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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Guiden , Peter Westley [1], GORCHOV , DAVID L [2].

The Role of White-tailed Deer in Long-distance Dispersal of Lonicera maackii.

Long-distance dispersal promotes species invasion of new habitats. Understanding the long-distance dispersal of invasive plant species is especially important in order to understand how these plants spread rapidly across their introduced range. One prominent invasive plant species in the midwestern US is Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii. Previous research showed that both white-tailed deer and birds void viable seeds of this shrub, but little is known about the spatial scales of seed dispersal. Due to the abundance of deer in the eastern US, and their relatively large home range, we hypothesize that deer play a key role in the long-distance seed dispersal, and therefore spread, of L. maackii. Two predictions follow this hypothesis. First, we predict that a projected seed shadow for deer dispersal of L. maackii seeds will include dispersal distances >1km. Second, deer fecal pellets collected in woodlots that lack reproducing L. maackii will contain viable L. maackii seeds. Since these seeds will by necessity have originated from seed sources outside the woodlot from which they were collected, this will provide evidence of long-distance seed dispersal through deer. To project a seed shadow we combined existing data for deer gut retention time and fine-scale movement data collected in the late fall/early winter.  From this we projected that 7% of L. maackii seeds voided by deer would be dispersed >1km, and 1% of seeds dispersed >3km. Additionally, differences in daily movement patterns between male and female deer predict different patterns of seed dispersal: male deer were projected to disperse seeds on average 600m further than females. To test whether deer bring germinable seeds to uninvaded woodlots, we collected 53 deer pellet groups between October and December 2013 from 10 woodlots near an L. maackii invasion front. These were placed in a greenhouse, and are being monitored for L. maackii seedling emergence. Together, support for these predictions would implicate deer as an important dispersal vector of invasive L. maackii.

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1 - Miami University, Biology, 625 McGuffey Ave, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA
2 - Miami University, Department Of Botany, 316 Pearson Hall, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 10
Location: Firs South/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 10003
Abstract ID:426
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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