Plant Ecology

, Volume 181, Issue 2, pp 167–177

Comparisons of Dispersal Success between the Species Fruiting Prior to and Those at the Peak of Migrant Frugivore Abundance

  • Goro Hanya


I evaluated whether plants gain high dispersal success by synchronizing their fruiting with frugivore abundance. Fruiting phenologies, seasonal fluctuations in the abundance of frugivorous birds, and consumption of fruits by birds and Japanese macaques, Macaca fuscata Blyth, were studied in the montane forest of Yakushima for two years. At the community level, fruiting phenologies and seasonal fluctuations in frugivorous bird abundance were asynchronous because Zosterops japonica Temminck et Schlegel, a resident frugivore, decreased in number during the fruiting season. In addition, Symplocos myrtacea Sieb. et Zucc. fruited in September, before the migration of frugivorous birds (Turdus spp. and brown-eared bulbuls Hypsypetes amaurotis Temminck) in November and December. The phenology of other fruit species (Eurya japonica Thunb. and Cleyera japonica Thunb.p.p.emend. Sieb. et Zucc) were synchronized with migrant frugivorous birds. Fruit species with phenologies that are synchronized with migrant frugivore abundances have higher dispersal success either by birds (C. japonica) or macaques (E. japonica). Macaques predated most of the seeds of S. myrtacea. Dispersal success of S. myrtacea is low both by birds and macaques, thus the early fruiting by S. myrtacea does not seem to be an adaptation to maximize dispersal success by depending on resident dispersers or by avoiding intense competition for dispersers.


Fruiting phenology Japanese macaque Seed dispersal Seed predation Temperate forest Yakushima 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Goro Hanya
    • 1
  1. 1.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan

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