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Plastic sheets: a new method for collecting faecal samples with seeds dispersed by birds

  • O. A. Hernández-Dávila (a1), J. Galindo-González (a1), A. A. Castro-Luna (a1) and V. J. Sosa (a2)

Abstract:

For birds, we tested the efficacy of a technique used to obtain faecal samples and their seed content from bats by placing plastic sheets below mist nets. This method was compared with that of collecting faecal samples using cotton bags. Plastic sheets were placed below each of eight mist nets to obtain faecal samples from birds caught in cloud forest remnants. Each bird was then placed separately in a cotton bag to catch any other seeds excreted. There were 84 faecal samples in total: 64 with no seeds and 20 with seeds; of the latter 65% were obtained from the plastic sheets. A total of 407 seeds were collected, 317 from 11 plant species were collected on the plastic sheets and 90 belonging to six plant species in the bags. Seed richness and abundance were significantly greater for samples obtained using the plastic sheets than with the cotton bags. Although the number of bird faecal samples obtained did not differ between methods (13 vs 7), with the plastic sheets the number of faecal samples with seeds increased. Thus, to obtain more representative faecal samples from frugivorous birds, we strongly recommend the use of plastic sheets as part of the technique.

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1Corresponding author. Email: jgalindo@uv.mx; jorgegalin@gmail.com

References

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Plastic sheets: a new method for collecting faecal samples with seeds dispersed by birds

  • O. A. Hernández-Dávila (a1), J. Galindo-González (a1), A. A. Castro-Luna (a1) and V. J. Sosa (a2)

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