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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versão impressa ISSN 1519-6984versão On-line ISSN 1678-4375

Resumo

BIZERRIL, M. X. A.; RODRIGUES, F. H. G.  e  HASS, A.. Fruit consumption and seed ispersal of Dimorphandra mollis Benth. (Leguminosae) by the lowland tapir in the Cerrado of Central Brazil. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2005, vol.65, n.3, pp.407-413. ISSN 1519-6984.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005000300005.

Fruit phenology observations and consumption of Dimorphandra mollis (Leguminosae) were analyzed during seven months in an area of cerrado stricto sensu. We analysed 81 fecal samples collected at six different places of lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) in central Brazilian cerrado. In addition, from the feces of five tapirs at the Brasília Zoo to which fruit had been offered, seeds were collected and used in germination tests. The results suggest that the tapir is an important fruit consumer and a potential seed disperser of D. mollis. In the field, however, fruit consumption was found to be very low, probably because of both fruit palatability and the low density of frugivores, especially tapirs. The possibility that the original dispersal agents of D. mollis seeds belonged to the South American Pleistocene megafauna is discussed.

Palavras-chave : lowland tapir; cerrado; Dimorphandra; fruit palatability; pleistocene herbivores.

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