Epizoochorous dispersal of bryophyte stem fragments by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa)
Authors: Heinken, T.; Lees, R.; Raudnitschka, D.; Runge, S.
Source: Journal of Bryology, Number 4, 2001 , pp. 293-300(8)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Epizoochory of bryophyte stem fragments by roe deer and wild boar was studied in deciduous forests in Germany. Twenty-five shot roe deer and nine wild boar were investigated. In total, the animals transported 106 fragments (102 stem fragments and four leaves) in their coats and hooves. The fragments came from 12, mainly terricolous, bryophyte species and had a mean length of 3.6 mm (0.5–35 mm). The most abundant species were Brachythecium velutinum, Hypnum cupressiforme and Eurhynchium hians, for which epizoochorous dispersal of stem fragments was previously unknown. While slender pleurocarpous species with erect and acute leaves growing in wefts were commonly found on large mammals, robust acrocarpic species growing in tall turfs were extensively excluded because of their morphological characters. This was also shown by a roe deer dummy, which was placed 300 times on the forest floor. As the transported fragments can function as diaspores, epizoochorous transport of unspecialized gametophyte fragments may play a significant, but so far under-estimated role in the dispersal of bryophyte species, especially those without specialized asexual propagules and with rare sexual reproduction.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2001-01-01
- The complete content of Transactions of the British Bryological Society, the predecessor to Journal of Bryology, going back to 1947, is also available online. View Transactions of the British Bryological Society issues.
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