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Journal ArticleDOI

Frugivory and seed dispersal by vertebrates in tropical and subtropical Asia: An update

01 Jul 2017-Global Ecology and Conservation (Elsevier)-Vol. 11, pp 1-22
TL;DR: Previous evidence for the importance of hornbills, bulbuls, elephants, gibbons, civets, and fruit bats in seed dispersal is reinforced, and it is suggested that the roles of green pigeons, macaques, rodents, bears, and deer were previously underestimated.
About: This article is published in Global Ecology and Conservation.The article was published on 2017-07-01 and is currently open access. It has received 145 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Seed dispersal syndrome & Seed dispersal.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a global species-level phylogeny with comprehensive data on fruit sizes and plant species distributions was used to test whether fruit size has affected speciation rates of palms (Arecaceae), a plant family characteristic of tropical rain forests.
Abstract: Animal-mediated seed dispersal by frugivorous birds and mammals is central to the ecology and functioning of ecosystems, but whether and how frugivory-related traits have affected plant speciation remains little explored. Fruit size is directly linked to plant dispersal capacity and therefore influences gene flow and genetic divergence of plant populations. Using a global species-level phylogeny with comprehensive data on fruit sizes and plant species distributions, we test whether fruit size has affected speciation rates of palms (Arecaceae), a plant family characteristic of tropical rainforests. Globally, the results reveal that palms with small fruit sizes have increased speciation rates compared with those with large (megafaunal) fruits. Speciation of small-fruited palms is particularly high in the understory of tropical rainforests in the New World, and on islands in the Old World. This suggests that frugivory-related traits in combination with geography and the movement behaviour of frugivores can influence the speciation of fleshy-fruited plants.

71 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The future of primate seed dispersal research will indeed be exciting if it takes advantage of all tools provided by modern science, from powerful methods of data analyses to molecular techniques, and combine them with strong multidisciplinary collaborations.
Abstract: Primate seed dispersal plays crucial roles in many ecological processes at various levels of biological organization: from plant population genetics and demography to community assembly and ecosystem function. Although research on primate seed dispersal has advanced significantly in the last 20–30 years, many aspects are still poorly understood. Here, we discuss some new challenges that we need to address, as well as some old ones that still need our attention, highlighting examples from the Neotropics. Despite new analytical tools from network theory, research on primate seed dispersal rarely takes a community-wide approach, thus limiting our understanding of its evolutionary, ecological, and conservation implications. Of particular relevance for conservation are changes caused by landscape-scale processes (e.g., forest loss and fragmentation), but these effects need to be assessed using a landscape approach, which is currently absent in primate seed dispersal research. Agroecosystems can play a key role in maintaining primate seed dispersal in anthropogenic landscapes, but this topic remains poorly studied. Primate seed dispersal research will need to play a role in refaunation projects aimed at restoring plant–animal interactions. Old challenges that we still need to address include the long-term effects of primate declines on plant populations and communities, and the role of primate seed dispersal in the regeneration of degraded habitats. If we take advantage of all tools provided by modern science, from powerful methods of data analyses to molecular techniques, and combine them with strong multidisciplinary collaborations, the future of primate seed dispersal research will indeed be exciting.

52 citations


Cites background from "Frugivory and seed dispersal by ver..."

  • ...…by frugivorous animals occurs in many terrestrial ecosystems, but is very conspicuous in tropical forests, where most woody plant species have fleshy fruits adapted for animal consumption, and most tropical birds and mammals include fruits in their diets (Corlett 2017; Fleming and Kress 2013)....

