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Primate Seed Dispersal: The Fate of Dispersed Seeds

Colin A. Chapman
Biotropica
Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 148-154
DOI: 10.2307/2388705
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388705
Page Count: 7
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Primate Seed Dispersal: The Fate of Dispersed Seeds
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Abstract

The three primate species of Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica (Ateles geoffroyi, Alouatta palliata, Cebus capucinus) have diets in which fruits are major components. All three primate species defecated seeds of many fruiting species; the majority of which (60%) germinated under experimental conditions. The sampling of seed traps placed throughout the forest indicated that, on average, 392 large seeds that passed through the stomachs of monkeys fell weekly per hectare of forest floor. However, the dispersal performed by the primates may not be the final stage of dispersal for many of these seeds. By constructing artificial dung piles containing seeds it was shown that 51.8 percent of the seeds were either removed by secondary dispersers, or killed by seed predators within 5 days of being placed in the forest. The rate of seed removal varied depending on the seed species.

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