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Hanya G & Aiba S (2010) Fruit fall in tropical and temperate forests: implications for frugivore diversity. Ecological Research25: 1081-1090

Abstract
There have been few attempts to compare fruit productivity throughout the world, although this is indispensable for understanding the global variations in frugivore diversity. The purposes of this study are (1) to reveal the patterns in fruit fall in tropical and temperate forests, (2) to examine the environmental factors (location, climate and total litterfall) affecting these patterns and (3) to assess the effect of fruit fall on frugivore diversity by using bird and primate data. Fruit fall was compared among 53 forests, from around the equator to the cool-temperate zone at 62oN, in Asia, Africa, North and South America and Australia. Average}SD of fruit fall (kg/ha/year) was 454}258, in tropical and 362}352 in temperate forests. Fruit fall was exceptionally high in Australia (812}461). When Australia was excluded, fruit fall significantly decreased with increasing absolute latitude and altitude, and fruit fall in tropical forest was 1.7 times larger than that in temperate forests (265}227). Total litterfall affected fruit fall significantly, explaining 32%, 28% and 64% of the variations of fruit fall in the entire data, tropical data, and temperate data, respectively. The fruit fall/litterfall ratio did not differ between temperate and tropical forests but was significantly higher in Australia than in other regions. Among climatic parameters (annual temperature, precipitation, actual evapotranspiration), a positive relation was found between temperature and fruit fall in the entire dataset and within temperate forests. Fruit fall seemed to explain the temperate/tropical difference in frugivorous primate diversity to some extent, but not for frugivorous bird diversity. This study shows that the difference in fruit fall in tropical and temperate forests is smaller than that in frugivore diversity, and that it could explain at least part of the frugivore diversity.

Keywords: fruit; litterfall; tropical forest; primate; productivity

<Written by: Goro Hanya (hanya<atmark>pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp)>
<Contact: Goro Hanya (hanya<atmark>pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp)>
<Last update: May 13, 2010>