Puerto Rico Caribean Abstract 1. Frugivores shape plant communities via seed dispersal of fleshy-fruited plant species. However, the structural characteristics that frugivores impart to plant communities are little understood. Evaluating how frugivores structure plant communities via the non-proportional use of available fruit resources is critical to understand the functioning of ecosystems where fleshy-fruited plant species are dominant, such as tropical forests.
The advantages of seed dispersal may have led to the evolution of fleshy fruitswhich entice animals to eat the fruits and move the plants seeds from place to place. While many fruit-producing plant species would not disperse far without frugivores, they can usually germinate even if they fall to the ground directly below the parent plant.
Many types of animals are seed dispersers. Mammal and bird species represent the majority of seed-dispersing species. However, frugivorous tortoises, lizards, amphibians, and even fish also disperse seeds.
Ecological significance[ edit ] Frugivore seed dispersal is a common phenomenon in many ecosystems. However, it is not a highly specific type of plant—animal interaction.
For example, a single species of frugivorous bird may disperse fruits from several species of plants, or a few species of bird may disperse seeds of one plant species. Many animal-dispersed fruits advertise their palatability to animals with bright colors and attractive smells mimetic fruits.
However, the exact nutritional composition of fruits varies widely. The seeds of animal-dispersed fruits are often adapted to survive digestion by frugivores. This leads to higher germination rates.
Many seed-dispersing animals have specialized digestive systems to process fruits, which leave seeds intact. Some bird species have shorter intestines to rapidly pass seeds from fruits, while some frugivorous bat species have longer intestines. Some seed-dispersing frugivores have short gut-retention times, and others can alter intestinal enzyme composition when eating different types of fruits.
Plant defense against herbivory Plants invest energy into the production of fruits. Plants have evolved to encourage mutualist frugivores to consume their fruit for seed dispersal, but also evolved mechanisms to decrease consumption of fruits when unripe and from non-seed-dispersing predators.
Predators and parasites of fruit include seed predators, insects, and microbial frugivores. Chemical deterrents in plants are called secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites are compounds produced by the plant that are not essential for the primary processes, such as growth and reproduction.
Toxins might have evolved to prevent consumption by animals that disperse seeds into unsuitable habitats, to prevent too many fruits from being eaten per feeding bout by preventing too many seeds being deposited in one site, or to prevent digestion of the seeds in the gut of the animal.
Examples of secondary chemical defenses in fruit: Capsaicin is a carbon-based phenolic compound only found in plant genus Capsicum chili and bell peppers. Capsaicin is responsible for the pungent, hot "flavor" of peppers and inhibits growth of microbes and invertebrates.
It is specifically found in the red berries of the genus Ilex holly, an evergreen woody plant. It can inhibit electron transportcellular respirationinduce vomitingdiarrheaand mild narcosis in animals. Emodin can be cathartic or act as a laxative in humans, kills dipteran larvae, inhibits growth of bacteria and fungi, and deters consumption by birds and mice.
Frugivory and seed dispersal by vertebrates in the Oriental (Indomalayan) region. Biological Review – Herrera, C.M. (). Plant-vertebrate seed dispersal systems in the Mediterranean: Ecological, Evolutionary, and Historical Determinants. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics – Howe, H.F. (). Mary F. Willson, Avian Frugivory and Seed Dispersal in Eastern North America, Current Ornithology, /_5, (), (). Crossref Paul A. Garber, The ecology of seed dispersal in two species of callitrichid primates (Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis), American Journal of Primatology, 10, 2, (), (). Nov 27, · Because frugivory and seed dispersal patterns depart from random encounters between frugivores and plants in communities, successional forests are characterized by an over-representation of proportionally rare plant species, and decreases .
Frugivorous animals[ edit ] Birds are a main focus of frugivory research. An article by B. Blake, Potential Consequences of Extinction of Frugivorous Birds, discusses the important role frugivorous birds have on ecosystems. The conclusions of their research indicate how the extinction of seed-dispersing species could negatively affect seed removal, seed viability, and plant establishment.
This article highlights the importance that seed-dispersing birds have on the deposition of plant species. Guianan cock-of-the-rockand some species of parrots. Frugivores are common in the temperate zonebut mostly found in the tropics.
Many frugivorous birds feed mainly on fruits until nesting season, when they incorporate protein-rich insects into their diet. Facultatively-baccivorous birds may also eat bitter berries, such as juniper, in months when alternative foods are scarce.
Mammals are considered frugivorous if the seed is dispersed and able to establish. One example of a mammalian frugivore is the maned wolfor Chrysocyon brachyurus, which is found in South America.
A study by J. Martins found that the maned wolf is probably an important seed disperser.benjaminpohle.come frugivory and seed dispersal patterns depart from random encounters between frugivores and plants in communities, successional forests are characterized by an over‐representation of proportionally rare plant species, and decreases in the dominance of many common species.
Seed dispersal by avian frugivores is one of the key processes influencing plant spatial patterns, but may fail if there is disruption of plant-frugivore mutualisms, such as decline in abundance of dispersers, fragmentation of habitat, or isolation of individual trees.
Mary F. Willson, Avian Frugivory and Seed Dispersal in Eastern North America, Current Ornithology, /_5, (), (). Crossref M. Debussche and P. Isenmann, Frugivory of transient and wintering European robins Erithacus rubecula in a Mediterranean region and its relationship with ornithochory, Ecography, 8, 2, (), ().
Significant seed disperser preference for invasives over native species could facilitate the spread of the invasives while impeding native plant dispersal.
Such New bird is found atop a Peruvian peak. The 50 seed traps placed under isolated trees at the three pasture locations captured a total of avian-dispersed seeds.
These seeds belonged to 23 avian-dispersed plant species (44 seeds from two unidentified species), with traps having an average count of ± . In cloud forest at Monteverde, Costa Rica, I investigated the reproductive consequences of avian seed dispersal for three species of gap—dependent plants: Phytolacca rivinoides (Phytolaccaceae), Witheringia solanacea, and W.