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Introduction to the Special Issue: The role of seed dispersal in plant populations: perspectives and advances in a changing world.

ABSTRACT: Despite the importance of seed dispersal as a driving process behind plant community assembly, our understanding of the role of seed dispersal in plant population persistence and spread remains incomplete. As a result, our ability to predict the effects of global change on plant populations is hampered. We need to better understand the fundamental link between seed dispersal and population dynamics in order to make predictive generalizations across species and systems, to better understand plant community structure and function, and to make appropriate conservation and management responses related to seed dispersal. To tackle these important knowledge gaps, we established the CoDisperse Network and convened an interdisciplinary, NSF-sponsored Seed Dispersal Workshop in 2016, during which we explored the role of seed dispersal in plant population dynamics (NSF DEB Award # 1548194). In this Special Issue, we consider the current state of seed dispersal ecology and identify the following collaborative research needs: (i) the development of a mechanistic understanding of the movement process influencing dispersal of seeds; (ii) improved quantification of the relative influence of seed dispersal on plant fitness compared to processes occurring at other life history stages; (iii) an ability to scale from individual plants to ecosystems to quantify the influence of dispersal on ecosystem function; and (iv) the incorporation of seed dispersal ecology into conservation and management strategies.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7164217 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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