Growing interest in spatial ecology is promoting new approaches to the study of seed dispersal, one of the key processes determining the spatial structure of plant populations. Seed-dispersion patterns vary among plant species, populations and individuals, at different distances from parents, different microsites and different times. Recent field studies have made progress in elucidating the mechanisms behind these patterns and the implications of these patterns for recruitment success. Together with the development and refinement of mathematical models, this promises a deeper, more mechanistic understanding of dispersal processes and their consequences.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are pleased to acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Schonbrunn Foundation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (R.N.) and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (H.M-L.). We are grateful to S. Levin, J. Wright, J. Dalling, C. Williams, G. Houle, D. Wenny and G. Hurtt for helpful comments that considerably improved this article, and to R. Knight for assistance in preparing the figures.