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Anna M Mangan, Liba Pejchar, Scott J Werner
As the largest terrestrial biomes, crop and pasturelands can have very large positive or negative impacts on biodiversity and human well-being. Understanding how animals use and impact agroecosystems is important for making informed decisions that achieve conservation and production outcomes. Yet, few studies examine the tradeoffs associated with wildlife in agricultural systems. We examined bird use of organic apple orchards as well as how birds influence fruit production positively through control of an economically important insect pest (codling moth (Cydia pomonella)) and negatively through fruit damage...
2017: PloS One
Alex R DeCasien, Scott A Williams, James P Higham
The social brain hypothesis posits that social complexity is the primary driver of primate cognitive complexity, and that social pressures ultimately led to the evolution of the large human brain. Although this idea has been supported by studies indicating positive relationships between relative brain and/or neocortex size and group size, reported effects of different social and mating systems are highly conflicting. Here, we use a much larger sample of primates, more recent phylogenies, and updated statistical techniques, to show that brain size is predicted by diet, rather than multiple measures of sociality, after controlling for body size and phylogeny...
March 27, 2017: Nature ecology & evolution
Michaël Beaulieu, Kristin Franke, Klaus Fischer
In ripe fruit, energy mostly derives from sugar, while in over-ripe fruit, it also comes from ethanol. Such ripeness differences may alter the fitness benefits associated with frugivory if animals are unable to degrade ethanol when consuming over-ripe fruit. In the tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana, we found that females consuming isocaloric solutions mimicking ripe (20% sucrose) and over-ripe fruit (10% sucrose, 7% ethanol) of the palm Astrocaryum standleyanum exhibited higher fecundity than females consuming a solution mimicking unripe fruit (10% sucrose)...
June 23, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
Esther Sebastián-González
The mutualistic interaction between frugivore birds and the fruiting plants they disperse presents an asymmetric interaction pattern, with some species having a more important role (i.e. being essential) for maintaining the structure and functioning of the interaction network. The identification of the biological characteristics of these species is of major importance for the understanding and conservation of seed-dispersal interactions. In this study, I use a network approach and avian seed-dispersal networks from 23 different geographical areas to test five hypotheses about species characteristics determining the structure of the assemblage...
April 17, 2017: Journal of Animal Ecology
Carolina Bello, Mauro Galetti, Denise Montan, Marco A Pizo, Tatiane C Mariguela, Laurence Culot, Felipe Bufalo, Fabio Labecca, Felipe Pedrosa, Rafaela Constantini, Carine Emer, Wesley R Silva, Fernanda R da Silva, Otso Ovaskainen, Pedro Jordano
The data set provided here includes 8,320 frugivory interactions (records of pairwise interactions between plant and frugivore species) reported for the Atlantic Forest. The data set includes interactions between 331 vertebrate species (232 birds, 90 mammals, 5 fishes, 1 amphibian, and 3 reptiles) and 788 plant species. We also present information on traits directly related to the frugivory process (endozoochory), such as the size of fruits and seeds and the body mass and gape size of frugivores. Data were extracted from 166 published and unpublished sources spanning from 1961 to 2016...
June 2017: Ecology
Eric Hoffmaster, Jennifer Vonk
Once thought to be uniquely human, prosocial behavior has been observed in a number of species, including vampire bats that engage in costly food-sharing. Another social chiropteran, Jamaican fruit bats (Artibeus jamaicensis), have been observed to engage in cooperative mate guarding, and thus might be expected to display prosocial behavior as well. However, frugivory and hematophagy diets may impose different selection pressures on prosocial preferences, given that prosocial preferences may depend upon cognitive abilities selected by different ecological constraints...
November 20, 2016: Behavioral Sciences
Tomás A Carlo, Juan M Morales
Regenerated forests now compose over half of the world's tropical forest cover and are increasingly important as providers of ecosystem services, freshwater, and biodiversity conservation. Much of the value and functionality of regenerating forests depends on the plant diversity they contain. Tropical forest diversity is strongly shaped by mutualistic interactions between plants and fruit-eating animals (frugivores) that disperse seeds. Here we show how seed dispersal by birds can influence the speed and diversity of early successional forests in Puerto Rico...
July 2016: Ecology
Yucheng Zhou, M Monica Giusti, Joyce Parker, Jordano Salamanca, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona
The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is an invasive pest from Asia that feeds on many agricultural crops in the United States, including blueberries. Yet, the effects of H. halys feeding on fruit chemistry and induced resistance to insects remain unknown. Here we hypothesized that frugivory by H. halys changes fruit chemical composition, which in turn affects insect feeding behavior. In field experiments, blueberry fruit was either mechanically injured or injured by 0 (control), 2, 5, or 10 H...
October 2016: Environmental Entomology
Susan Coiner-Collier, Robert S Scott, Janine Chalk-Wilayto, Susan M Cheyne, Paul Constantino, Nathaniel J Dominy, Alison A Elgart, Halszka Glowacka, Laura C Loyola, Kerry Ossi-Lupo, Melissa Raguet-Schofield, Mauricio G Talebi, Enrico A Sala, Pawel Sieradzy, Andrea B Taylor, Christopher J Vinyard, Barth W Wright, Nayuta Yamashita, Peter W Lucas, Erin R Vogel
Substantial variation exists in the mechanical properties of foods consumed by primate species. This variation is known to influence food selection and ingestion among non-human primates, yet no large-scale comparative study has examined the relationships between food mechanical properties and feeding strategies. Here, we present comparative data on the Young's modulus and fracture toughness of natural foods in the diets of 31 primate species. We use these data to examine the relationships between food mechanical properties and dietary quality, body mass, and feeding time...
