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Seed dispersal by black-handed tamarins, Saguinus midas niger (Callitrichinae, Primates): implications for the regeneration of degraded forest habitats in eastern Amazonia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2000

Ana Cristina M. Oliveira
Affiliation:
Amazonian Institute for Environmental Research (IPAM), Belém, Brazil Department of Experimental Psychology, Universidade Federal do Pará, C.P. 8607, 66.075-900 Belém – PA, Brazil
Stephen F. Ferrari
Affiliation:
Department of Experimental Psychology, Universidade Federal do Pará, C.P. 8607, 66.075-900 Belém – PA, Brazil Department of Genetics,Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Brazil

Abstract

The feeding behaviour of free-ranging black-handed tamarins, Saguinus midas niger, was monitored over 6 mo in a forest fragment in eastern Amazonia. The tamarins' diet included arthropods and plant exudates, but was predominantly frugivorous (87.5% of feeding records, 18 plant species) in all months. The seeds of at least six species were ingested whole and defecated intact. Ingested seeds were relatively large, but those with diameter > 1 cm or length > 2 cm were discarded. Seeds took 2–4 h to pass through the digestive tract, and more than half (50.6%) were dispersed to a habitat different from that in which they were ingested. A fifth (19.3%) of all seeds were dispersed from primary to secondary forest, indicating that S. m. niger may play an important rôle in forest regeneration, a rôle that will become increasingly important in the fragmented landscape of eastern Amazonia.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2000 Cambridge University Press

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