Publication details.


Author(s):G. Escribano-Avila
Title:Non-specialized frugivores as key seed dispersers in dry disturbed environments: An example with a generalist neotropical mesocarnivore
JCR Impact Factor:1.83
Abstract:© 2019 Elsevier LtdAnimals that consume fleshy fruits and disperse seeds provide valuable services to plants. Yet in a world increasingly defaunated and affected by habitat disturbance specialized frugivores may become rapidly extinct. Thus it is important to understand whether more generalist species resilient to habitat disturbance and defaunation are able to fulfill the ecological function of more specialized dispersers. I evaluated whether the generalist mesocarnivore the Sechuran desert fox (Lycalopex sechurae)is a valuable seed disperser in secondary dry forests. I studied the number of plant species dispersed and the qualitative subcomponents of pulp removal (deinhibition)and scarification in a set of typical neotropical dry forest plants varying in fruit and seed traits. The Sechuran fox dispersed seeds of nine species. This species richness is similar to that of others more specialized dispersers of the dry neotropics. The services of pulp removal and scarification significantly increased germination. Overall the deinhibition effect size was larger than that of scarification, however with variation according to species identity. The Sechuran fox, a non-specialized frugivore, proved to be a relevant seed disperser, as may be the case of other neotropical mesocarnivores with generalist diets, resilient to deforestation and defaunation that warrant further research.

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