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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.)

Defaunation leads to microevolutionary changes in a tropical palm

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Carvalho, Carolina S. ; Galetti, Mauro ; Colevatti, Rosane G. ; Jordano, Pedro
Total Authors: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS; v. 6, AUG 18 2016.
Web of Science Citations: 17

Many large species have declined worldwide due to habitat fragmentation and poaching. The defaunation of large frugivores and the consequent reductions of seed dispersal services may have immediate effects on plant demography. Yet, the lasting effects of frugivore defaunation on microevolutionary processes of the plants they disperse remain understudied. We tested if the loss of large seed dispersers can lead to microevolutionary changes of a tropical palm. We show that frugivore defaunation is the main driver of changes in allelic frequency among populations. Turnover of alleles accounted for 100% of dissimilarity in allelic frequencies of individuals between defaunated and non-defaunated forests; and individuals from defaunated sites are 1.5 times more similar genetically than those found in pristine sites. Given that sizeable fractions of the palm fruit crops remain undispersed in defaunated sites due to lack of large-bodied frugivores, this distinct pattern of gene pool composition of early recruits may reveal strong dispersal limitation for specific genotypes, or collapses of gene flow between fragmented areas, or both. Because most of tropical tree species rely on seed dispersal by vertebrates, our results show that defaunation has a lasting effect on microevolutionary processes, with potential consequences for persistence under scenarios of environmental change. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/01029-5 - Ecological and genetics effects of seed size variation in a defaunated landscape
Grantee:Carolina da Silva Carvalho
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 14/01986-0 - Ecological consequences of defaunation in the Atlantic Rainforest
Grantee:Mauro Galetti Rodrigues
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants