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Characteristics of hornbill-dispersed fruits in a tropical seasonal forest in Thailand

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2005

SHUMPEI KITAMURA
Affiliation:
Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Kamitanakami-Hirano, Otsu 520-2113, Japan
TAKAKAZU YUMOTO
Affiliation:
Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Kamitanakami-Hirano, Otsu 520-2113, Japan
PILAI POONSWAD
Affiliation:
Hornbill Project, Department of Microbiology, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
PHITAYA CHUAILUA
Affiliation:
Hornbill Project, Department of Microbiology, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
KAMOL PLONGMAI
Affiliation:
Hornbill Project, Department of Microbiology, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
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Abstract

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Asian hornbills are primarily frugivorous. We studied the characteristics of fruits consumed by four sympatric hornbill species in Thailand: Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis), Wreathed Hornbill (Aceros undulatus), Austin's Brown Hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni) and Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris). We compared the frequency of distribution of 11 variables for all fruit species collected in the study area (n = 259) and fruit species consumed by hornbills (n = 73). Our analysis revealed that fruits consumed by hornbills are: (1) large, (2) easily accessible within the canopy, (3) red, purple or black and (4) dehiscent or indehiscent with a thin husk. The range of fruit sizes eaten by hornbills in our study is comparable to that reported from other sites in Southeast Asia and Africa. The large gape width of hornbills enables them to consume large fruits that small frugivores would find difficult to consume.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© BirdLife International 2004
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