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Título: Consistency in seed-deposition patterns and the distribution of mistletoes among its host trees in an Amazonian savanna
Autor: Fadini, Rodrigo F.
Go?alves, Danielly Caroline Miléo
Reis, Rúbia Patrcia Fernandes
Palavras-chave: Dicotyledon
Host Plant
Host Quality
Seed Dispersal
Spatial Distribution
Temporal Analysis
Anacardium Occidentale
Elaenia Cristata
Viscum Album
Data do documento: 2009
Revista: Australian Journal of Botany
Encontra-se em: Volume 57, Número 8, Pags. 640-646
Abstract: The present paper describes the spatial distribution of the mistletoe Psittacanthus plagiophyllus Eichl. (Loranthaceae) on its host, the cashew tree Anacardium occidentale L., in a Brazilian Amazonian savanna. Our aim was to understand the roles of bird-seed dispersers and host quality in determining the mistletoe distribution among its host trees. In 2006, we marked 118 cashews in a 4.5-ha plot and counted the number of mistletoes and the presence of seeds attached to host branches in 2006, 2007 and 2008. On average, 36% of the hosts were infected each year. The infection load and the probability of being infected increased significantly with host crown diameter. On average, 25% of the hosts received at least one mistletoe seed in each year, being taller and previously infected hosts more prone to receive seeds in all 3 years. Elaenia cristata was the main seed disperser, visiting P. plagiophyllus 48 times in 35h of focal records. Additionally, in a field experiment, we used the presence of an infection and the host size as surrogates for host quality and tested their effect on mistletoe survivorship. After 9 months, 16.5% of seeds survived and 14% had established, but neither host conditions nor host size influenced seed survivorship. Therefore, we suggest that mistletoe distribution is a consequence of a consistent dispersal of seeds onto larger and previously parasitised hosts across years. © 2009 CSIRO.
DOI: 10.1071/BT09013
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