Dataset Identification

Dehling D 2017
Document ID: bikf.10046.5
Document URL:

General Information

1. Interactions between resource and consumer species result in complex ecological networks. The overall structure of these networks is often stable in space and time, but little is known about the temporal stability of the functional roles of consumer species in these networks. 2. We used a trait-based approach to investigate whether consumers (frugivorous birds) show similar degrees of functional specialisation on resources (plants) in ecological networks across seasons. We additionally tested whether closely related bird species have similar degrees of functional specialisation and whether birds that are functionally specialised on specific resource types within a season are flexible in switching to other resource types in other seasons. 3. We analysed four seasonal replicates of two species-rich plant-frugivore networks from the tropical Andes. To quantify fruit preferences of frugivorous birds, we projected their interactions with plants into a multi-dimensional plant trait space. To measure functional specialisation of birds, we calculated a species’ functional niche breadth (the extent of seasonal plant trait space utilised by a particular bird) and functional originality (the extent to which a bird species’ fruit preference functionally differs from those of other species in a seasonal network). We additionally calculated functional flexibility, i.e. the ability of bird species to change their fruit preference across seasons in response to variation in plant resources. 4. Functional specialisation of bird species varied more among species than across seasons, and phylogenetically similar bird species showed similar degrees of functional niche breadth (phylogenetic signal lambda = 0.81) and functional originality (lambda = 0.89). Additionally, we found that birds with high functional flexibility across seasons had narrow functional niche breadth and high functional originality per season, suggesting that birds that are seasonally specialised on particular resources are most flexible in switching to other fruit resources across seasons. 5. The high flexibility of functionally specialised bird species to switch seasonally to other resources challenges the view that consumer species rely on functionally similar resources throughout the year. This flexibility of consumer species may be an important, but widely neglected mechanism that could potentially stabilise consumer-resource networks in response to human disturbance and environmental change. (Bender et al. 2017 J. Anim. Ecol) DATA WILL BE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE AFTER 28-02-2018, UNTIL THEN PLEASE OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM DATA SET OWNER(S).
Upload Date:2017-03-24
Data Table and Publications
Other Data:ManuPlantTraitData.xls ( View Metadata | Download File )
Other Data:ManuSeasonalNetworkData.xls ( View Metadata | Download File )

Involved Parties

Data Set Owners
Individual: D. Matthias Dehling
Organization:Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)
Email Address:
Data Set Contacts
Individual: Irene M.A. Bender
Organization:Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)
Email Address:
Associated Parties:
Individual: D. Matthias Dehling
Individual: Matthias Schleuning
Individual: Irene M.A. Bender

Geographic Coverage

Geographic Region
Description:Cloud forest, Eastern slope of Andes, Peru, 1500 m and 3000 m elevation
Bounding Box:
West:  -71.5839  degrees
East:  -71.5356  degrees
North:  -13.0506  degrees
South:  -13.1681  degrees

Temporal Coverage

Time Period
Temporal Data Type:timeslices
Temporal Resolution:other
Networks sampled every three months

Taxonomic Coverage

Taxonomic Range
General Coverage:Species interaction networks between frugivorous birds and fleshy-fruited plants. Over the four temporal replicates of the two interaction networks we collected interactions between 76 bird species and 99 plant species.
Rank Name:class
Rank Value:Aves
Rank Name:Kingdom
Rank Value:Plantae

Collection Methods

Method Description:
Weighted interaction networks and plant traits

Weighted plant-bird interaction networks at two sites in the Manú Biosphere Reserve in the Andes of south-east Peru. At each site, we installed plots of 100 m x 30 m (six plots in Wayqecha, eight plots in San Pedro) and sampled networks four times approximately every three months between December 2009 and September 2010. In each round, we observed each transect for 30 h on five consecutive days and recorded which bird species fed on which plant species (total observation time 720 h in Wayqecha and 960 h in San Pedro). For all plants species we collected the following morphological traits: fruit length and diameter (mm), crop mass (g, fruit mass * number of fruits per plant), and plant height (m). Plant traits were sampled in the field.

Distribution Information

Data medium:digital
Usage Rights:other
Additional Info:Data provided in the form of .xls sheets
Auth System:ldap
Allow: [all] uid=ibender,o=bikf,dc=ipg,dc=uni-frankfurt,dc=de
Allow: [read] public
Download Metadata: Ecological Metadata Language (EML) File