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Dispersal of Aglaia spectabilis, a large-seeded tree species in a moist evergreen forest in Thailand

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 July 2004

Shumpei Kitamura
Affiliation:
Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Kamitanakami-Hirano, Otsu 520-2113, Japan
Shunsuke Suzuki
Affiliation:
School of Environmental Science, The University of Shiga Prefecture, Hikone 522-8533, 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
Naohiko Noma
Affiliation:
School of Environmental Science, The University of Shiga Prefecture, Hikone 522-8533, Japan
Tamaki Maruhashi
Affiliation:
Department of Human and Culture, Musashi University, Nerima, Tokyo 176-8534, Japan
Chumphon Suckasam
Affiliation:
National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Abstract

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2004 Cambridge University Press

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