Tropical Biology Section
Lobova, Tatyana A. , Geiselman, Cullen K. , Mori, Scott A. .
Plants Dispersed by Bats in the Neotropics.
A total of 549 species in 191 genera from 62 families have been found to be dispersed by bats in the Neotropics, which represents one percent of the flowering plant species in the region. Certain families frequently appear in the diet of bats. In terms of number of genera, Arecaceae (15 genera), Cactaceae, Solanaceae (11 each), Moraceae, and Myrtaceae (10 each) rank at the top. However, seven families have 20 or more chiropterochorous species including Solanaceae (1,575 species in the Neotropics/73 documented bat-dispersed species), Piperaceae (1,000/68), Moraceae (270/61), Araceae (2,372/26), Myrtaceae (1,500/23), Clusiaceae (750/23), and Cecropiaceae (132/20). In central French Guiana (CFG), 15% of the native angiosperm species and 29% of those bearing fleshy fruits may rely on bats for seed dispersal. These numbers include 112 species (6% of total and 11% of the fleshy-fruited flora) from 50 genera across 31 families that have been documented to be dispersed by bats. In all cases in CFG, the numbers of bat-dispersed species in each family were found to be independent of the total number of fleshy-fruited species present in the family. Species of Piperaceae, Araceae, Solanaceae, Moraceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Clusiaceae, Cyclanthaceae, Anacardiaceae, Marcgraviaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae, Ulmaceae, Caryocaraceae, Loganiaceae, Phytolaccaceae, and Urticaceae are present in the diet of bats in CFG more often than expected considering their proportions in the fleshy-fruited flora. Some generalizations based on characteristics of families with the greatest numbers of endozoochorous bat-dispersed species revealed that, in most cases, bat-dispersed plants are: members of the largest plant families in the Neotropics; have wide distributions; produce abundant fruit crops year-round; rely on bats as their main dispersal agents; possess easy to handle (e.g. small, soft, unprotected) fruits/infructescences with multiple seeds; and have small diaspores that impose little constraint on bats in terms of swallowing, gut passage, and ballast.
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1 - New York Botanical Garden, Institute of Systematic Botany, 200Th Street & Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York, 10458-5126, USA
2 - The New York Botanical Garden, Institute of Systematic Botany, 200 St & Kazimiroff Blvd, Bronx, NY, 10458-5126, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Lake Ontario/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Time: 1:30 PM