Phylogenetic congruence between Neotropical primates and plants is driven by frugivory
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Seed dispersal benefits plants and frugivores, and potentially drives co-evolution, with consequences to diversification evidenced for, e.g., primates. Evidence for macro-coevolutionary patterns in multi-specific, plant-animal mutualisms is scarce, and the mechanisms driving them remain unexplored. We tested for phylogenetic congruences in primate-plant interactions and showed strong co-phylogenetic signals across Neotropical forests, suggesting that both primates and plants share evolutionary history. Phylogenetic congruence between Platyrrhini and Angiosperms was driven by the most generalist primates, modulated by their functional traits, interacting with a wide-range of Angiosperms. Consistently similar eco-evolutionary dynamics seem to be operating irrespective of local assemblages, since co-phylogenetic 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 likely coevolved outcomes.