Skip to main content

Data from: Micro or macroscale? Which one best predicts the establishment of an endemic Atlantic Forest palm?

Cite this dataset

Oda, Gabriela A.M.; de Siqueira, Marinez F.; Pires, Alexandra dos Santos; Portela, Rita de Cássia (2019). Data from: Micro or macroscale? Which one best predicts the establishment of an endemic Atlantic Forest palm? [Dataset]. Dryad.


Historically, macroecology and microecology have diverged with regards to the niche concept. A better understanding of functioning ecological systems, however, depends on an integrative approach to this concept at different spatial scales. A mixed approach, merging macro and microscale by validating Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) with the results of in situ experiments and environmental data collection, was used to understand if areas identified by ENM as highly suitable for adult palms are also adequate for seedling establishment. Syagrus weddelliana’s (Arecaceae) distribution range falls within the Atlantic Rain Forest, and more specifically Serra dos Órgãos region (Rio de Janeiro state), southeastern Brazil. The following steps were performed: (1) ENM to delimit the area of occurrence of S. weddelliana and locate experimental areas; (2) a seed sowing experiment in areas with presence or absence of the species in areas of high or low environmental suitability at 36 experimental stations; and (3) characterization of each microhabitat which was related back to the macro-scale results of ENM. Evidence of biotic and abiotic limitations was found for S. weddelliana distribution. Areas of higher suitability had lower seed predation rates and, consequently, higher seed germination rates. On the other hand, areas with low environmental suitability at the macroscale were divided in two types: areas with microhabitat similar to that of areas with high environmental suitability that had some germination despite high predation and areas with different environmental conditions that had no germination and high predation rates. Seedlings and adults had different abiotic requirements. Microhabitat conditions were more important for the initial establishment of S. weddelliana than macroclimatic variables. This finding demonstrates that macro and microecological information work in a complementary way to a better understanding of the distribution of S. weddelliana.

Usage notes


National Science Foundation, Award: no


southeastern Brazil
Serra dos Órgãos region (Rio de Janeiro state)