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Frugivory and seed dispersal of Miconia urophylla Melastomataceae by birds in a fragment of secondary Atlantic forest in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais State, Brazil Frugivora e dispersao de sementes de Miconia urophylla Melastomataceae por aves em um fragmento de Mata Atlantica secundaria em Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brasil



Frugivory and seed dispersal of Miconia urophylla Melastomataceae by birds in a fragment of secondary Atlantic forest in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais State, Brazil Frugivora e dispersao de sementes de Miconia urophylla Melastomataceae por aves em um fragmento de Mata Atlantica secundaria em Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brasil



Ararajuba. 2003( ) Dezembro; 112: 173-180



Miconia urophylla (Melastomataceae) is remarkably abundant in a fragment of secondary Atlantic forest in southeastern Brazil. To evaluate the role of birds for the dispersal of its seeds and to examine some ecological aspects related to the importance of this species, birds were captured and observed while visiting the plants. Also, seed germination tests were performed for seeds found in feces on the soil and from captured birds, and for seeds directly removed from the fruits, under 12:12 light: dark photoperiods. in constant temperature. A total of 29 bird species ate the fruits. especially Thraupis sayaca, Tangara cavana, Tangara cyanoventris and Tyrannus melancholicus. This guild was dominated mainly by omnivorous canopy and edge species, which are commonly found in impacted areas and are capable of moving among neighboring fragments. Seed germination was not improved by the passage through the digestive tract of birds. Thus. the role of the birds must be limited to the transportation of seeds away from the parent trees. Furthermore, the seeds germinated quickly when exposed to light. Miconia urophylla presented an aggregated (clumped) spatial distribution, with a greater number of individuals in gap and edge plots than within the forest, which is shadier. When the size of individuals was compared among plots, no differences were found, although emergent plants in reproductive and fruiting stages were only seen in gaps and edges. These results indicate that M. urophylla is important in the composition of the soil seed bank, germinating in areas where there are gaps caused by natural events or anthropic action and, consequently, helping in the recomposition of these areas.

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