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Two Botanists and conservationists within a week. They say it was a case of one being depressed by the passing (killing) of the other [update: Gabriel C. Barretto says this is not the case since Dan did not know of Leonard’s killing, see comment below.] Dan and Leonard are colleagues who shared passion for mother nature.

Daniel or Sir Dan to his students is one of those teachers from the Institute of Biology who I frequently chance upon while going to and from CASAA to the Llamas Science Hall.  I never really talked to him. There was no reason to.

He passed away because of cancer.

Here is the abstract of his (probably) last paper.

R. S. Gonzales, N. R. Ingle, D. A. Lagunzad,  and T. Nakashizuka, Seed Dispersal by Birds and Bats in Lowland Philippine Forest Successional Area, Biotropica 41(2009). doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2009.00501.x

Dan Lagunzad, the Biology teacher (courtesy: Krisha's multiply site)

In the tropical forests of South East Asia, only a few studies have dealt with the role animal dispersal plays in early forest succession and rehabilitation, and a comparison of bird and bat dispersal is even rarer. We investigated seed dispersal by birds and bats in a successional area in the lowland dipterocarp forest of the Subic Watershed Forest Reserve (SWFR) in Luzon Island, Philippines. Using pairs of day and night traps, we collected seeds during 3 mo of wet season and 3 mo of dry season in a 1.2-ha study site. Bird-dispersed seeds predominated over those dispersed by bats in terms of both seed abundance and number of seed species. The most abundant endozoochorous seed species were significantly biased toward either bird or bat dispersal. Birds and bats appeared to compete more strongly for fruit resources during the dry season than during the wet season, and bats responded more to changes in the seasons than birds did.  General Linear Modelling analyses showed that the factor that had the strongest influence on overall seed distribution was the number of fleshy-fruited trees surrounding the traps, and that the distribution pattern of day-dispersed seeds was affected by more physical factors (number of trees, size of trees, presence of fleshy-fruited and conspecific trees) in the study site than the pattern of night-dispersed seeds were. Given that birds are the more important dispersers in the study site, restoration efforts in SWFR might benefit by focusing on attracting these dispersers into its degraded habitats.

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