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Forest cover and connectivity have pervasive effects on the maintenance of evolutionary distinct interactions in seed dispersal networks

Citation

Monteiro, Erison Carlos dos; Pizo, Marco; Vancine, Maurício Humberto; Ribeiro, MIlton (2022), Forest cover and connectivity have pervasive effects on the maintenance of evolutionary distinct interactions in seed dispersal networks, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ns1rn8psv

Abstract

Seed dispersal by animals is one of the most important ecological processes in tropical forests, entailing millions of years of evolutionary adaptations of plants and frugivorous animals forming networks of interactions that, ultimately, contribute to the resilience of such forests. We analyze 29 seed dispersal networks in the threatened Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot, with data on the frequency of feeding visits by birds to fruiting plants to answer: (1) which are the effects of forest cover and landscape connectivity on the maintenance of phylogenetic diversity (PD) of interacting birds and plants and the evolutionary distinctiveness of the interactions (EDi) between them; and (2) how EDi and plant/bird PD affects the robustness of the interaction networks? We found that forest cover positively influences both plant and bird PD and EDi. Landscape connectivity is an important predictor of bird PD, but not plant PD, suggesting that the spatial arrangement of forest remnants is essential for guaranteeing bird movement among forest fragments. Furthermore, interaction networks of areas with higher PD and EDi had great robustness to the simulated extinction of species, which underscore the importance of larger forest blocks for conserving evolutionary information and, consequently, the health and natural resistance of seed dispersal networks against environmental change.

Usage Notes

This dataset contains 29 tables of weighted interaction network between plants (columns) and frugivore birds from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest used in the manuscript "Forest cover and connectivity have pervasive effects on the maintenance of evolutionary distinct interactions in seed dispersal networks" published in Oikos Journal.

Funding