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Effect of rodents on seed fate of five hornbill-dispersed tree species in a tropical forest in north-east India

Velho, Nandini and Datta, Aparajita and Isvaran, Kavita (2009) Effect of rodents on seed fate of five hornbill-dispersed tree species in a tropical forest in north-east India. In: Journal of Tropical Ecology, 25 (Part 5). pp. 507-514.

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Hornbills are important dispersers of a wide range of tree species. Many of these species bear fruits with large, lipid-rich seeds that could attract terrestrial rodents. Rodents have multiple effects on seed fates, many of which remain poorly understood in the Palaeotropics. The role of terrestrial rodents was investigated by tracking seed fate of five horn bill-dispersed tree species in a tropical forest in north-cast India. Seeds were marked inside and outside of exclosures below 6-12 parent fruiting trees (undispersed seed rain) and six hornbill nest trees (a post-dispersal site). Rodent visitors and seed removal ere monitored using camera traps. Our findings suggest that several rodent species. especially two species of porcupine were major on-site seed predators. Scatter-hoarding was rare (1.4%). Seeds at hornbill nest trees had lower survival compared with parent fruiting trees, indicating that clumped dispersal by hornbills may not necessarily improve seed survival. Seed survival in the presence and absence of rodents varied with tree species. Some species (e.g. Polyalthia simiarum) showed no difference, others (e.g. Dysoxylum binectariferum) experienced up to a 64%. decrease in survival in the presence of rodents. The differing magnitude of seed predation by rodents can have significant consequences at the seed establishment stage.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Tropical Ecology
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: Chisocheton cumingianus; Dysoxylum binectariferum; hornbills; Horsfieldia kingii; Polyalthia simiarum; Prunus ceylanica; scatter-hoarding; seed dispersal; seed predation
Department/Centre: Division of Electrical Sciences > Electronic Systems Engineering (Formerly Centre for Electronic Design & Technology)
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2009 10:15
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:44
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/22942

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