Consumption of Euterpe edulis fruit by wildlife: implications for conservation and management of the Southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

An Acad Bras Cienc 2019 8;91(1):e20180537. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Centro de Ciências Agrárias, Departamento de Fitotecnia, Rodovia Admar Gonzaga, 1346, Itacorubi, 88034-001 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.

This study aimed to measure the wildlife consumption of Euterpe edulis fruit and use this data to discuss management possibilities. To estimate infructescence fruit volume consumed, collectors were installed in fruit-bearing palms. To characterize consumption from the ground, samples were placed next to fruiting palms. To identify wildlife and their activities, camera traps were installed in infructescences and on the ground. The results suggested that there was a small fruit surplus (1.8 %), and this finding indicated the possibility of a harvest to reduce food for the wildlife. However, recurrent variations in the annual fruit production (21.4 %) were also noted, and suggested that wildlife could tolerate some fruit harvesting. Thus, a harvest could be restricted to fruit volume that exceeds the annual average (94 kg/ha/year). Turdus flavipes, a migratory bird, was the most active species in the dispersal of seeds; this finding indicates the need for broader conservation strategies. Wildlife composition also changed along with the fruiting, and this alteration suggests that dependence on the fruit is variable among different species. Seed germination and seedling mortality were high, results that indicate that local conditions may have a predominant effect on seed volume in natural regeneration density.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201920180537DOI Listing
May 2019
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