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Contagious dispersal of seeds of synchronously fruiting species beneath invasive and native fleshy-fruited trees

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White, E. and Vivian-Smith, G. (2011) Contagious dispersal of seeds of synchronously fruiting species beneath invasive and native fleshy-fruited trees. Austral Ecology, 36 (2). pp. 195-202.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.2010.02138.x

Publisher URL: http://www.ecolsoc.org.au/


In subtropical Australia, many native and invasive plant species rely on a shared suite of frugivores, largely birds, for seed dispersal. Many native plants fruit during summer in this region, whereas most invasive plants fruit during winter, thus providing the opportunity for contagious dispersal of seeds beneath synchronously fruiting species. We sampled invasive and native seed rain beneath the canopy of a native summer-fruiting tree Guioa semiglauca and an invasive winter-fruiting tree Cinnamomum camphora, in three study sites over the course of a year. In July, during peak fruiting season for C. camphora and other invasive species, seed rain of invasive species was higher beneath C. camphora than G. semiglauca. This was partly due to the invasive tree Ligustrum lucidum, whose seed rain was three times higher beneath C. camphora than beneath the native tree. In February, seed rain of native species was more abundant beneath the canopy of G. semiglauca than beneath C. camphora, despite the fact that C. camphora was also fruiting at this time. This was probably due to the larger fruit crop produced by G. semiglauca at this time of year. Our study provides evidence that the presence of invasive bird-dispersed plants may facilitate contagious seed dispersal of other invaders, and likewise native species may facilitate seed spread of other native plants.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:DEEDI, Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:© The Authors. © Ecological Society of Australia
Keywords:Facilitation; fruiting phenology; indirect interactions; seed rain; weed management.
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Weed ecology
Science > Botany > Plant ecology
Live Archive:04 Aug 2011 06:08
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:48

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