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Effective dispersal of large seeds by Baird's tapir: a large-scale field experiment

  • Georgina O'Farrill (a1), Sophie Calmé (a2) (a3), Raja Sengupta (a1) and Andrew Gonzalez (a1)


Even though the full process of seed dispersal is the combination of movement mode and distance, deposition, successful germination and survival (Nathan 2006, Westcott et al. 2005), relatively few studies have documented the role of mammals as facilitators of germination and survival (Paine & Harms 2009). In particular, the effectiveness of large terrestrial mammals (>50 kg) as effective dispersers of large seeds is poorly known, but has been linked to the treatment of the seeds in their digestive system, the deposition of viable seeds in nutrient-rich environments (faeces) and favourable sites. Other aspects related to long-distance movements, defecation patterns and home-range size are frequently cited as factors that favour the deposition of seeds far from parent trees, which is expected to reduce predation and intraspecific competition, and enhance fitness (Schupp et al. 2002). We addressed these issues through a large-scale field experiment.


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Journal of Tropical Ecology
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  • EISSN: 1469-7831
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