ISLA Maria Ines
Fleshy fruit traits and seed dispersers: which traits define syndromes?
ROJAS, TOBIAS NICOLAS; ZAMPINI, IRIS CATIANA; ISLA, MARÍA INÉS; BLENDINGER, PEDRO G
ANNALS OF BOTANY
OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Año: 2022 vol. 20 p. 1 - 8
? Background and Aims Fruit traits and their inter-relationships can affect foraging choices by frugivores, andhence the probability of mutualistic interactions. Certain combinations of fruit traits that determine the interactionwith specific seed dispersers are known as dispersal syndromes. The dispersal syndrome hypothesis (DSH) statesthat seed dispersers influence the combination of fruit traits found in fruits. Therefore, fruit traits can predict thetype of dispersers with which plant species interact. Here, we analysed whether relationships of fruit traits canbe explained by the DSH. To do so, we estimated the inter-relationships between morphological, chemical anddisplay groups of fruit traits. In addition, we tested the importance of each trait group defining seed dispersalsyndromes.? Methods Using phylogenetically corrected fruit trait data and fruit?seed disperser networks, we tested therelationships among morphological, chemical and display fruit traits with Pearson?s correlations and phenotypicintegration indices. Then, we used perMANOVA to test if the fruit traits involved in the analysis supported thefunctional types of seed dispersers.? Key Results Morphological traits showed strong intragroup relationships, in contrast to chemical and displaytraits whose intragroup trait relationships were weak or null. Accordingly, only the morphological group of traitssupported three broad seed disperser functional types (birds, terrestrial mammals and bats), consistent with theDSH.? Conclusions Altogether, our results give some support to the DSH. Here, the three groups of traits interactedin different ways with seed disperser biology. Broad functional types of seed dispersers would adjust fruit consumptionto anatomical limitations imposed by fruit morphology. Once this anatomical filter is sovercome, seeddispersers use almost all the range of variation in chemical and display fruit traits. This suggests that the effect ofseed dispersers on fruit traits is modulated by hierarchical decisions. First, morphological constraints define whichinteractions can actually occur; subsequently, display and composition determine fruit preferences