Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Dureza de las semillas en Persea americana (Lauraceae) y Dioclea reflexa (Papilionaceae) y el comportamiento de alimentación en las guatusas (Dasyprocta punctata)


Maria Peterson



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Publication Date

August 2007


Agoutis are a common study subject because of their caching behavior and for their role in seed dispersal in the tropics (Wainwright 2002). This study examined the relationship between the hardness of seed coats and their rate of consumption by conducting trials at eight known agouti territories in Monteverde, Costa Rica using softened and untreated seeds. Trials were conducted separately for each seed species. A significant difference was found between the number of hard and soft seeds of Persea americana and Dioclea reflexa left behind at the sites. According to statistical tests, agoutis seem to prefer softer seeds of P. americana over hard seeds (Wilcoxon Matched Pairs test, p = 0.0858) and no preference in D. reflexa (Wilcoxon Matched Pairs test, p = 0.715). This difference can be explained by the much more noticeable softening of P. Americana when compared to D. reflexa, which may have allowed a shorter seed handling time.


Las guatusas son un objeto común de estudio por su comportamiento de almacenamiento de semillas y porque cumplen un papel importante en la dispersión de semillas en los trópicos (Wainwright 2002). Este estudio examino la relación entre la dureza de las semillas y su tasa de consumo haciendo pruebas en ocho sitios en Monteverde, Costa Rica, usando semillas suavizadas y no tratadas.


Central American agouti, Seeds--Dispersal, Food preferences, CIEE Summer 2007

Palabras claves

Pizote Centroamericano, Semillas--Dispersión, Preferencias de alimentos, CIEE Verano 2007


6 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Seed toughness in Persea americana (Lauraceae) and Dioclea reflexa (Papilionaceae) and feeding behavior in agoutis (Dasyprocta punctata), 2007



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