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《Science of Sericulture》 2017-05
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Effect of Bird Predation on Dissemination and Germination of Mulberry Seeds

Yang Fan;Ba Yi;Shi Xin;Gao Yanxia;Xie Yan;Song Yongxue;Zhang Donghao;Gao Yujun;Li Jisheng;Yang Guiming;Applied Technology Research and Development Center for Sericulture and Special Local Products of Hebei Universities;Institute of Sericulture,Chengde Medical University;Department of Biomedical Engineering,Chengde Medical University;  
Seed(fruit) is the propagule of mulberry( Morus L.). Its dissemination and germination influence maintenance and regeneration of Morus plant populations. It is necessary to study the role of frugivorous birds in mulberry seed dissemination and germination and to uncover the ecological meaning of mutual benefits between frugivorous birds and mulberry population. In this study,characteristics of mulberry plant growth,fruit bearing,seed dispersal,seed germination and seedling survival were investigated. Meanwhile,behaviors of birds feeding mulberry fruit and spreading mulberry seeds were observed. The results showed that:( 1)Remarkable differences between individual mulberry plants existed in traits such as plant shape,fruit size and seed number per fruit,suggesting that seed reproduction and dissemination of individual mulberry plants differed witheach other.(2) Under natural condition,mulberry fruits were mainly disseminated within the range of plant canopy( d 5m). With the increase of dissemination distance,the number of fruits and germinated seeds on the ground was decreased,but seed germination rate was increased( 2. 6%-7. 9%),while emergence rate( 18. 8%) and the-second-year survival rate(2. 7%) of seedlings had no difference.(3) Distance of seeds spread by birds was much longer than that by mulberry trees. Sixty-four percent of bird-defecated mulberry seeds were distributed in water-source area which is suitable for seed germination and population establishment.(4) Germination rate of bird-defecated seeds did not differ with that of pulp/peel-removed mulberry seeds(germination rates 75. 0%),but was significantly higher than that of untreated intact seeds(46. 7%). Our results demonstrate that mulberry fruit provides food source for frugivorous birds,and feeding activity of birds not only increases dissemination distance but also promotes seed germination of mulberry seeds. This relationship provides one of the evidences for mutual benefits between frugivorous birds and mulberry population.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金项目(No.31600331);; 河北省科技计划项目(No.16226322D);; 河北省教育厅资助科研项目(No.QN2016188);; 承德医学院校级课题(No.201603 201539 201419)
【CateGory Index】: S888.2
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