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Functional diversity in fruit-frugivore interactions: a field experiment with Mediterranean mammals

AutorFedriani, José M. ; Delibes, M.
Fecha de publicación2009
CitaciónEcography 32: 983—992, 2009
ResumenUsing field seed sowings, we assessed how four mammal species (Meles meles, Vulpes vulpes, Sus scrofa, and Oryctolagus cuniculus) influenced seed germination in three fleshy-fruited Mediterranean shrubs (Corema album, Pyrus bourgaeana, and Rubus ulmifolius). We predicted that gut passage and removal away from mother plants would enhance the quantity, speed, and asynchrony of seed germination. Results showed that percent germination was altered by gut passage, but that the magnitude and even the direction of such effects varied according to plant and disperser species. Likewise, dispersal away from mother plants affected the percentage and germination speed in some species but not others. Gut passage increased asynchrony of germination in Rubus and Pyrus, and removal from the mother plant increased asynchrony in Rubus, which likely enhances plant fitness in unpredictable environments. Gut passage generally had a stronger effect on germination than removal away from mother plants, but for some species both factors were similarly influential. Therefore, the combined effects of both seed dispersal services varied individually among fruit and frugivore species, leading to unusually high functional diversity in this seed dispersal mutualism.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2009.05925.x
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