Dispersal of seeds of Hymenaea courbaril (Fabaceae) in a logged rain forest in the Peruvian Amazonian

Dispersão de sementes de Hymenaea courbaril (Fabaceae) em uma floresta tropical úmida com exploração madeireira na Amazônia peruana

Seed dispersal of Hymenaea courbaril was studied by following the fate of 585 seeds embedded with small magnets and set in displays in and near a logged strip in rain forest in the Peruvian Amazonian. Mammals took fruits from all displays, which were located in the forest, edge, and cleared strip. Overall removal rates were low - a median of 8.1 fruits / month from displays maintained with 8-10 fruits - but were higher in August than in earlier months. Most fruits were dropped near the display or had their seeds eaten, but > 13% were successfully dispersed. Most of the dispersed seeds were buried, which increases probability of germination. Maximum dispersal distance of live seeds was 12.1 m (median 3.1 m), but other magnets were transported up to 34 m, indicating seeds were dispersed further, but then eaten. Acouchies (most likely Myoprocta pratti) and agoutis (Dasyprocta fuliginosa) were apparently the main dispersal agents. Dispersal of seeds from the forest into the logged strip was rare, suggesting that although rodents disperse H. courbaril, they cannot be relied on for the reseeding this and similar species in recent clearings.

Caesalpinioideae; Dasyprocta fuliginosa; Myoprocta pratti; seed predation; forest management

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