Data from: Fruit secondary compounds mediate the retention time of seeds in the guts of Neotropical fruit bats
Cite this dataset
Baldwin, Justin W.; Whitehead, Susan R. (2014). Data from: Fruit secondary compounds mediate the retention time of seeds in the guts of Neotropical fruit bats [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.51q1p
Plants often recruit frugivorous animals to transport their seeds, however gut passage can have varying effects on plant fitness depending on the physical and chemical treatment of the seed, the distance seeds are transported, and the specific site of deposition. One way in which plants can mediate the effects of gut passage on fitness is by producing fruit secondary compounds that influence gut retention time. Using frugivorous bats (Carollia perspicillata: Phyllostomidae) and Neotropical plants in the genus Piper, we compared gut retention time of seeds among five plant species (P. colonense, P. peltatum, P. reticulatum, P. sancti-felicis, and P. silvivagum) and investigated the role of fruit amides (piperine, piplartine and whole fruit amide extracts from P. reticulatum) in mediating gut retention time. Our results showed interspecific differences in gut retention time; P. reticulatum seeds passed most slowly, while P. silvivagum and P. colonense seeds passed most rapidly. Piplartine and P. reticulatum amide extracts decreased gut retention time, while piperine had no effect. In addition, we examined the effects of gut retention time on seed germination success and speed in laboratory conditions. For germination success, the effects were species-specific; germination success increased with gut retention time for P. peltatum but not for other species. Gut retention time did not influence germination speed in any of the species examined. Plant secondary compounds have primarily been studied in the context of their defensive role against herbivores and pathogens, but may also play a key role in mediating seed dispersal interactions.