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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Salazar, Jackeline [1], Mateo, Amelia [2], Ortega, Yolaine [3], Almonte, Jesus [4], Garrido, Esteban [4].

Seed dispersal in Eastern Dominican Republic, Hipaniola Island: an example of plant dispersal by bats in the Greater Antilles.

Hispaniola Island is part of the ¨Caribbean Hotspot¨, the largest and most diverse archipelago of the western hemisphere. In the West Indies, the main vertebrate seed dispersers are birds and mammals. Bats represent the predominant mammal group present in the Greater Antilles; thus, knowledge of their diets is important because these animals may play an important role in seed dispersal and natural recovery of Antillean forests. We examined seed dispersal by bats in a lowland tropical rain forest, Parque de la Biodiversidad, in the Eastern Dominican Republic. The habitat represents a disturbance secondary forest of abandoned pasture with forest patches, remnants of riparian forest, and a refugee cave for the bats. Fruits and seeds were collected from bat feces on three visits of two days each in February 2014, September 2014, and February 2015. Using mist nets (6 x 2.5 m) that remained open for two days from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 pm, bats were captured in a secondary forest near a river and a cave. They were placed in clean cloth bags until they had defecated and were released after being examined and identified using a Field Key to the Bats of Hispaniola. Feces were stored in plastic vials and diaspores were identified using a fruit and seed collection from the area. Fruits were also collected in feeding places and of day refuge of bats (a cave). We collected 216 bat fecal samples containing arthropods, fruit pulp and peel, and diaspores, from 18 bats corresponding to six species. A total of 8, 621 diaspores –up to 2 mm legth- were identified from the feces. The bulk of the diaspores were seeds of Piper sp, (Piperaceae), with 80.8 %; followed by fruits of Cecropia schreberiana (Urticaceae), ca.18.6 %; fruits of Ficus sp, (Moraceae), 0.4 %, and seeds of Solanum sp, (Solanaceae), only 0.01%. The most frequent diaspores were from Cecropia schreberiana present in the feces of 25 bats corresponding to Pteronotus parnellii, Phyllops falcatus, and Artibeus jamaicensis. Bats consumend infrutescences of Cecropia, ficus, and Piper, and fruits of Solanum. In addition to endozoochorus dispersal, Stomatochorous dispersal was observed and Artibeus jamaicensis was captured carrying Sea almond, Terminalia catappa. Remains of Guazuma ulmifolia fruits were with high frequency under the feeding and day refuges of Artibeus jamaicensis. Thus, bats as seed dispersers are important for the recovering of forests in the Caribbean biodiversity hotspot.

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1 - Universidad Autonoma De Santo Domingo, Ciudad Universitaria, DN, N/A, 10030, Dominican Republic
2 - Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), Biologia, Ciudad Universitaria, Dominican Republic
3 - Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), Biologia, Zona Universitaria, Dominican Republic
4 - Grupo Jaragua Inc., El Vergel, Dominican Republic

West Indies

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC028
Abstract ID:970
Candidate for Awards:None

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