White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman) are known to disperse seeds of a hybrid complex of invasive honeysuckle shrubs in northeastern United States. We investigated whether they also disperse seeds of Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii, a problematic invasive shrub in the Midwestern and eastern U.S. We found that deer ingest ripe fruit and void intact seeds of L. maackii. Based on tetrazolium tests, most (68%) of these voided seeds are viable, but the proportion viable was significantly lower than that for seeds taken directly from ripe fruits. White-tailed deer are potentially important in the long-distance dispersal of this invasive shrub.
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Vol. 33 • No. 1