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I try to test the prediction that bird-dispersed plants should produce fruits when fruit-eating birds are most abundant by reviewing some phenological data of fleshy fruit production in western Europe The prediction that fruit ripening dates in populations of the same species should occur later at lower latitudes and elevations, to coincide with the maximum abundance of fruit-eating birds, is not supported by the data The patterns of seasonal variation in the total number and biomass of fruits, but not in the proportion of species in fruit, in communities at different latitudes and elevations do coincide with patterns of seasonal abundances of avian frugivores 1 suggest that this coincidence is due to the greater relative abundance (and contribution to total fruit production) in each locality of species that fruit at times of the year when birds are most abundant These species may have achieved a demographic advantage by getting more seeds dispersed than species that ripen fruits in other seasons