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Front Cover
Investigation of primary seed dispersal by the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) in the Manombo forest, southeast Madagascar
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Author: Kara Moses.
Photographer: Daniel Austin.
Language: English
No. of Pages: vii + 128
Dimensions: 212mm x 298mm x 24mm

Item Identification Code (UID#): 1875
Shelving Location: Natural History: Fauna
Estimated Value: £30.00
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Investigation of primary seed dispersal by the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) in the Manombo forest, southeast Madagascar

Roehampton University (2010).
Hardcover Book

A masters thesis by Kara Moses written for her MRes Primatology degree. It follows three months of fieldwork studying black-and-white ruffed lemurs around Manombo Special Reserve in southeast Madagascar.

Abstract from Page i

Seed dispersal is one of the most important ecological processes on Earth, but remains poorly understood on Madagascar. Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) possess a suite of behavioural and ecological attributes often associated with effective seed dispersal, but no previous studies have investigated dispersal effectiveness in this species. This three-month study investigated primary seed dispersal by two groups of V. variegata in the Manombo forest of southeastern Madagascar by describing feeding and ranging behaviour and aspects of dispersal effectiveness, using direct feeding observation, faecal sample analysis and germination trials. The lemurs dispersed seeds of 40 species, most of which were large (>10 mm). The two groups dispersed an estimated average of 1,444 seeds/ha/yr within their home range; the population at Manombo was estimated to disperse as many as 55,115 seeds/km2/yr. Passage through the lemurs' gut was rapid (4h 26 mins) and generally had beneficial effects on seeds, increasing germination success and reducing latency period, compared to controls. The vast majority of seeds were dispersed away from their parent plant, to a mean and maximum distance of 180 m and 506 m respectively. Dispersal distance is relatively low compared to many anthropoid primates; it is predicted that lemurs in general may disperse seeds over relatively short distances. Suggestions for how this may have arisen are made. Overall, these preliminary results suggest that V. variegata may be an effective disperser of seeds in terms of both quality and quantity, and may be critical for dispersal of large-seeded species which other frugivores may not be able to swallow. Further research is required, however, to describe dispersal patterns across seasons and years and examine post-dispersal events.

Acknowledgements from Page ii

The seed of this project was planted several years ago and has been able to come to fruition only through the support of those people who have believed in me enough to allow me to see it through to its end. I am very grateful to Jonah Ratsimbazafy for helping to initiate this project and continuing to support and advise me in the years that followed. Those years saw endless setbacks, making the completion of this project all the more meaningful.

Many thanks to Stuart Semple, whose fantastic support and advice from the outset has kept me on track. My parents have supported me in various ways for which I am very grateful. Many thanks are due to Daniel Austin for an endless list of favours including logistical advice, professional photography, and a 6,000-mile personal macaroon delivery. I could not have carried out my fieldwork without the incredible assistance, patience, hard work and friendship (and Malagasy lessons) of Mialy Razanajatovo, whose help is very much appreciated. I am grateful to Ken and Lorna Gillespie and Mike and Rojo Wilson, for friendship and help in Madagascar with logistics and vast quantities of plastic trays. I would like to thank the people I lived and worked with in Sahamahitsy for their friendship and hard work: Tsaratia, Jeannot, Getia, Johnny, Andry, Faly, Punga, Tranga and Kosinisy. Thanks are also due to Salvador for use of Escale and Fidi Ralainasolo for logistical support, an unforgettable birthday, and parasite removal. Sincere thanks to the people of Sahamahitsy for their hospitality. I also want to thank Benjamin Andriamihaja at MICET for help with logistics and planning, the DEF for allowing me to pursue my research at Manombo and finally the lemurs for their cooperation and never-ending supply of faecal samples.

Contents

  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of contents
  • List of tables
  • List of figures
    • Introduction
      • Implications of seed dispersal for ecological communities
        • Benefits of seed dispersal for plants
      • Dispersal effectiveness
      • Post-dispersal events
      • Primates as seed dispersers
      • Seed dispersal on Madagascar
      • Ruffed lemurs - potentially critical seed dispersers
        • High fruit diet
        • Large body size
        • Ranging behaviour
        • Social organisation
        • Digestion and defecation
      • Study aims
    • Methods
      • Study site
      • Study animals
      • Data collection
        • Field protocol
        • Focal observation
        • Identification of botanical samples
        • Faecal sample analysis
        • Germination trials
      • Data analysis
        • Diet, feeding and ranging
        • Dispersal quantity
        • Characteristics of depositions and seeds
        • Dispersal distance and gut passage times
        • Effects of passage through the gut
    • Results
      • Diet, feeding and ranging behaviour
        • Diet and feeding behaviour
          • Seed treatment
        • Ranging behaviour
        • Sightings of other frugivores
      • Dispersal effectiveness
        • Dispersal quantity
        • Characteristics of depositions
          • Characteristics of dispersed seeds
        • Dispersal distance
          • Gut passage time
        • Effects of passage through the gut
          • Germination success.
          • Latency period
          • Viability of ungerminated seeds
          • Seeds within whole faecal samples
    • Discussion
      • Diet, feeding and ranging behaviour
        • Diet and feeding behaviour
          • Seed treatment
        • Ranging behaviour
      • Dispersal effectiveness
        • Dispersal quantity
        • Characteristics of depositions
          • Characteristics of dispersed seeds
        • Dispersal distance
          • A potentially spatially restricted seed dispersal system on Madagascar
          • Gut passage time
        • Effects of passage through the gut
      • Caveats and directions for future research
      • Conservation implications
      • Summary
    • References
    • Appendices
      • Ethogram and focal observation categories
      • Germination trial tray layout
      • Pictures of fruits consumed by V. variegata
      • Plant species consumed by V. variegata
      • Risk assessment of fieldwork
      • Research permit for fieldwork

Condition of Item

Fine.

Refer to the glossary for definitions of terms used to describe the condition of items.

Categories

Acknowledgement

This item was kindly donated to the Madagascar Library collection by Kara Moses.
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