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The effect of seed morphology on the potential dispersal of aquatic macrophytes by the common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Pollux, B. J. A., de Jong, M., Steegh, A., Ouborg, N. J., van Groenendael, J. M. and Klaassen, M. 2006, The effect of seed morphology on the potential dispersal of aquatic macrophytes by the common carp (Cyprinus carpio), Freshwater biology, vol. 51, no. 11, pp. 2063-2071, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2006.01637.x.

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Title The effect of seed morphology on the potential dispersal of aquatic macrophytes by the common carp (Cyprinus carpio)
Formatted title The effect of seed morphology on the potential dispersal of aquatic macrophytes by the common carp (Cyprinus carpio)
Author(s) Pollux, B. J. A.
de Jong, M.
Steegh, A.
Ouborg, N. J.
van Groenendael, J. M.
Klaassen, M.ORCID iD for Klaassen, M. orcid.org/0000-0003-3907-9599
Journal name Freshwater biology
Volume number 51
Issue number 11
Start page 2063
End page 2071
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2006-11
ISSN 0046-5070
1365-2427
Keyword(s) endozoochory
gut passage
ichthyochory
postdispersal establishment
retention time
Summary 1. The potential for seed dispersal by fish (ichthyochory) will vary among aquatic plants because of differences in seed size and morphology.

2. To examine how seed morphology influences the probability of dispersal by the common carp (Cyprinus carpio), we studied seed ingestion, retention time and subsequent egestion and germination of seeds of Sparganium emersum and Sagittaria sagittifolia, two aquatic plant species with similar sized but morphologically different seeds.

3. We compared dispersal probabilities between the two plant species, in which the probability of dispersal is assumed to be a function of the probabilities of seed ingestion, egestion and germination, and the dispersal distance is assumed to be a function of seed egestion rate over time.

4. We found that, although the soft seeds of S. sagittifolia had an approximately 1.5 times higher probability of being ingested by the carp than the hard seeds of S. emersum (83.15% ± 1.8% versus 56.16% ± 2.7%, respectively), the latter had an almost twofold higher probability of surviving the passage through the digestive tract (38.58% ± 2.7% versus 20.97% ± 1.5%, respectively). Patterns of seed egestion over time did not differ between the two plant species, despite the difference in seed morphology. Gut passage had a different effect on seed germination between plant species. Compared with non-ingested controls, seeds of S. emersum showed a 12.6% increase in germination and a 2.1 day acceleration in germination rate, whereas seeds of S. sagittifolia displayed a 47.3% decrease and 5.1 day delay, respectively.

5. Our results suggest that seed morphology affects the dispersal probability and postdispersal establishment, but not the dispersal distance, of aquatic plants that are dispersed by fish.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2006.01637.x
Field of Research 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology)
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30035105

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