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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: How mammalian predation contributes to tropical tree community structure
Author(s): Paine, C E Timothy
Beck, Harald
Terborgh, John
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Keywords: Agouti
Beta diversity
Negative density dependence
Seed predation
Seed size
Species composition
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Date Deposited: 13-Oct-2016
Citation: Paine CET, Beck H & Terborgh J (2016) How mammalian predation contributes to tropical tree community structure. Ecology, 97 (12), pp. 3326-3336.
Abstract: The recruitment of seedlings from seeds is the key demographic transition for rain forest trees. Though tropical forest mammals are known to consume many seeds, their effects on tree community structure remain little known. To evaluate their effects, we monitored 8000 seeds of 24 tree species using exclosure cages that were selectively permeable to three size-classes of mammals for up to 4.4 years. Small and medium-bodied mammals removed many more seeds than did large mammals, and they alone generated beta diversity and negative density dependence, whereas all mammals reduced diversity and shaped local species composition. Thus, small and medium-bodied mammals more strongly contributed to community structure and promoted species coexistence than did large mammals. Given that seedling recruitment is seed-limited for most species, alterations to the composition of the community of mammalian seed predators is expected to have long-term consequences for tree community structure in tropical forests.
DOI Link: 10.1002/ecy.1586
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Paine CET, Beck H & Terborgh J How mammalian predation contributes to tropical tree community structure (Forthcoming/Available Online), Ecology, which will be published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for selfarchiving.

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