About this Research Topic
Angiosperm reproduction hinges on two ecosystem functions: pollination and seed dispersal. A great number of species in all terrestrial systems have evolved to rely on animals in either one or both functions. This has led to the evolution of various floral and fruit traits, embedding each species in a complex network of mutualistic interactions. These interactions, and hence plant regeneration and basic food resources for animals, are highly susceptible to anthropogenic disruptions in multiple ways, from alterations of plant or animal communities through deforestation, defaunation, or the introduction of non-native species, to systemic changes in their ability to interact via air pollution or climate change.
How anthropogenic disruptions affect pollination and seed dispersal is almost exclusively studied separately for both functions. However, their effects are not independent of one another. First, reduced pollination quality is known to affect fruit quality and can therefore potentially also negatively affect seed dispersal. Second, many disruptions can have a systematic effect on both pollination and seed dispersal. For example, processes that alter floral scent and hence plant-pollination interactions may also affect fruit scent and its interaction pattern with seed dispersers. As such, the goal of this Research Topic is to integrate insights from studies of anthropogenic disturbances on both processes and on multiple levels - from the individual plant to entire interaction networks. Our goal is to offer a synthesis of these processes to demonstrate parallel patterns, as well as cascading effects, in pollination and seed dispersal. This will generate predictions for future studies and facilitate collaboration to improve our understanding of how anthropogenic disruptions affect both plant reproduction and animal mutualists.
This Research Topic will include research papers and reviews covering anthropogenic disturbances, broadly defined, to pollination and seed dispersal processes. These include, among others, defaunation and deforestation, land use, the introduction of invasive species, air pollution, and climate change. We expect each manuscript to stand on its own, and to be integrated to the greater topic through the editorial and placement in the Research Topic; however, we do encourage authors to write their manuscripts within the context of the Research Topic to further emphasize the common theme in all papers. We are specifically looking to match manuscripts that explore similar disturbances or model systems on both pollination and seed dispersal. We accept original data papers, computational or theoretical models, reviews, and meta-analyses.
Keywords: Coevolution, Pollination, Mutualism, Seed Dispersal, Ecosystem Services
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.