RecruitNet: A global database of plant recruitment networks
MIGUEL VERDÚ; JOSE L. GARRIDO; JULIO M. ALCANTARA; ALICIA MONTESINOS-NAVARRO; SALOMON AGUILAR; MARCELO A. AIZEN; GAVINI, SABRINA S.; REGINO ZAMORA
ECOLOGICAL SOC AMER
Plant recruitment interactions (i.e., what recruits under what) shape thecomposition, diversity, and structure of plant communities. Despite the hugebody of knowledge on the mechanisms underlying recruitment interactionsamong species, we still know little about the structure of the recruitmentnetworks emerging in ecological communities. Modeling and analyzing thecommunity-level structure of plant recruitment interactions as a complex networkcan provide relevant information on ecological and evolutionary processesacting both at the species and ecosystem levels. We report a data setcontaining 143 plant recruitment networks in 23 countries across five continents,including temperate and tropical ecosystems. Each network identifiesthe species under which another species recruits. All networks report the numberof recruits (i.e., individuals) per species. The data set includes >850,000recruiting individuals involved in 118,411 paired interactions among 3318 vascularplant species across the globe. The cover of canopy species and openground is also provided. Three sampling protocols were used: (1) TheRecruitment Network (RN) protocol (106 networks) focuses on interactionsamong established plants (canopy species) and plants in their early stages ofrecruitment (recruit species). A series of plots was delimited within a locality,and all the individuals recruiting and their canopy species were identified;(2) The paired Canopy-Open (pCO) protocol (26 networks) consists in locatinga potential canopy plant and identifying recruiting individuals under the canopyand in a nearby open space of the same area; (3) The Georeferenced plot(GP) protocol (11 networks) consists in using information from georeferencedindividual plants in large plots to infer canopy-recruit interactions. Some networksincorporate data for both herbs and woody species, whereas othersfocus exclusively on woody species. The location of each study site, geographicalcoordinates, country, locality, responsible author, sampling dates, samplingmethod, and life habits of both canopy and recruit species are provided. Thisdatabase will allow researchers to test ecological, biogeographical, and evolutionaryhypotheses related to plant recruitment interactions. There are nocopyright restrictions on the data set; please cite this data paper when usingthese data in publications.