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Title: Interactions between fleshy fruits and frugivores in a tropical seasonal forest in Thailand
Authors: Shumpei Kitamura
Takakazu Yumoto
Pilai Poonswad
Phitaya Chuailua
Kamol Plongmai
Tamaki Maruhashi
Naohiko Noma
Kyoto University
Mahidol University
Musashi University
University of Shiga Prefecture
Keywords: Environmental Science
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2002
Citation: Oecologia. Vol.133, No.4 (2002), 559-572
Abstract: Large frugivores are considered to be important seed dispersers for many tropical plant species. Their roles as seed dispersers are not well known in Southeast Asia, where degraded landscapes typically lack these animals. Interactions between 259 (65 families) vertebrate-dispersed fruits and frugivorous animals (including 7 species of bulbul, 1 species of pigeon, 4 species of hornbill, 2 species of squirrel, 3 species of civet, 2 species of gibbon, 1 species of macaque, 2 species of bear, 2 species of deer, and 1 species of elephant) were studied for 3 years in a tropical seasonal forest in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. The purpose was to examine the dietary overlaps among the large frugivores and the characteristics of fruits they consumed. Most fruit species are eaten by various kinds of frugivores; no close relationship between a particular fruit and a frugivore was found. The number of frugivore groups that served a given plant species was negatively correlated with seed size. Additionally, the fruit/seed diameters consumed by bulbuls were significantly smaller than consumed by the other nine groups. These trends of fruit characteristics were consistent with those observed elsewhere in Southeast Asia: small fruits and large, soft fruits with many small seeds are consumed by a wide spectrum of frugivores while larger fruits with a single large seed are consumed by relatively few potential dispersers. Importantly, these large, single-seed fruits are not consumed by the small frugivores that thrive in small forest fragments and degraded areas in Southeast Asia. To insure the natural seed dispersal process in the forest, an evaluation of all frugivore groups in the forest is urgently needed in Southeast Asia.
ISSN: 00298549
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2001-2005

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