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The domestic goat as a potential seed disperser of Mimosa luisana (Leguminosae, Mimosoideae) in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, Mexico

  • Luca Giordani (a1), Elena Baraza (a2), Sara Lucía Camargo-Ricalde (a3) and Stein R. Moe (a1)

Mimosa luisana is functionally important in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, Mexico, since it is able to create favourable microsites for the establishment of other plant species. The endozoochory of M. luisana seeds by goats was evaluated in terms of excrement deposition pattern, seed survival and germination. The excrement deposition pattern was evaluated by collecting pellets in four plots of 25 × 2 m randomly placed in a grazing area and recording the microhabitat where pellets were found. Seed survival and germination were evaluated by feeding the goats with seeds and collecting dung pellets at 8-h intervals for 80 h. Seeds from goat pellets (treatment) and seeds collected from pods (control) were placed in a germination chamber for 24 d. Goats mainly deposited M. luisana seeds in viable sites (open areas) for growth. Mimosa luisana seeds survived the goat digestive treatment (5.91% ± 2.86%) and most of them (67% ± 25.9%) were recovered 8–32 h after ingestion. Goat gut treatment increased M. luisana final germination (47.5% ingested, 5.83% control) and shortened initial and mean time of germination. Our results indicate that goats may be an efficient disperser of M. luisana seeds.

Corresponding author
1Corresponding author. Present address: 1100 N. Western Avenue, 98801-1230 Wenatchee WA, USA. Email:
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Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
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