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Seed Dispersal by Cassowaries (Casuarius casuarius) in North Queensland's Rainforests

G. C. Stocker and A. K. Irvine
Biotropica
Vol. 15, No. 3 (Sep., 1983), pp. 170-176
DOI: 10.2307/2387825
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2387825
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Seed Dispersal by Cassowaries (Casuarius casuarius) in North Queensland's Rainforests
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Abstract

Casuarius casuarius inhabits the rainforests of northeastern Australia and some of the islands to the north. It depends on fruit which has fallen from the middle and upper forest canopy. During the two-year study period diaspores of 78 plant species were found in cassowary dung. Although the germination percentage of seeds in dung were variable, some germination was observed for 70 species. The passage of most diaspores through a cassowary does not appear to greatly affect seed germination characteristics. These birds are the only extant frugivores large enough to effectively disperse many of the plant species found in the rainforests of this region.

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