a1 Institute of Experimental Ecology, University of Ulm, Albert-Einstein Allee 11, D-89069 Ulm, Germany
a2 Dept. of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore
a3 Sabah Parks, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
a4 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panama
Fruit and seed consumers can both positively and negatively affect plant recruitment through seed dispersion and seed predation, respectively. In turn, fruits influence the abundance and distribution of consumers sustained by local plant assemblages. These interactions are key processes in plant recruitment and the dynamics of tropical forests, where most plants depend on dispersal by frugivorous animals (Corlett 1998). An understanding of these interactions and the functional role of particular seed-dispersing animals is increasingly important nowadays, given that human impact on tropical forest ecosystems may negatively impact seed dispersal and forest regeneration in both natural and human-altered forests (Wright et al. 2000).
(Accepted May 18 2009)