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CABI Book Chapter

Seed dispersal: theory and its application in a changing world.

Book cover for Seed dispersal: theory and its application in a changing world.


The chapters of this book on seed dispersal are divided into four parts: (1) frugivores and frugivory (8 chapters); (2) seed and seedling shadows (7 chapters); (3) seed fate and establishment (eight chapters); and (4) management implications and conservation (six chapters). The book presents both recent advances and reviews of current knowledge.


Chapter 1 (Page no: 5)

Seed allometry and disperser assemblages in tropical rainforests: a comparison of four floras on different continents.

This chapter investigates whether geographically separated plant communities are inhabited by frugivores with distinct frequency distribution for body size with respect to mean seed size or mean seed elongation. Data on the shapes and sizes of seeds consumed and dispersed by frugivores in neotropical and palaeotropical rain forest: the Guianas (Guyane-also known as French Guiana; Suriname-formerly known as Dutch Guiana); Central Africa (Ivory Coast, Gabon, Cameroon, Uganda); Southern Thailand; and the wet tropics of Australia in Queensland, were compiled. The relationship between seed width and length were analysed, and the mean size and shape of seeds across continents for whole communities and within groups of plants dispersed by particular guilds of animals was compared. Results indicated that the differences in the mean size of seeds in plants from four rain forests on different continents reflected the mean size of the animals handling them. However, the relationship was a tenuous one and, when examined in more detail, the expected or straightforward patterns broke down. Large seeds from African sample were elongate relative to smaller one, though few constraints were expected on the shape of large seeds. Large seeds in Thailand were also relatively elongate and showed strong selective pressure to become elongate a seed size increased. However, Australia, with the smallest mean disperser size, had seeds that did not show a change in shape as a function of seed size, nor any selective pressure to do so. In contrast, seeds from the Guianas, with the second largest mean disperser weight, had large seeds that were rounder than small ones and demonstrated strong selection for this to occur. Clearly, different animal behaviour, such as carrying and dispersing seeds rather than swallowing them, can exert opposing selection on seed size and shape.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 2 (Page no: 37) Evolutionary ecology of secondary compounds in ripe fruit: case studies with capsaicin and emodin. Author(s): Levey, D. J. Tewksbury, J. J. Izhaki, I. Tsahar, E. Haak, D. C.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 59) The evolution of visual fruit signals: concepts and constraints. Author(s): Schaefer, H. M. Schaefer, V.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 78) A review on the role of endozoochory in seed germination. Author(s): Traveset, A. Robertson, A. W. Rodríguez-Pérez, J.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 104) Living in the land of ghosts: fruit traits and the importance of large mammals as seed dispersers in the Pantanal, Brazil. Author(s): Donatti, C. I. Galetti, M. Pizo, M. A. Guimarães, P. R., Jr. Jordano, P.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 124) The importance of lizards as frugivores and seed dispersers. Author(s): Valido, A. Olesen, J. M.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 148) Fleshy-fruited plants and frugivores in desert ecosystems. Author(s): Bronstein, J. L. Izhaki, I. Nathan, R. Tewksbury, J. J. Spiegel, O. Lotan, A. Altstein, O.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 178) Ecological redundancy in seed dispersal systems: a comparison between manakins (Aves: Pipridae) in two tropical forests. Author(s): Loiselle, B. A. Blendinger, P. G. Blake, J. G. Ryder, T. B.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 201) Estimating dispersal kernels produced by a diverse community of vertebrates. Author(s): Dennis, A. J. Westcott, D. A.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 229) Frugivores, seeds and genes: analysing the key elements of seed shadows. Author(s): Jordano, P.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 252) Total dispersal kernels and the evaluation of diversity and similarity in complex dispersal systems. Author(s): Nathan, R.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 277) How far do offspring recruit from parent plants? A molecular approach to understanding effective dispersal. Author(s): Hardesty, B. D.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 300) Using toucan-generated dispersal models to estimate seed dispersal in Amazonian Ecuador. Author(s): Holbrook, K. M. Loiselle, B. A.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 322) Linking seed and seedling shadows: a case study in the oaks (Quercus). Author(s): Steele, M. A. Carlson, J. E. Smallwood, P. D. McEuen, A. B. Contreras, T. A. Terzaghi, W. B.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 340) Estimates of the number of seeds dispersed by a population of primates in a lowland forest in Western Amazonia. Author(s): Stevenson, P. R.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 369) Plant-frugivore interactions as spatially explicit networks: integrating frugivore foraging with fruiting plant spatial patterns. Author(s): Carlo, T. A. Aukema, J. E. Morales, J. M.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 391) An empirical approach to analysing the demographic consequences of seed dispersal by frugivores. Author(s): Godínez-Alvarez, H. Jordano, P.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 407) How seed dispersal affects interactions with specialized natural enemies and their contribution to the maintenance of diversity. Author(s): Muller-Landau, H. C. Adler, F. R.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 427) Out of one shadow and into another: causes and consequences of spatially contagious seed dispersal by frugivores. Author(s): Kwit, C. Levey, D. J. Turner, S. A. Clark, C. J. Poulsen, J. R.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 445) The suitability of a site for seed dispersal is context-dependent. Author(s): Schupp, E. W.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 463) Mycorrhizal plants and vertebrate seed and spore dispersal: incorporating mycorrhizas into the seed dispersal paradigm. Author(s): Theimer, T. C. Gehring, C. A.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 479) The influence of seed source, habitat and fungi on Cecropia seed survival in two neotropical forests. Author(s): Gallery, R. E. Dalling, J. W. Wolfe, B. T. Arnold, A. E.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 499) Determinants of tree species distributions: comparing the roles of dispersal, seed size and soil specialization in a Bornean rainforest. Author(s): Russo, S. E. Potts, M. D. Davies, S. J. Tan, S.
Chapter: 24 (Page no: 523) Pollination or seed dispersal: which should we worry about most? Author(s): Corlett, R. T.
Chapter: 25 (Page no: 545) Do seed dispersers matter? A biogeographical approach. Author(s): Böhning-Gaese, K.
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 561) Investigating fragility in plant-frugivore networks: a case study of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Author(s): Silva, W. R. Guimarães Júnior, P. R. Reis, S. F. dos Guimarães, P.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 579) Refining the conservation management of seed-dispersing frugivores and their fruits: examples from Australia. Author(s): Green, R. J.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 599) Seed dispersal in anthropogenic landscapes. Author(s): Wright, S. J.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 615) Frugivory by birds in degraded areas of Brazil. Author(s): Pizo, M. A.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, UMR 7179 CNRS-MNHN, 4 av. du Petit Château, F-91800 Brunoy, France.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2007
  • ISBN
  • 9781845931650
  • Record Number
  • 20073244835