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Dispersal mechanism and transcontinental naturalization proneness among Mediterranean herbaceous species

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The percentage of central Iberian herbaceous species introduced into the Mediterranean zone of Chile is analysed in terms of the most usual types of dispersal: endo- and exo-zoochory and anemochory. Almost 15% of the herbaceous species from Central Iberia are naturalized in Chile. This proportion is significantly higher for the endo- and exozoochorous species (21% and 23%), and not significantly for the anemochorous species (20%). In contrast, only 8% of the species not covered by these three groups have been introduced to Chile. Consequently, the percentage of anemochorous, endo- and exozoochorous species is somewhat higher in the dispersive spectrum of the alien species introduced in Chile. These results suggest that the seed dispersal systems associated with animals are particularly favourable for the introduction of species, and that herbivores have facilitated the naturalization and spread of alien herbaceous species from their initial points of introduction.
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Keywords: Aliens; Chile; Spain; anemochory; endozoochory; exozoochory; herbivores

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Departamento Interuniversitario de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid, Spain

Publication date: 01 January 1997

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