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Indirect seed dispersal by the feral cats Felis catus in island ecosystems (Canary Islands)

AutorNogales, Manuel ; Medina, Félix M. ; Valido, Alfredo
Fecha de publicación1996
EditorBlackwell Publishing
CitaciónEcography 19: 3-6 (1996)
ResumenIn this paper we present an unusual incidence of an introduced Carnivora Felis catus as indirect seed disperser of plants that produce fleshy fruits in different ecosystems in the Canary Islands. Four hundred and twenty six seeds from at least 8 fleshy fruit plant species have been identified in the analysis of 1047 scat groups, the majority of them being found in the lower habitats (<600 m a.s.l.) of the Canary archipelago. Seeds from two plant species were significantly matched with the presence of lizrd prey, and fruits of Juniperus phoenicea, Neochamaelea pulverulenta and Withania aristata were directly consumed by the cats. Passing through the gut of the Gallotia galloti (Lacertidae) and Felis catus apparently does not damage the seeds. At the moment, the phenomenon studied in this paper does not seem to have a great quantitative importance in the natural regeneration of the plants if we compare the direct vs indirect seed dispersal.
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