An Experimental Evaluation of the Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) as a Seed Disperser
2004 (English)In: Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research, ISSN 1523-0430, Vol. 36, no 4, 468-473 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Arctic foxes are evaluated as seed dispersal vectors for Greenlandic plant species through a feeding experiment with subsequent scat analysis and germination test. Seeds of 22 common species with different morphology were tested. Passage time ranged between 4 and 48 h. No significant differences were detected in passage time for seeds with different morphology. Cerastium alpinum and Stellaria longipes had higher germination after passage through the fox's digestive tract when compared to controls. Sibbaldia procumbens, Oxyria digyna, and Silene acaulis were favored by passage when shorter than 10 h. Salix glauca ssp. callicarpaea, Veronica alpina, Gnaphalium norvegicum, Papaver radicatum, Ranunculus hyperboreus, Chamaenerion latifolium, Luzula parviflora, and bulbils of Polygonum viviparum and Saxifraga cernua were inhibited by passage, whereas the remaining species had germination percentage too low to allow for evaluation. Species with adaptations to wind dispersal seemed particularly vulnerable to gut passage. Arctic foxes are able to provide long-distance dispersal of seeds lacking morphological adaptations to dispersal, but for most species seeds need to be defecated within 12 h to remain viable.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 36, no 4, 468-473 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20211DOI: 10.1657/1523-0430(2004)036[0468:AEEOTA]2.0.CO;2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-20211DiVA: diva2:208264