Cookies on CAB eBooks

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.

Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

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 15 (Page no: 340)

Estimates of the number of seeds dispersed by a population of primates in a lowland forest in Western Amazonia.

A study was conducted to compare the estimates of seed dispersal by the woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) with seed trap data and direct observations on fruiting trees to determine the proportion of seeds in the community dispersed by woolly monkeys. The study site is located in a tropical lowland forest on the eastern border of Tinigua National Park, Colombia. Results revealed a total of 1562 depositions during the study but only 36 of these contained seeds. On average, a single dropping included 70 seeds, but the number of seeds per deposition was highly variable (range: 0-1049) and dependent on the abundance of small seeds. Seeds smaller than 3 mm, from species such as Cecropia spp., Coussapoa spp., Ficus spp. and Henriettella spp. were the most abundant in the faecal samples (83%). In general, there was a good agreement between the number of seeds manipulated and dispersed by woolly monkeys. The difference between the number of seeds manipulated and dispersed was not associated with insufficient sampling of feeding rates. More discrepancies between quantification estimates were found at short timescales (e.g. days) than at an interval of 1 month, when the regression coefficient between manipulated and dispersed seeds was highest. Thirty-seven species were never or only rarely dispersed, suggesting either predation or inefficient dispersal. Different animal species disperse ~56.8 kg/ha of seeds per year. When complete fruits (including seeds) are considered, the proportion of dispersed seeds in the community changes from 50.1 to 19.6%. The species most exclusively used by woolly monkeys were mainly protected fruits or large unprotected fruits, which is in agreement with the expected patterns. The highest number of species recorded feeding on a single species of plant was 43 (Ficus sphenophylla) and the lowest number was zero. Nocturnal activity was substantial for only a few species of plants, such as Cecropia membranacea and C. engleriana. On average, woolly monkeys removed 35% of the fruits in this community-wide analysis, including the most abundant canopy species in the area.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 5) Seed allometry and disperser assemblages in tropical rainforests: a comparison of four floras on different continents. Author(s): Forget, P. M. Dennis, A. J. Mazer, S. J. Jansen, P. A. Kitamura, S. Lambert, J. E. Westcott, D. A.
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: 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