Record Details

Vásquez-Contreras, Alejandro;Ariano-Sánchez, Daniel
Endozoochory by the Guatemalan Black Iguana, Ctenosaura palearis (Iguanidae), as a germination trigger for the Organ Pipe Cactus Stenocereus pruinosus (Cactaceae)
Mesoamerican Herpetology
Journal Article
Ctenosaura palearis
Ctenosaura palearis is an endangered iguana endemic to dry forest in the Motagua Valley in Guatemala. In this study we assess the effect of consumption by C. palearis on the seed germination rate of the Pitayo Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus pruinosus). We conducted in vitro germination experiments involving three different treatments and a control. The differences in germination percentage were extremely significant among all the treatments (P < 0.0001). The iguana-ingested seeds had the highest germination percentage (26.1%). Considering that seed germination in S. pruinosus is positively affected by ingestion by C. palearis, we suggest that C. palearis might be an effective seed disperser for S. pruinosus, and thus would play a fundamental role on the seed dispersal ecosystem service in the dry forest of the Motagua Valley, Guatemala.