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Bird frugivory and seed germination of Myrsine umbellata and Myrsine lancifolia (Myrsinaceae) seeds in a cerrado fragment in southeastern Brazil

Frugivoria e germinação de sementes de Myrsine umbellata e Myrsine lancifolia (Myrsinaceae) por aves em um fragmento de Cerrado no sudeste do Brasil

Birds are known to be important dispersers of plants, since the passage of seeds through the digestive tract often has a positive influence on germination percentage and speed. In this study, proportions of germination in different substrates were compared between Myrsine (Myrsinaceae) seeds collected manually and those ingested by birds. The guilds of birds that fed on M. umbellata and M. lancifolia were identified and comprise 24 and 12 species, respectively. A higher germination proportion was found among seeds defecated by birds and sowed in the study area. The study also found differences between the guilds of frugivores in both synchronopatric species. Therefore, we suggest that M. umbellata and M. lancifolia are important food sources by birds that play a positive influence for enhance germination of Myrsine.

zoochory; seed dispersal; Myrsine; frugivorous birds; Cerrado

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil