Seed dispersal of the tropical tree, Platypodium elegans, and the escape of its seedlings from fungal pathogens.

C. K. Augspurger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Seedlings of Platypodium elegans, a wind-dispersed tree on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, were monitored. Damping-off by fungi caused most mortality in the first 3 months, during which mortality occurred at an exponential rate. Both incidence and rate of damping-off were inversely correlated with distance of seedlings from the parent tree. Irrespective of density, a lower proportion of seedlings died from damping-off in light-gaps than in the shaded understory. After 1 yr a higher proportion and absolute number of seedlings survived at distances away from the parent; survival was highest in light-gaps. Fungal pathogens causing damping-off may increase selection for the dispersal of seeds away from the parent tree. They significantly increase the distance at which a parent's offspring are likely to survive the seedling stage and thus, ultimately, may influence tree spatial patterns and species diversity of the tropical forest. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-771
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Ecology
Volume71
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

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