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  • ...Seed dispersal by frugivorous animals occurs in many terrestrial ecosystems, but is very conspicuous in tropical forests, where most woody plant species have fleshy fruits adapted for animal consumption, and most tropical birds and mammals include fruits in their diets (Corlett 2017; Fleming and Kress 2013)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Present knowledge of the traits that define the role of macaques as seed dispersers are reviewed, including the degree of frugivory, fruit/seed handling methods, seed dispersal distance, microhabitats of dispersed seeds, and effects of dispersal on seed germination vary seasonally and interannually.
Abstract: The role of primates in seed dispersal is well recognized. Macaques (Macaca spp.) are major primate seed dispersers in Asia, and recent studies have revealed their role as seed dispersal agents in this region. Here, we review present knowledge of the traits that define the role of macaques as seed dispersers. The size of seeds in fruit influences whether macaques swallow (0.5–17.1 mm; median: 3.0), spit (1–37 mm; median: 7.6), or drop (8.2–57.7 mm; median: 20.5) them. Dispersal distances via defecation are several hundreds of meters (median: 259 m, range: 0–1300 m), shorter than those achieved by some mammals and birds in tropical and temperate regions. However, macaques disperse seeds by defecation at comparable distances to omnivorous carnivores, and further than passerines. Seed dispersal distance by spitting is much shorter (median: 20 m, range: 0–405 m) than by defecation. Among Asian primates, seed dispersal distances resulting from macaque defecation are shorter than those for gibbons and longer than those for langurs. The effects of seed ingestion on the percentage and speed of germination vary among both plant and macaque species. The degree of frugivory, fruit/seed handling methods, seed dispersal distance, microhabitats of dispersed seeds, and effects of dispersal on seed germination vary seasonally and interannually, and long-term studies of the ecological role of macaques are needed. Researchers have begun to assess the effectiveness of seed dispersal by macaques, secondary dispersal of seeds originally dispersed by macaques, and the effects of provisioning on seed dispersal. Future studies should also test the effects of social factors (such as age and rank), which have received little attention in studies of seed dispersal.

43 citations


Cites background from "Frugivory and seed dispersal by ver..."

  • ...…respect to the seed dispersal capacity of carnivores (Kitamura 2011; Koike et al. 2011; Nakashima et al. 2010), flying foxes (Nakamoto et al. 2009; Reiter et al. 2006), and mega herbivores (Campos-Arceiz et al. 2008, 2012; Sekar et al. 2015) over the last 10 years (Corlett 2017; Tsuji et al. 2016)....

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  • ...The role of macaques as seed dispersal agents was poorly established until the 1990s (Corlett 2017); however, recent studies of seed dispersal by macaques have shown their importance as dispersers in both tropical and temperate regions and across a range of disturbance levels (Albert et al. 2013b;…...

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  • ...…as seed dispersal agents was poorly established until the 1990s (Corlett 2017); however, recent studies of seed dispersal by macaques have shown their importance as dispersers in both tropical and temperate regions and across a range of disturbance levels (Albert et al. 2013b; Corlett 2017)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article discusses three major classes of LIF processes and their relevance for the conservation and management of species and habitats: interspecific dispersal dependency, in which populations of species that rely on other species for transport and propagation become fragmented as the transporting species declines; interspecific avoidance induction, where species are excluded from habitats and corridors owing to interspecific interactions resulting from anthropogenically induced changes in community structure.
Abstract: Anthropogenically induced fragmentation constitutes a major threat to biodiversity. Presently, conservation research and actions focus predominantly on fragmentation caused directly by physical tra...

42 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
02 Jan 2018
TL;DR: Parrots (Psittaciformes) have been viewed as efficient consumers of the reproductive structures of plants and have been excluded from studies focusing on plant-animal mutualistic relations.
Abstract: Parrots (Psittaciformes) have been viewed as efficient consumers of the reproductive structures of plants. Consequently, parrots have been excluded from studies focusing on plant–animal mutualistic...

38 citations


Cites background from "Frugivory and seed dispersal by ver..."

  • ...Australia (Table 1), while no data are available for Asia (Corlett 2017)....

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  • ...Most knowledge on seed dispersal by parrots comes from the Neotropics and less so from Africa and Australia (Table 1), while no data are available for Asia (Corlett 2017)....

