The insect‐focused classification of fruit syndromes in tropical rain forests: An inter‐continental comparison

Dahl, C., Ctvrtecka, R., Gripenberg, S., Lewis, O.T., Segar, S.T., Klimes, P., Sam, K., Rinan, D., Filip, J,, Kongnoo, P., Panmeng, M., Putnaul, S., Reungaew, M., Rivera, M., Barrios, H., Davies, S.J., Bunyavejchewin, S., Wright, J.S., Weiblen, G.D., Vojtech, N. and Basset, Y. (2019) The insect‐focused classification of fruit syndromes in tropical rain forests: An inter‐continental comparison. Biotropica.

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We put forward a new classification of rainforest plants into eight fruit syndromes based on fruit morphology and other traits relevant to fruit-feeding insects. This classification is compared with other systems that are based on plant morphology, or traits relevant to vertebrate fruit dispersers. Our syndromes are based on fruits sampled from 1,192 plant species at three ForestGEO plots: Barro Colorado Island (Panama), Khao Chong (Thailand) and Wanang (Papua New Guinea). We found large differences in the fruit syndrome composition among the three forests. Plant species with fleshy indehiscent fruits containing multiple seeds were important at all three sites. However, Panama had a higher proportion of species with dry fruits while in New Guinea and Thailand, species with fleshy drupes and thin mesocarps were dominant. Species with dry winged seeds that do not develop as capsules were important in Thailand, reflecting the local importance of Dipterocarpaceae. These differences can also determine differences among frugivorous insect communities. Fruit syndromes and colours were phylogenetically flexible traits at the scale studied, as only three of the eight seed syndromes, and one of the 10 colours, showed significant phylogenetic signal, viz. phylogenetic clustering at either genus or family levels. Plant phylogeny was however the most important factor when explaining differences in overall fruit syndrome composition among individual plant families or genera across the three study sites.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ForestGEO, fruit colour, plant traits, seed predation, seed dispersal, tropical insects
Divisions: Crop and Environment Sciences (to 31.07.20)
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2019 16:21
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2020 05:10

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