A fruit, packed with nutrients and high in energy is the result
of labor for the plant. But, why can’t it simply produce more leaves to create its food? From a plant’s viewpoint, it’s the content inside the fruit that’s worth the effort.
The seed is what will bear the next generation of fruit. Fruits can be used as tasty snacks for birds and animals to aid in spreading seeds across the globe to where they can flourish.
But, how can plants disperse seeds by themselves? Within the tropical forest of lushness should a plant shed its seeds, the chances of it growing are slim and with only a tiny amount of sunlight reaching into the tree canopy as well as strife to get nutrients, the seeds won’t sprout.
Plants invest their energy in producing fruits that attract birds and other animals to disperse seeds throughout the world.
In a new study in a recent study,
Dr. Naniwadekar and his team have examined the structure of plants and fruit-eating bird communities in the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh. They have identified 43 species of plants as well as 48 species of birds Tropical Birds
in the region, and identified the diverse networks created by the tree and the dispersers of seeds by avians. The results of the research, partially supported from the Department of Science and Technology and presented by The Journal of Animal Ecology.
Fruit-eating birds, also known as frugivores
, differ in appearance and number. In this study, researchers observed tiny birds such as bulbuls, as well as larger ones like hornbillsthat eat different fruits from various trees.
Because the size of birds differs, so the sizes of the fruits they eat vary. Thus, the scientists did not only observe what bird was eating which fruit, but also how they consumed it.
“If the frugivore drops the fruit/seed under the parent plant, it doesn’t help the seed in escaping from the risks of predation and competition under the parent plant” Dr. Naniwadekar. Birds need to swallow the seeds or transport them away from the plant to
allow them to flourish
However when the seed is bigger that the mouth of the bird it just pecks at fruit, but does not release the seeds. “In such scenarios, plants do not benefit. However, large birds have large mouths and can swallow the fruits and disperse the seeds without damaging them.
Therefore, it is important to study the fruit handling techniques and gape sizes of frugivores” the author states.
After 2065 hours of studying bird species and their fruits that they consume The researchers discovered that networks were developed between plant and the frugivores. For instance, large-sized frugivores like hornbills were not playing a major role
in such systems have trees with
larger fruit that depended upon them for dispersal. The smaller birds, such as bulbuls and barbets, ate the fruits of many plants and played a major part in the process.
The researchers did find some qualitative differences between larger and medium-sized frugivores. Imperial pigeons and Hornbills dropped the least amount of fruits than other birds of smaller size which increases the likelihood of a successful seeds dispersal.
They also travel longer distances
carrying seeds inside their stomachs prior to dispersing.In the previous study the researcher Dr Naniwadekar has highlighted the possibility of Hornbills becoming extinct in the northeast of India and affecting plants that
have large fruit. “Loss of frugivores may have a cascading effect on communities , as described by this research. Barbets are among the frugivores and bulbuls, which feed on fruit of a wide variety of species are essential. Their disappearance could have negative effects on plants and other fugivores in longer term, “he warns.