Reference : Frugivorous birds influence the spatial organization of tropical forests through the ...
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/214657
Frugivorous birds influence the spatial organization of tropical forests through the generation of seedling recruitment foci under zoochoric trees
English
Trolliet, Franck mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Modélisation du climat et des cycles biogéochimiques >]
Forget, Pierre-Michel []
Doucet, Jean-Louis mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales >]
Gillet, Jean-François []
Hambuckers, Alain mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Biologie du comportement - Ethologie et psychologie animale >]
2017
Acta Oecologica
Elsevier
85
69-76
Yes (verified by ORBi)
International
1146-609X
1873-6238
Paris
France
[en] Seed dispersal ; Regeneration ; Seedling community ; Staudtia kamerunensis ; Contagious
[en] Animal-mediated seed dispersal is recognized to influence the spatial organization of plant communities but little is known about how frugivores cause such patterns. Here, we explored the role of hornbills and primates in generating recruitment foci under two zoochoric trees, namely Staudtia kamerunensis (Myristicaceae) and Dialium spp. (Fabaceae - Caesalpiniodea) in a forest-savanna mosaic landscape in D.R. Congo. We also examined the influence of the availability of fruits in the neighborhood and the amount of forest cover in the landscape on such clumping patterns. The density and species richness of hornbill-dispersed and the density of primate-dispersed seedlings were significantly higher under Staudtia kamerunensis trees than at control locations. However, we did not find such patterns under Dialium spp. trees compared to control locations except for the density of hornbill-dispersed seedlings which was lower at control locations. Also, we found that an increasing amount of forest cover in the landscape was associated with an increase in the density of hornbill-dispersed seedlings, although the tendency was weak (R2 = 0.065). We concluded that S. kamerunensis acts as a recruitment foci and plays a structuring role in Afrotropical forests. Hornbills were probably the main frugivore taxon responsible for the clumping under that tree and appear as a key ecological component in fragmented and disturbed landscapes where the diversity of large frugivores such as primates is reduced. Our findings improve our understanding of the causal mechanisms responsible for the spatial organization of tropical forests.
BELSPO and a F.R.S. - FNRS FRIA grant
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/214657
10.1016/j.actao.2017.09.010

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