Zoological Studies

Vol. 55, 2016

(update: 2016.5.31)

Diet and Effects of Sanford’s Brown Lemur (Eulemur sanfordi, Archbold 1932) Gut-passage on the Germination of Plant Species in Amber forest, Madagascar

Kaloantsimo Sarah Chen1,2,*, Jun Qing Li1, Jean Rasoarahona2, Fousseni Folega3, and Christophe Manjaribe4

1College of Forestry, Beijing Forestry University, 100083, Beijing, P.R. China. E-mail: lijq@bjfu.edu.cn
2Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d’Antananarivo, BP566, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar. E-mail: jeanras@moov.mg
3Université de Lomé, Laboratoire de Botanique et Écologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences, BP 1515, Lomé, Togo. E-mail: ffolegamez@live.fr
4Département de Biologie et Ecologie Végétales, Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Antananarivo, BP566,Antananarivo 101, Madagascar. E-mail: manjaribec@yahoo.fr

(Received 12 June, 2014; Accepted 25 January, 2016)

Kaloantsimo Sarah Chen, Jun Qing Li, Jean Rasoarahona, Fousseni Folega, and Christophe Manjaribe (2016) Eulemur sanfordi belongs to a group of endemic lemur species in Amber Mountain National Park, Madagascar. The diet of E. sanfordi and the effects of gut-passage on the germination of seeds were studied to determine how the feeding activities of this lemur affect the integrity of this forest ecosystem. A specific group of E. sanfordi was observed and monitored during 396 hours from the end of the dry season to the beginning of the rainy season. Field observers recorded the food items taken, plant species consumed, plants organs preferred and the forest layer in which food was harvested by this species. Seeds were sorted from discarded food items left by the group of E. sanfordi being followed. Germination tests allowed analysis of the germination potential of the collected seeds. Feeding times for E. sanfordi varied significantly (p = 0.01) across the study period (from September to February). Their feeding activities were intense between December and February, peaking in January (90%). They spent more time eating fruits than other organs of plants. Feeding patterns on ripe fruit also varied significantly (p = 0.01) during the study. E. sanfordi consumed 34 plant species, with 21% from the family of Moraceae. This group of observed lemurs consumed 9 to 17 plant species per month and preferred trees greater than 10 m tall. Overall, seeds that passed through the gut of these lemurs had significantly higher germination rates than those seeds that did not (t = 5.87, p = 0.02). The average latency period of passed and control seeds ranged from 35 to 83 days and from 52 to 95 days, respectively. E. sanfordi’s gut passage provides better germination of seeds species they consumed. This could contribute to the conservation of plant diversity. E. sanfordi play an important role in Amber forest ecosystem to preserve some endemic species.

Key words: Eulemur sanfordi, Primate food, Seed dispersal, Germination rate, Latency period, Amber forest, Madagascar.

Correspondence: E-mail: sarahen15@yahoo.fr


Vol. 55, 2016