- SPRINGER JAPAN KK
The role of the Orii's flying-fox (Pteropus dasymallus inopinatus) as a pollinator and a seed disperser on Okinawa-jima Island was investigated by direct observations and radio-tracking from October 2001 until January 2006. We found that Orii's flying-fox potentially pollinated seven native plant species. Its feeding behavior and plant morphological traits suggested that this species is an important pollinator of Schima wallichii liukiuensis and Mucuna macrocarpa. The flying-fox also dispersed the seeds of 20 native plant species. The seeds of all plants eaten by the flying-fox were usually dropped beneath the parent tree, although large fruits of four plant species were occasionally brought to the feeding roosts in the mouth, with the maximum dispersal distance-for Terminalia catappa-estimated to be 126 m. Small seeds of 11 species (mostly Ficus species) were dispersed around other trees, during the subsequent feeding session, through the digestive tracts, with the mean dispersal distance for ingested seeds estimated at 150 +/- A 230.3 m (+/- SD); the maximum dispersal distance was 1833 m. A comparison of the seed dispersal of available fruits according to the size of flying-foxes and other frugivores suggested that the seed dispersal of eight plant species producing large fruits mostly depended on Orii's flying-fox. On Okinawa-jima Island, the Orii's flying-fox plays an important role as a pollinator of two native plants and as a long-distance seed disperser of Ficus species, and it functions as a limited agent of seed dispersal for plants producing large fruits on Okinawa-jima Island.
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