In the tropics, the vast majority of plant species rely on vertebrate frugivores to disperse their seeds. Understanding the value of frugivore-mediated seed dispersal depends upon comprehending the interaction between foraging behaviors of animals and the seed dispersal services they provide. I seek to provide new insights to long-lasting questions of what are the impacts of frugivores on plants – from the individual level to population and community levels, how different frugivore species within a guild may vary in their seed dispersal service, and how frugivore loss affect the ecosystem. These questions have important conceptual implications for understanding the dynamics and functioning of biodiverse plant communities, given that seed dispersal determines ecological and evolutionary patterns of plant diversity. Such knowledge can also aid in predicting which species might be most sensitive and what are the ecosystem responses to frugivore loss.
- Relative importance of frugivore-mediated seed dispersal in the spread of a non-native invasive plant species
- Roles of frugivores in the dispersal of an hemiparasitic plant species