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Abundance and Diversity of Seeds in Digestive Tracts of Terrapene carolina and T. Ornata in Southwestern Missouri

Matt D. Stone and Don Moll
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sep., 2009), pp. 346-350
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40263737
Page Count: 5
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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.
Abundance and Diversity of Seeds in Digestive Tracts of Terrapene carolina and T. Ornata in Southwestern Missouri
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Abstract

Box turtles are opportunistic omnivores, and consume a wide variety of fruits. Therefore they might play an important role in dispersal of seeds of a variety of plants. We described the diversity of seeds recovered from feces of Terrapene Carolina and T. ornata and made comparisons between them. There was a moderate level of dietary overlap based upon diversity of seeds in the feces. Terrapene Carolina had a significantly higher species richness of seeds in its feces than T. ornata. Additionally, we documented seeds of four plants (Celtis, Passiflora, Phytolacca americana, and Platanus occidentalis) that previously were not known to be consumed or dispersed by box turtles. /// Las tortugas de caja son omnívoras oportunistas, y comen una amplia variedad de frutas. Por lo tanto tienen quizás un papel importante en la dispersión de semillas de varias especies de plantas. Describimos la diversidad de semillas recuperadas de excrementos de Terrapene carotina y de T. amata y realizamos comparaciones entre estas especies. Se encontró un nivel moderado de la superposición dietética basada en la diversidad de semillas en las heces. Terrapene carotina tuvo una significativa mayor riqueza de especies de semillas en sus heces que T. amata. Además, documentamos semillas de cuatro plantas (Celtis, Passiflora, Phytolacca americana, y Platanus occidentalis) previamente no registradas como consumidas ni dispersadas por tortugas caja.

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