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Seed Dispersal in Tropical Forests

Author(s): HHMI BioInteractive

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In this activity, students use data from published studies to understand patterns of seed dispersal and apply these ideas to the design of a conservation area.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 26 Mar 2018 doi:10.25334/Q4GH4C - cite this


In this exercise, students investigate differences in seed dispersal between two tropical tree species, one wind-dispersed and one bird-dispersed. Student make predictions about the seed shadow of the two species and then compare their predictions to seed dispersal patterns revealed in graphs. Students also explore the relationship between seed survival as a function of distance from the maternal tree. Students apply what they learn to the design of a conservation area. In an optional activity, students examine the degree to which results from the study support the Janzen-Connell hypothesis.

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