Seed Dispersal

  • Hiroshi Tanaka
  • Yohsuke Kominami
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 158)


Seed and pollen dispersal are known to be the only ways plants “move.” Plants can disperse their offspring via these two processes. Pollen dispersal may be most important for interbreeding with other distant individuals. The transport of seeds for long distances to expand the species range is often mentioned as an advantage conferred by seed dispersal methods. However, with respect to selective advantages, local dispersal at the spatial scale of a single plant community must be explained as a critical and sufficient evolutionary cause of seed dispersal (Howe and Smallwood 1982). Alternative advantages of local seed dispersal that have been emphasized include escaping high seed and seedling mortality around the parent plants, increasing the probability of colonizing favorable sites (disturbances) or finding a physically suitable establishment site or “safe site,” and nonrandom directional dispersal to a safe site (Howe and Smallwood 1982; Willson 1992; Nakashizuka et al. 1995).


Seed Dispersal Wood Mouse Disperse Seed Safe Site Temperate Deciduous Forest 


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© Springer Japan 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Tanaka
  • Yohsuke Kominami

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