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This book is the second major volume dealing with the fruit/seed/frugivore mutualism, which is an ecological interaction of profound importance in many habitats around the world. This mutualism is particularly well-developed in the tropics, where a majority of trees and shrubs depend on animals for their seed dispersal. Detailed studies of this interaction have only recently begun, and the field is in its infancy. Yet these studies are extremely important for an understanding of how complex ecosystems evolve, how they function, and how they must be managed to preserve their structure and function. Chapters in this book are written by many of the major researchers in the field and deal with the frugivory mutualism from both theoretical and applied perspectives. The book is rich in new details about fruits and frugivores stemming from a variety of observational and experimental approaches. It also contains examples of new empirical and theoretical approaches to studying the fruit-frugivore mutualism. Finally, it contains important new perspectives on the conservation implications of this mutualism. Because of its breadth and depth, this book is a valuable source of information for advanced as well as beginning students in ecology, evolution and conservation.
General Introduction. Part 1: Historical and Theoretical Aspects of Frugivory and Seed Dispersal. Part 2: Plant Strategies. Part 3: Frugivore Strategies. Part 4: Consequences of Seed Dispersal.