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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Keystone species in seed dispersal networks are mainly determined by dietary specialization

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Ribeiro Mello, Marco Aurelio [1, 2] ; Rodrigues, Francisco Aparecido [3] ; Costa, Luciano da Fontoura [4] ; Daniel Kissling, W. [5] ; Sekercioglu, Cagan H. [6, 7] ; Darcie Marquitti, Flavia Maria [8] ; Viktoria Kalko, Elisabeth Klara [2]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Univ Fed Minas Gerais, Inst Ciencias Biol, Depto Biol Geral, BR-31270901 Belo Horizonte, MG - Brazil
[2] Univ Ulm, Inst Expt Okol, DE-89069 Ulm - Germany
[3] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Ciencias Matemat Computacao, Depto Matemat Aplicada & Estat, BR-13560970 Sao Carlos, SP - Brazil
[4] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Fis Sao Carlos, BR-13560970 Sao Carlos, SP - Brazil
[5] Univ Amsterdam, Inst Biodivers & Ecosyst Dynam, NL-1090 GE Amsterdam - Netherlands
[6] Univ Utah, Dept Biol, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 - USA
[7] KuzeyDoga Dernegi, TR-36100 Kars - Turkey
[8] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Biociencias, Dept Ecol, BR-05508900 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 8
Document type: Journal article
Source: OIKOS; v. 124, n. 8, p. 1031-1039, AUG 2015.
Web of Science Citations: 41

A central issue in ecology is the definition and identification of keystone species, i.e. species that are relatively more important than others for maintaining community structure and ecosystem functioning. Network theory has been pointed out as a robust theoretical framework to enhance the operationality of the keystone species concept. We used the concept of centrality as a proxy for a species `relative importance for the structure of seed dispersal networks composed of either frugivorous bats or birds and their food-plants. Centrality was expected to be determined mainly by dietary specialization, but also by body mass and geographic range size. Across 15 Neotropical datasets, only specialized frugivore species reached the highest values of centrality. Furthermore, the centrality of specialized frugivores varied widely within and among networks, whereas that of secondary and opportunistic frugivores was consistently low. A mixed-effects model showed that centrality was best explained by dietary specialization, but not by body mass or range size. Furthermore, the relationship between centrality and those three ecological correlates differed between bat-and bird-fruit networks. Our findings suggest that dietary specialization is key to understand what makes a frugivore species a keystone in seed dispersal networks, and that taxonomic identity also plays a significant role. Specialized frugivores may play a central role in network structuring and ecosystem functioning, which has important implications for conservation and restoration. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/11346-0 - Interaction parasites ánd coevolution of mutualisms
Grantee:Flávia Maria Darcie Marquitti
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 10/19440-2 - Characterization, analysis, simulation and classification of complex networks
Grantee:Francisco Aparecido Rodrigues
Support type: Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 05/00587-5 - Mesh (graph) modeling and techniques of pattern recognition: structure, dynamics and applications
Grantee:Roberto Marcondes Cesar Junior
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants