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Quantity, quality and the effectiveness of seed dispersal by animals

  • Part 1: Historical and theoretical aspects of frugivory and seed dispersal
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Abstract

Disperser effectiveness is the contribution a disperser makes to the future reproduction of a plant. Although it is a key notion in studies of seed dispersal by animals, we know little about what determines the effectiveness of a disperser. The role of the present paper is to review the available information and construct a hierarchical framework for viewing the components of disperser effectiveness.

Effectiveness has both quantitative and qualitative components. The quantity of seed dispersal depends on (A) the number of visits made to the plant by a disperser and (B) the number of seeds dispersed per visit. The quality of seed dispersal depends on (A) the quality of treatment given a seed in the mouth and in the gut and (B) the quality of seed deposition as determined by the probability that a deposited seed will survive and become an adult. In this paper I review the ways disperser behavior, morphology and physiology can influence these major components of disperser effectiveness, and when data permit present preliminary analyses of relationships among components.

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Schupp, E.W. Quantity, quality and the effectiveness of seed dispersal by animals. Vegetatio 107, 15–29 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00052209

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