Seed dispersal helps maintaining gene flow between individuals of plant species. Therefore, the activity of frugivorous dispersers partially determines the spatial distribution of plants. The loss of dispersers can reduce seed dispersal distances, aggregating the population, which can reduce gene flow and increase the likelihood of developing a genetic structure. Thus the occurrence of inbreeding can increase, weakening populations and exposing them to the possibility of local extinction.In this project, we aim at determining the distances of seed dispersal by two important dispersers of the plant species Cryptocarya mandioccana (Lauraceae) in Cardoso Island State Park (SP): Alouatta guariba (Primates: Atelidae) and Aburria jacutinga (Aves: Cracidae). The evaluation of seed dispersal distance can help characterizing the role of animal species in the gene flow and the spatial distribution of plant species, which allows predicting the possible effects of their local extinctions. Recent advances in molecular genetics allow determining the exact maternal origin of dispersed seeds. Once the DNA of the maternal plant tissue of the seed is extracted and genotyped using 10-specific microsatellite for C. mandioccana, we will compare the seed genotypes with the ones obtained from DNA extracted from leaves of reproductive trees of the area. The source tree of each seed will be determined through a kinship analysis. . This project is part of a larger project in which other areas with different communities of frugivores will be compared to determine the effect of defaunation on seed dispersal distances.
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