Relationships between dispersal syndrome and characteristics of populations of trees in a mixed-species forest [Chapter 23]
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): W. J. Platt; Sharon M. Hermann
Editor(s): A. Estrada; T. H. Fleming
Publication Year: 1986

Cataloging Information

  • Carya
  • distribution
  • Fagus grandifolia
  • Florida
  • Magnolia grandiflora
  • mammals
  • Quercus
  • Quercus michauxii
  • seed dispersal
  • trees
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 34408
Tall Timbers Record Number: 8640
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The null hypothesis that dispersal syndrome is not related to characteristics of forest tree populations was explored using a 4.5 ha mapped plot in a subtropical mixed-species forest in northern Florida, USA. Dispersal syndrome was not related to physiognomy, abundance, or spatial dispersion of tree species. Of the common trees, small individuals of three species that produced the largest-sized propagules. (Carya spp., Quercus michauxii, Q. nigra) were positively associated with localized gaps within the forest. Patterns to the distribution of juveniles of these species suggest that propagules are not differentially dispersed to gaps. In addition, slow growth of these species, even in gaps, precludes growth into the understory stratum prior to gap closure. Instead, juveniles die back and resprout repeatedly prior to entry into the understory in localized gaps. Likelihoods that juveniles will enter the understory are very low and require fortuitous sequential leases from suppression. The dispersal syndrome, in which propagules are distributed over the forest floor at low uniform densities as a result of scatterhoarding by mammals. Especially squirrels, appears essential for these species to be co-dominants in this forest.

Platt, W. J., and S. M. Hermann. 1986. Relationships between dispersal syndrome and characteristics of populations of trees in a mixed-species forest [Chapter 23], in A Estrada and TH Fleming eds., Frugivores and seed dispersal. Amsterdam, Dr. W. Junk Publisher, p. 309-321.