loading page

Experimental evaluation of the viability in the Juniperus deppeana forest seed dispersal by endozoochory and diploendozoochory after wild zoo mammals' ingestion.
  • +4
  • Fabián Rubalcava-Castillo,
  • Arturo Valdivia-Flores,
  • José Luna-Ruiz,
  • Luis Íñiguez-Dávalos,
  • Víctor Martínez-Calderón,
  • Antonio Meraz-Jiménez ,
  • Joaquín Sosa Ramírez
Fabián Rubalcava-Castillo
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
Author Profile
Arturo Valdivia-Flores
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
Author Profile
José Luna-Ruiz
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
Author Profile
Luis Íñiguez-Dávalos
Universidad de Guadalajara Centro Universitario de la Costa Sur
Author Profile
Víctor Martínez-Calderón
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
Author Profile
Antonio Meraz-Jiménez
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
Author Profile
Joaquín Sosa Ramírez
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile


Carnivores participate in forest disturbance recovery by dispersing the seeds that pass through their digestive systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of mammals for Juniperus deppeana seed dispersal with an experimental evaluation of endozoochory and diploendozoochory, through indices of recovery, viability, changes in testas, and retention of seeds in the digestive tract. Juniperus deppeana fruits were collected in the Sierra Fría Natural Protected Area, Aguascalientes, Mexico, and were administered in the diet of gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), coati (Nasua narica) and domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) these three mammals represented the endozoochory. For the diploendozoochory, seeds excreted by rabbits were incorporated into the diets of bobcat (Lynx rufus) and cougar (Puma concolor) in a local zoo. The seeds present in the scats were collected, and recovery rates and retention times were estimated; viability was estimated by X-ray optical densitometry, and testa thicknesses and surfaces were checked by scanning electron microscopy. The results showed a recovery of seeds greater than 70% in all the animals; the retention time was < 24 h in the endozoochory, but the time was longer (24-96 h) in the diploendozoochory (P < 0.05). Seed viability (x ̵̅ ± SD) was decreased in rabbits (74.0 ± 11.5 %) compared to fruits obtained directly from the canopy (89.7 ± 2.0 %), while gray fox, coati, bobcat and puma did not affect viability (P < 0.05). An increase in the thickness of the testas was also observed in seeds excreted from all mammals (P < 0.05). Through evaluation, our results suggest that mammalian endozoochory and diploendozoochory contribute to dispersal of J. deppeana by maintaining viable seeds with adaptive characteristics in the testa to promote resilience and forest restoration. In particular, felines (predators) can provide an ecosystem service through scarification and seed dispersal.
14 Jan 2023Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
14 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
14 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
20 Jan 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Feb 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Mar 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
02 May 20231st Revision Received
02 May 2023Submission Checks Completed
02 May 2023Assigned to Editor
02 May 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
31 May 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
15 Jun 20232nd Revision Received
15 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
15 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
15 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Jun 2023Editorial Decision: Accept