Ecological Research

, 24:663 | Cite as

Microsatellite analysis of the maternal origin of Myrica rubra seeds in the feces of Japanese macaques

  • Mari Terakawa
  • Yuji Isagi
  • Kiyoshi Matsui
  • Takakazu Yumoto
Original Article


Identifying the maternal origin of dispersed seeds is a challenging task because it is impossible to directly track seed movement once an animal has ingested them. However, recent development of molecular techniques allows us to identify the maternal origin of dispersed seeds in natural plant populations. Here we analyzed the maternal origin of Myrica rubra seeds found in the feces of Yakushima macaques. We detected a high level of diversity among the dispersed seeds, with an average of 3.0 maternal origins (range 1–9) in each feces. The average dispersal distance was 270.0 m (range 20.4–634.0 m) and the average of distance between maternal trees of dispersed seeds in the same feces was 161.5 m (range 0–573.9 m). These results suggest that seed dispersal by macaques plays an important role in maintaining the genetic diversity of Myricarubra populations.


Seed dispersal Microsatellite markers Endocarp DNA Myrica rubra Macaca fuscata yakui 


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mari Terakawa
    • 1
    • 5
  • Yuji Isagi
    • 2
  • Kiyoshi Matsui
    • 3
  • Takakazu Yumoto
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Biological LaboratoryNara University of EducationNaraJapan
  4. 4.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan
  5. 5.Laboratory of Forest Biology, Division of Forest and Biomaterials Science, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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