D.S.L. Raíces,
P.M. Ferreira,
J.H.F. Mello,
H.G. Bergallo

Reference to article

Raíces D.S.L., Ferreira P.M., Mello J.H.F., Bergallo H.G. 2017. Smile, you are on camera or in a live trap! The role of mammals in dispersion of jackfruit and native seeds in Ilha Grande State Park, Brazil. Nature Conservation Research 2(4). DOI: 10.24189/ncr.2017.045

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The alien species Artocarpus heterophyllus, originally from India, was introduced to Brazil in the colonial period and has become invasive in some areas in the Atlantic Forest. Its fruits can weigh 35 kg and produce up to 500 seeds each. In their native range they are dispersed by turtles, rodents, monkeys, wild pigs and elephants. This study aimed to investigate the influence of mammals in jackfruit predation and seed dispersal, as well as the influence of jackfruit in native plant species dispersal by mammals, in the Ilha Grande State Park, Southeastern Brazil. Seeds with and without mesocarp were tied to thread spools and checked for predation and dispersion on 37 sites. We recorded mesocarp or jackfruit seed feeding on video. Six species of mammals were recorded feeding on jackfruit, but Trinomys dimidiatus, Didelphis aurita and Cuniculus paca accounted for 92% of all records. Cuniculus paca and Trinomys dimidiatus preyed and dispersed seeds while Didelphis aurita consumed mesocarp only. Seeds with mesocarp were more preyed on than seeds without mesocarp and its consumption was lower during more intense fruit production. Hence, jackfruit production can exceed the capacity of mammals to consume its seeds in areas where jackfruit density is high. Faeces of small mammals were collected in areas with (10 grids) and without jackfruits (8 grids) and analysed for the presence of native seeds. Twelve small mammal species were captured in areas with and without jackfruits, but faeces of 11 species were collected. Didelphis aurita dispersed proportionally more native seeds in area without jackfruits. Our results showed that mammals are playing a negative role helping to disperse jackfruit trees, and this is occurring in different ways depending on mammal species.


Artocarpus heterophyllus, Atlantic Forest, camera trap, Cuniculus paca, Didelphis aurita, fruit production, invasive alien species, Trinomys dimidiatus, seed dispersal, seed predation

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Received: 14.08.2017

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