CBB Seminar: Comparative seed dispersal of a transatlantic tree genus by neo- and paleotropical vertebrate species Event as iCalendar

(Seminars)

16 August 2013

06 - 06am

Venue: Tamaki Innovation Campus, University of Auckland, Blg 731, Rm 201

Host: Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity

CBB photo 16 Aug 13

Associate Professor Pierre Michel Forget
Visiting Erskine Fellow, Ecology and Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France

The recent discovery of new species and the revision of Carapa, a trans-Atlantic tree genus, opened a debate on the geographic origin and the cause of diversification of the genus in relation to its dispersal vectors across and within continents. Several theoretical scenarios of dispersal can be proposed to explain the current distribution in two separate continents with different guilds of dispersers. This presentation, will summarize the current knowledge of seed dispersal in Carapa by animals and abiotic (barochory, drifting) means in the neo- and the paleotropics. There is now evidence of dispersal of Carapa seeds by rodents in the two continents. Whereas megafauna is lacking in America, elephants may play a significant role as long-distance seed dispersers in Africa. The contrasting animal-plant mutualism on different continents, despite very similar fruit and seed traits, suggests further fields of investigations for ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Such knowledge is crucial to understand the selective forces behind the diversification of species, their high biodiversity, diversification and adaptation to similar habitats.

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