Endozoochory of Mediterranean aquatic plant seeds by teal after a period of desiccation: Determinants of seed survival and influence of retention time on germinability and viability
"The capacity of eight wetland seeds to be internally dispersed by common teal after a dry period typical of natural Mediterranean wetlands was experimentally quantified. These plant taxa (Chara spp., Echinochloacrus-galli (L.) P. Beauv., Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roem. & Schult, Polygonum lapathifolium L., Potamogeton nodosus Poir., Potamogeton pusillus L., Schoenoplectus mucronatus (L.) Palla, Scirpus maritimus L.) were frequently ingested by teal in the field. Captive teal were fed with known quantities of dry seeds and faecal samples were collected at intervals of 1–2 h for 48 h. The proportion of seeds retrieved after gut passage that germinated varied between taxa from 3% to 83%. From 2% to 63% of the seeds ingested were recovered intact, and 18-95% of these were still viable. Therefore, an overall 32% of the seeds ingested were evacuated in a viable condition, ranging from 0.2% for Chara spp. to 54% for S. mucronatus. Mean seed retention time was 3–5 h. Overall, 94% of seeds were evacuated within 12 h, but 2% were recovered after more than 24 h. Seed viability was reduced at longer retention times, although viable seeds of all taxa except Chara spp. were recovered 44–48 h after the experiment began. Germinability was increased by gut passage, although for some species this effect was only significant after stratification, indicating that they exhibit both mechanical and physical dormancy. Seed germination was accelerated by gut passage, especially at longer retention times. Gut passage increased the proportion of viable seeds, suggesting selective digestion of non-viable ones. Endozoochorous transport by teal appears to be a widespread dispersal mechanism among wetland plants."
Auteurs du document :
Brochet A.-L., Guillemain M., Gauthier-Clerc M., Fritz H., Green A. J.
Obtenir le document :
Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage
Mots clés :
BIOLOGIE DE LA CONSERVATION, DEVELOPPEMENT, SARCELLE D'ETE, SARCELLE D'HIVER, PLANTE AQUATIQUE