Plant invasions are a threat to rangelands in California. Understanding how seeds of invasive plants are dispersed is critical to developing sound management plans. Domestic livestock can transport seeds long distances by ingesting and passing seeds in dung (endozoochory) or by the attachment of seeds to skin and fur (epizoochory). Our objective was to characterize the role of cattle as seed dispersers of both invasive and noninvasive species via endozoochory and epizoochory in a Sierra foothills rangeland. To quantify endozoochory, we sampled dung from two dry-season grazing periods and evaluated seed content by growing dung for 3 months in a greenhouse. To quantify epizoochory, we collected seeds directly from the fur of 40 cattle. We categorized the invasion status and functional groups of all species found and quantified landscape-scale vegetation composition in order to determine whether dispersal mode was associated with functional group, invasion status, or vegetation composition. Finally, we evaluated the potential for the noxious weed medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) to travel long distances on cattle fur using a detachment experiment with a model cow. We found that forbs were more likely to be dispersed by endozoochory, and invasive species were more likely to be dispersed by epizoochory. Medusahead was dispersed exclusively by epizoochory and was able to travel up to 160 m on a model cow. Our results suggest that cattle may be an important dispersal vector for both invasive and noninvasive plants.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.