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Abstract Detail


Lewis, Lily [1], Behling, Emily [2], Gousse, Hannah [1], Qian, Emily [1], Elphick, Chris [1], Lamarre, Jean-François [3], Bêty, Joël [3], Liebezeit, Joe [4], Rozzi, Ricardo [5], Goffinet, Bernard [6].

Migratory birds carry plant diaspores in their feathers .

Migratory birds are commonly invoked as vectors for transequatorial dispersal of plants, but supporting evidence is largely circumstantial.  Birds disperse plant units internally via ingestion or externally. Internal dispersal plays a significant role in the dispersal of seeds and invertebrates. External dispersal may play an important role in dispersal across extreme bipolar disjunctions and for organisms for which dispersible units (diaspores) are not adapted to animal mediated dispersal. However, it remains unknown if birds carry plant diaspores externally. Here we show that transequatorial migrant birds captured in their arctic breeding range harbour a diversity of plant diaspores in their plumage. Three of the recovered units represent wind-dispersed lineages (mosses and liverworts). Our observations indicate that bird mediated dispersal plays a role in the dispersal of lineages that lack adaptations for animal mediated dispersal.  The frequency with which we recovered diaspores suggest that entire migratory populations may be departing their northern breeding grounds laden with potentially viable plant parts and thereby playing significant roles in bipolar range expansions.

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1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville road, Storrs, CT, 06269-3043, United States
2 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville road, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Storrs, CT, 06269-3043, United States
3 - Université du Québec à Rimouski, Centre d’Études Nordiques et Département de Biologie, Québec, G5L 3A1, Canada
4 - Audubon Society of Portland, Portland, OR, 97210, USA
5 - University of North Texas, Department of Philosophy, Denton, TX, 76201, USA
6 - University Of Connecticut, Department Of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 75 N. Eagleville Road, U-3043, STORRS, CT, 06269-3043, USA

long-distance dispersal
bird dispersal.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PBG002
Abstract ID:509
Candidate for Awards:None

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