The role of wild rabbit in Retama monosperma seed dispersal was studied in a sand dune spit in coastal Lepe County, Huelva, Spain. Of 8301 randomly collected rabbit pellets, 2.4% contained R. monosperma seeds. The percentage of pellets containing seeds was significantly higher in summer and autumn. Germination of seeds from pellets (24%) was significantly higher than that of seeds extracted from fruits (13%). The R. monosperma seed shadow extended to all dune ridges surveyed in the active colonization zone; rabbit pellets with R. monosperma seeds were found in dune ridges not yet colonized by R. monosperma shrubs. Rabbit dispersal activities are one of the main causes of R. monosperma spread along El Rompido spit.
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Vol. 13 • No. 1