Effect of birds and temperature on the germination and viability of Rubus ulmifolius (Rosaceae) seeds
Keywords:Keywords: Germination power, fires, frosts, dispersal, blackberry
Introduction: Invasive species is causing great modifications worldwide, affecting both deserts and tropical forests. In the province of Córdoba, Argentina, the distribution and abundance of blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius) has been seriously increased in recent times both in natural and rural environments. The appearance of these plants in isolated areas has been attributed to birds, which have been mentioned as one of the main responsible for their dispersal; however, there are no studies referring to the consumption of blackberry by them. On the other hand, forest fires and the proliferation of invasive alien species can positively interact with each other, increasing the impact of these species on invaded ecosystems. Objectives: a) to know if the birds disperse the blackberry seeds, b) to know if the birds affect the germination of said seeds and c) to know the effect of high and low temperatures on their germination and viability. Results: 80 blackberry seeds were extracted from the feces of the birds, which did not present any type of physical damage. These seeds did not germinate after 20 months, but they remained viable. Significant differences were observed in the viability of the fruit seeds and those subjected to high and low temperature treatments (H: 21.50, p = 0.0054). The greatest effects were observed for extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Conclusion: blackberry seeds have low germination power since they did not germinate under any treatment after 20 months in favorable conditions of light, temperature and humidity. Birds make a “legitimate” dispersal of blackberry seeds, which are also highly resistant to high and low temperatures, although surface fires could destroy these seeds
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