Predispersal hazards

The period of seed development on the parent plant can be one of the most hazardous phases in a plant's life cycle. In many plants, only a very small proportion of the ovules eventually mature into viable seeds. This is because many flowers fail to produce fruits, and many of the ovules in fruits fail to produce seeds. Studies on a wide range of species have recorded huge variations in fruit set and seed set (Wiens, 1984 Sutherland, 1986). Seed losses in the pre-dispersal stage may be due to...