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Vegetatio

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 255–266 | Cite as

Ornithochory and plant succession in mediterranean abandoned orchards

  • M. Debussche
  • J. Escarré
  • J. Lepart
Article
  • 153 Downloads

Abstract

Data on the occurrence of species with fleshy diaspores and on breeding birds were collected in three abandoned orchards, resp. 8, 11 and 24 years after abandonment. Most of the 41 phanerophytes and vines with fleshy diaspores are also found in the borders of the orchards, the more so if the number of years since abandonment increases. Most species have small seeds and red or black coloured diaspores, most of which ripen in autumn.

The frequent species show a characteristic distribution pattern in relation to the distance of the fruit trees: high densities near the trunk and uniform decrease with distance. This is explained by the behaviour of frugivorous birds. No correlation was found between distribution patterns and soil conditions. Age structure of colonizing species shows a distribution conforming an inversed J curve in the more recently abandoned orchard.

The main conclusions are:
  1. 1.

    Pioncor trees are attractive for frugivorous birds and may act as nuclei. This supports the facilitation model.

     
  2. 2.

    The distribution of diaspores by birds helps to homogenize the species distribution on the regional level but at the site level individual differences in nucleation cause a heterogeneity.

     

Keywords

Avifauna Dispersal Mediterranean region Nucleation Orchard Ornithochory Succession 

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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Debussche
    • 1
  • J. Escarré
    • 1
  • J. Lepart
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre d'Etudes Phytosociologiques et Ecologiques Louis EmbergerC.N.R.S.Montpellier CédexFrance
  2. 2.Ecothèque MéditerranéenneC.N.R.S.Monipellier CédexFrance

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