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Tropical Biology Section

Lobova, Tatyana A. [1], Mori, Scott A. [1].

Plants dispersed by bats in lowland rain forest of central French Guiana.

The number of species known to be dispersed and potentially dispersed by bats in an undisturbed tropical rain forest in central French Guiana (CFG) is estimated. Characters of bat-dispersed species are described. In this area, with 133 native flowering plant families, species from 25 families are recorded as dispersed by bats, and another 20 families are potentially dispersed by bats. The Araceae (16 of 51 species dispersed by bats), Piperaceae (19 of 44), and Solanaceae (11 of 26) possess the greatest number of species utilized by bats. There are 1,918 native species known from CFG and 96 (5%) of them are documented to be bat-dispersed while an additional 160 (8.3%) of them are potentially bat-dispersed. Thus 13.3% of species in primary forest in CFG may depend on bats for seed dispersal. Bat-dispersed plants are trees and treelets (34.5% of the bat-dispersed species), shrubs and subshrubs (35.5%), herbs (21%), or lianas (9%). Bats feed mostly on the infructescences (49%) and fruits (46%), or the fleshy arils, pseudarils, and placentas (5%). The types of the fruits of bat-dispersed species are berries (67%), drupes (19%), or capsules, achenes, and syncarps (14%). Bats preferably feed on the green colored plant parts (43%) but also consume those that are yellow (11%), white (11.5%), orange and red (11.5%), brown, black, and purple (11.5%), or of unknown color (11.5%). Usually bats digest the entire pericarp (68%), part of pericarp (20%), or non pericarp parts (12%). The diaspores are mostly seeds (73%), stones and pyrenes (20%), or rarely entire fruits (7%). Bats disperse most of the species endozoochorously (77%) or exozoochorously (22%). Only one species is known to be dispersed epizoochorously (1%).

Related Links:
Atlas of Seeds Dispersed by Bats in the Neotropics

1 - New York Botanical Garden, Institute of Systematic Botany, 200th St & Kazimiroff Blvd, Bronx, New York, 10458, USA

rain forest
seed dispersal
bat dispersal.

Presentation Type: Paper
Session: 8-3
Location: Peruvian (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Time: 9:00 AM
Abstract ID:786

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