Facilitative interactions between an exotic mammal and native and exotic plants: hog deer (Axis porcinus) as seed dispersers in south-eastern Australia
Naomi E Davis, David M Forsyth, Graeme Coulson
BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS | SPRINGER | Published : 2010
Endozoochory by exotic mammalian herbivores could modify vegetation composition by facilitating the dispersal and establishment of exotic and native plant species. We examined the potential for endozoochoric dispersal of native and exotic plants by exotic hog deer (Axis porcinus) in south-eastern Australia. We quantified the germinable seed content of hog deer faecal pellets collected in five vegetation types within a 10,500-ha study area that was representative of their Australian range. Twenty exotic and 22 native species germinated from hog deer faecal pellets and significantly more native species germinated compared to exotic species. Seedlings of the encroaching native shrub Acacia long..View full abstract
This research was funded by Parks Victoria (Research Partners Program) and the Holsworth Wildlife Endowment. We thank the following Parks Victoria staff for their invaluable assistance: Matt Hoskins, Elaine Thomas, Mick Keenan, Dan Jones and Jim Whelan. We thank Steve Elefteriadis and the Institute of Land and Food Resources, The University of Melbourne, for the use of greenhouse facilities. Ron Mayze (Para Park Co-Operative Game Reserve) and the late Geoff Moore (Australian Deer Research Foundation) generously shared their hog deer expertise. We thank Rob Allen, Andrew Gormley, Lindy Lumsden, Daniel Simberloff and two anonymous reviewers for comments on previous versions of this manuscript.