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The role of seed mass on the caching decision by agoutis, Dasyprocta leporina (Rodentia: Agoutidae)

Galetti, Mauro; I. Donatti, Camila; Steffler, Carla; Genini, Julieta; S. Bovendorp, Ricardo; Fleury, Marina.
Zoologia (Curitiba); 27(3)2010.
Artigo em Inglês | VETINDEX | ID: vti-441151


It has been shown that the local extinction of large-bodied frugivores may cause cascading consequences for plant recruitment and overall plant diversity. However, to what extent the resilient mammals can compensate the role of seed dispersal in defaunated sites is poorly understood. Caviomorph rodents, especially Dasyprocta spp., are usually resilient frugivores in hunted forests and their seed caching behavior may be important for many plant species which lack primary dispersers. We compared the effect of the variation in seed mass of six vertebrate-dispersed plant species on the caching decision by the red-rumped agoutis Dasyprocta leporina Linnaeus, 1758 in a land-bridge island of the Atlantic forest, Brazil. We found a strong positive effect of seed mass on seed fate and dispersal distance, but there was a great variation between species. Agoutis never cached seeds smaller than 0.9 g and larger seeds were dispersed for longer distances. Therefore, agoutis can be important seed dispersers of large-seeded species in defaunated forests.
Biblioteca responsável: BR68.1