1932

Abstract

▪ Abstract 

Vertebrate dispersal of fruits and seeds is a common feature of many modern angiosperms and gymnosperms, yet the evolution and frequency of this feature in the fossil record remain unclear. Increasingly complex information suggests that () plants had the necessary morphological features for vertebrate dispersal by the Pennsylvanian, but possibly in the absence of clear vertebrate dispersal agents; () vertebrate herbivores first diversified in the Permian, and consistent dispersal relationships became possible; () the Mesozoic was dominated by large herbivorous dinosaurs, possible sources of diffuse, whole-plant dispersal; () simultaneously, several groups of small vertebrates, including lizards and, in the later Mesozoic, birds and mammals, could have established more specific vertebrate-plant associations, but supporting evidence is rudimentary; and () the diversification of small mammals and birds in the Tertiary established a consistent basis for organ-level interactions, allowing for the widespread occurrence of biotic dispersal in gymnosperms and angiosperms.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.34.011802.132535
2004-12-15
2024-06-13
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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