Researches on Population Ecology

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 211–218

The role of the brown-eared bulbulHypsypetes amaurotis as a seed dispersal agent

  • Akiko W. Fukui
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF02515822

Cite this article as:
Fukui, A.W. Res Popul Ecol (1995) 37: 211. doi:10.1007/BF02515822


The role of the brown-eared bulbul,Hypsypetes amaurotis, as a dispersal agent for seeds of fruiting plants was studied by field observations for two years, in parallel with laboratory experiments on seed germination. Bulbuls consumed fruits of 53 species from 24 plant families. The fruits of these plants had similar color and size, and these characteristics were likely to enhance the feeding efficiency of the frugivore. Laboratory experiments on 20 food plant species demonstrated that: (1) no seeds were injured by passing through the bulbul's gut; (2) seeds that had passed through the bulbul's gut were still able to germinate and (3) fruit pulp reduced germination ability. When pulp was removed by passing through bulbul's gut, or by hand, germination was improved. An estimate of the home range of six bulbuls suggested that they may transport seeds for at least 300 m.

Key words

dispersal distance fruit characteristics germination Hypsypetes amaurotis seed dispersal 

Copyright information

© the Society of Population Ecology 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akiko W. Fukui
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukuba, IbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporo 060Japan

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