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Synthesis and Conclusions about the Ecology and Evolution of Vertebrate-Angiosperm Mutualisms

Synthesis and Conclusions about the Ecology and Evolution of Vertebrate-Angiosperm Mutualisms

Chapter:
(p.393) 9 Synthesis and Conclusions about the Ecology and Evolution of Vertebrate-Angiosperm Mutualisms
Source:
The Ornaments of Life
Author(s):
Theodore H. FlemingW. John Kress
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226023328.003.0009

This chapter summarizes the previous chapters in order to identify major patterns in the ecology and evolution of vertebrate pollination and seed-disperser mutualisms. It begins by reviewing the ecological, phylogenetic, and geographic structure of contemporary communities of vertebrate pollinators and frugivores. It then discusses the evolution of these communities and their species and traits. The structure of contemporary assemblages provides important insights into past evolutionary events, based on the assumption that evolutionary niche conservatism is widespread in lineages of these plants and animals.

Keywords:   ecology, evolution, vertebrate pollination, seed dispersal, frugivores, pollinators

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