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ZIMMERMANN, Thalita Gabriella et al. Consumption and secondary dispersal of seeds of Mucuna urens (Fabaceae) in the Atlantic Forest in Southern Brazil. Rodriguésia [online]. 2012, vol.63, n.4, pp.1139-1145. ISSN 2175-7860.

This study aimed at evaluating the consumption, removal and secondary dispersal of seeds of Mucuna urens (Fabaceae - Faboideae) in an Atlantic Forest fragment in the Municipal Park of Lagoa do Peri, Florianópolis, SC. The biometric pattern and consumption by invertebrates of 100 seeds were evaluated. The removal and secondary dispersion were evaluated at 120 and 25 seeds, respectively. The average length, width and mass of seeds was 2.87±0.19 cm, 2.83±0.23 cm and 5.04±1.60 g, respectively, and forty-one percent of seeds were consumed by beetles Curculionidae, Scolytinae. There was no relationship between the length and the width of the seeds consumed and not consumed, and the consumed mass was significantly less than those not consumed, due to the fact that the Scolytinae feed the cotyledons. The agoutis (Dasyprocta azarae) removed 74.16% (n = 89) of the seeds. This rodent scattered 48% and buried 36% of the seeds, at an average distance of 8.06 m (± 7.46 m) ranging from 1.00 to 35.90 m. The secondary dispersion and hoarding seeds of M. urens by agoutis decreases the probability of predation by other vertebrates and invertebrates and increases the chances to occur the germination in favorable sites, helping in the propagation of the species.

Keywords : Atlantic Forest; dispersion; legumes; agoutis.

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