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Hanya G & Aiba S (2010) Fruit fall in five warm- and cool-temperate forests in Yakushima, Japan. Forestry Studies in China 12: 184-192.

Quantification of fruit fall is the only way to compare fruit food availability among different studies. This study aims to reveal the general characteristics of fruit fall in temperate forests, which would offer indispensable information for using fruit fall data as food availability for frugivores. Fruit fall in three warm-temperate and two cool-temperate forests on Yakushima, an island in southern Japan, were studied for 2 years in one cool-temperate plot of 50 m*50 m or 4 years in other plots of 100 m* 50 m. The elevations of the plots ranged 170-1200 m a.s.l. Fruit fall was highest in the lowland forests (599 and 564 dry weight kg/ha/year) and lowest in the mid-altitude forest (198 kg /ha/year). Fleshy fruits and food-fruits for Japanese macaques constituted 3-37% and 4-87% of the total fruit fall, respectively. When only fleshy-fruit fall was compared, it was higher in the western lowland forest (222 kg/ha/year) than in any other forest (9-66 kg/ha/year). The pulp of fleshy fruits, presumably the edible parts for frugivores, was only 1-13% of the total fruit fall. The edible part for Japanese macaques constituted 3-53% of the fruit fall, showing a high value where acorns are abundant. Half of the fruit-fall biomass consisted of only one or two non-fleshy fruited-species, which are usually dominant in many other temperate forests, such as Quercus and conifers. These variations were in accordance with the variations in abundance of frugivorous Japanese macaques.

Keywords: fleshy fruits; fruit; frugivore; Japanese macaque; temperate forest

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<Last update: September 21, 2010>