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References
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Journal ArticleDOI
12 Jun 2015-Science
TL;DR: It is suggested that a golden age of animal tracking science has begun and that the upcoming years will be a time of unprecedented exciting discoveries.
Abstract: BACKGROUND The movement of animals makes them fascinating but difficult study subjects. Animal movements underpin many biological phenomena, and understanding them is critical for applications in conservation, health, and food. Traditional approaches to animal tracking used field biologists wielding antennas to record a few dozen locations per animal, revealing only the most general patterns of animal space use. The advent of satellite tracking automated this process, but initially was limited to larger animals and increased the resolution of trajectories to only a few hundred locations per animal. The last few years have shown exponential improvement in tracking technology, leading to smaller tracking devices that can return millions of movement steps for ever-smaller animals. Finally, we have a tool that returns high-resolution data that reveal the detailed facets of animal movement and its many implications for biodiversity, animal ecology, behavior, and ecosystem function. ADVANCES Improved technology has brought animal tracking into the realm of big data, not only through high-resolution movement trajectories, but also through the addition of other on-animal sensors and the integration of remote sensing data about the environment through which these animals are moving. These new data are opening up a breadth of new scientific questions about ecology, evolution, and physiology and enable the use of animals as sensors of the environment. High–temporal resolution movement data also can document brief but important contacts between animals, creating new opportunities to study social networks, as well as interspecific interactions such as competition and predation. With solar panels keeping batteries charged, “lifetime” tracks can now be collected for some species, while broader approaches are aiming for species-wide sampling across multiple populations. Miniaturized tags also help reduce the impact of the devices on the study subjects, improving animal welfare and scientific results. As in other disciplines, the explosion of data volume and variety has created new challenges and opportunities for information management, integration, and analysis. In an exciting interdisciplinary push, biologists, statisticians, and computer scientists have begun to develop new tools that are already leading to new insights and scientific breakthroughs. OUTLOOK We suggest that a golden age of animal tracking science has begun and that the upcoming years will be a time of unprecedented exciting discoveries. Technology continues to improve our ability to track animals, with the promise of smaller tags collecting more data, less invasively, on a greater variety of animals. The big-data tracking studies that are just now being pioneered will become commonplace. If analytical developments can keep pace, the field will be able to develop real-time predictive models that integrate habitat preferences, movement abilities, sensory capacities, and animal memories into movement forecasts. The unique perspective offered by big-data animal tracking enables a new view of animals as naturally evolved sensors of environment, which we think has the potential to help us monitor the planet in completely new ways. A massive multi-individual monitoring program would allow a quorum sensing of our planet, using a variety of species to tap into the diversity of senses that have evolved across animal groups, providing new insight on our world through the sixth sense of the global animal collective. We expect that the field will soon reach a transformational point where these studies do more than inform us about particular species of animals, but allow the animals to teach us about the world.

1,096 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review compares how fast plants need to move with how fast they can move with the velocity of climate change, which shows how much of a problem failure to track climate change is likely to be.
Abstract: In the face of anthropogenic climate change, species must acclimate, adapt, move, or die. Although some species are moving already, their ability to keep up with the faster changes expected in the future is unclear. 'Migration lag' is a particular concern with plants, because it could threaten both biodiversity and carbon storage. Plant movements are not realistically represented in models currently used to predict future vegetation and carbon-cycle feedbacks, so there is an urgent need to understand how much of a problem failure to track climate change is likely to be. Therefore, in this review, we compare how fast plants need to move with how fast they can move; that is, the velocity of climate change with the velocity of plant movement.

582 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The consumption of figs by vertebrates is reviewed using data from the literature, unpublished accounts and new field data from Borneo and Hong Kong, supporting previous claims that Ficus is the most important plant genus for tropical frugivores.
Abstract: The consumption of figs (the fruit of Ficus spp.; Moraceae) by vertebrates is reviewed using data from the literature, unpublished accounts and new field data from Borneo and Hong Kong. Records of frugivory from over 75 countries are presented for 260 Ficus species (approximately 30% of described species). Explanations are presented for geographical and taxonomic gaps in the otherwise extensive literature. In addition to a small number of reptiles and fishes, 1274 bird and mammal species in 523 genera and 92 families are known to eat figs. In terms of the number of species and genera of fig-eaters and the number of fig species eaten we identify the avian families interacting most with Ficus to be Columbidae, Psittacidae, Pycnonotidae, Bucerotidae, Sturnidae and Lybiidae. Among mammals, the major fig-eating families are Pteropodidae, Cercopithecidae, Sciuridae, Phyllostomidae and Cebidae. We assess the role these and other frugivores play in Ficus seed dispersal and identify fig-specialists. In most, but not all, cases fig specialists provide effective seed dispersal services to the Ficus species on which they feed. The diversity of fig-eaters is explained with respect to fig design and nutrient content, phenology of fig ripening and the diversity of fig presentation. Whilst at a gross level there exists considerable overlap between birds, arboreal mammals and fruit bats with regard to the fig species they consume, closer analysis, based on evidence from across the tropics, suggests that discrete guilds of Ficus species differentially attract subsets of sympatric frugivore communities. This dispersal guild structure is determined by interspecific differences in fig design and presentation. Throughout our examination of the fig-frugivore interaction we consider phylogenetic factors and make comparisons between large-scale biogeographical regions. Our dataset supports previous claims that Ficus is the most important plant genus for tropical frugivores. We explore the concept of figs as keystone resources and suggest criteria for future investigations of their dietary importance. Finally, fully referenced lists of frugivores recorded at each Ficus species and of Ficus species in the diet of each frugivore are presented as online appendices. In situations where ecological information is incomplete or its retrieval is impractical, this valuable resource will assist conservationists in evaluating the role of figs or their frugivores in tropical forest sites.

