|Appears in Collections:||Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles|
|Peer Review Status:||Refereed|
|Title:||Forest Elephants: Tree Planters of the Congo|
Deem, Sharon Lynn
Loxodonta africana cyclotis
|Citation:||Blake S, Deem SL, Mossimbo E, Maisels F & Walsh P (2009) Forest Elephants: Tree Planters of the Congo, Biotropica, 41 (4), pp. 459-468.|
|Abstract:||The abundance of large vertebrates is rapidly declining, particularly in the tropics where over-hunting has left many forests structurally intact but devoid of large animals. An urgent question then, is whether these ‘empty' forests can sustain their biodiversity without large vertebrates. Here we examine the role of forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) seed dispersal in maintaining the community structure of trees in the Ndoki Forest, northern Congo. Analysis of 855 elephant dung piles suggested that forest elephants disperse more intact seeds than any other species or genus of large vertebrate in African forests, while GPS telemetry data showed that forest elephants regularly disperse seeds over unprecedented distances compared to other dispersers. Our analysis of the spatial distribution of trees from a sample of 5667 individuals showed that dispersal mechanism was tightly correlated with the scale of spatial aggregation. Increasing amounts of elephant seed dispersal was associated with decreasing aggregation. At distances ofo200 m, trees whose seeds are dispersed only by elephants were less aggregated than the random expectation, suggesting Janzen-Connell effects on seed/seedling mortality. At the landscape scale, seed dispersal mode predicted the rate at which local tree community similarity decayed in space. Our results suggest that the loss of forest elephants (and other large-bodied dispersers) may lead to a wave of recruitment failure among animal-dispersed tree species, and favor regeneration of the species-poor abiotically dispersed guild of trees.|
|Rights:||The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.|
|Biotropica 2009.pdf||285.06 kB||Adobe PDF||Under Permanent Embargo Request a copy|
Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependent on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.
This item is protected by original copyright
Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact email@example.com providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.