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Eukaryon

Class Year

2009

Keywords

agoutis, conditional mutualism

Abstract

Seed dispersal is a vital component of all tropical rainforests; it is the means by which plants can spread their seeds and successfully reproduce. Without the use of dispersal agents, seeds must compete with parent plants and with one another in order to survive. Many of the seeds within neotropical forests are dispersed by animals. These plant-animal interactions have considerable effects on plant distribution and diversity and the structure of rainforest communities (Howe & Smallwood 1982). In some cases, animals act as both seed predators and seed dispersers, ingesting and damaging some seeds, while dispersing others (Theimer 2005). The species of plants and animals involved in these intricate relationships are thus able to rely on one another for their own survival.

Disclaimer

Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College. Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

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