Brazilian agoutis play a critical role in dispersing tree and plant seeds due to their caching behavior. Patchy distributions of certain trees are often the result of agoutis spending extended time in certain parts of their home range. Certain neotropical canopy trees, such as Hymenaea courbaril, depend upon agoutis for seed dispersal and suffer in their absence. Brazilian agoutis help disperse inedible seeds containing quinolizidine alkaloids as well, since they have such a strong drive to collect and cache seeds that they will do so even if they can not consume the seeds themselves. (Asquith et al., 1999; Dubost, 1988; Guimaraes Jr. et al., 2003; Silvius and V. Fragoso, 2003)
Brazilian agoutis are also an important link in food webs. As a prey species, availability of agoutis may affect predator populations.
Ecosystem Impact: Disperses seeds