Fruit consumption and seed dispersal of Dimophandra mollis Benth. (Leguminosae) by the lowland tapir in the Cerrado of Central Brazil
Brazilian Journal of Biology
lowland tapir cerrado Dimorphandra fruit palatability pleistocene herbivores. Tapir Bibliography
Fruit phenology observations and consumption of Dimorphandra mollis (Leguminosae) were analyzedduring seven months in an area of cerrado stricto sensu. We analysed 81 fecal samples collected atsix different places of lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) in central Brazilian cerrado. In addition, fromthe feces of five tapirs at the Brasília Zoo to which fruit had been offered, seeds were collected andused in germination tests. The results suggest that the tapir is an important fruit consumer and a potentialseed disperser of D. mollis. In the field, however, fruit consumption was found to be very low, probablybecause of both fruit palatability and the low density of frugivores, especially tapirs. The possibilitythat the original dispersal agents of D. mollis seeds belonged to the South American Pleistocenemegafauna is discussed.