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Effectiveness of Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus) as Seed Dispersers in Continuous

Summary: Effectiveness of Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi
vellerosus) as Seed Dispersers in Continuous
and Fragmented Rain Forests
in Southern Mexico
Óscar M. Chaves & Kathryn E. Stoner &
Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez &Alejandro Estrada
Received: 8 December 2009 /Accepted: 24 May 2010
# Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010
Abstract Seed dispersal is considered a key process determining spatial structure
and dynamics of plant populations, and has crucial implications for forest
regeneration. We evaluated the effectiveness of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)
as seed dispersers in continuous and fragmented habitats to test if this interaction is
altered in forest fragments. We documented fruit and seed handling, defecation
patterns, diversity and composition of seeds in feces, and seed germination of
defecated and control seeds in the Lacandona rainforest, Mexico. For most species
contributing to 80% of total fruit feeding time, monkeys swallowed and spat seeds,
but swallowing was the most frequent seed handling category in continuous and
fragmented forests. However, the proportion of feeding records of swallowed seeds
was higher in continuous forest (0.59) than in fragments (0.46), whereas the opposite
was true for proportion of dropped seeds (0.16 vs. 0.31). This pattern was reflected


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


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology