This study demonstrates the potential of the Japanese marten (Martes melampus) to serve as a directed seed disperser of Actinidia arguta, a representative forest edge liane. Fecal compositions of the Japanese marten in a western part of Tokyo, Japan were analyzed by the point-frame method. It fed on fruits in autumn (73.1%) and winter (63.0%), and the seeds of A. arguta were most frequently eaten (47.4%). Although the vegetation in the study area was dominated by forest (95.5%), seeds found in the marten feces were dominated by those of forest edge plants (92.1%), suggesting a strong selective bias, both habitat and food, toward these species. The density of marten feces was also higher at forest edges than forest interiors. A. arguta plants were more abundant at forest edges than within the forest at Afan Wood, Nagano Prefecture. These results suggest that the Japanese marten selectively uses forest edges as a location for feeding and defecation and thus functions as a directed seed disperser of A. arguta.
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Vol. 32 • No. 3