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|Title: ||Phenology of figs in Budongo Forest Uganda and its importance for the chimpanzee diet|
|Authors: ||Tweheyo, Mnason|
Lye, Kare A.
|Issue Date: ||2003 |
|Citation: ||Tweheyo, M. & Lye, K. A. (2003).Phenology of figs in Budongo Forest Uganda and its importance for the chimpanzee diet. African Journal of Ecology, 41(4): 306-316.|
|Abstract: ||This paper reports on the phonological patterns of figs in Budongo Forest, Uganda, and how it relates to chimpanzee food availability in different seasons. In addition, we analysed the dung of chimpanzees to understand the composition of fruits in their diet. The aim of our study was to assess Ficus phenology and how it affects chimpanzee diet. Fifteen species of figs were monitored for fruit (Syconium) and leaf phenology between June 2000 and 2001. Ficus fruit production varied significantly between and within species, and also with tree trunk and crown diameters. Fig fruit production was asynchronous and individual fig trees produced crops from one to five times in a year. In addition to fruits, chimpanzees fed on young leaves of some Ficus species. Shedding of old Ficus leaves coincided with the dry season, followed by appearances of young leaves. The dry season in Budongo is a period of general fruit scarcity. The combination of fig fruits and young leaves make up the most important food in the diet of chimpanzees. From the chimpanzee dung, more than 78% of seeds comprised fig ‘seeds’ (nutlets) and the rest of the diasporas were from other tree species. Our findings suggest that chimpanzees disperse large number of diasporas in their dung, thereby serving as important agents of natural forest regeneration.|
|Description: ||© 2003 African Journal of Ecology.
The definitive version is available at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Articles (Forestry)|
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