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.
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Vol. 47 • No. 3