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Ecology, 83(12), 2002, pp. 34893496 2002 by the Ecological Society of America
 

Summary: 3489
Ecology, 83(12), 2002, pp. 3489­3496
2002 by the Ecological Society of America
WHERE DOES A FRUIT-EATING BIRD DEPOSIT MISTLETOE SEEDS?
SEED DEPOSITION PATTERNS AND AN EXPERIMENT
JULIANN E. AUKEMA1,3
AND CARLOS MARTiŽNEZ DEL RIO2
1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 USA
2Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3166 USA
Abstract. The distribution of desert mistletoes (Phoradendron californicum) among
mesquite (Prosopis velutina) hosts is significantly aggregated. We hypothesized that the
aggregation of mistletoes among hosts is produced by the pattern of seed rain generated
by seed dispersers. We tested whether frugivorous Phainopeplas (Phainopepla nitens) for-
aged preferentially, and hence deposited mistletoe seeds disproportionately, in already par-
asitized mesquites. We found that Phainopeplas favored parasitized tall trees as perching
and feeding sites and deposited mistletoe seeds disproportionately on trees with these
characteristics. To assess experimentally the effect of the presence of mistletoes on seed
deposition, we removed mistletoes from host trees. Before mistletoe removal, seed depo-
sition was equivalent and temporally correlated in pairs of control and removal trees. After
removal, deposition was lower into removal trees than into unmanipulated trees. Although

  

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

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology