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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versión impresa ISSN 1519-6984versión On-line ISSN 1678-4375


RAGUSA-NETTO, J.. Seed removal of Dipteryx alata Vog. (Leguminosae: Faboidae) in the edge and interior of Cerrado. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2017, vol.77, n.4, pp.752-761.  Epub 16-Mar-2017. ISSN 1519-6984.

Post-dispersal seed agents of mortality include pathogens, invertebrates, and vertebrates, which may shape tropical tree populations and communities. In this study I experimentally evaluated Dipteryx alata endocarp removal both in the interior and edge of Cerrado vegetation. Specifically, I simulated primary dispersion of endocarps by bats and evaluated secondary removal intensity according to habitat, season, and endocarp number. This study was developed in the Pombo Natural Municipal Park, a large Cerrado remnant with an area of 9,000 ha, located in the Western Brazil. In each of the two habitat types, I set down 45 points in which D. alata piles of 1, 3, 7, 15, and 40 endocarps were positioned. On average, endocarp removal in the interior was higher than in the edge, so that the intensity of removal varied from positive density-dependent (interior: rains), to negative density-dependent (edge: both seasons). Also, at both habitat types and seasons non removed endocarps were intensely attacked by fungus. Indeed, seed mortality by fungus infestation was positive density-dependent. The results indicate high propensity of endocarps to escape from removal in the edge, in principle, a defaunated area. As Dipteryx species strongly rely on caviomorph rodents for their dispersal, the scarcity of these vectors might reduce recruitment chances of D. alata in remnants of Cerrado. This imply in future changes in the vegetation structure from the edge to the interior towards low tree diversity.

Palabras clave : seed predation; seed dispersal; plant-animal interaction; density-dependence; Cerrado fragment; vegetation edge.

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