September 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Derek Engelbrecht
Galagos are generally regarded as dietary specialists that feed predominantly on insects and gum. The diet of the thick-tailed greater galago is more varied and also includes fruit and small vertebrates, although the latter is rare and restricted to certain populations. The southern lesser galago is seemingly a more specialist forager, but frugivory was recently reported in two separate populations, suggesting at least some dietary plasticity in this species. The species is not known to consume vertebrates...
October 2016: Primates; Journal of Primatology
Katherine E Carter, Steven Worthington
BACKGROUND: Developmental processes that underpin morphological variation have become a focus of interest when attempting to interpret macroevolutionary patterns. Recently, the Dental Inhibitory Cascade (DIC) model has been suggested to explain much of the variation in mammalian molar size proportions. We tested the macroevolutionary implications of this model using anthropoid primate species (n=100), focusing on overall morphological patterns, as well as predictions made about molar size variability, direct developmental control, and diet...
May 20, 2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
F A F Jacomassa
The goal of this study was to identify which bird species consume Solanum granuloso-leprosum fruits and disperse its seeds. 60 hours of focal observations were carried out between April and May 2006 on the edge of a deciduous forest fragment in the Uruguay River region, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. Ten species were observed in total removing 443 fruits. Saltator similis removed 61.8% of the fruits, followed by Tangara sayaca (17.1%), Pipraeidea bonariensis (11.7%), and T. preciosa (6.8%), while the remaining six species accounted for only 2...
October 2016: Brazilian Journal of Biology, Revista Brasleira de Biologia
Roberto Leonan Morim Novaes, Renan de França Souza, Edvandro Abreu Ribeiro, André Costa Siqueira, Alexandre Verçosa Greco, Ricardo Moratelli
BACKGROUND: Myotis occurs from tropical to temperate regions throughout the globe, and it is the largest bat genus with more than 100 species. Most species are insect-eaters, but a few also feed on other invertebrates and fishes; there is no confirmed evidence of a plant item in their diet. NEW INFORMATION: During fieldwork in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, small seeds were retrieved from the feces of one adult female of the Black Myotis, Myotis nigricans-one of the most common Neotropical bats...
2015: Biodiversity Data Journal
J Farias, M Sanchez, M F Abreu, F Pedroni
The ecology of seed dispersal is critical to understand the patterns of distribution and abundance of plant species. We investigated seed dispersal aspects associated with the high abundance of Buchenavia tomentosa in the Serra Azul State Park (PESA). We estimated fruit production and conducted fruit removal experiments. We carried out diurnal and nocturnal observations on frugivory as well as germination tests. Fruiting occurred in the dry season and totaled 1,365,015 ± 762,670 fruits.ha-1. B. tomentosa fruits were utilized by eight animal species...
November 2015: Brazilian Journal of Biology, Revista Brasleira de Biologia
Asmita Sengupta, Kim R McConkey, Sindhu Radhakrishna
Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions...
2015: PloS One
Pablo R Stevenson, Andrés Link, Sebastian González-Caro, María Fernanda Torres-Jiménez
Frugivory is a widespread mutualistic interaction in which frugivores obtain nutritional resources while favoring plant recruitment through their seed dispersal services. Nonetheless, how these complex interactions are organized in diverse communities, such as tropical forests, is not fully understood. In this study we evaluated the existence of plant-frugivore sub-assemblages and their phylogenetic organization in an undisturbed western Amazonian forest in Colombia. We also explored for potential keystone plants, based on network analyses and an estimate of the amount of fruit going from plants to frugivores...
2015: PloS One
Anusha Ramdarshan, Maeva J Orliac
OBJECTIVES: Innovations in brain structure and increase in brain size relative to body mass are key features of Primates evolutionary history. Surprisingly, the endocranial morphology of early Euprimates is still rather poorly known, and our understanding of early euprimate brain evolution (Eocene epoch) relies on a handful of specimens. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this article, we describe the endocranial cast of the tarsiiform Microchoerus erinaceus from the late Early Eocene of Perrière (Quercy fissure filling, France) based on a virtual reconstruction extracted from CT scan data of the endocranial cavity of the complete, undeformed specimen UM-PRR1771...
January 2016: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Alison Ravenscraft, Carol L Boggs
Evolutionary dietary shifts have major ecological consequences. One likely consequence is a change in nutrient limitation-some nutrients become more abundant in the diet, others become more scarce. Individuals' behavior should change accordingly to match this new limitation regime: they should seek out nutrients that are deficient in the new diet. We investigated the relationship between diet and responses to nutrients using adult Costa Rican butterflies with contrasting feeding habits, testing the hypothesis that animals will respond more positively to nutrients that are scarcer in their diets...
May 2016: Oecologia
Shelly Masi, Roger Mundry, Sylvia Ortmann, Chloé Cipolletta, Luigi Boitani, Martha M Robbins
The daily energy requirements of animals are determined by a combination of physical and physiological factors, but food availability may challenge the capacity to meet nutritional needs. Western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) are an interesting model for investigating this topic because they are folivore-frugivores that adjust their diet and activities to seasonal variation in fruit availability. Observations of one habituated group of western gorillas in Bai-Hokou, Central African Republic (December 2004-December 2005) were used to examine seasonal variation in diet quality and nutritional intake...
2015: PloS One
Chin Cheung Tang, Daniel C Thomas, Richard M K Saunders
A phylogenetic study of the genus Goniothalamus (Annonaceae) is presented using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches, with 65 species sampled (48.5% of the genus) based on sequences of nine chloroplast DNA regions (11,214 aligned positions). The resultant phylogeny clearly indicates that Goniothalamus is monophyletic. Preliminary research initially focused on identifying synapomorphies and estimating the phylogenetic signal of selected morphological characters based on parsimony and likelihood ancestral character state reconstructions...
November 2015: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
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