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Local extinctions have cascading effects on ecosystem functions, yet little is known about the potential for the rapid evolutionary change of species in human-modified scenarios. We show that the functional extinction of large-gape seed dispersers in the Brazilian Atlantic forest is associated with the consistent reduction of the seed size of a keystone(More)
The consequences of tropical forest fragmentation on herbivory are poorly understood. The limited evidence suggests that forest fragmentation can have positive, negative or neutral effects on herbivory. Inconsistencies may be partly explained by plant interspecific variation and differential responses related to plant life history. In this study we examined(More)
Gradient analysis is rarely used in studies of fungal communities. Data on macromycetes from eight sites along an elevation gradient in central Veracruz, Mexico, were used to demonstrate methods for gradient analysis that can be applied to studies of communities of fungi. Selected sites from 100 to 3,500 m altitude represent tropical dry forest, tropical(More)
The hypothesis that plant species are more responsive to mycorrhiza in late than in early successional stages was assessed in grasses from a successional process occurring in two-phase mosaics from the Mexican Chihuahuan Desert. We estimated the density of spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and the AM colonization of pioneer and late-successional(More)
The different resource demands on male and female plants of dioecious species can lead to secondary sexual dimorphisms. Male and female plants might also interact differently with antagonists and mutualists. We used a repeated measures natural experiment in five subpopulations to investigate secondary sexual dimorphism in Carica papaya including(More)
BACKGROUND Functional redundancy has been debated largely in ecology and conservation, yet we lack detailed empirical studies on the roles of functionally similar species in ecosystem function. Large bodied frugivores may disperse similar plant species and have strong impact on plant recruitment in tropical forests. The two largest frugivores in the(More)
OBJECTIVE To evaluate risk factors facilitating the colonization of dwellings by Triatoma dimidiata in the central region of the state of Veracruz. MATERIALS AND METHODS We applied socioeconomic questionnaires and entomologic surveys in three localities (Chavarrillo, Soyacuautla and Arroyo Agrio) in central Veracruz involving 115 households. RESULTS We(More)
Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization in strangler figs, spore richness, and abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were quantified in epiphytic and ground-rooted trees in a Sabal palmetto woodland that had marked heterogeneity in rooting environments for hemiepiphytic plants. An inoculation experiment was performed to assess whether low spore density(More)
It has been suggested that tropical defaunation may unleash community-wide cascading effects, leading to reductions in plant diversity. However, experimental evidence establishing cause-effect relationships thereof is poor. Through a 5 year exclosure experiment, we tested the hypothesis that mammalian defaunation affects tree seedling/sapling community(More)
Positive density-dependent seed and seedling predation, where herbivores selectively eat seeds or seedlings of common species, is thought to play a major role in creating and maintaining plant community diversity. However, many herbivores and seed predators are known to exhibit preferences for rare foods, which could lead to negative density-dependent(More)