Record Details

Silvius, K. M.;Fragoso, J. M. V.
Pulp handling by vertebrate seed dispersers increases palm seed predation by bruchid beetles in the northern Amazon
Journal of Ecology
Journal Article
Attalea maripa frugivory fruit traits seed dispersal tropical forests insect-infested fruits bertholletia-excelsa evolutionary triad defense rodents forest tapir size caesalpiniaceae oviposition Tapir Bibliography
1 The simultaneous use of fruits and seeds by invertebrate seed predators and vertebrate seed dispersers produces complex ecological interactions that reduce the predictability of seed fate. 2 Cocosoid palm seeds in the Neotropics are subject to high mortality by bruchid beetle infestation and such attack is the major cause of mortality for seeds of the palm Attalea maripa at our study site in the northern Brazilian Amazon. 3 The exocarp and mesocarp of 1400 fruits were manipulated in different ways to simulate handling by vertebrates. No eggs of the bruchid beetle, Pachymerus cardo, were laid on intact control fruits, while the highest numbers of eggs were received by fruits whose exocarp and mesocarp had been partially removed, as if by primates and rodents (mean of 15.9 and 18.9 eggs fruit(-1), respectively, during the peak fruiting season). Fruits with intact mesocarp but no exocarp, and fruits with all mesocarp and exocarp removed, received low numbers of eggs (mean of 4.6 and 6.6 eggs per fruit, respectively, during the peak fruiting season). Thus both exocarp and mesocarp deter oviposition, and removal of these fruit structures increases fruit susceptibility to infestation. 4 Oviposition rates declined as the fruiting season progressed, but oviposition preferences remained the same. Seed mortality was high for any fruit on which eggs were laid. 5 Large rodents and primates, which have been considered among the most effective seed dispersers for large-seeded Neotropical trees such as palms, actually increased the susceptibility of seeds to bruchid beetle attack. Removal of (intact) seeds by other dispersers may be necessary to ensure seed survival. 6 These results indicate that the reliability of seed dispersers cannot be gauged without a complete understanding of variables that affect seed viability.
English Article 620TF J ECOL