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Functional Equivalence in Seed Dispersal Effectiveness

Functional Equivalence in Seed Dispersal Effectiveness

Most fleshy-fruited species have strong local relationships with a small number of species that eat fruit across their areas, which be different between sites and can influence the dynamics of plant populations. Human disturbances alter both the animal assemblage that plants are in contact and the result of mutualistic interactions. The negative effects of human disturbances are diminished when various seeds dispersers have similar effects on populations of plants as they are functionally comparable. 

To better understand the effects of the variation in seed dispersers’ effects on their recruitment to a tree with a long-lived species, I examined the changes in the assemblages of dispersers from avians from Podocarpus parlatorei in subtropical Andean cloud forests, as well as how the changes alter the results of the interaction across different spatial dimensions. Seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) idea, which is defined as the chance of a plant removed by a bird that eats fruit to be dispersed to the right place for seed survival and germination, provides a foundation for comparing the contributions of various birds in seed dispersal. 

I evaluated with the SDE within two older-growth forest types that are dominated by P. parlatorei as well as a disturbed by humans forest, as well as in the principal habitats of these locations. In all locations, the high SDE values were derived via “gulpers” that swallow the whole cone (“fruit”) typically in the species of Elaenia as well as Turdus species. SDE was the highest in the forest edges and secondary forests, but was not as high for other types of habitats. Tropical Birds

 Equivalence within SDE was minimal between and within forest areas

Human-caused forest disturbances altered the functional equivalence, generalization of mutualistic interactions, and the power of SDE. Secondary forests had the highest SDE and the higher abundance of dispersers with high SDE and, as a result the ecological equivalence was increased in the habitat that is most suitable to attract. This may result in more resilience of populations of plants to local disperser extinctions,

and permits the recovery of disturbed forests that have been disturbed by humans. This study indicates that when it comes to the replacement of functionally similar species, the outcomes of interactions are largely dependent on the abundance of dispersers and habitat use, but at the cost of dispersers’ redundantity on the dynamics of population dynamics and the structure of communities.


Numerous terrestrial plants rely on the consumption of fruit by animals to disperse their seeds. Seeds are eaten with pulp of the fruit, and then removed of the plant, where the seedlings would be exposed to an intxxxraspecific competitive environment that is high density dependent and a risk of predation ( xxThe animal removes the pulp of the seed, thus decreasing the chance of being attacked by pathogens, while promoting germination through physical and chemical scarification, as well as removal of inhibitors to germinationHowever, the effectiveness of each process differs within species of plants. 

For instance, distinct plants may not be as effective in getting

dispersers to join, leading to a different percentage of crop size removalFurthermore, certain animals that eat fruit just consume the pulp and then discard the seeds without ingestion; therefore seeds are dropped near the mother plant and then dropped with the remnants of pulp stuck to them and are more prone to pathogens. So, when the fruit is removed seeds may be scattered to different distances from the plant that is the mother to the deposition site in which the physical and biological factors will influence the phases of recruitment starting with the survival of seeds in the soil until the establishment of a new plants ( Wang and Smith 2002).

Fruits of fleshy plants are part of generalized

mutualisms that interact with a variety of seeds dispersers ( Herrera, 1985; Howe, 1993; Donatti et and. (2011)). But the strength of the links between a species of plant and its mutualistic counterparts can be very different and can be seen in quantitatively strong connections with only a handful of species of seeds dispersers ( Jordano, 1987; Bascompte and Jordano Bascompte and Jordano, 2007,; Ruggera et and. in 2016).

 These strong connections are typically created with the largest number of mutualistic partneMcConkey et and. (2015)). Thus both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of SDE have to be considered in order to determine the effects of the dispersal of seeds carried by a specific class of fruit-eating animal on selection of the plant species. The geographical context that the interaction takes place can also influence this aspect of the process ( Schupp et al. (2010); Lavabre et al.. in 2016). 

At a regional level there are diver

se populations of a plant interact with different groups of species, as the composition and quantity of assemblages of seeds dispersers usually differ across the geographical range of a species of plant ( Jordano, 1993; Thompson, Thompson,; Robledo-Arnuncio et and. (2014)). On a local scale the composition and abundanceof seed dispersers are different in different habitats because of the species’ habitat selection as well as their interactions with the biotic and physical environmental.

The function of seed dispersers can depend on their quantity and phenotypic characteristics that are relevant to the interplay ( Schleuning et al. 2015). The species of fruit-eating birds are a significant group of seeds dispersers, differ in terms of mobility, habitat requirements and foraging behaviour, as well as size, shape , and digestion capacity and all these variables affect the quantity of seeds dispersed and the quality of dispersal service.


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