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DOI

Long distance dispersal may have important consequences for gene flow and community structure. The dispersal of many plants depends on transport by vertebrate seed dispersers. The shapes of seed shadows produced by vertebrates depend both on movement patterns of the dispersers and on the dynamics and effects of passage through the disperser’s gut (i.e. the retention time, survival and germination of ingested seeds). A combination of experiments with captive waterbirds and aquatic plant seeds was used to analyse the following: (a) the effects of inter- and intra-specific variation in seed size and duck species on seed retention time in the gut and (b) the relationship between retention time and the percent germination and germination rates of seeds. Among the three Scirpus species used, those with smaller seeds showed higher survival after ingestion by birds and longer retention times inside their guts than those with larger seeds. For Potamogeton pectinatus, only seeds from the smaller size class (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-565
JournalNaturwissenschaften
Volume97
Issue number6
DOI
StatePublished - 2010

ID: 305569