INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y ECOLOGIA ANIMAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Germination response of Lithraea molleoides seeds is similar after passage through the guts of several avian and a single mammalian disperser
FUNES, GUILLERMO; WHITWORTH-HULSE, JUAN IGNACIO; VERGARA-TABARES, DAVID LAUTARO
NATL RESEARCH COUNCIL CANADA-N R C RESEARCH PRESS
Seed dispersal by vertebrate frugivores plays an important role in plant population dynamicsand community structure. The gut treatment may modify the germination response of seeds; often thespecific effects of seed ingestion are not consistent among frugivorous taxa. In the Chaco mountainwoodlands of Argentina, an ecosystem threatened by human activities, frugivorous birds enhance theseed germination of the most abundant fleshy-fruited plants. However, the effect of the identity ofdispersers on seed germination remains unknown. In this work, we evaluated and compared the seedgermination response of Lithraea molleoides (the dominant tree of the region) to gut passage throughthree Turdus species and the Pampa Fox (Lycalopex gimnocercus). Due to anatomical differencesbetween Turdus species and Pampa Fox, we expected to observe higher seed germination in the seedstreated by the gut of Turdus species compared to those that have passed through the Pampa Fox?s gut.Our results showed that germination response of L. molleoides seeds was positively related to gutpassage through Turdus species and Pampa Foxes (without differences among seed dispersers).Consequently, both the avian species and the Pampa Fox contribute positively to the dispersal andgermination of L. molleoides seeds.