Data and scripts to assess potential seed dispersers for Zamia pseudoparasitica cones
Epiphytic lifestyles have evolved independently in ecologically, morphologically and taxonomically diverse plant species. Although this adaptation is widespread among the angiosperms, it is only known to have arisen in a single gymnosperm species, Zamia pseudoparasitica (Cycadophyta). Zamia pseudoparasitica is endemic to the mountains of Western Panama but little is known about the ecology of this unusual cycad. We provide the first report of potential seed dispersers of Z. pseudoparasitica. Here, were provide the data and scripts files of our analyses about arboreal camera trapping at three sites along the Talamanca Cordillera in western Panama revealed at least seven mammal species that visit this epiphytic cycad. At all three sites, the Northern olingo (Bassaricyon gabbii) was seen visiting individuals of Z. pseudoparasitica repeatedly, both while cones were closed and after they had opened. The duration and time-varying intensity of visits increased after cones had opened and we documented them removing and carrying away seeds. We also observed the Yellow-eared Toucanet (Selenidera spectabilis) consuming Z. pseudoparasitica seeds. These results suggest that the Northern olingo is an important seed dispersal agent for this rare epiphytic gymnosperm.