Seed-swallowing Toucans are Less Effective Dispersers of Guettarda viburnoides (Rubiaceae) than Pulp-feeding Jays

Loayza, AP; Rios, RS


For many tropical plants, birds are the most important seed dispersers. Not all birds, however, will provide equally effective dispersal services. Behavioral differences, during and after feeding, can result in different establishment probabilities of new individuals. During 3yr, we examined species-specific quantitative and qualitative aspects of Guettarda viburnoides seed dispersal by avian frugivores, focusing on how these aspects modify seed dispersal effectiveness. Fruits of G.viburnoides were consumed by ten species of birds, two of which, Cyanocorax cyanomelas and Pteroglossus castanotis, removed 80 percent of the fruits. These two species differ in qualitative aspects of seed dispersal. First, they select for fruits of different sizes; C.cyanomelas feeds on larger fruits than P.castanotis, which results in the former dispersing larger endocarps than the latter. Second, they differ in their fruit handling treatment; C.cyanomelas are pulp consumers, whereas P.castanotis swallow the fruit whole, and are thus traditionally considered legitimate' dispersers. The probability of seedling emergence, the temporal pattern of emergence, the number of emerged seedlings per endocarp, and the probability of post-dispersal seed predation differs between endocarps dispersed by C.cyanomelas and P.castanotis; endocarps dispersed by the former have higher emergence probabilities, higher number of seedlings, faster emergence times, and lower predation probabilities than those dispersed by the latter. Finally, these birds differ in their landscape patterns of endocarp deposition; C.cyanomelas disperses endocarps to habitats with higher recruitment probabilities. Ultimately, the pulp consumer C.cyanomelas is a more effective disperser of G.viburnoides than P.castanotis.

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Título según WOS: Seed-swallowing Toucans are Less Effective Dispersers of Guettarda viburnoides (Rubiaceae) than Pulp-feeding Jays
Título de la Revista: BIOTROPICA
Volumen: 46
Número: 1
Editorial: Wiley
Fecha de publicación: 2014
Página de inicio: 69
Página final: 77
Idioma: English


Notas: ISI