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Seed Predation of Cariniana micrantha (Lecythidaceae) by Brown Capuchin Monkeys in Central Amazonia
Carlos A. Peres
Vol. 23, No. 3 (Sep., 1991), pp. 262-270
Published by: Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388203
Page Count: 9
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Predispersal seed predation is a widespread phenomenon in tropical forests. However, few studies have quantified predator impact on seed crops during this critical stage of a plant's life cycle. Here I report on a tight plant-animal interaction between brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) and an emergent Lecythidaceae, Cariniana micrantha. The very hard and thick pericarps of this species are morphological adaptations to protect their fatty and proteinrich seeds from predispersal predators. However, brown capuchins are behaviorally adept at overcoming the seed protection mechanisms. Based on direct observations and a sample of 7328 fruits from exhaustive counts of 10 focal C. micrantha trees, I estimate that 69.5% of the entire anemochorous, winged-seeded crop was destroyed because of direct predation. Another 30.1 percent of the seed crop also became inviable, but in a different manner: its single dispersal opportunity was disrupted because seeds remained trapped inside indehisced fruits which had been discarded to the ground by the monkeys.
Biotropica © 1991 Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation