Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://repositorio.inpa.gov.br/handle/1/18425
Title: Are tortoises important seed dispersers in Amazonian forests?
Authors: Jerozolimski, Adriano
Ribeiro, Maria Beatriz Nogueira
Martins, Marcio
Keywords: Data Set
Digestive System
Estimation Method
Forest Ecosystem
Frugivory
Germination
Herbivory
Morphotype
Movement
Plant Community
Qualitative Analysis
Quantitative Analysis
Radio Wave
Seasonal Variation
Seed Dispersal
Tracking
Turtle
Animals
Brasil
Chemistry
Cytology
Diet
Feces
Fruit
Germination
Physiology
Seed Plant
Season
Tree
Turtle
Animal
Brasil
Diet
Feces
Fruit
Germination
Seasons
Seeds
Trees
Turtles
Amazon River
South America
Animalsia
Aves
Geochelone Denticulata
Mammalia
Testudinidae
Issue Date: 2009
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Oecologia
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 161, Número 3, Pags. 517-528
Abstract: According to most studies on seed dispersal in tropical forests, mammals and birds are considered the main dispersal agents and the role played by other animal groups remains poorly explored. We investigate qualitative and quantitative components of the role played by the tortoise Chelonoidis denticulata in seed dispersal in southeastern Amazon, and the influence of seasonal variation in tortoise movement patterns on resulting seed shadows. Seed shadows produced by this tortoise were estimated by combining information on seed passage times through their digestive tract, which varied from 3 to 17 days, with a robust dataset on movements obtained from 18 adult C. denticulata monitored with radio transmitters and spoon-and-line tracking devices. A total of 4,206 seeds were found in 94 collected feces, belonging to 50 seed morphotypes of, at least, 25 plant genera. Very low rates of damage to the external structure of the ingested seeds were observed. Additionally, results of germination trials suggested that passage of seeds through C. denticulata's digestive tract does not seem to negatively affect seed germination. The estimated seed shadows are likely to contribute significantly to the dispersal of seeds away from parent plants. During the dry season seeds were dispersed, on average, 174.1 m away from the location of fruit ingestion; during the rainy season, this mean dispersal distance increased to 276.7 m. Our results suggest that C. denticulata plays an important role in seed dispersal in Amazonian forests and highlight the influence of seasonal changes in movements on the resulting seed shadows. © Springer-Verlag 2009.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1007/s00442-009-1396-8
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