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Effects of the Physical Environment and Primate Gut Passage on the Early Establishment of Ampelocera hottlei Standley in Rain Forest Fragments
 

Summary: Effects of the Physical Environment and Primate Gut Passage on the Early Establishment
of Ampelocera hottlei Standley in Rain Forest Fragments
Ana M. Gonza´lez-Di Pierro, Julieta Ben´itez-Malvido1
, Moise´s Me´ndez-Toribio, Isela Zerme~no, V´ictor Arroyo-Rodr´iguez, Kathryn E. Stoner
Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas (CIEco), Universidad Nacional Aut´onoma de Me´xico, Antigua Carretera a Pa´tzcuaro No. 8701,
Ex-Hacienda de San Jose´ de la Huerta, CP 58090, Morelia, Michoaca´n, Me´xico
and
Alejandro Estrada
Estaci´on de Biolog´ia `Los Tuxtlas', Instituto de Biolog´ia, Universidad Nacional Aut´onoma de Me´xico, San Andre´s Tuxtla, Veracruz, Me´xico
ABSTRACT
The regeneration of many tropical trees is threatened by forest fragmentation because it produces major physical, biological and ecological changes that limit seed
germination and seedling establishment. We analyzed the regenerative potential of an old growth forest tree species--Ampelocera hottlei (Ulmaceae)--in three con-
trasting habitats located in the Lacandona rain forest, southeastern Mexico: continuous forest, fragments occupied by black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) and
fragments unoccupied by howlers. We tested if germination of A. hottlei seeds among habitats was affected by understory temperature, light incidence and ingestion by
A. pigra. We compared seedling survival and relative growth rate in height (RGRH) for 20 d among habitats and between ingested and control seeds (from mature
fruits). Germination was higher in continuous forest than in fragments (occupied or not), with higher germination rates for ingested seeds in fragments. Temperature
and light incidence were lower in continuous forest than in fragments. Germination decreased with increasing temperature and light incidence with this relationship
being significantly higher for ingested seeds. Seedling survival was higher in continuous forest than in fragments, whereas RGRH did not differ among habitats. In
addition, survival and RGRH were higher in seedlings originating from ingested seeds. Overall, our results suggest that the populations of A. hottlei can be limited in
fragments where changes in the understory physical environment and the extirpation of A. pigra will likely have deleterious consequences for the regeneration of

  

Source: Arroyo Rodríguez, Víctor - Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology