Scatterhoarding has received special attention for the last couple of decades, and several studies focused on palms whose seeds are dispersed by Dasyprocta. Our objective was to know the species that consume fruits of Mauritia fexuosa, to evaluate the relative importance of consumer species, and also to assess the fate of dispersed seeds. Using field experiments we evaluated the fate of seeds removed by frugivores at the Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve, Bolivia. We predicted that seeds buried by Dasyprocta would present lower mortality that those left unburied. We placed 6-16 fruit stations, with 15-50 fruits each, in five sampling periods along a year. Te main seed dispersers of M. fexuosa were D. punctata and Cuniculus paca, which transported seeds a maximum of 12.63 m, and 14.1, respectively. Dispersers removed 7.5% of the fruits from the stations. All seeds removed during four out of the five sampling periods were either predated, or rotted; only 0.5% of the seeds dispersed in February germinated. From the total of seeds we buried in the dry and wet season only survived those buried in the wet season, the remaining were predated or rotted of. None of the 84 seeds removed by D. punctata were buried, which difers from all known reports on dispersal behavior of Dasyprocta. We discuss these fndings in relation to the possible effects of soil humidity, and seed size and advance the hypothesis that the high abundance of the resource makes it unnecessary to scatterhoard seeds underground.
|Translated title of the contribution||Seed dispersal of mauritia fexuosa (Arecaceae) by terretrial frugivores in Laguna Azul, Beni, Bolivia|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2014|
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