16. Pecaris – Temas
Tatiana Cristina Senra Motta, Gastón Andrés Fernandez Giné, Selene Siqueira Da Cunha Nogueira, Sergio Luiz Gama Nogueira Filho
The ecological role of the collared peccary as seed disperser/predator of tropical fruits
The collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), is mainly frugivorous in tropical forests, feeding mostly on the fruits of palms and can survive in diverse habitats because it is opportunistic and able to utilize fruits and seeds from many plant species. Peccaries can crush even hard seeds due to their powerful mastication apparatus and are capable of digesting fiber compounds of the plant cell walls. Because of this the collared peccary acts mainly as a seed predator. However, seed mortality of 5090% is commonplace in dispersal and can be considered the cost of reliable dispersal. Additionally this species has a food retention time of up to three days and moves large distances daily due this seeds could be dispersed farther away from their parent trees. Such characteristics indicate that this species plays a key role in tropical forests, especially in fragments of undisturbed forests where collared peccaries can survive in spite human impacts. In order to determine the ecological role of the collared peccary as seed isperser/predator, we supplied 10 fleshy-fruited species for captive animals, quantified total number of seeds consumed and excreted and performed a germination test. Most seeds were killed and only guava seeds had improved germination after passage through peccary guts (p = 0.0001).