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How far do Asian hornbills disperse seeds?

Citation

Naniwadekar, Rohit et al. (2019), How far do Asian hornbills disperse seeds?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.51c59zw4g

Abstract

Biotic seed dispersal of plants is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by multiple seed disperser species with implications for plant fitness and range expansions. While inter-species variation has been well-studied, the importance of incorporating intraspecific variation in seed dispersal is increasingly being acknowledged. We compared seed dispersal patterns of breeding and non-breeding great hornbills Buceros bicornis and a breeding wreathed hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus by combining data on fruiting tree visitations, gut passage time and movement data from tagged hornbills. Seed dispersal probability at nest trees (by breeding males) was low (< 12%) suggesting that males scatter-disperse seeds, unlike breeding females that deposit seeds below nest trees. Median seed dispersal distance of great hornbills was 294 m and 254 m in the breeding and non-breeding season respectively, and, the distribution tail was shorter for breeding birds (2.5 km) than non-breeding birds (13 km). The median and maximum seed dispersal distance by the wreathed hornbill was 1.35 km and 11 km respectively. This study highlights intraspecific variation in seed dispersal patterns across sexes and breeding and non-breeding male hornbills and potential variation between two hornbill species. This is the first study that estimates long-distance seed dispersal by Asian hornbills. 

Methods

Details of the methods can be found in the manuscript

Funding

Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, Award: SB/S0/AS-124/2012

International Foundation for Science, Award: D/5136-2