Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Allometric scaling of long-distance seed dispersal by migratory birds


Viana, Duarte Serpa; Santamaría, Luis; Michot, Thomas C.; Figuerola, Jordi (2013), Data from: Allometric scaling of long-distance seed dispersal by migratory birds, Dryad, Dataset,


Migratory birds are often suggested to be important vectors for long-distance dispersal (LDD) of plant and animal propagules. The scale of such dispersal events (hundreds to thousands of kilometers) can influence landscape-level biological processes and species distributions. However, the few vector species studied and the lack of proper integration of their migratory movement in models of LDD has precluded the study of their potential as long-distance biotic dispersers. By means of a mechanistic model parameterized with empirical data, we first investigated the properties of seed dispersal curves generated by migratory birds and then analyzed the effect of bird size on model parameters and consequent seed dispersal patterns. Seed dispersal curves showed in most cases large and heavy tails, resulting in relatively frequent LDD (up to 3.5% of dispersal distances longer than 100 km). Bird size mediated trade-offs between bird movement and seed retention time that, in turn, determined seed dispersal patterns and the potential of each bird species as an LDD vector. Our modeling framework builds on a mechanistic understanding of seed dispersal by migratory birds and may thus be a useful tool to estimate the scale and frequency of bird-mediated, large-scale transport of native, invasive, and pathogenic organisms.

Usage Notes