Ecology of Seed Dispersal

Ecology of Seed Dispersal Identification of the selective forces on plant dispersal engenders theoretical argument, empirical study, and speculation. We separate evidence, testable hypotheses, and conjecture surrounding two major questions in dispersal ecology. The first asks what ecological, and ultimately evolutionary, advan­ tages exist in seed dispersal. Astonishingly little is known about the advan­ tages to a parent plant that are actually conferred by investment in dispersal structures. Does dispersal enable seeds and ultimately seedlings to escape mortality near the parent? Is continual recolonization of unstable habitats the primary advantage? Must seeds find rare microhabitats suitable for reestablishment? Such issues are addressed through joint consideration of dispersal and establishment-those stages both mediated by parental provi­ sioning and subject to the highest mortality in the life of a plant. The second broad question asks what general and explicit environmental forces influ­ ence the timing and mode of dispersal. Do climates or seasons favor one and dispersal mode over another? Do differences in number, size, morphology, or nutritional quality of fruits influence frugivore choice, consequently general differential dispersal of species or individuals within species? Studies of dispersal process and mode should be intimately connected. A and, in so doing, to catalyze their union. We http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Annual Reviews

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1982 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0066-4162
DOI
10.1146/annurev.es.13.110182.001221
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Identification of the selective forces on plant dispersal engenders theoretical argument, empirical study, and speculation. We separate evidence, testable hypotheses, and conjecture surrounding two major questions in dispersal ecology. The first asks what ecological, and ultimately evolutionary, advan­ tages exist in seed dispersal. Astonishingly little is known about the advan­ tages to a parent plant that are actually conferred by investment in dispersal structures. Does dispersal enable seeds and ultimately seedlings to escape mortality near the parent? Is continual recolonization of unstable habitats the primary advantage? Must seeds find rare microhabitats suitable for reestablishment? Such issues are addressed through joint consideration of dispersal and establishment-those stages both mediated by parental provi­ sioning and subject to the highest mortality in the life of a plant. The second broad question asks what general and explicit environmental forces influ­ ence the timing and mode of dispersal. Do climates or seasons favor one and dispersal mode over another? Do differences in number, size, morphology, or nutritional quality of fruits influence frugivore choice, consequently general differential dispersal of species or individuals within species? Studies of dispersal process and mode should be intimately connected. A and, in so doing, to catalyze their union. We

Journal

Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and SystematicsAnnual Reviews

Published: Nov 1, 1982

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