Frugivory and seed dispersal of Miconia theaezans (Bonpl.) Cogniaux (Melastomataceae) by birds in a transition palm swamp: gallery forest in Central Brazil
Borges, M.R.; Melo, C.
Brazilian Journal of Biology 72(1): 25-31
ISSN/ISBN: 1678-4375 PMID: 22437381 Accession: 053315748
The objective of this study was to evaluate potential avian dispersers of Miconia theaezans by dietary habits in the Cerrado of Central Brazil. Forty-two hours and 40 minutes of focal tree observation were conducted between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM. For each bird species that consumed the fruit, we registered: the time they remained on the plant, the total amount of fruit they consumed, foraging tactics and strategies to consume the fruit. Five-hundred and fifty-nine units of fruit were consumed in 47 visits by seven bird species. Thraupidae was the most frequent and representative family and Tangara cayana was the main consumer. The Tachyphonus rufus had the highest rate of intake of the entire fruit, however the rates were not significantly different among the visitors. The most-used foraging tactic by all species was to consume the fruit while "perched" (95.74% of the visits). The most commonly-used consumption strategy was to mandibulate the fruit and swallow all the contents (65.12%). Omnivores were the predominant visitors (71.43%) and made most of the visits (89.36%). All visiting species could act as potential dispersers of M. theaezans, which demonstrates the low selectiveness of this pioneer plant towards its frugivorous.