|Reference : Interactions between western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla Savage & Wyman 18...|
|Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster|
|Life sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others|
|Interactions between western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla Savage & Wyman 1847) and timber exploitation: Preliminary insights in a Gabonese logging concession|
|Haurez, Barbara [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales >]|
|Petre, Charles-Albert [Université de Liège - ULg > > > Form. doct. sc. agro. & ingé. biol.]|
|Doucet, Jean-Louis [Université de Liège - ULg > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales >]|
|XXIV Congress of the International Society of Primatologists|
|13-17 août 2012|
|[en] Nesting behavior ; Endozoochory ; Logging ; Forest regeneration|
|[en] Interactions between western lowland gorillas (WLG) and a timber exploitation were studied in Central Gabon. WLG densities were estimated in two sites with different logging histories (not logged vs. logged one month before), and nesting behavior was described. Seeds dispersed by WLG were identified through fecal analysis and germination trials assessed seed viability after gut passage. Four treatments were realized for the most abundant species: passed seeds, passed seeds in fecal matrix, seeds surrounded by fresh pulp and seeds extracted from fresh fruits.
Relatively high WLG densities were observed in the concession (3.7 weaned gorillas/km² in unlogged forest and 1.7 weaned gorillas/km² in logged forest). WLG nested preferentially in open areas (particularly open terra firme and swamp forest) and frequently used old logging road network for nesting and feeding. WLG dispersed sixteen species during the course of the study (February-May 2011). The most dispersed species was Santiria trimera (Burseraceae). The germination successes of S. trimera were significantly higher after gut passage (N=378; P<0.001) because of pulp removal and seed coat scarification.
This pilot study suggests that timber exploitation and WLG conservation are not mutually exclusive. WLG are important agents of forest regeneration by dispersing seeds in logged areas. Nest sites in logging gaps could be particularly favorable for seedlings development. This consideration must encourage forest managers to strengthen WLG-conservative practices in their concessions.
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