Data from: Landscape structure mediates zoochorous-dispersed seed rain under isolated pasture trees across distinct tropical regions
Charles, Lachlan S. et al. (2020), Data from: Landscape structure mediates zoochorous-dispersed seed rain under isolated pasture trees across distinct tropical regions, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.p1255b3
Context: Isolated pasture trees play an important role in forest recovery within fragmented tropical landscapes by attracting seed dispersers and facilitating seedling growth. However, studies with conflicting results have led to confusion about what drives variation in zoochorous-dispersed seed rain patterns under isolated tree canopies. Objectives: To assess the role of landscape and biological factors impacting zoochorous-dispersed seed rain under isolated pasture trees across three tropical regions of the world. Methods: We measured seed dispersal under 144 isolated pasture trees found in 12 fragmented tropical and sub-tropical landscapes in Australia, Colombia and Nigeria. Using linear mixed effect models, we modeled seed diversity, abundance, richness and evenness as functions of the biological features and landscape context of isolated trees. Results: Throughout all regions, the amount of woody vegetation surrounding trees in pastures was negatively related to rainforest seed diversity, evenness and abundance. Seed diversity and evenness increased significantly with the distance of isolated trees to forest fragments in the Australian sub-tropics, but elsewhere, seed diversity and evenness tended to decline with distance to forest, though not significantly. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the tree composition of landscapes surrounding isolated pasture trees is important for influencing zoochorous-dispersed seed rain, regardless of the region studied. Our study highlights the prominent role of landscape-scale, rather than local-scale factors on seed dispersal to isolated pasture trees, while providing strong evidence that early stage successional processes involving isolated pasture trees are similar throughout global tropical regions.