At least that’s the message I take from a recent study published in Nature Communications entitled Ecological networks are more sensitive to plant than to animal extinction under climate change.
In particular they found a higher risk of animal co-extinction with plant extinction than vice-versa in mutualist networks. This may be because animals often provide redundant services to plants, and plants have alternative pathways (e.g. self-pollination, parthenogenesis, seed banks, clonality, and/or adult plant longevity) for the reproduction services provided by animals.
While this study used data from Europe in its simulations, the mechanisms invoked should apply to terrestrial ecosystems more generally.
Thanks for sharing this article. It certainly supports the importance of Wild Ones mission of championing native plants.
All the best,