Seed dispersal by spider monkeys and its importance in the maintenance of neotropical rain-forest diversity

Andres Link, Anthony Di Fiore

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

109 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

Seed dispersal by frugivores is thought to play an important role in the maintenance of tropical forest diversity. Spider monkeys (Ateles spp.) are amongst the most frugivorous primates known, and they incorporate a diverse array of fruit species in their diets. In a 1-y study in lowland Ecuador, 670 h of focal observations and data on 916 faecal depositions were collected, and these data are used to describe the seed dispersal patterns of one group of wild spider monkeys (Ateles belzebuth) in terms of both the quantity of seeds dispersed and the primary seed shadows generated. Spider monkeys fed on the fruits of at least 152 plant species and swallowed seeds from more than 98% of these. Collected faecal samples contained seeds from at least 133 different plant species, with an average of 1.9 species (range: 0-7) per defecation. Individual spider monkeys dispersed a minimum of ∼195 000 seeds >1 mm in diameter per year, ∼35 000 of which were >3 mm in diameter. Mean retention time for seeds was 4.5 h. Seed dispersal distances averaged 443 m, but some seeds were moved >1250 m away from parental sources. These results suggest that declines in populations of spider monkeys might have a direct effect on forest dynamics, especially if other disperser species cannot compensate for their lost ecological services.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)235-246
Número de páginas12
PublicaciónJournal of Tropical Ecology
Volumen22
N.º3
DOI
EstadoPublicada - may. 2006
Publicado de forma externa

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