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|Title:||Seed Dispersal Spectrum of Woody Species in South Ecuadorian Dry Forests: Environmental Correlates and the Effect of Considering Species Abundance|
De La Cruz, M.
Jara Guerrero, A.
neotropical dry forest
|Abstract:||This study examines the seed dispersal spectrum of the tropical dry forests of Southern Ecuador, in an effort to contribute to the knowledge of the complex dynamics of tropical dry forests. Seed dispersal spectrum was described for a total number of 160 species. Relationships of dispersal syndromes with plant growth form and climatic seasonality were explored. For a subset of 97 species, we determined whether dispersal spectrum changes when species abundance, in addition to species number, is taken into account. The same subset was used to relate dispersal syndromes with the environmental conditions. Zoochorous species dominated in the studied community. When considering the individual abundance of each species, however, anemochory was the prevalent dispersal syndrome. We found a significant difference in the frequency of dispersal syndromes among plant growth forms, with epizoochory only occurring in shrub species. The dispersal spectrum was dependent on climatic seasonality. The largest proportion of anemochorous species fructified during the dry season, while zoochorous diaspores dominated during the rainy season. A fourth-corner analysis indicated that the seed dispersal spectrum of Southern Ecuador dry forests is controlled by environmental conditions such as annual precipitation, annual temperature range or topography. Our results suggest that spatio-temporal changes in the environmental conditions may affect important ecological processes for dispersal. Thus, the predominance of one syndrome or another may depend on the spatial variation of environmental conditions. Abstract in Spanish is available at © 2011 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2011 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.|
|Appears in Collections:||Artículos de revistas Científicas|
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