degree
MS
Terms of Use
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
Full Citation
Abstract
There are two methods we tried to improve the resilience of these networks, either adding one or deleting one species from the network. We found that when trying to improve network resilience there is always a cost and benefit to species addition and deletion. Both methods can be used to improve resilience, but resilience usually decreases or does not change if a species added. If a species is deleted there is a high probability that the location’s resilience will decrease as well. We were able to derive equations to predict how resilience would change due to species deletion or addition as well as predict in some cases what the optimal species to add would be. We were also able to predict for all cases what the optimal species to delete would be in a network.
Pollination networks are in decline and not operating as effectively as they used to due to factors such as pesticides, diseases, and the advent of climate change<sup>1</sup>. Ensuring that these networks are resilient is vital for the health of numerous ecosystems, so improving the resilience of these networks is of paramount importance. We can define network resilience as the ability of a network to retain its basic functionality when errors, failures, and environmental changes occur<sup>2</sup>. To improve the resilience of these networks, ecological research has repeatedly shown the benefits of biodiversity<sup>3</sup>. While increasing the biodiversity of a network will improve resilience, there is no literature on how just adding one new species to a network will improve resilience. Network scientists usually study the structure of mutualistic networks<sup>4</sup> and how over time these networks change<sup>5</sup>. The novel part of this research is using network science to understand how adding just one species will affect an ecosystem. To do this, we compiled data from 143 different pollination networks around the world and created a worldwide pollination network to find species that could be added to different locations. Then, we calculated the resilience of the corresponding flower and pollinator projection net works.
Description
December 2019
School of Science
Department
Dept. of Computer Science
Publisher
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Relationships
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
Access
Users may download and share copies with attribution in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. No commercial use or derivatives are permitted without the explicit approval of the author.
CC BY-NC-ND. Users may download and share copies with attribution in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. No commercial use or derivatives are permitted without the explicit approval of the author.