Institute de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro (JBRJ), Diretoria de Pesquisas Científicas, Rua Pacheco Leão, 915 CEP: 22460-030, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Seed germination from lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) fecal samples collected during the dry season in the northern Brazilian Amazon
Article first published online: 16 APR 2013
© 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS
Volume 8, Issue 1, pages 63–73, March 2013
How to Cite
BARCELOS, A. R., BOBROWIEC, P. E. D., SANAIOTTI, T. M. and GRIBEL, R. (2013), Seed germination from lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) fecal samples collected during the dry season in the northern Brazilian Amazon. Integrative Zoology, 8: 63–73. doi: 10.1111/1749-4877.12003
- Issue published online: 16 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 16 APR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 24 SEP 2012 05:32AM EST
- seed dispersal
This study evaluated the potential of lowland tapirs as seed dispersers in the northern Brazilian Amazon. The study analyzed the viability of seeds after passage through the gut. Fecal samples were collected from 6 different vegetation physiognomies in Viruá National Park during the dry season. The samples were then kept in a greenhouse for 16 months to allow the seeds to germinate. The seedling species were identified and classified according to the type of fruit, plant habit, seed size and type of ingestion. Of the 111 fecal samples, 94 (84.7%) had viable seeds of 75 species. Melastomataceae was the most frequent family with viable seeds in the fecal samples (69.1% of samples, N= 18 species). The data suggest that the importance of the lowland tapirs as dispersers is not restricted to the species consumed actively by frugivory but also extends to species accidentally consumed during browsing. The occurrence of both large and small viable seeds in the fecal samples as well as a number of large drupes, which probably cannot be transported via endozoochory by any other animal species, provide evidence of the ecological importance of lowland tapirs to the dynamics of the forest-campinarana vegetation mosaic in the region.