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Do fruit bats perform directed dispersal?

Grant number: 07/03405-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2007
Effective date (End): July 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal researcher:Marco Aurelio Ribeiro de Mello
Grantee:Patrícia Kerches Rogeri
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Seed dispersal is considered a kind of mutualism between free-living organisms. Benefits for animals are well-understood; however advantages for plants are not so evident. In the present study I want to the test the “directed dispersal hypothesis”, which is based on the foraging behavior of frugivores, and implicates in the deposition of seeds preferentially in “safe sites”. Bats of the family Phyllostomidae are excellent study models in this context, because they comprise subfamilies of specialist and opportunist frugivores. Therefore, this project aims to answer whether specialist frugivorous bats exhibit perform directed dispersal. Animals will be captured, marked with radio-transmitters and monitored, in order to locate nuclear areas of roosting and foraging, and also day and night roosts. Besides, I will analyze the places where night roosts are located, in order to test if they have a higher density of seedlings of different species and a higher concentration of nutrients, if compared to random points. I expect to observe that specialist frugivores carry seeds preferentially to night roosts that function as safe sites, thus increasing their chance of germination and establishment.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ANDRADE, TIAGO Y.; THIES, WIBKE; ROGERI, PATRICIA K.; KALKO, ELISABETH K. V.; MELLO, MARCO A. R.. Hierarchical fruit selection by Neotropical leaf-nosed bats (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae). JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY, v. 94, n. 5, p. 1094-1101, . (07/03405-0, 07/03415-6)
KERCHES-ROGERI, PATRICIA; NIEBUHR, BERNARDO BRANDAO; MUYLAERT, RENATA LARA; MELLO, MARCO AURELIO RIBEIRO. Individual specialization in the use of space by frugivorous bats. Journal of Animal Ecology, v. 89, n. 11, p. 2584-2595, . (18/20695-7, 07/03415-6, 15/17739-4, 14/24219-4, 07/03405-0)

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