McConkey, K. R., Drake, D. R. (2006) Flying foxes cease to function as seed dispersers long before they become rare. Ecology. 87, 271–276.

McConkey, K. R., Drake, D. R. (2006) Flying foxes cease to function as seed dispersers long before they become rare. Ecology. 87, 271–276.

Aim: 
To determine if a nonlinear, threshold relationship exists between flying fox (Pteropus tonganus) abundance and their effectiveness as dispersers of large seeds.
Type of Study: 
Correlational
Key Results: 
The relationship between ecological function (seed dispersal) and flying fox abundance was nonlinear - for most trees in sites below a threshold abundance of flying foxes, flying foxes dispersed <1% of the seeds they handled. Above the threshold, dispersal away from trees increased to 58% as animal abundance approximately doubled. Hence, flying foxes may cease to be effective seed dispersers long before becoming rare.
Treatments: 
NA
Response: 
Our results indicate that flying-foxes' potential to disperse seeds is highly dependent on population density. Currently, 25 of the world’s 50 island-dwelling species of flying fox are threatened (seven critically endangered, four extinct; IUCN 2002). These dwindling flying fox populations inhabit some of the world’s most threatened biodiversity hotspots.
Models: 
ANOVA and Regression
Comments: 
NA
Reviewer: 
Pia Lentini
Locations: 
Tonga, Pacific Ocean
Response variable : 
Flying fox abundance index, seed rain
Replication: 
85 plants, 4 transects at each
Ecosystem: 
Forests
Full Reference: 
McConkey, K. R., Drake, D. R. (2006) Flying foxes cease to function as seed dispersers long before they become rare. Ecology. 87, 271–276.