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2 April 2015 Reintroduced burrowing bettongs (Bettongia lesueur) scatter hoard sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) seed
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Abstract
Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) has been almost entirely removed from the agricultural regions of Australia. Remaining stands, in the rangelands of Western Australia, are characterised by poor recruitment due to grazing of seedlings and lack of seed dispersal. The aim of this study was to determine whether reintroduced burrowing bettongs (Bettongia lesueur) would disperse sandalwood seed as part of a rangeland-restoration project. The bettongs removed most of the experimental seed within two days, scatter hoarded and cached seed near potential host plants. No broad conclusions can be made from this short-term study, but it has established that burrowing bettongs carry out an important ecosystem service, because moving sandalwood seeds away from the parent plant and close to a host plant is the primary means of promoting recruitment.
© CSIRO 2015
and Tamra F. Chapman "Reintroduced burrowing bettongs (Bettongia lesueur) scatter hoard sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) seed," Australian Journal of Zoology 63(1), (2 April 2015). https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO14090
Received: 23 October 2014; Accepted: 1 March 2015; Published: 2 April 2015
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