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Data from: Diversity of seeds captured by interception exceeds diversity of seeds deposited in traps


Stone, Judy L.; Malloy, Ryan; Murray, Greg (2016), Data from: Diversity of seeds captured by interception exceeds diversity of seeds deposited in traps, Dryad, Dataset,


Seed dispersal, a key process in terrestrial landscapes, is increasingly important in the face of habitat fragmentation and global climate change. Seed dispersal is also notoriously difficult to characterize, especially in species rich and spatially complex tropical forests. We contrasted assemblages of biotically dispersed seeds collected from four sites using two methods: deposition into seed traps and interception by the capture of frugivorous birds. We also compared seed deposition and interception with local fruit production. Species accumulation curves for seeds deposited in seed traps began to level off sooner than curves for seeds collected from birds captured in mist nets, and extrapolation showed significantly greater estimated species richness for seeds collected from birds than for those deposited in traps. Assemblages from birds and from traps at each site were quite different, with an abundance-based similarity index of 0.64; this dissimilarity increases if bat-dispersed seeds are included in the analysis. Common bird-dispersed species were retrieved from both mist-netted birds and from seed traps, but numerous locally fruiting understory species were recovered only from birds. We conclude that the sampling of seeds carried by birds provides a valuable complement to other methods of studying seed dispersal in species-rich tropical forests by revealing relationships between specific dispersers and their seed plants and by creating a more complete account of species diversity of seeds being transported at a given site.

Usage Notes


National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-0841482


Central America
Costa Rica