Nutmeg Dispersal by Tropical Birds

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Science  21 Nov 1980:
Vol. 210, Issue 4472, pp. 925-927
DOI: 10.1126/science.210.4472.925


Frugivorous birds preferentially remove fruits from Panamanian Virola trees where the ratio of edible aril to indigestible seed is high. A negative correlation between the proportion of the crop removed and mean seed size explains 59 percent of the variance in removal, suggesting that birds minimize ingestion of useless bulk.