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Frugivory and Seed Dispersal: Ecological and Evolutionary Aspects

Fleming, T H; Estrada, A

Edité par Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1993
ISBN 10: 0792321413 / ISBN 13: 9780792321415
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Titre : Frugivory and Seed Dispersal: Ecological and...

Éditeur : Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht

Date d'édition : 1993

Reliure : Hardcover

Edition : First Edition.

Description :

xii, 392pp. VG : in very good condition without dust jacket as issued Illustrated hardback laminated board cover. N° de réf. du libraire j8142

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Synopsis : Any scientific discipline needs a theoretical framework to guide its development and to sharpen the questions its researchers pursue. In biology, evolution is the grand theoretical framework, and an his­ torical perspective is necessary to understand present-day biological conditions. In its formative years, the modern study of the fruit-frugivore mutualism was guided by the 'specialist-generalist' paradigm developed by D. Snow, D. McKey, and H. Howe. Howe reviews the current status of this evolution­ ary paradigm and points out that it has been dismissed by many workers before being adequately tested. This is because ecologists working with the tropical plants and frugivorous birds for which the paradigm was originally developed rarely measure the seed dispersal effectiveness of different disperser species. He indicates that this paradigm still has heuristic value and suggests that several additional ecological paradigms, including the concept ofkeystone species ofplants and frugivores and the role that frugivores play in density-dependent mortality in tropical trees, are worth studying. The concept of seed dispersal quality has been central to discussions of fruit-frugivore coevolution. Schupp thoroughly reviews data bearing on this concept, constructs a hierarchical framework for viewing disperser effectiveness, and points out that disperser effectiveness depends on both the quantity and quality of seed dispersal. Effectiveness, in turn, affects both evolutionary and ecological relationships between dispersers and their food plants.

Synopsis: This book is the second major volume dealing with the fruit/seed/frugivore mutualism, which is an ecological interaction of profound importance in many habitats around the world. This mutualism is particularly well-developed in the tropics, where a majority of trees and shrubs depend on animals for their seed dispersal. Detailed studies of this interaction have only recently begun, and the field is in its infancy. Yet these studies are extremely important for an understanding of how complex ecosystems evolve, how they function, and how they must be managed to preserve their structure and function. Chapters in this book are written by many of the major researchers in the field and deal with the frugivory mutualism from both theoretical and applied perspectives. The book is rich in new details about fruits and frugivores stemming from a variety of observational and experimental approaches. It also contains examples of new empirical and theoretical approaches to studying the fruit-frugivore mutualism. Finally, it contains important new perspectives on the conservation implications of this mutualism. Because of its breadth and depth, this book is a valuable source of information for advanced as well as beginning students in ecology, evolution and conservation.

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