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Data from: Dung beetle activity had no positive effect on nutrient concentration or performance of established rainforest seedlings

Citation

Urrea-Galeano, Lina Adonay et al. (2021), Data from: Dung beetle activity had no positive effect on nutrient concentration or performance of established rainforest seedlings, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.wpzgmsbm0

Abstract

All five datasets from this study correspond to field observations collected for seedlings of six tree species (Brosimum alicastrum, Calophyllum brasiliense, Cymbopetalum baillonii, Diospyros digyna, Omphalea oleifera and Poulsenia armata) in a tropical rainforest (Los Tuxtlas, Mexico). We estimated the concentrations of foliar nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), resource allocation (the ratio of biomass allocated to shoot vs root), seedling survival, and growth. Experimental seedlings were subject to three treatment levels: (a) feces added and beetles active, (b) feces added and beetles excluded, and (c) no feces added (and consequently no beetles active). We analyzed data at two levels: community (all plant species together) and individual species. For resource allocation (ESM_Dataset1_RootShoot) we weighed aerial parts (stem and leaves) and roots, separately, and calculated the root/shoot biomass ratio for each seedling. For foliar nutrients (ESM_Dataset2_FoliarNutrients) we obtained N and P concentrations using a Kjeldahl wet digestion and colorimetric analysis; for the analyses four outlier values were removed (for Brosimum one P value; for Calophyllum two P values and one N value). We analyzed foliar nutrients for all plant species. In the case of seedling survival (ESM_Dataset3_Survival) we registered seedling survival weekly during six weeks for Cymbopetalum, and during 26 weeks for the other five species. The response variable was the number of days elapsed until death; seedlings alive by the end of the experiment were included as right-censored data. For seedling growth in height (ESM_Dataset4_GrowthHeight; measured in all plant species except Cymbopetalum) we measured seedling height to the nearest centimeter every four or five weeks during 26 weeks. For this variable we calculated net growth in height (final height minus initial height). Finally, for the growth in the number of leaves (ESM_Dataset5_GrowthLeaves; measured in all plant species except Cymbopetalum) we counted the number of leaves lost and number of new leaves, every four or five weeks during 26 weeks; the response variable was the net growth in the number of leaves (final number of leaves minus initial number of leaves). All analyses were conducted in R. Detailed information about dataset structure and contents can be found in file ESM_Metadata.

Funding

PAPPIIT-UNAM, Award: IN207816

Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Award: 294513

PAPPIIT-UNAM, Award: IN207816