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Phylogenetic congruence between Neotropical primates and plants is driven by frugivory
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  • Lisieux Fuzessy,
  • Fernando Silveira,
  • Laurence Culot,
  • Pedro Jordano,
  • Miguel Verdu
Lisieux Fuzessy
UNESP Campus de Rio Claro

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Fernando Silveira
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas
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Laurence Culot
UNESP Campus de Rio Claro
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Pedro Jordano
Estacion Biologica de DoƱana, CSIC
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Miguel Verdu
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Seed dispersal, by entailing multiple benefits to plants and frugivores, potential drives trait evolution and species diversification. Frugivory and seed dispersal shaped the coevolution of interacting clades, with consequences to speciation and diversification evidenced for e.g., primates. Evidences for macro-coevolutionary patterns in multi-specific, plant-animal mutualisms are scarce, and the mechanisms driven them remain unexplored. We tested for phylogenetic congruences in primate-plant interactions in Neotropics and show that both primates and plants share evolutionary history. Phylogenetic congruence between Platyrrhini and Angiosperms was asymmetrically driven by the most generalist primates interacting with a wide-range of specialist Angiosperms. Consistently similar eco-evolutionary dynamics seem to be operating irrespective of local assemblages, since the signal emerged independently across three Neotropical regions. Our analysis supports the idea that macroevolutionary, coevolved patterns among interacting mutualistic partners are driven by super-generalist taxa. Trait convergence among multiple partners within multi-specific assemblages appears as a mechanism favouring these coevolved outcomes.
Feb 2022Published in Ecology Letters volume 25 issue 2 on pages 320-329. 10.1111/ele.13918