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1 March 2004 Seed Dispersal of the Palm Attalea oleifera in a Remnant of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
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Abstract
This study investigated the seed dispersal of the canopy palm Attalea oleifera in a 3500 ha fragment of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We monitored ten fruiting palms during six months, when the following mammals were recorded feeding on Attalea fruits and/or seeds: (1) Brazilian squirrels (Sciurus aestuans, 78 diurnal records); (2) white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris, 8 nocturnal records); (3) black-humped agoutis (Dasyprocta prymnolopha, 3 diurnal records); (4) pacas (Agouti paca, 1 nocturnal record); (5) rice rats (Oryzomys capito, 11 nocturnal records); and (6) short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis americana, 4 diurnal records). Fruit removal on the ground reached 71.9 ± 21.9 percent after a three-month period, and most fruits were moved less than 5 m from parental palms. Squirrels generally moved fruits and endocarps 5–10 m from parents, whereas opossums, pacas, and agoutis moved 91.7, 78, and 74.1 percent of fruits less than 5 m, respectively. Oviposition on endocarps by the bruchid Pachymeros cardo ranged between 62.1 and 84.3 percent of endocarps previously manipulated by white-eared opossums, squirrels, and rice rats, whereas 57.9 percent of old endocarps collected around reproductive palms were attacked by bruchids. Moreover, oviposition on endocarps varied from 42.3 percent in the case of single endocarps to 70.9 percent of endocarps in piles. Attalea seeds abundantly germinated beneath parental palms despite the high levels of predation, and distribution of both seedlings and adults suggested that squirrels played an important role in palm recruitment at the study site.
Domingos Sávio Pimentel and Marcelo Tabarelli "Seed Dispersal of the Palm Attalea oleifera in a Remnant of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest1," BIOTROPICA 36(1), (1 March 2004). https://doi.org/10.1646/02095
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