Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 561851
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.; Jong, M. De; Steegh, A.; Ouborg, N.J.; Groenendael, J.M. Van; Klaassen, M.
Source Freshwater Biology 51 (2006)11. - ISSN 0046-5070 - p. 2063 - 2071.
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2006
Keyword(s) Endozoochory - Gut passage - Ichthyochory - Postdispersal establishment - Retention time

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.

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