Input of wind-dispersed seeds into light-gaps and forest sites in a neotropical forest

Carol K. Augspurger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A total of 52, 467 wind-dispersed seeds from 14 tree and 32 liana species fell into 1720 seed traps in 43 paired light-gap and adjacent forest sites on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Summed at the community level, many more wind-dispersed seeds were collected from light-gaps (61%) than from forest sites (39%). They accumulated from March through May, 1984 to a density of 328 m~ain gaps and 207 m2 in forest sites. In contrast, only 33% of the total of 2782 non-wind-dispersed seeds were collected m gaps. Due to the extreme heterogeneity of the seed rain, these differences between gap and forest sites were not statistically significant at the community-leveL Gap sites received more wind-dispersed seeds than adjacent forest sites in only 20 of 43 locations and in 13 of 20 species, especially those with individuals of high fecundity near gap sites. Of the estimated 105 million wind-dispersed seeds contributing to the seed rain of the 50 ha study plot, only 4.1% were dispersed to the rare gap sites that enhance the establishment and growth of seedlings for many of these species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-252
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Tropical Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1988


  • Neotropics
  • Panama
  • lianas
  • light-gaps
  • non-wind-dispersed seeds
  • seed density
  • seed ram
  • trees
  • tropical forest
  • wind-dispersed seeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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