Effect of Fruit Size on Primary Seed Dispersal of Five Canopy Tree Species of the Colombian Amazon


seed dispersal
Colombian Amazon
fruit size
feeding behavior

How to Cite

Parrado-Rosselli, A., & Cavelier, J. (2002). Effect of Fruit Size on Primary Seed Dispersal of Five Canopy Tree Species of the Colombian Amazon. Selbyana, 23(2), 245–257. Retrieved from https://ojs.test.flvc.org/selbyana/article/view/121623


Primary seed dispersal at the canopy level was recorded by the authors in 1996 in five tree species of a terra firme forest along the Caquetá River in the Colombian Amazon. The trees were Trattinnickia sp. (Burseraceae), Hebepetalum humiriifolium and Roucheria columbiana (Linaceae), Ocotea sp. (Lauraceae), and Micropholis venulosa (Sapotaceae). With these single-seeded species, we tested the hypothesis that the larger the fruit size, the lower the amount of seeds dispersed. We also evaluated the effect of fruit size and other fruit characteristics such as seed size, fruit mass, and percentage of pulp on the feeding behavior of diurnal frugivores (such as feeding rates, fruit removal, fruit damage). Primary seed dispersal was calculated as the difference between the number of fruits taken by birds or mammals minus seeds dropped, regurgitated, defecated, and damaged at the tree after removal. Seed dispersal also was estimated by counting the number and frequency of frugivore species at the tree and the percentage of fruits taken by animals relative to the fruit crop size. Results showed that primary seed dispersal was lower for larger fruits only when calculated as the seeds carried away from the tree crown by frugivores. This relationship did not hold when primary seed dispersal was estimated by counting the number and frequency of visitors (species) and the percentage of fruits taken. Fruit size affected seed dispersal more than did seed size, fruit mass, or pulp content. In addition, larger fruit size was negatively correlated with the number of visits and positively correlated with fruit-handling times. Among the 33 bird species observed during the study, only Trogon melanurus, T. violaceus, Ramphastos tucanus, and Querula purpurata can be considered major seed dispersers for the five tree species. The primates, (Saguinus fuscicollis, Callicebus torquatus) were not major seed dispersers for the five tree species studied. Se registró la dispersión primaria de semillas en cinco especies de árboles del dosel de un bosque de Tierra Firme del Río Caquetá, Amazonía colombiana en 1996. Los árboles estudiados fueron Trattinnickia sp. (Burseraceae), Hebepetalum humiriifolium y Roucheria columbiana (Linaceae), Ocotea sp. (Lauraceae), y Micropholis venulosa (Sapotaceae). Con estas especies, de frutos de una sola semilla, se probó la hipótesis que a mayor tamaño del fruto menor dispersión de semillas. También se evaluó el efecto del tamaño del fruto y otras características del fruto como el tamaño de la semilla, el peso del fruto y el porcentaje de pulpa, en los comportamientos alimenticios de los frugívoros (como tasas de alimentación, daño y tiempo de manipulación de los frutos). La dispersión primaria de semillas se calculó al descontar de los frutos tomados por aves o mamíferos las semillas botadas, regurgitadas, defecadas, y dañadas en el árbol después de haber sido removidas. La dispersión de semillas también se estimó por medio del número y la frecuencia de frugívoros en el árbol y por el porcentaje de frutos removidos por animales respecto al tamaño de la cosecha. Los resultados mostraron que la dispersión primaria de semillas calculada como las semillas alejadas de la copa del parental por frugívoros, fue menor para los frutos de mayor tamaño. No se presentó esta relación cuando la dispersión primaria se estimó como el número, la frecuencia de visitantes (especies) o como el porcentaje de frutos removidos. La relación entre el tamaño del fruto y la dispersión de semillas fue significativamente positiva, a diferencia de las correlaciones de la dispersión con el tamaño de la semilla, el peso del fruto y la cantidad de pulpa. Se encontró que a mayor tamaño del fruto menor numero de visitas y mayor tiempo de manipulación del fruto. De las 33 especies de aves observadas durante este estudio Trogon melanurus, T. violaceus, Ramphastos tucanus, y Querula purpurata pueden considerarse grandes dispersores de semillas de estas cinco especies de árboles. Los primates (Saguinus fuscicollis, Callicebus torquatus) no fueron importantes dispersores de dichas especies.


Open Access and Copyright Notice


Selbyana is committed to real and immediate open access for academic work. All of Selbyana's articles and reviews are free to access immediately upon publication. There are no author charges (APCs) prior to publication, and no charges for readers to download articles and reviews for their own scholarly use.  To facilitate this, Selbyana depends on the financial backing of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the hard work and dedication of its editorial team and advisory board, and the continuing support of its network of peer reviewers and partner institutions.

Authors are free to choose which open license they would like to use for their work. Our default license is the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). While Selbyana’s articles can be copied by anyone for noncommercial purposes if proper credit is given, all materials are published under an open-access license with authors retaining full and permanent ownership of their work. The author grants Selbyana a perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish the work and to include it in other aggregations and indexes to achieve broader impact and visibility.

Authors are responsible for and required to ascertain that they are in possession of image rights for any and all photographs, illustrations, and figures included in their work or to obtain publication or reproduction rights from the rights holders. Contents of the journal will be registered with the Directory of Open Access Journals and similar repositories. Authors are encouraged to store their work elsewhere, for instance in institutional repositories or personal websites, including commercial sites such as academia.edu, to increase circulation (see The Effects of Open Access).