Global plant-frugivore trait matching is shaped by climate and biogeographic history [article]

Ian R. McFadden, Susanne A. Fritz, Niklaus E. Zimmermann, Loïc Pellissier, W. Daniel Kissling, Joseph A. Tobias, Matthias Schleuning, Catherine H. Graham
2021 biorxiv/medrxiv   pre-print
Species interactions are influenced by the trait structure of local multi-trophic communities. However, it remains unclear whether mutualistic interactions in particular can drive trait patterns at the global scale, where climatic constraints and biogeographic processes gain importance. Here we evaluate global relationships between traits of frugivorous birds and palms (Arecaceae), and how these relationships are affected, directly or indirectly, by assemblage richness, climate and
more » ... history. We leverage a new and expanded gape size dataset for nearly all avian frugivores, and find a positive relationship between gape size and fruit size, i.e., trait matching, which is influenced indirectly by palm richness and climate. We also uncover a latitudinal gradient in trait matching strength, which increases towards the tropics and varies among zoogeographic realms. Taken together, our results suggest trophic interactions have consistent influences on trait structure, but that abiotic, biogeographic and richness effects also play important, though sometimes indirect, roles in shaping the functional biogeography of mutualisms.
doi:10.1101/2021.12.17.473099 fatcat:mabbe2x4sjgvnloo3n5ymssydy