Forest fragmentation differentially affects seed dispersal of large and small-seeded tropical trees

Forest fragmentation differentially affects seed dispersal of large and small-seeded tropical trees The responses of plant–animal interactions to forest fragmentation can vary. We hypothesized that large-seeded plant species would be more susceptible to forest fragmentation than small-seeded species because large-seeded species rely on a few, extinction prone dispersers. We compared seed dispersal of the large-seeded, mammal dispersed Duckeodendron cestroides and the small-seeded, avian dispersed Bocageopsis multiflora . The number, percentage, distance, and distributions of dispersed seeds were all reduced in fragments for Duckeodendron but not for Bocageopsis . Other fragmentation research in tropical communities supports this hypothesis through three lines of evidence: (1) Large-seeded plant species are more prone to extinction, (2) Fragmentation restricts or alters the movement of large animal dispersers more than small dispersers, and (3) Large and small-seeded species seem to be differentially linked to primary and secondary forest habitats. Therefore, small-seeded plants may be more resilient to forest fragmentation while large-seeded species may be more susceptible and should be a priority for conservation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Forest fragmentation differentially affects seed dispersal of large and small-seeded tropical trees

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
DOI
10.1016/j.biocon.2007.02.019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The responses of plant–animal interactions to forest fragmentation can vary. We hypothesized that large-seeded plant species would be more susceptible to forest fragmentation than small-seeded species because large-seeded species rely on a few, extinction prone dispersers. We compared seed dispersal of the large-seeded, mammal dispersed Duckeodendron cestroides and the small-seeded, avian dispersed Bocageopsis multiflora . The number, percentage, distance, and distributions of dispersed seeds were all reduced in fragments for Duckeodendron but not for Bocageopsis . Other fragmentation research in tropical communities supports this hypothesis through three lines of evidence: (1) Large-seeded plant species are more prone to extinction, (2) Fragmentation restricts or alters the movement of large animal dispersers more than small dispersers, and (3) Large and small-seeded species seem to be differentially linked to primary and secondary forest habitats. Therefore, small-seeded plants may be more resilient to forest fragmentation while large-seeded species may be more susceptible and should be a priority for conservation.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Jul 1, 2007

References

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