Seed dispersal by chacma baboons and syntopic ungulates in southern African savannas
South African Journal of Wildlife Research
The potential contributions made to seed dispersal by chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) and syntopic ungulates in the savanna biome of southern Africa were examined and compared. Simultaneous faecal collections were made from baboons and eland (Taurotragus oryx) in a rocky upland habitat and baboon and impala (Aepyceros melampus) in a bushveld lowland habitat in South Africa. At both sites the seed density was highest in baboon scats, although a significant difference was found only between eland and baboons. A difference in size-classes of seeds dispersed in faeces by baboons, eland and impala was also found. No significant differences were found in the number of germinated grasses, forbs or woody plant species between baboon and ungulate samples from either site. Although they may not be more important seed dispersers than syntopic ungulates (in quantitative terms), baboons potentially disperse different species of seeds and are also better able to disperse seeds across fence lines.
Slater, K. & du Toit, J.T. 2002. Seed dispersal by chacma baboons and syntopic ungulates in southern African savannas. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 32(1):75-79