Grantee Research Project Results
Frugivore Impact on Seed Rain Patterns in a Central African Tropical ForestEPA Grant Number: U915665
Title: Frugivore Impact on Seed Rain Patterns in a Central African Tropical Forest
Investigators: Clark, Connie J
Institution: San Francisco State University
EPA Project Officer: Manty, Dale
Project Period: August 1, 1999 through August 1, 2001
Project Amount: $49,496
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999)
Research Category: Fellowship - Terrestrial Ecology and Ecosystems , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Academic Fellowships
The objective of this research project is to investigate the relative significance of dispersers on the initial phase of forest organization, the seed rain. The research addresses the following questions:
• To what degree do arboreal frugivores influence the species richness and abundance of the seed rain?
• Do arboreal frugivores differentially disperse the seeds of specific life forms?
• Do unrelated taxa (frugivorous birds, monkeys, and rodents) represent similar or distinct functional dispersal groups?Approach:
Seed rain was sampled for 12 months in the Dja Reserve, Cameroon. Traps were erected below the canopies of 90 individuals from nine focal tree species; three dispersed by monkeys, three dispersed by large birds, and three dispersed by wind. All seeds, fruits, and fruit or seed pieces were collected from traps at 10-day intervals.Supplemental Keywords:
fellowship, seed rain, seed dispersal, frugivory, dietary overlap, monkeys, hornbills.