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Research Paper | February 1, 2014

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Germination success of gut-passed seeds of plant species in semi steppe rangelands: survival and ecological correlate with seed traits and standing vegetation

Sepideh Fazelian, Pejman Tahmasebi Kohyani, Hamze Ali Shirmardi

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.4(2), 302-317, February 2014

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Abstract

During last two decades studies on endozoochorous seed dispersal indicated that a large numbers of plant seeds are potentially dispersed and suceefully germinated via animal dung. However, very little is known about the relative importance of endozoochory in germination success of plant species in semi-steppe rangelands.. In this paper we examined dung germinating seed content, seed deposition patterns of different domestic animals (Cattle, Sheep and goat), ecological correlate with seed traits (Seed weight, length, width and shape) and the possible correlate of dung seed content characteristics with vegetation in a simulated feeding experiment and a field study in semi-steppe rangelands of Karsanak, Iran. 39 native plant species were fed to domestic animals and their germination successes were recorded in a simulated glasshouse experiment. In the field study, Animal dung (Sheep and goat) was collected during summer 2009 and 2001 and was placed under greenhouse conditions to record seed germination. The resulting species germination was compared to the standing vegetation of 60 4-m2 plots installed randomly along 6 200m transects.

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Germination success of gut-passed seeds of plant species in semi steppe rangelands: survival and ecological correlate with seed traits and standing vegetation

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