Understanding cascading effects of species loss is a major challenge for ecologists. Traditionally, the robustness of ecological networks has been evaluated based on simulation studies where primary extinctions occur at random or as a function of species specialization, ignoring other important biological factors. Here, we estimate the robustness of a seed dispersal network from a grassland–forest mosaic in southern Brazil, simulating distinct scenarios of woody plant species extinction, including scenarios where species are eliminated based on their evolutionary and functional distinctiveness. Our results suggest that the network is more robust when species are eliminated based on their evolutionary uniqueness, followed by random extinctions, the extinction of the most specialist species, functional distinctiveness and, at last, when the most generalist species are sequentially eliminated. Our results provide important information for grassland–forest mosaic management, as they indicate that loss of generalist species and functional diversity makes the system more likely to collapse.