Fruit Use of Plain Flowerpeckers and Their Interactions with Mistletoes

  • 莊 伶萱

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Fruit use of frugivores and their foraging behaviors may affect the intensity of interactions with their food plants and even the subsequent seed distribution This study aimed to examine the foraging patterns of Plain Flowerpeckers (Dicaeum minullum) and factors affecting their visits to and the interactions with mistletoes Viscum articulatum Taxillus pseudochinensis and T theifer and plant hosts so to further assess the seed dispersal potentials I conducted field observations recorded the mistletoe phenology and collected fruits and defecated seeds for germination experiments in the Hengchun Tropical Botanical Garden The flowerpecker visits to hosts were primarily affected by the fruit abundance of T pseudochinensis and slightly affected by the number of mistletoes the fruit abundance of T theifer the degree of host aggregation and mistletoe heights which largely supported the prediction regarding the visibility of mistletoes and hosts Flowerpeckers fed primarily on nectar and fruits of T pseudochinensis and were effective dispersers of the three mistletoe species due to their frequent visits to hosts high fruit removals and more defecated seeds on branches Their exocarp-removed behavior promoted the germination of V articulatum and T theifer whereas their digestion process facilitated that of T pseudochinensis Viscum articulatum highly relied on flowerpeckers to disperse seeds but flowerpeckers consumed their fruits less suggesting an asymmetrical mutualistic interaction between the mistletoes and their specialist frugivores This highlights the importance of thoroughly assessing the foraging patterns of frugivores to better understand dispersal potentials of seed dispersers
Date of Award2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorYa-Fu Lee (Supervisor)

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