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Changing landscapes : consequences for the recruitment of animal-dispersed plants

Valérie Lehouck (UGent) , Toon Spanhove (UGent) , Dries Bonte (UGent) and Luc Lens (UGent)
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Abstract
Seed dispersal by frugivores plays a key role in plant community and population dynamics, yet direct and indirect effects of habitat and landscape changes on the recruitment of animal-dispersed plants remain poorly known. We examined how seed dispersal and recruitment of a bird-dispersed tropical tree species varies spatiotemporally in a heavily fragmented cloud forest system. High-resolution data on seed removal, gut passage and dispersal were combined with experimental data on post-dispersal seed germination and seedling establishment to predict how recruitment of a forest interior tree may be affected by habitat change. We simulated relative effects of frugivore composition, forest size and landscape type on dispersal distances of seeds and of established seedlings and on rates of seed germination and seedling survival after two years with the use of Individual Based Models. While changes in frugivore composition and forest size affected potential distance distribution patterns of seeds and seedlings, post-dispersal germination and early survival were more affected by the structure of the embedding landscape matrix. Models predict a 90% recruitment increase in tiny forest remnants buffered by exotic plantations compared to those surrounded by farmland, this nursing effect being less effective under dryer conditions. We conclude that habitat changes affect frugivorous seed dispersal and plant recruitment in complex and context-dependent ways, having important implications for on-site habitat management in view of current global change.

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Chicago
Lehouck, Valérie, Toon Spanhove, Dries Bonte, and Luc Lens. 2010. “Changing Landscapes : Consequences for the Recruitment of Animal-dispersed Plants.” In Benelux Congress of Zoology, 17th, Programme and Abstracts, 72–72. Royal Belgian Zoological Society (RBZS) ; Royal Dutch Zoological Society (RDZS).
APA
Lehouck, V., Spanhove, T., Bonte, D., & Lens, L. (2010). Changing landscapes : consequences for the recruitment of animal-dispersed plants. Benelux Congress of Zoology, 17th, Programme and abstracts (pp. 72–72). Presented at the 17th Benelux Congress of Zoology : Classic biology in modern times, Royal Belgian Zoological Society (RBZS) ; Royal Dutch Zoological Society (RDZS).
Vancouver
1.
Lehouck V, Spanhove T, Bonte D, Lens L. Changing landscapes : consequences for the recruitment of animal-dispersed plants. Benelux Congress of Zoology, 17th, Programme and abstracts. Royal Belgian Zoological Society (RBZS) ; Royal Dutch Zoological Society (RDZS); 2010. p. 72–72.
MLA
Lehouck, Valérie, Toon Spanhove, Dries Bonte, et al. “Changing Landscapes : Consequences for the Recruitment of Animal-dispersed Plants.” Benelux Congress of Zoology, 17th, Programme and Abstracts. Royal Belgian Zoological Society (RBZS) ; Royal Dutch Zoological Society (RDZS), 2010. 72–72. Print.
@inproceedings{1063645,
  abstract     = {Seed dispersal by frugivores plays a key role in plant community and population dynamics, yet direct and indirect effects of habitat and landscape changes on the recruitment of animal-dispersed plants remain poorly known. We examined how seed dispersal and recruitment of a bird-dispersed tropical tree species varies spatiotemporally in a heavily fragmented cloud forest system. High-resolution data on seed removal, gut passage and dispersal were combined with experimental data on post-dispersal seed germination and seedling establishment to predict how recruitment of a forest interior tree may be affected by habitat change. We simulated relative effects of frugivore composition, forest size and landscape type on dispersal distances of seeds and of established seedlings and on rates of seed germination and seedling survival after two years with the use of Individual Based Models. While changes in frugivore composition and forest size affected potential distance distribution patterns of seeds and seedlings, post-dispersal germination and early survival were more affected by the structure of the embedding landscape matrix. Models predict a 90\% recruitment increase in tiny forest remnants buffered by exotic plantations compared to those surrounded by farmland, this nursing effect being less effective under dryer conditions. We conclude that habitat changes affect frugivorous seed dispersal and plant recruitment in complex and context-dependent ways, having important implications for on-site habitat management in view of current global change.},
  author       = {Lehouck, Val{\'e}rie and Spanhove, Toon and Bonte, Dries and Lens, Luc},
  booktitle    = {Benelux Congress of Zoology, 17th, Programme and abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Ghent, Belgium},
  pages        = {72--72},
  publisher    = {Royal Belgian Zoological Society (RBZS) ; Royal Dutch Zoological Society (RDZS)},
  title        = {Changing landscapes : consequences for the recruitment of animal-dispersed plants},
  url          = {http://www.bcz2010.ugent.be/sites/default/files/Programme\%20and\%20Abstracts.pdf},
  year         = {2010},
}