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www.frontiersinecology.org The Ecological Society of America Mistletoes have long been a source of fascination to
 

Summary: 212
www.frontiersinecology.org © The Ecological Society of America
Mistletoes have long been a source of fascination to
humans, and references to these parasitic plants can
be found among the legends and superstitions of people
throughout the world. Some cultures believed that mistle-
toes were endowed with mystical powers because they
grow from the branches of other plants and because many
species fruit in winter when other temperate zone plants
are dormant. The word "mistletoe" itself comes from the
Anglo-Saxon words meaning "dung-on-a-twig" (Calder
1983). Although the plant doesn't spring spontaneously
from bird droppings, as was once believed, the name high-
lights an early recognition of the importance of a host tree
for establishment and of birds for dispersal. The same qual-
ities that have fascinated people for centuries continue to
be a source of scientific interest today.
This review will focus on the interactions between
mistletoes and other organisms, including mistletoe­host
interactions and coevolution, parasite­vector interac-

  

Source: Aukema, Juliann E. - National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California at Santa Barbara

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology