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Looking for basic plant traits to predict ungulate seed dispersal potential

Abstract : Habitat fragmentation contributes to the decline of plant species by decreasing gene flow among populations. Restoring connectivity among habitat patches is therefore a major issue for plant conservation. But, deciding where to focus restoration efforts requires identifying a suitable dispersal vector for each target plant species. We collected data from the literature on wild and domesticated ungulates in Europe, known to be effective seed dispersers, and on the plants they dispersed via epi- and/or endozoochory. We performed a systematic literature review to identify plant and animal traits important for seed dispersal. We first modeled the relationships between epi- or endozoochory and a priori selected plant traits (diaspore releasing height, weight, shape and morphology, and habitat). The different traits associated with each dispersal mechanism meant that we had to split our analyses accordingly. Then, for each dispersal mechanism, we asked whether basic plant traits could be used to predict specific traits of ungulates as endozoochorous or epizoochorous seed dispersers. We modeled the relationships between a priori selected ungulate traits (habitat, shoulder height, hair curliness, and hair length for epizoochory; habitat, body mass, feeding type and digestion system for endozoochory) and plant traits. Plant habitat and diaspore weight were the predictors that most often explained differences among ungulates for epizoochory, whereas diaspore releasing height and plant habitat most often explained differences for endozoochory. Our trait-based predictive models can help improve our ability to make more precise management decisions for the conservation of plant populations worldwide by taking into account ungulates dispersers.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02599532
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 2:57:56 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 3:08:02 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02599532, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00040499

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A. Albert, Anders Mårell, M. Picard, Christophe Baltzinger. Looking for basic plant traits to predict ungulate seed dispersal potential. 11th International Mammalogical Congress, Aug 2013, Belfast, Ireland. pp.33. ⟨hal-02599532⟩

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