Data from: From structure to function in mutualistic interaction networks: topologically important frugivores have greater potential as seed dispersers
Acevedo-Quintero, Juan Fernando; Zamora-Abrego, Joan; García, Daniel (2020), Data from: From structure to function in mutualistic interaction networks: topologically important frugivores have greater potential as seed dispersers, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8pk0p2nk2
1. Networks of mutualistic interactions between animals and plants are considered a pivotal part of ecological communities. However, mutualistic networks are rarely studied from the perspective of species-specific roles, and it remains to be established whether those animal species more relevant for network structure also contribute more to the ecological functions derived from interactions.
2. Here, we relate the contribution to seed dispersal of vertebrate species with their topological role in frugivore-plant interaction networks. For one year in two localities with remnant patches of Colombian tropical dry forest, we sampled abundance, morphology, behavior, and fruit consumption from fleshy-fruited plants of various frugivore species.
3. We assessed the network topological role of each frugivore species by integrating their degree of generalization in interactions with plants with their contributions to network nestedness and modularity. We estimated the potential contribution of each frugivore species to community-wide seed dispersal, on the basis of a set of frugivore ecological, morphological and behavioral characteristics important for seed dispersal, together with frugivore abundance and frugivory degree.
4. The various frugivore species showed strong differences in their network structural roles, with generalist species contributing the most to network modularity and nestedness. Frugivores also showed strong variability in terms of potential contribution to seed dispersal, depending on the specific combinations of frugivore abundance, frugivory degree and the different traits and behaviors.
5. For both localities, the seed dispersal potential of a frugivore species responded positively to its contribution to network structure, evidencing that the most important frugivore species in the network topology were also those making the strongest contribution as seed dispersers. Contribution to network structure was correlated with frugivore abundance, diet, and behavioral characteristics. This suggests that the species-level link between structure and function is due to the fact that the occurrence of frugivore-plant interactions depends largely on the characteristics of the frugivore involved, which also condition its ultimate role in seed dispersal.
Raw data to calculate Seed Dispersal Potential (SDP) and subsequent relationship with Contribution to Network Structure (CNS)