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Impacts of climate change and management responses in tropical forests depend on complex frugivore-mediated seed dispersal

Mokany, Karel and Prasad, Soumya and Westcott, David A. (2015) Impacts of climate change and management responses in tropical forests depend on complex frugivore-mediated seed dispersal. In: GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY, 24 (6). pp. 685-694.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1111/geb.12292


AimBiodiversity outcomes under global change will be influenced by a range of ecological processes, and these processes are increasingly being considered in models of biodiversity change. However, the level of model complexity required to adequately account for important ecological processes often remains unclear. Here we assess how considering realistically complex frugivore-mediated seed dispersal influences the projected climate change outcomes for plant diversity in the Australian Wet Tropics (all 4313 species). LocationThe Australian Wet Tropics, Queensland, Australia. MethodsWe applied a metacommunity model (M-SET) to project biodiversity outcomes using seed dispersal models that varied in complexity, combined with alternative climate change scenarios and habitat restoration scenarios. ResultsWe found that the complexity of the dispersal model had a larger effect on projected biodiversity outcomes than did dramatically different climate change scenarios. Applying a simple dispersal model that ignored spatial, temporal and taxonomic variation due to frugivore-mediated seed dispersal underestimated the reduction in the area of occurrence of plant species under climate change and overestimated the loss of diversity in fragmented tropical forest remnants. The complexity of the dispersal model also changed the habitat restoration approach identified as the best for promoting persistence of biodiversity under climate change. Main conclusionsThe consideration of complex processes such as frugivore-mediated seed dispersal can make an important difference in how we understand and respond to the influence of climate change on biodiversity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to the WILEY-BLACKWELL, 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA
Keywords: Australia; beta-diversity; composition; diversity; fruit; metacommunity; model; plant; restoration; richness
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2015 05:05
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2015 05:05
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/51633

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