474 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Hunting has become a massive problem in tropical Asian forests because of high human population densities and a generally well-developed infrastructure that not only makes most forest areas easily accessible, but also gives access to distant urban markets for luxury (often medicinal) products.
Abstract: People have hunted mammals in tropical Asian forests for at least 40,000 yr. This period has seen one confirmed global extinction (the giant pangolin, Manis palaeojavanica) and range restrictions for several large mammals, but there is no strong evidence for unsustainable hunting pressure until the last 2000‐3000 yr, when elephants, rhinoceroses, and several other species were progressively eliminated from the large parts of their ranges. Regional declines in most species have occurred largely within the last 50 yr. Recent subsistence hunting has typically focused on pigs and deer (hunted with dogs and spears or with snares), monkeys and other arboreal mammals (often caught with blowpipes), and porcupines and other rodents (smoked or dug out of burrows). Over the last 50 yr, the importance of hunting for subsistence has been increasingly outweighed by hunting for the market. The hunted biomass is dominated by the same species as before, sold mostly for local consumption, but numerous additional species are targeted for the colossal regional trade in wild animals and their parts for food, medicines, raw materials, and pets. Many populations of mammalian dispersers of large seeds and understory browsers have been depleted or eliminated, while seed predators have had a more variable fate. Most of this hunting is now illegal, but the law enforcement is generally weak. However, examples of successful enforcement show that hunting impacts can be greatly reduced where there is sufficient political will. Ending the trade in wild animals and their parts should have the highest regional conservation priority. HABITAT LOSS AND DEGRADATION are such massive and visible threats to biodiversity in tropical Asia that the impact of hunting is sometimes considered secondary, at least in comparison with Africa and the Neotropics (Primack & Corlett 2005, Sodhi & Brook 2006). However, hunting impacts almost all remaining forest in the region and few areas now support the vertebrate fauna that they potentially could if hunting were prevented. This reduction in vertebrate populations may, in turn, slow vegetation recovery through its impact on seed dispersal, particularly since hunters favor the large vertebrate species that disperse large fruits with large seeds (Corlett 1998, 2002). Hunting, moreover, is potentially more easily controlled than most other conservation problems in tropical Asian forests. In most areas it is a relatively marginal economic activity, involving relatively few people. Hunting has become a massive problem because of high human population densities and a generally well-developed infrastructure that not only makes most forest areas easily accessible, but also gives access to distant urban markets for luxury (often medicinal) products. This review covers the hunting (including trapping) of mammals in closed-canopy forest habitats of tropical and subtropical Asia west of Wallace’s line, i.e., the Oriental or Indomalayan region. This region excludes eastern Indonesia, with its very different forest fauna, and much of the more arid western part of the Oriental region. The area covered has a relatively uniform mammalian fauna at the genus and family level, with many widespread species. Information on hunting impacts was obtained from several sources, including: archaeological data; studies of contemporary hunters; observations of the wildlife trade and markets; and changes in forest faunas over time. Mammalian nomenclature follows Wilson and

453 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is shown that the brains of parrots and songbirds contain on average twice as many neurons as primate brains of the same mass, indicating that avian brains have higher neuron packing densities than mammalian brains.
Abstract: Some birds achieve primate-like levels of cognition, even though their brains tend to be much smaller in absolute size. This poses a fundamental problem in comparative and computational neuroscience, because small brains are expected to have a lower information-processing capacity. Using the isotropic fractionator to determine numbers of neurons in specific brain regions, here we show that the brains of parrots and songbirds contain on average twice as many neurons as primate brains of the same mass, indicating that avian brains have higher neuron packing densities than mammalian brains. Additionally, corvids and parrots have much higher proportions of brain neurons located in the pallial telencephalon compared with primates or other mammals and birds. Thus, large-brained parrots and corvids have forebrain neuron counts equal to or greater than primates with much larger brains. We suggest that the large numbers of neurons concentrated in high densities in the telencephalon substantially contribute to the neural basis of avian intelligence.

370 citations