Epizoochory in dry forest iguanas: an overlooked seed dispersal mechanism?

Epizoocoría por medio de iguanas en el bosque seco: ¿un mecanismo de dispersión de semillas pasado por alto?

  • Eloisa Lasso Universidad de los Andes
  • Lucas Santiago Barrientos Universidad de los Andes
Palabras clave: epizoochory, Melocactus curvispinus, saurochory, Tatacoa, tropical dry forest (en_US)
Palabras clave: epizoochory, Melocactus curvispinus, saurochory, Tatacoa, tropical dry forest. (es_ES)

Resumen (en_US)

The role of animals as seed dispersal vectors is widely acknowledged, including dispersal by reptiles (saurochory). Most reports of saurochory have been via endozoochory, through feces deposition. We present the first evidence of epizoochory in Iguanas from a dry forest in Colombia via seeds attached to the snout. Our results show that seeds of a cactus Melocactus curvispinus ingested by iguana suffers from their passage through the digestive tract while seeds transported while attached to the snout germinate faster and in higher numbers. Our data suggest that we may have overlooked an alternative means of seed dispersal by lizards that does not comprise a passage through their digestive tract, and that deserves further attention for the understanding of dry forest ecology.

Resumen (es_ES)

El papel que juegan los animales como vectores en la dispersión de semillas es extensamente reconocido, incluso la dispersión por reptiles, mejor conocida como saurocoría. La mayoría de los reportes de saurocoria han sido a través de endozoocoria, es decir, el transporte interno de semillas que han sido ingeridas y luego depositadas con las heces. Presentamos la primera evidencia de epizoocoría en Iguana iguana por medio del transporte externo de semillas adheridas a su hocico observado en el bosque seco de Tatacoa, Colombia. Nuestros resultados muestran que las semillas del cactus Melocactus curvispinus ingeridos son probablemente dañadas al pasar por el tracto digestivo de la iguana, mientras que las semillas transportadas externamente germinan más rápido y en mayor número. Nuestros datos sugieren que es posible que hayamos estado ignorando un mecanismo alternativo de dispersión de semillas por lagartos que no comprende el paso a través del tracto digestivo, lo cual merece mayor atención para una mejor comprensión de la ecología del bosque seco.


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Biografía del autor/a

Eloisa Lasso, Universidad de los Andes

Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas

Profesor asistente

Lucas Santiago Barrientos, Universidad de los Andes

Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas

Estudiante doctoral


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Cómo citar
Lasso, E., & Barrientos, L. (2015). Epizoocoría por medio de iguanas en el bosque seco: ¿un mecanismo de dispersión de semillas pasado por alto?. Colombia Forestal, 18(1), 151-159. https://doi.org/10.14483/udistrital.jour.colomb.for.2015.1.a09
Publicado: 2015-01-01
Artículos de investigación científica y tecnológica