Data from: Effects of zoochory on the spatial genetic structure of plant populations
Gelmi-Candusso, Tiziana A.; Heymann, Eckhard W.; Heer, Katrin (2017), Data from: Effects of zoochory on the spatial genetic structure of plant populations, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sq5kk
Spatial genetic structure (SGS) of plants results from the non-random distribution of related individuals. SGS provides information on gene flow and spatial patterns of genetic diversity within populations. Seed dispersal creates the spatial template for plant distribution. Thus, in zoochorous plants, dispersal mode and disperser behavior might have a strong impact on SGS. However, many studies only report the taxonomic group of seed dispersers, without further details. The recent increase in studies on SGS provides the opportunity to review findings and test for the influence of dispersal mode, taxonomic affiliation of dispersers and their behavior. We compared the proportions of studies with SGS among groups and tested for differences in strength of SGS using Sp statistics. Presence of SGS differed among taxonomic groups, with reduced presence in plants dispersed by birds. Strength of SGS was instead significantly influenced by the behavior of seed dispersal vectors, with higher SGS in plant species dispersed by animals with behavior traits that result in short seed dispersal distances. We observed a high variance in SGS of plants dispersed by animals that actively or passively accumulate seeds. Additionally, we found SGS was also affected by pollination and marker type used. Our study highlights the importance of vector behavior on SGS even in the presence of variance created by other factors. Thus, more detailed information on the behavior of seed dispersers would contribute to better understand which factors shape the spatial scale of gene flow in animal-dispersed plant species.