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Seed dispersal effectiveness of the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in Gabon

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The quantitative and qualitative aspects of seed dispersal by the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) were investigated in Gabon. Fresh faeces were collected and washed to identify and count the seeds. Seed germinability after gut passage was estimated with trials in a nursery at the study site. To assess the impact of gut passage on germination success and delay, comparative trials were run with four treatments: (i) gut passed seeds cleaned of faeces, (ii) gut passed seeds within a faecal matrix, (iii) seeds from fresh fruits surrounded by pulp, and (iv) seeds from fresh fruits cleaned of pulp. The analysis of 180 faecal units resulted in the identification of 58 species of seed. Germination trials were realized for 55 species and the mean germination success reached 46%. The impact of gut passage was investigated for Santiria trimera and Chrysophyllum lacourtianum; both species displayed higher germination success after
ingestion. This study shows that gorillas effectively disperse seeds of numerous plant species, many of which provide timber or nontimber forest products or are typical of Gabonese forests. Considering the high-quality of gorilla deposition sites, gorillas is thought to play a unique role in the dynamics of Central African forest.
Tijdschrift: African Journal of Ecology
ISSN: 0141-6707
Aantal pagina's: 9
Jaar van publicatie:2017
  • Scopus Id: 85034740480