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Mastozoología neotropical

versión impresa ISSN 0327-9383versión On-line ISSN 1666-0536


DOS SANTOS NETO, Raymundo T. M; GUEVARA, Roberto  y  LOPES, Maria A. Effects of sex, seed size and amount of dietary fiber on retention time of captive black howler monkeys. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2018, vol.25, n.1, pp.107-114. ISSN 0327-9383.

The effectiveness of a seed disperser depends, among various factors still poorly understood for many Neotropical primates, on the amount of time seeds are retained within its digestive tract. This study tested the effects of sex, seed size and dietary fiber content on seed retention time in the digestive tract of black howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya). Experiments were performed using six captive individuals (three of each sex), six seed species distributed in three size classes (small, medium, and large), and three percentages of leaves in the diet (15, 30 and 60% of total food ingested). Retention times were recorded for 1767 recovered seeds, corresponding to 55% of the total ingested. More than 98% of these seeds were undamaged, suggesting the potential role of howlers as seed dispersers. Sex, seed size and dietary fiber content alone showed no ef­fect on retention time, but the interaction between sex and seed size showed an effect on the mean retention time, which tended to decrease for males and increase for females as the seed size increased. Thus, males and females may have complementary influences on recruitment and dispersion patterns for different plant species, contributing to community diversity.

Palabras clave : Alouatta caraya; Gastrointestinal passage time; Diet composition; Seed dispersal; Seed disperser effectiveness.

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