Record Details

Golin, V.;Santos, M.;Pereira, M. J. B.
Dispersal and predation of araticum seeds in the Cerrado of Mato Grosso, Brazil
Ciencia Rural
Journal Article
Annona crassiflora Mart. (Annonaceae);Tapirus terrestris;dispersers;predators;Cerrado;germination;beetles
This study aimed to characterize araticum (Annona crassiflora) plants and fruits, and evaluate the frequency of consumption, predation and dispersal of the seeds by animals and its effect on germination, in Cerrado vegetation area, between February 2007 and June 2008. Using track traps installed on araticum plants, the frequency of visitation (FV) and the fruit consumption by the animals was assessed, as well as, the action of insects in fallen fruits under the trees was registered. Sample of tapirs excrement Tapirus terrestris were analyzed to verify the occurrence frequency (FO) and the damage caused on the seeds by tapirs and insects. To analyze the dispersal by tapirs, colored beads were inserted in fallen mature fruits under the parent trees. Then, the distance between the location of the excrements with beads to the parent tree in the specific color of the bead was measured. Germination test was performed with excrement samples and unbroken fruit seeds. Among the animals that fed on fruits, tapirs contributed with the largest frequency of visitation and consumption of araticum fruits, representing 54% of the frequency occurrence in excrement samples, and the seeds were not damaged significantly. Dung beetles (Scarabaeidae) fed the pulp of the fruit and buried araticum seeds next to the parent tree. Curculionid and eurytomid insects predated the araticum seeds on the fruits. The damage caused by these insects in the seeds was significantly higher than those caused by tapirs. Two excrements with beads were found at 1,7 and 1,8km distant from the parent trees, respectively. The seeds had low germinability in this period of study, however the tapirs can protect the seeds of predator insects, defecating the intact seeds for long distances. Thus, T. terrestris is a possible disperser of seeds, whereas curculionids and eurytomids can be considered predators of araticum seeds. These relations probably contribute with the control of araticum population in the Brazilian Cerrado.
Times Cited: 0 Golin, Vanessa Santos-Filho, Manoel Barbosa Pereira, Monica Josene