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NEOBATS INTERACTIONS : A DATA SET OF BAT-PLANT INTERACTIONS IN THE NEOTROPICS
Data papers and open databases revolutionized contemporary science, as they provide the long-needed incentive to collaborate in large international teams and make naturalistic information widely available. Nevertheless, most of them focus on occurrence or abundance, while species interactions received less attention. To help fill this gap, we compiled a georeferenced data set of interactions between 106 bat species of the family Phyllostomidae (Chiroptera) and 554 plant species of 78 families. Data were obtained from 205 studies published from 1955 to 2007 in the entire Neotropical Region, with most records coming from Brazil (25.6% of all study sites), Costa Rica (16.9%), and Mexico (14.5%). Our data set includes 2,694 records of frugivory (81.6% of all records), nectarivory (17.6%), and dual interactions (0.8%). The best represented bat genera are Artibeus (32.5%), Carollia (22.0%), Sturnira (9.2%), and Glossophaga (8.1%). Artibeus planirostris (176), Carollia perspicillata (161), Artibeus lituratus (129), Glossophaga soricina (89), and Sturnira lilium (87) are the species with the broadest diets recorded in number of plant species. Among plants, the best represented families are Moraceae (18.9%), Piperaceae (14.6%), Solanaceae (8.8%), and Urticaceae (8.3%). Plants of the genera Cecropia (40), Ficus (39), Piper (30), Solanum (28), and Vismia (24) hold the largest number of interactions. These data are stored as arrays (interactions, sites, and studies) organized by logical keys and rich metadata, which helps compile the information at different ecological and geographic scales, as required by different studies. Our data set on bat-plant interactions is so far the most extensive both in geographic and taxonomic terms. It has already helped us develop several studies and we hope it will stimulate novel analyses and syntheses, in addition to pointing out to important gaps in knowledge for future research.
species interactions, mutualism, nectarivory, frugivory, pollination, seed dispersal, data papers, databases
Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa da Universidade de São Paulo, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Programa de Estudantes-Convênio de Pós-Graduação - PEC-PG CNPq, Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung.
Guillermo Leonardo Flórez, Marco Aurelio Ribeiro Mello