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1 June 2015 Grains in the Diets of Medium-Sized Carnivores — A Case of Diplochory?
Przemysław Kurek, Jan Holeksa
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Although most grasses (including cereals) are described as epizoochoric or anemochoric, many authors have shown that grains may be dispersed via the digestive tracts of animals, i.e. are endozoochoric. Cereals have been reported from carnivores' faeces several times; nevertheless, there is no data about the fate (i.e. capacity to germinate) of these grains. The scope of this paper is to focus on the role of medium-sized carnivores as potential secondary dispersers of grains. In 2010–2011, we examined 619 faeces of badgers Meles meles, foxes Vulpes vulpes and martens Martes sp. Faeces were collected every month from June to November in Kampinos National Park (KNP). In seven cases (1.1%) we found 64 grains of a total of two species of cereals: rye, Secale cereale and oats, Avena sativa, in the faeces of red fox and martens, with the red fox samples predominant. Some of the seeds retained the capacity to germinate and to establish seedlings. In two cases, included as accompanying material, feathers of a bird were found, which may suggest secondary dispersal of cereals via carnivores' guts.

Przemysław Kurek and Jan Holeksa "Grains in the Diets of Medium-Sized Carnivores — A Case of Diplochory?," Polish Journal of Ecology 63(2), 286-290, (1 June 2015).
Published: 1 June 2015

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