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<Written by: Goro Hanya (hanya<atmark>pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp)>
Relationshiops with primates and other organisms
Primates eat various kinds of foods, such as fruits, leaves, flowers, bark, insects and fungi, and through feeding, they may give influence various kinds of organisms. Although there are plenty of studies on seed dispersal, primate impact of other aspect is yet to be studied. I would lilke to clarify their role in ecosystem from various points of view.
1. Seed dispersal
'Phenology matching' between fruiting of fleshy fruits and migration of frugivorous birds is prevalent in many temperate forests. I tested the significance of phenology matching from the view point of dispersal success by the two types of frugivores: Japanese macaques and frugivorous birds. Both types of frugivores significantly contributed to fruit consumption of the forest, but macaques predated seeds of a certain species, which bear fruits earlier than the migration of frugivorous birds. Thus, the hypothesis that resident macaques is a main seed disperser for the species which bear fruits before the migration of frugivorous birds was rejected. Read the abstract
2. Ecosystem impact of folivory and frugivory
I compared annual fruit and leaf consumption by Japanese macaques relative to the annual production of these foods in the lowlands and highlands of Yakushima.The impact of macaque folivory at the community level was negligible relative to production (~0.04%), but at the population level, macaques consumed as much as 10% of the produced leveas for the species. Macaques consumed as much as, or slightly less fruits than birds, and these two types consumed more than two-thirds of the fleshy fruit production in the highland forest.See the abstract
Now I am particularly interested in mycophagy. To examine a possibility that primate disperse fungi spore through mycophagy, I fed shiitake mushroom mixed with a banana to a provisioned Japanese macaque in Koshima, collected his feces and cultured on a agar medium. Hyphae germinated, but I found it Flavodon flavus, another fungi species, by DNA analysis. Still a long way to prove......
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