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Tropical rainforests are known for their extreme biodiversity, posing a challenging problem in tropical ecology. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the diversity of tree species, yet our understanding of this phenomenon remains incomplete. Here, we consider the contribution of animal seed dispersers to the species diversity of trees. We built a multi-layer lattice model of trees whose animal seed dispersers are allowed to move only in restricted areas to disperse the tree seeds. We incorporated the effects of seed dispersers in the traditional theory of allopatric speciation on a geological time scale. We modified the lattice model to explicitly examine the coexistence of new tree species and the resulting high biodiversity. The results indicate that both the coexistence and diversified evolution of tree species can be explained by the introduction of animal seed dispersers.


  • Royal Society open science

    Royal Society open science (2), 2015-10-14

    Royal Society


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