Dispersal of Aglaia spectabilis, a large-seeded tree species in a moist evergreen forest in Thailand
We investigated the seed dispersal of Aglaia spectabilis, a large-seeded tree species in a moist evergreen forest of Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. Although one-to-one relationships between frugivores and plants are very unlikely, large-seeded plants having to rely on few large frugivores and therefore on limited disperser assemblages, might be vulnerable to extinction. We assessed both the frugivore assemblages foraging on arillate seeds of Aglaia spectabilis and dispersing them and the seed predator assemblages, thereby covering dispersal as well as the post-dispersal aspects such as seed predation. Our results showed that frugivores dispersing seeds were a rather limited set of four hornbill and one pigeon species, whereas two squirrel species were not dispersers, but dropped the seeds on the ground. Three mammal species were identified as seed predators on the forest floor. Heavy seed predation by mammals together with high seed removal rates, short visiting times and regurgitation of intact seeds by mainly hornbills lead us to the conclusion that hornbills show high effectiveness in dispersal of this tree species.(Accepted June 30 2003)
Key Words: caching; camera trapping; frugivore; frugivory; hornbills; rodents; scatter hoarding; seed dispersal; seed predation; squirrels.
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