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Phenology of fleshy fruits in a wet sclerophyll forest in southeastern Australia: are birds an important influence?

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The hypothesis that seasonality in the production of fleshy fruits in temperate regions is the result of selection by avian seed dispersal agents or avian seed predators was tested in a temperate wet sclerophyll forest in south-eastern Australia. I determined whether ten common fleshy-fruited species produced fruits when potential avian seed dispersers were most abundant or avian seed predators were least abundant. The season of fruit production was not correlated with avian disperser abundance nor with seasonal changes in avian seed predators. Peak fruiting occurred during autumn but fruit-eating birds were equally abundant from spring through to autumn. Avian seed predators (parrots) did not show any seasonal variation in abundance. If dispersers are influencing fruiting seasonality in wet sclerophyll forest, it is likely that changes in social behaviour and feeding patterns of dispersers during autumn, rather than increases in abundance, will be an important influence on fruiting patterns in wet sclerophyll forest. However, environmental and life history factors may also influence phenology. �� 1992 Springer-Verlag.

Publication Date


  • 1992

Citation


  • French, K. (1992). Phenology of fleshy fruits in a wet sclerophyll forest in southeastern Australia: are birds an important influence?. Oecologia, 90(3), 366-373. doi:10.1007/BF00317693

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0027073525

Start Page


  • 366

End Page


  • 373

Volume


  • 90

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • The hypothesis that seasonality in the production of fleshy fruits in temperate regions is the result of selection by avian seed dispersal agents or avian seed predators was tested in a temperate wet sclerophyll forest in south-eastern Australia. I determined whether ten common fleshy-fruited species produced fruits when potential avian seed dispersers were most abundant or avian seed predators were least abundant. The season of fruit production was not correlated with avian disperser abundance nor with seasonal changes in avian seed predators. Peak fruiting occurred during autumn but fruit-eating birds were equally abundant from spring through to autumn. Avian seed predators (parrots) did not show any seasonal variation in abundance. If dispersers are influencing fruiting seasonality in wet sclerophyll forest, it is likely that changes in social behaviour and feeding patterns of dispersers during autumn, rather than increases in abundance, will be an important influence on fruiting patterns in wet sclerophyll forest. However, environmental and life history factors may also influence phenology. �� 1992 Springer-Verlag.

Publication Date


  • 1992

Citation


  • French, K. (1992). Phenology of fleshy fruits in a wet sclerophyll forest in southeastern Australia: are birds an important influence?. Oecologia, 90(3), 366-373. doi:10.1007/BF00317693

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0027073525

Start Page


  • 366

End Page


  • 373

Volume


  • 90

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication