Spatial patterns of seed dispersal and seedling recruitment in Corema album (Empetraceae): the importance of unspecialized dispersers for regeneration
- 1Spatial patterns of seed dispersal and seedling recruitment of Corema album were examined among and within habitats to determine the quantitative importance of different dispersers in each type of habitat, and their effectiveness in carrying seeds to suitable habitats for seedling recruitment.
- 2Gulls, blackbirds and rabbits were, respectively, the main dispersers (45%, 40% and 15% of Corema album seeds). Within habitats, blackbirds disperse seeds mainly to female Corema album shrubs, while gulls and rabbits disperse seeds mainly to open ground.
- 3The quantitative role of dispersers varies among habitats because of their habitat preferences, causing the spatial pattern of seed rain to differ.
- 4Open ground has the highest density of seedlings and the highest seedling-to-seed ratios. Regeneration is more active in the pioneer scrub than in the mature scrub and the herbaceous vegetation.
- 5Gulls, rather than specialist frugivores, are the most effective dispersers in carrying seeds to suitable sites for recruitment.