||The ecological interaction between foraging behavior of frugivores and the fruiting strategies of fig
||Department of Life Sciences
種子傳播 (seed dispersal) 對於植物族群的基因交流 (gene flow)，以及維持族群結構而言非常重要。許多肉果植物 (fleshy-fruited plant) 會耗費能量製造果肉 (fleshy) 或假種皮 (arillate)，以吸引具有種子傳播效益 (effectiveness of seed dispersal) 的食果動物 (frugivores) 前來取食，建立起肉果植物和食果動物之間的互利關係。 多數亞熱帶和熱帶雨林中，超過70%的植物種類帶有肉質果實，其中榕屬植物 (Ficus spp.) 終年都可結實，加上結實量 (crop size) 龐大的特性，使榕果為熱帶森林中重要的關鍵資源 (keystone resources)。 然而，食果動物是否在覓食場所停留，仍受到非常多因素影響，例如：食物資源的營養價值、果實大小、鳥類本身形質、食性差異、飢餓程度、競爭者、被捕食風險，甚至是植株高度，都可能成為食果鳥考量的因素。 許多研究發現，果樹的結實量愈大，食果鳥的造訪率 (visitation rate) 愈高，種子移除率 (seed removal rate) 也愈高，支持結實量假說 (crop size hypothesis)。 本研究以直接觀察法 (direct observations) 紀錄食果鳥在榕屬植物上的覓食行為，並搭配種子收集器 (seed traps) 調查落果數量，欲探討雌雄異株母株和雌雄同株兩大類群的榕屬植物，其結實量、結實策略、以及果實大小的差異，是否對食果鳥的群集 (assemblages) 和覓食策略有所影響，並瞭解在不同生物因子的交互作用之下，食果動物如何利用及選擇資源。 整合各項因子後，不只有助於釐清食果動物和榕屬植物之間的互動，未來更可以進一步探討食果鳥如何藉由傳播榕樹種子，間接影響森林的更生和植物群集結構。
Seed dispersal is very important for the gene flow of plant populations and for maintaining the population structure. Many fleshy-fruited plants cost energy to make fleshy or juicy arillate, attracting effective seed dispersal frugivores arrive, establish the mutualism relationship between the fleshy-fruit and frugivores. In most of the subtropical and tropical rainforests, more than 70% of the plant species bearing fleshy fruit. Ficus spp. can produce large amount of figs throughout the year, make them the keystone resources of the tropical forest. Many studies have found that the greater the crop size of the plant, the higher the visitation rate and seed removal rate of frugivores, which support the fruit crop size hypothesis. However, the fruit selection and visit duration of animals are affected by a number of factors, such as the plant traits: nutritional value, color, and size of fruit and seed; Even by the traits or conditions of the birds themselves, like sexuality, degree of hunger, the presence of competitor and predators. In this study, direct observation method was used to record the feeding behavior of the frugivores and the figs number in four Ficus species. Also recorded the number of fruit dropping under the trees with seed traps. I want to investigated the relationship between foraging strategies of frugivores and the fruiting strategies of Ficus species in Hengchun Tropical Botanical Garden, discuss the influence of crop size and crop density on foraging performance, including foraging group size and the feeding rate of frugivores. And to understand the how frugivores exploit resource under the interaction of different factors. The integration of the factors not only helps to clarify the interaction between frugivores and figs, but also let us explore the frugivores’ indirectly impact on the regeneration of the forest and the community structure of plants in future explores.
Table of contents iv
List of tables vi
List of figures vii
1. Statement of the problem 1
2. Literature review 1
(1) The relationship between fleshy-fruited plants and frugivores 1
(2) Fruiting strategies of plants 3
(3) Foraging behavior of frugivores 6
(4) The importance of Ficus 10
3. Hypotheses and predictions 11
Fruiting strategies of figs and the figs use patterns of frugivores 11
The relationship between the crop size, fruit density, and the foraging behaviors of frugivores 11
Seasonal changes of foraging patterns of resident species 12
Materials and Methods 12
1. Study area 12
2. Selection of target trees, focal observation targets and tree measurement 15
3. Fruit traps setting and fallen fruits checking 16
4. Foraging behavior and focal observation 17
5. Data analysis 17
(1) Fruiting strategies of figs and the figs use patterns of frugivores 18
(2) The relationship between the crop size, fruit density, and the foraging behaviors of frugivores 19
(3) Seasonal changes of foraging patterns of resident species 19
1. Fruiting strategies of figs and the figs use patterns of frugivores 20
2. The relationships between the crop size, fruit density, and the foraging behaviors of frugivores 26
(1) Numerical response of avian and mammal 26
(2) Crop size and fruit removed of avian and mammal 35
(3) Functional response of avian and mammal 44
(4) Group size and feeding rate of avian and mammal 50
3. Seasonal changes of foraging patterns of resident species 55
1. Fruiting strategies of figs and the figs use patterns of frugivores 62
2. The interaction between foraging behavior of frugivores and the fruiting crop of Ficus 64
(1) Numerical response of avian and mammal 64
(2) Crop size and fruit removed of avian and mammal 64
(3) Functional response of avian and mammal 65
(4) Group size and feeding rate of avian and mammal 65
3. Seasonal changes of foraging patterns of resident species 66
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