by Pushpa Raj Acharya, Paul A Racey, Sunthorn Sothibandhu and Sara Bumrungsri
|Dawn bat drinking nectar from a Parkia Capitulum|
One of Paul Racey’s first duties as a new lecturer in the University of Aberdeen in 1974 was to act as internal examiner for Anthony Start’s PhD thesis on the ecology of Eonycteris spelaea in peninsula Malaysia. Start had made the intriguing discovery of mangrove (Sonneratia) pollen in the faeces of Eonycteris in a roost 38km from the nearest mangrove swamp, providing convincing evidence of long distance foraging. Forty years later, Racey’s former PhD student and now Professor, Sara Bumrungsri has revealed the critical role of Eonycteris in pollinating Durio and Parkia, with crop values of USD 137 million in Southern Thailand, crucial to local livelihoods.
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Read the scientific publication in JPE.