Effects of forest fragmentation, anthropogenic edges and fruit colour on the consumption of ornithocoric fruits
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We investigated effects of fruit colour (red, black or white), habitat (anthropogenic edges and forest interior) and fragment size on the removal of artificial fruits in semideciduous forests in south-east Brazil. Eight forest fragments ranging from 251 to 36,000 ha were used. We used artificial fruits, which were placed on shrubs between I and 2 m in height and checked after 48 and 96 h for peck marks in the fruits. All three variables affected the probability of consumption of our fruit models. Red and black fruits were statistically more pecked than the white fruits. The probability of fruit consumption was lower in the interior than at the edge and less in small than in large fragments. However, the decrease fruit consumption in small compared with large fragments was more accentuated for red and black fruits than for white fruits. Our results show that habitat reduction and edges affect the chances of a fruit being eaten by birds, which may ultimately affect plant fitness in forest fragments. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. Ltd. All rights reserved.