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Dispersal of Aquatic Organisms: Viability of Seeds Recovered from the Droppings of Captive Killdeer and Mallard Ducks

Victor DeVlaming and Vernon W. Proctor
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 55, No. 1 (Jan., 1968), pp. 20-26
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2440487
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.
Dispersal of Aquatic Organisms: Viability of Seeds Recovered from the Droppings of Captive Killdeer and Mallard Ducks
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Abstract

Seeds of aquatic and semiaquatic angiosperms were fed to two representative waterbirds: killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) and mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos). The viability and maximum period of retention for seeds recovered from the droppings were determined. Results indicate that resistance of the seeds to avian digestive processes depends both upon the nature of the seed coat and the species of bird through which they pass. Periods of maximum retention, greater in killdeer than in mallard ducks, were much longer than had previously been supposed. Plants with highly resistant seeds are for the most part of wide geographic distribution suggesting that the extensive range of many aquatic plants can be accredited, at least in part, to their adaptation to internal transport by birds.

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