© 1986

Frugivores and seed dispersal

  • Editors
  • Alejandro Estrada
  • Theodore H. Fleming

Part of the Tasks for vegetation science book series (TAVS, volume 15)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIII
  2. Plant strategies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Alejandro Estrada, Theodore H. Fleming
      Pages 3-4
    3. Julie Sloan Denslow, Timothy C. Moermond, Douglas J. Levey
      Pages 37-44
    4. Mary F. Willson, William G. Hoppes
      Pages 55-69
  3. Frugivore strategies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-79
    2. Alejandro Estrada, Theodore H. Fleming
      Pages 81-83
    3. Charles H. Janson, Edmund W. Stiles, Douglas W. White
      Pages 83-92
    4. Timothy C. Moermond, Julie S. Denslow, Douglas J. Levey, Eduardo C. Santana
      Pages 137-146
  4. The consequences of seed dispersal

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Alejandro Estrada, Theodore H. Fleming
      Pages 167-168

About this book


A wide variety of plants, ranging in size from forest floor herbs to giant canopy trees, rely on animals to disperse their seeds. Typical values of the proportion of tropical vascular plants that produce fleshy fruits and have animal-dispersed seeds range from 50-90%, depending on habitat. In this section, the authors discuss this mutualism from the plant's perspective. Herrera begins by challenging the notion that plant traits traditionally interpreted as being the product of fruit-frugivore coevolution really are the outcome of a response-counter-response kind of evolutionary process. He uses examples of congeneric plants living in very different biotic and abiotic environments and whose fossilizable characteristics have not changed over long periods of time to argue that there exists little or no basis for assuming that gradualistic change and environmental tracking characterizes the interactions between plants and their vertebrate seed dispersers. A common theme that runs through the papers by Herrera, Denslow et at. , and Stiles and White is the importance of the 'fruiting environment' (i. e. the spatial relationships of conspecific and non-conspecific fruiting plants) on rates of fruit removal and patterns of seed rain. Herrera and Denslow et at. point out that this environment is largely outside the control of individual plant species and, as a result, closely coevolved interactions between vertebrates and plants are unlikely to evolve.


Vegetation desert evolution forest plant plants seed tree

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Frugivores and seed dispersal
  • Editors Alejandro Estrada
    T.H. Fleming
  • Series Title Tasks for vegetation science
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1986
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-6193-543-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-010-8633-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-4812-9
  • Series ISSN 0167-9406
  • Series E-ISSN 1875-130X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 392
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Plant Sciences
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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`This book is a must for every seed dispersal ecologist, and is, therefore, higly recommended.'
S. Godschalk, South American Journal on Zoology, 1989.

`... this book is a valuable source of information and methodological approaches for all students who are and will be attracted by this field of modern ecology.'
L. Klimes, Folia Geobotanica et Phytotaxonomica, Vol. 24, 1989.