Most ecological studies of fungi associated with tropical plants have focused on the rhizosphere or phyllosphere of seedlings, saplings and adult trees (Augspurger 1983, 1984; Bell et al. 2006, Gilbert 2002, Gilbert et al. 2002, Husband et al. 2002, Kiers et al. 2000, Mangan et al. 2004). However, fungi also infect the seeds of tropical trees, reducing seed survival and potentially affecting adult distributions (Gallery et al. 2007a, b). Fungicide experiments have shown that fungal and oomyceteous pathogens are the major cause of seed mortality in the soil for a variety of tropical pioneers (Dalling et al. 1998, Gallery et al. 2007b, Murray & Garcia 2002), which depend on recruitment from seed banks to colonize gaps and other disturbances in mature forest (Alvarez-Buylla & Martinez-Ramos 1990, Dalling et al. 1997, Hall & Swaine 1980). Persistence in the soil prolongs exposure of seeds to infection by soil-borne fungi and is especially problematic for small-seeded species with thin fruit or seed walls (Baskin & Baskin 1998, Blaney & Kotanen 2002, Crist & Friese 1993). At present little is known about the host affinity of fungi associated with seeds of tropical trees, and consequently, whether seed-infecting fungi influence plant species coexistence through differential infection of, or effects on, potential hosts.