Special Issue: Frugivory & Seed Dispersal

Submitted by editor on 2 February 2022.Get the paper!

A cock-of the rock (Rupicola rupicola), a specialized frugivore, feeding on palm fruits. Photo credit: João Paulo Krajewski.

Take a Look at this Special Issue: Frugivory & Seed Dispersal


Table of Contents: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/16000706/2022/2022/2

Editorial: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/oik.09220


Editors of the special of Frugivory & Seed dispersal during a virtual meeting across three time zones (New Zealand, Spain, Brazil & Puerto Rico).


Frugivory events and seed dispersal processes integrate research on the foraging ecology of frugivores in relation to the reproductive biology of plants. The outcomes of frugivory and seed dispersal affect a number of ecological patterns and processes at different levels of organization, including movements, range dynamics of animals and plants, gene flow within and among populations across landscapes, and, ultimately, the regeneration of entire plant communities and ecosystems. Plant regeneration processes, in turn, influence the persistence of a myriad of life forms beyond the animals and plants involved in frugivory and seed dispersal interactions. Through its influences on plant community structure and diversity, frugivory is thus a process that affects terrestrial ecosystems dominated by plants worldwide. Advances in this fertile field have been marked by seven international conferences held in Mexico (1985 & 1991), Brazil (2000), Australia (2005), France (2010), South Africa (2015), and most recently in the Corbett landscape of India (2020). The previous conferences enabled the publication of five important edited that constitute a solid base to the FSD field. Here, in this shared special issue between Oikos and Journal of Avian Biology, we present a selection of 25 papers, presented at the FSD 2020 conference in India. Two papers focusing on bird-specific topics are available at Journal of Avian Biology, whereas other topics on ecology are published in this issue of Oikos. Our selection of papers exemplify current research advances on frugivory and seed dispersal ecology in a diversity of fronts.

This figure (Fig. 3B from Camargo et al. 2022, this special issue) illustrates a fundamental effect of frugivores diversity on plant diversity: the evenness of seed species dispersed into deforested areas increased with the diversity of the species richness of visiting birds. Thus, higher frugivore diversity helps maintain a higher plant species' diversity in the seed rain.


On the island of São Tomé large, introduced animals had larger gapes than the remnant community of seed dispersers. In their paper, Heleno et al. (2022) show how these introduced animals could replace the roles of extinct and extirpated animals – which tend to be large-bodied – by increasing the upper limit of seed sizes than can be dispersed in defaunated communities.  

Green et al. (2022) provide an overview of plant dispersal syndromes in Europe, and highlight the inadequacy of these syndromes in predicting which plants are dispersed by ungulates and waterbirds – both non-frugivores that are major long distance seed dispersers. The authors argue for a broader inclusion of non-frugivores and dispersal syndromes in the study of zoochoric seed dispersal processes. Photo is of sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) in Thailand. Photo credit: Kulpat Saralamba.

A northern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina) storing fruits in its cheek pouches, in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. This is a major way in which macaques disperse seeds, as many of the stored fruits are not consumed until later and the seeds are spat away from the fruiting plant. Photo credit: Kulpat Saralamba.

A great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) feeds on a fig species (Ficus sp.) in Thailand. Photo credit: Kulpat Saralamba.

An olive-backed euphonia (Euphonia gouldi), a specialized frugivore, feeds in the fruits of a fig (Ficus colubrinae) in Costa Rica. Photo credit: T.A. Carlo.


Blog post by: Tomás A. Carlo

The Oikos Special Issue is found here https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/16000706/2022/2022/2

The papers in Journal of Avian Biology here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jav.02803 and https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jav.02748

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