Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

An exotic plantation crop as a keystone resource for an endemic megachiropteran, Pteropus rufus, in Madagascar

  • Emma Long (a1) and Paul A. Racey (a1)

Abstract

The single most important food source for Pteropus rufus at Berenty, in south-east Madagascar, is the pollen of Agave sisalana, a commercial species introduced to the area 60 y ago, which was widely available and constantly eaten by the bats during this 28-mo study. The diet of the bats at this site is unique in this respect when compared with P. rufus elsewhere in Madagascar and with other Pteropus species. The dietary breadth of P. rufus at Berenty is narrow, consisting of only 14 plant species, identified through microsopic faecal analysis and direct field observations, and three unidentified ones. The bats also eat locally cultivated and introduced fruits (Mangifera indica, Psidium cf. cattleianum, Sclerocarya caffra, Cordia sinensis and Hylocereus species) and native and endemic forest species (Tamarindus indica, Celtis philippensis, Ficus megapoda, F. grevei, F. pachyclada and Grewia species). The majority of the plant species used by P. rufus for food are located within the gallery forests of the Mandrare valley. No evidence of adjacent endemic spiny forest species was identified in their diet. Thus, conservation of the remaining gallery forest as well as retention of the sisal plantations is important to maintain the food sources of P. rufus at this site.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: p.racey@abdn.ac.uk
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed