Frugivory and the effects of ingestion by bats on the seed germination of three pioneering plants

Frugivory and the effects of ingestion by bats on the seed germination of three pioneering plants

Author Carvalho-Ricardo, Maria C. de Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Uieda, Wilson Google Scholar
Fonseca, Renata Cristina B. Google Scholar
Rossi, Marcelo N. Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
Abstract The dispersion and seedling establishment of pioneering plants can be favoured by the presence of frugivorous bats because the bats usually improve seed germination after ingestion. Although seed germinability is known to vary greatly after ingestion by different bats, the relative contribution of each bat species to seed germination within plant communities is poorly understood. in this study, we first determined the fauna of frugivorous bats in a semideciduous seasonal forest remnant in southern Brazil and subsequently identified the plant species of the seeds passed through their guts. Second, the germination performance (i.e., germination percentage and speed) of the seeds of three pioneering plants (Piper aduncum, Piper hispidinervum and Solanum granuloso-leprosum) ingested by the most abundant bats was compared with that of the non-ingested seeds (seeds collected from fruits). Additionally, the effects on seed germination of different bat species were compared. During one year, five species of frugivorous bats were caught, and the seeds of eleven identifiable plant species (not counting those of undetermined species) were found in their faeces. We found that the germination performance of the seeds of Piper species was significantly enhanced after ingestion by bats, whereas S. granuloso-leprosum seeds had neutral or reduced germinability when seeds in faeces were compared with pulp-removed seeds. Our results revealed that the bat species that were captured exerted different effects upon seed germination; such a disparity is expected to result in different rates of early establishment of these pioneer plants in tropical forests, most likely affecting forest composition and structure, particularly during the initial stages of succession. (C) 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Keywords Conservation ecology
Gut passage
Phyllostomidae
Seed dispersal
Tropical forest
Language English
Sponsor Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)
Date 2014-02-01
Published in Acta Oecologica-international Journal of Ecology. Paris: Gauthier-villars/editions Elsevier, v. 55, p. 51-57, 2014.
ISSN 1146-609X (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Elsevier B.V.
Extent 51-57
Origin http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2013.11.008
Access rights Closed access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000331773100008
URI http://repositorio.unifesp.br/handle/11600/37369

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