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Actualidades Biológicas

Print version ISSN 0304-3584


FRANCO-QUIMBAY, July  and  ROJAS-ROBLES, Rosario. Frugivory and seed dispersal of the palm Oenocarpus bataua in two regions with different conservation status. Actu Biol [online]. 2015, vol.37, n.102, pp.273-285. ISSN 0304-3584.

We compared frugivory and seed dispersal of Oenocarpus bataua in two areas with different conservation status: Porce, an altered sub-Andean forest, fragmented with low connectivity and defaunated and Las Unamas, continuous forest, less altered and with wildlife species present, mainly mammals that disappear in transformed areas. We conducted focal observations, camera trapping and registers of dispersal distances. Four of five frugivors in Porce were small mammals, while in Las Unamas we found recorded four mediumsized species and according to records of wildlife in the area up to 24 species that potentially could consume the fruits. The number of seeds dispersed, their dispersal distances, and the distances of seeds and seedlings to the nearest parent tree were greater in Porce, these results suggest an intense activity of small rodents, especially squirrels, which may have increased due to the absence of predators and competitors eliminated by hunting and fragmentation. These rodents exert a high pressure on the fruits of O. bataua, but also play a role in their dispersal. Despite the limited dispersal of O. bataua in both study areas, is an abundant species and an almost permanent food source for wildlife and a structuring element of the forest. Such studies are important to recognize the importance of protecting areas that support ecological interactions such as seed dispersal and overall functionality of the ecosystems that are threatened by defaunation and habitat fragmentation.

Keywords : defaunation; frugivory; Oenocarpus bataua; seed dispersal.

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