Bat dispersal of fern spores in New Zealand

Fern dispersal is generally considered to be anemochorous. In New Zealand, short-tailed bats Mystacina tuberculata consume fern spores. We conducted a germination experiment of bat faecal pellets collected from three roost locations in Pureora Forest Park (North Island) to estimate the viability of fern spores that had survived bat gut passage. Spores of Cyathea, Dicksonia, Hymenophyllum, and Microsorum were recorded in the faecal pellets. Of 31 spores in 120 faecal pellets (c.

Seed dispersal of fleshy-fruited environmental weeds in New Zealand

Fruit-eating animals play a key role in spreading non-native environmental weeds, via seed ingestion and subsequent dispersal. We reviewed available information on dispersal of fleshy-fruited environmental weeds in New Zealand. We found almost a third (32.9%) of 295 environmental weed species in New Zealand have fleshy fruits adapted for internal dispersal by animals. Fruiting phenology differs between weeds and native plants, with many weed species fruiting from late autumn until early spring (May to September) when native fruits are scarce.