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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

On-line version ISSN 2007-8706Print version ISSN 1870-3453


PEREZ-CADAVID, Adelaida; ROJAS-SOTO, Octavio R.  and  BONILLA-MOHENO, Martha. Effect of seed ingestion by birds on the germination of understorey species in cloud forest. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2018, vol.89, n.4, pp.1167-1175. ISSN 2007-8706.

By dispersing seeds, frugivorous birds play a significant part in forest regeneration. However, there is scant information about the role of seed ingestion on the germination of cloud forest species. In this study, we evaluated whether the ingestion of the seeds of 3 woody understorey species (Conostegia xalapensis, Miconia glaberrima, M. mexicana) by frugivorous birds (Arremon brunneinucha, and Chlorospingus flavopectus) favors their percent and rate of germination. We compared the percent and rate of germination of seeds that had been ingested by birds and seeds extracted directly from their fruit. We also evaluated differences as a function of the species of bird that ingested the seed. The difference in percent seed germination was only significant for M. glaberrima ingested by A. brunneinucha; although, in general, ingested seeds germinated faster than seeds that had not been ingested, with a significant difference for all species eaten by A. brunneinucha, and for C. xalapensis eaten by C. flavopectus. Our results highlight the potential of frugivorous birds to assist the regeneration of intermediate successional species. In addition, the interspecific variation in percent germination and in germination rate suggest that certain plant-disperser interactions are very important for ecosystem maintenance.

Keywords : Endozoochory; Forest regeneration; Frugivorous birds; Pioneer species; Seed dispersion.

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