Fruit Bats (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) as Seed Dispersers and Pollinators in a Lowland Malaysian Rain Forest

Robert Hodgkison, Sharon T. Balding, Zubaid Akbar Mukhtar Ahmad, Thomas H. Kunz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aims of this study were to (1) characterize the food resources exploited by fruit bats (Pteropodidae) within an old-growth Malaysian dipterocarp forest, (2) test the viability of the seeds they disperse, and (3) provide an estimate of the proportion of trees that are to some degree dependent upon bats for seed dispersal and/or pollination. Fruit species exploited by bats could be distinguished from those eaten by birds largely on the basis of color (as perceived by human beings). Bat-dispersed fruits were typically inconspicuous shades of green-yellow or dull red-brown, whereas fruits eaten by birds were generally bright orange to red. Dietary overlap between bats and nonflying mammals was relatively high. In contrast to primates and squirrels, which were major seed predators for several of the plant species under investigation, fruit bats had no negative impact on seed viability. A botanical survey in 1 ha of old-growth forest revealed that 13.7 percent of trees (≥15 cm girth at breast height) were at least partially dependent upon fruit bats for pollination and/or seed dispersal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-502
Number of pages12
JournalBiotropica
Volume35
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

Fingerprint

Pteropodidae
bat
pollinator
pollinators
rain forests
Chiroptera
lowlands
fruit
seed
fruits
seeds
seed dispersal
pollination
viability
bird
dietary overlap
Dipterocarpaceae
birds
old-growth forest
old-growth forests

Keywords

  • Bats
  • Dispersal
  • Frugivory
  • Malaysia
  • Nectarivory
  • Pollination
  • Syndromes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Hodgkison, R., Balding, S. T., Mukhtar Ahmad, Z. A., & Kunz, T. H. (2003). Fruit Bats (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) as Seed Dispersers and Pollinators in a Lowland Malaysian Rain Forest. Biotropica, 35(4), 491-502.

Fruit Bats (Chiroptera : Pteropodidae) as Seed Dispersers and Pollinators in a Lowland Malaysian Rain Forest. / Hodgkison, Robert; Balding, Sharon T.; Mukhtar Ahmad, Zubaid Akbar; Kunz, Thomas H.

In: Biotropica, Vol. 35, No. 4, 12.2003, p. 491-502.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hodgkison, R, Balding, ST, Mukhtar Ahmad, ZA & Kunz, TH 2003, 'Fruit Bats (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) as Seed Dispersers and Pollinators in a Lowland Malaysian Rain Forest', Biotropica, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 491-502.
Hodgkison R, Balding ST, Mukhtar Ahmad ZA, Kunz TH. Fruit Bats (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) as Seed Dispersers and Pollinators in a Lowland Malaysian Rain Forest. Biotropica. 2003 Dec;35(4):491-502.
Hodgkison, Robert ; Balding, Sharon T. ; Mukhtar Ahmad, Zubaid Akbar ; Kunz, Thomas H. / Fruit Bats (Chiroptera : Pteropodidae) as Seed Dispersers and Pollinators in a Lowland Malaysian Rain Forest. In: Biotropica. 2003 ; Vol. 35, No. 4. pp. 491-502.
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