Title of symposium:
The future of frugivory, seed dispersal, seed predation, and fate in changing tropical landscapes

Principal Organizer:
Kim McConkey
National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore & University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

Pierre-Michel Forget
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle – UMR MECADEV

Symposium Summary
The future of the world’s ecosystems is inexorably linked to the interactions that occur between plants and animals. Among the most pivotal of these interactions in the tropics are seed dispersal and seed predation. The vast majority of tropical trees have seeds that are dispersed and / or consumed by animals, and changes in the populations of these animal dispersers and seed-eaters can have cascading impacts on ecosystems. Forests that have altered populations of animal dispersers and predators are losing their plant diversity, their resilience to disturbance and have changes in patterns of seed fate. Understanding seed dispersal and predation, and the changes wrought on them by disturbance, requires knowledge at multiple levels. We must integrate a deep knowledge of natural history of the interaction partners, with a broad understanding of the entire process at community and landscape levels. We must be prepared to think deeply, broadly and sometimes even “outside-the-box” if we are to identify the changes caused by disturbance and determine how we can manage these changes. Our goal in this symposium is to show – through a series of talks that encompass this diversity – how a multi-layered understanding of seed dispersal and predation systems will enrich our understanding of the interactions we study and provide a more accurate assessment of seed dispersal and predation processes and how to conserve them.

List of speakers and presentation titles:





Mathieu Guerin



Protected areas and access to forest resources: An historical perspective on the National Park and the Krau Reserve in colonial Malaya

Alys Granados

Gunung Palung Orangutan Project


The importance of mast fruiting for vertebrates in a faunally intact ecosystem

Lisa Ong

University of Nottingham


The seed dispersal network of the Royal Belum Rainforest, Peninsular Malaysia

Miyabi Nakabayashi

University of the Ryukyus


Seed dispersal of hemi-epiphytic figs by binturongs, gibbons and hornbills on Borneo

Henry Pollock

Colorado State University

United States

Breeding-related differences in habitat use and home-range size influence seed dispersal effectiveness and potential for forest regeneration in an endangered frugivore

Haruko Ando

National Institute for Environmental Studies


Do Japanese Wood Pigeons disperse seeds among islands? Foraging strategy estimated by observation and a molecular ecological approach

Hazel Chapman

University of Canterbury

New Zealand

Can puttynose save the day? Surrogate dispersal in an Afromontane forest

Hiroki Sato

Kyoto University


Significance of escape from the mother trees: comparison of post-dispersal seed fates between two lemur-dispersed plant species in northwestern Madagascar

Adrienne Contasti

University of British Columbia

United States

Bayesian posteriors identify the effect of disturbance on the plant-granivore interaction in ecosystems worldwide