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1 June 2010 The Role of Carnivores as Mediterranean Seed Dispersers
Luís M. Rosalino, Sílvia Rosa, Margarida Santos-Reis
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Seed dispersal by vertebrates is one of the main plant-animal interactions, especially in the Mediterranean region where fleshy fruits are, at least seasonally, one of the main food resources for birds and carnivores. To effectively assess the role of these predators as seed dispersers, we need to demonstrate the viability of ingested seeds. We therefore compared germination rates of seeds from freshly collected fruits with those of seeds collected from carnivore scats. We detected that several species (e.g. badgers, foxes, genets) had a significant positive effect on germination rates of seed of at least one fruit pland and one species (stone marten) had deleterious effects on most seeds. Seed size (e.g. weight, width, etc.) was correlated with seed survival, germination time and germination rate.

© Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2010
Luís M. Rosalino, Sílvia Rosa, and Margarida Santos-Reis "The Role of Carnivores as Mediterranean Seed Dispersers," Annales Zoologici Fennici 47(3), 195-205, (1 June 2010).
Received: 20 July 2009; Accepted: 1 November 2009; Published: 1 June 2010

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