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Fruiting and frugivory of Cornus canadensis in boreal forest in Newfoundland

Fruiting and frugivory of Cornus canadensis in boreal forest in Newfoundland

Oikos 491: 3-10

The fate of fruits of bunchberry Cornus canadensis was monitored for three autumn seasons in boreal forest in Newfoundland. On average, 53% of the berries were removed while intact, 23% damaged by slugs and other invertebrates, 18% infected by microbes, 3% shrivelled, 1% fell to the ground and 2% remained intact until covered by snow. Observations and exclosure experiments showed that birds were major dispersers, rodents and shrews had negligible effects and hares or squirrels ate < 6% of the fruits. Most removals occurred in five-week periods, coinciding with the passage of migrant birds. Dispersers tended to avoid damaged or infected fruits: 92% of the dispersed fruits were intact when removed 6% were damaged and 2% infected. The frequency of removals varied significantly between seasons and between plots, and was not correlated with the size of the berry crop in each plot. Frugivory within a boreal ecosystem is discussed.

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Accession: 021069273

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DOI: 10.2307/3565548

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