, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 179-191

Estimation of the retention times and distances of seed dispersed by two monkey species, Alouatta seniculus and Lagothrix lagotricha, in a Colombian forest

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Isolated-bout method to estimate the retention times and dispersal distances was applied to the seed dispersal by red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) and Humboldt’s woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) in a lowland tropical forest at La Macarena, on the border of the Macarena and Tinigua National Parks, the Department of Meta, Colombia. Continuous observations were made on the feeding and ranging behavior of well-habituated troops of howler monkeys and woolly monkeys as well as continuous collection of monkeys’ feces. We selected out the ‘isolated-bout’ as a feeding bout on the specific species that was only once recorded within 48 h before the seeds of that species appeared in the feces of monkeys. In that case, the seeds were strongly suggested to come from that isolated bout. Then retention times, route seed dispersal distances and direct seed dispersal distances were estimated. Howler monkeys, which are regarded as generalist herbivores, showed longer retention times and dispersal distances along monkeys’ route than did woolly monkeys, which are specialist frugivores. However, the direct distances that seeds were carried from the mother tree were not significantly greater for howler monkeys than for woolly monkeys. This shows that both retention time and movement patterns by the monkeys, especially the total ranging area, influence the direct distance that seeds are carried from the mother tree.