A botanical inventory of a tropical seasonal forest in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand: Implications for fruit–frugivore interactions

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Abstract

The diversity of plants in tropical forests makes dietary studies of frugivores difficult. This paper provides a botanical inventory of a tropical seasonal forest community in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. The forest is valuable from a conservation perspective because it is one of the last remaining intact forests in northeastern Thailand, and is an important refuge for many animal and plant species. A 4-ha inventory plot measuring 200 × 200 m was established and all plants greater than or equal to 10 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh) were measured and permanently labeled. We found 1610 stems belonging to 105 species, 76 genera and 35 families, with a combined basal area of 142.5 m2. The community was dominated by species of Lauraceae, Cornaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Meliaceae, and Elaeocarpaceae. About one-third of the plant species (40 spp.) identified in this study were vulnerable to extinction because they were mostly dispersed by large frugivores, which were intolerant of human impact. If they disappear, these forests may become dominated by plant species that are dispersed by abiotic means and species with small-seeded fruits.

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