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Primate-plant interactions

Primates are unique amongst tropical mammals by being distributed over all major tropical regions of the earth except for Australia and Oceania. Within their tropical habitats primates interact with a multitude of other organisms and fulfill a number of ecological functions. A major function of primates is the dispersal of seeds of plant species whose fruits are exploited as food. The study of seed dispersal is the principal line of ecological research in our department. We combine observational approaches with molecular genetic methods to determine the source of seeds (maternal tree) dispersed by primates. This allows analyzing spatial patterns of seed dispersal and the consequences for plant populations.


Patterns and determinants of seed dispersal by tamarins and other Neotropical primates
(long-term project; cooperation with Laurence Culot, UNESP, Brasilien)

Consequences of primate seed dispersal on the spatial-genetic structure of a Neotropical tree (Leonia cymosa)
(cooperation with Katrin Heer, Philipps-University Marburg)

Vertical stratification of frugivorous and nectarivorous consumers of a cauligenous liana, Marcgravia longifolia
(cooperation with Katrin Heer, Philipps-University Marburg)