RUGGERA roman alberto
Frugivory and seed dispersal role of the Yellow-striped Brush-Finch (Atlapetes citrinellus), an endemic emberizid of Argentina
ROMÁN A. RUGGERA; M. DANIELA GOMEZ; PEDRO G. BLENDINGER
Año: 2014 vol. 114 p. 343 - 351
The stability and dynamic of multispecies interactions often rely on a core of few species. We evaluate if the Yellow-striped Brush-Finch (Atlapetes citrinellus), the only endemic bird species from the Argentinean Yungas, is a core species for seed dispersal. Of 30 fleshy fruit species consumed, 16 were dispersed through endozoochory. The Yellow-striped Brush-Finch mostly used the "cut or mash" fruit handling method. With this method, relatively large seeds (> 0.04 g) were equally discarded and swallowed. Medium- and small-sized seeds were more frequently swallowed than discarded. Although fruit species consumed were mostly from the understory, fruit consumption did not differ between forest understory and canopy when total fruit abundance by vertical stratum was considered. By using interaction network metrics, we determined that the seed dispersal role of Yellow-striped Brush-Finches during the rainy season was more important at higher altitudes and in the southern sector of its distributional range. Our findings support the idea that the Yellow-striped Brush-Finch must be considered a core seed disperser of understory and canopy fruits. Usage of network metrics is an effective way to assess the importance of individual species in a network, allowing restoration and conservation efforts to be focused on environments in which these species occur.