Fruiting Phenology

A few general patterns in dispersal phenology have been described. Wind-dispersed neotropical trees, for instance, mature their fruits during the dry season, when trade winds are strong and trees are leafless, contrasting with the more or less constant throughout-the-year production of fleshy or dry fruits. By contrast, in the north temperate zones, mature fruits are produced in late summer and autumn, when avian frugivores are usually abundant, whereas further south, ripe fruits are also found through the winter, when flocks of wintering migrant birds are foraging. Nevertheless, such fruiting patterns do not need to be interpreted as adaptations to dispersal, as constraints to such timing may derive from selection to avoid pathogens or predators, to shift the flowering time, or to modify the length required for fruit maturation. It is widely accepted that seasonality in temperature and water availability set limits on the time of fruit and seed development and maturation.

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