Rites of passage: Germination of vertebrate dispersed, regurgitated or defecated 'Phoenix canariensis' seeds

Dirk Spennemann, Melissa Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract: Canary Island Date Palms are widely planted as ornamental plants in private and public spaces. As both prolific and long-duration seeders, their drupes provide food for a range of volant and terrestrial vertebrates. This study experimentally examined the germination of vertebrate digested seeds. Whereas seeds in Flyingfox spat did not yield a higher germination rate than undigested controls, seeds that had passed through the gastro-intestinal tract and were deposited in scats, or those that were ingested and regurgitated from the crop, have a significantly better probability of germinating. This establishes Pied Currawongs as effective short-range dispersers and canid frugivores, such as the Red Fox, as major medium- and long-distance vectors of ornamental palms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalLinnean Society of New South Wales
Volume141
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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