Monkeys are essential to disperse seeds of the plants of the Amazon forest

Animals are fundamental for seed dispersal and therefore for plant reproduction, and this is especially true for insects and crawling animals that contribute to the dispersion with their feces. A new study also puts monkeys in this category of animals.

The researchers of the Deutsche Primatenzentrum (DPZ), a German institute, in collaboration with the Estadual Paulista University, Brazil, and with the University of Marburg, have in fact discovered that the monkeys of the species Leontocebus nigrifrons, also called black-faced tamarins, and of the species Saguinus mystax, also called tamarins with mustaches or whiskered tamarins, play a fundamental role in dispersing the seeds of some plants of the Peruvian Amazon forest.

Specifically, the researchers found that the seeds of the Parkia panurensis tree are dispersed exclusively by these monkeys. This feature is so important that these monkeys can be considered responsible for the regeneration of entire plots of land.

The researchers, in fact, analyzed these effects in an area that had been cleared and used as pasture for buffaloes between 1990 and 2000. After being abandoned, the rainforest then slowly developed again. During the course of the study, which lasted several years, the scientists noticed that whiskered and black-faced tamarins fed mainly on fruit produced by these trees and then dispersed the seeds they ingested through their feces.

In fact, analyzing the feces of the monkeys, the researchers discovered that the seeds inside them came from the intact forest areas frequented by monkeys.

“Tamarins have been shown to contribute to the natural regeneration of areas destroyed by humans,” says Eckhard W. Heymann, one of the researchers involved in the study published in Scientific Reports.

Roy Wilson

I was a former mathematics professor at Delaware Technical Community College before starting my own IT and computer repair business. As I have always loved to read about what's going on in the world of science, I started Capstory News in late-2018 with the aim of building up a great resource for people like me who just want to read about the latest research in clear and concise English, without all of the annoying ads and popups. Today, I spend a few hours per week on Capstory News and continue to bring on new contributors. In my spare time, outside of working on my business and this publication, I also enjoy jogging, bridge and hiking.

Landline contact number: 302-286-8954
Mobile contact number: 302-981-7680
Email contact: [email protected]
Roy Wilson