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Interspecific synchrony of seed rain shapes rodent-mediated indirect seed-seed interactions of sympatric tree species in a subtropical forest


Interspecific synchrony of seed rain shapes rodent-mediated indirect seed-seed interactions of sympatric tree species in a subtropical forest



Ecology Letters 23(1): 45-54



ISSN/ISBN: 1461-023X

PMID: 31631473

DOI: 10.1111/ele.13405

Animal-mediated indirect interactions play a significant role in maintaining the biodiversity of plant communities. Less known is whether interspecific synchrony of seed rain can alter the indirect interactions of sympatric tree species. We assessed the seed dispersal success by tracking the fates of 21 600 tagged seeds from six paired sympatric tree species in both monospecific and mixed plots across 4 successive years in a subtropical forest. We found that apparent mutualism was associated with the interspecific synchrony of seed rain both seasonally and yearly, whereas apparent competition or apparent predation was associated with interspecific asynchrony of seed rain either seasonally or yearly. We did not find consistent associations of indirect interactions with seed traits. Our study suggests that the interspecific synchrony of seed rain plays a key role in the formation of animal-mediated indirect interactions, which, in turn, may alter the seasonal or yearly seed rain schedules of sympatric tree species.

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Accession: 069435363

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