This paper analyzed specialization and interaction strength in a
plant-frugivore network from a Kenyan rain forest in relation to forest
stratum (canopy, midstory, and understory) and forest type (primary and
secondary forest). The authors found no effect of forest type, but a
strong vertical stratification of the frugivore community into obligate
and opportunistic feeding guilds. The canopy stratum comprised stronger
links and generalized associations, whereas the lower strata were
composed of weaker links and more specialized interactions.
Data type and methodological
All plant species with fleshy
fruits in an area of ca. 250 ha in northern Kakamega Forest were
studied from December 2007 to March 2008, comprising species from
different forest strata and forest types. For each plant species,
representative individuals bearing numerous ripe fruits were selected.
According to availability, four, three, or two individuals of each
species were selected. Five ornithologists observed each
plant individual once, from 7:00 to 14:00 in order to record its
associated frugivore species. For the few plant species with less than
four individuals, observations were repeated on the same individual to
standardize the sampling effort to 28 hours per plant species. Only
fruit-eating individuals were recorded and counted, and both mammals
and birds were determined to species level. Interaction frequency in
the quantitative interaction matrix was defined as the number of
fruit-eating individuals on a plant species independent of fruit
handling (including swallowing, pecking, and dropping fruits).
Nico Blüthgen, Martina Flörchinger, Julius Braun, H. Martin
Schaefer, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, (2011). Specialization
strength in a tropical plant-frugivore network differ among forest
strata. Ecology, 92(1): 26-36.
Excel file: click
here to download all interaction matrices.
The main data sheet includes the overall matrix giving all relevant
information including scientific species names, forest stratum and
forest type for each plant species, and feeding and habitat guild for
each frugivore species. Additional datasheets provide raw interaction
matrix for each subweb (i.e., canopy, midstory, and understory; primary
and secondary forest).
back (all available datasets)