Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Potential Role of Passenger Pigeons and Other Vertebrates in the Rapid Holocene Migrations of Nut Trees

  • Sara L. Webb (a1)
Abstract

Rapid rates of species range extension during the Holocene represent seed dispersal distances of at least 6 to 8 km per generation for North American species of Fagus, Quercus, and Carya, taxa whose fruits are heavy nuts. Occasional seed dispersal by biotic seed predators is necessary for these dispersal distances. One likely agent for dispersal across long distances and habitat discontinuities was the extinct (since 1914 A.D.) passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius). This bird's abundance, capacity for delayed digestion, and nomadic habits strongly suggest an occasional seed dispersal role, although a coevolutionary seed dispersal relationship cannot be inferred from available evidence. The capacity of some heavy seeds for dispersal distances greater than those of most light, wind-dispersed seeds has biogeographic and genetic implications.

Copyright
References
Hide All
AudubonJ.J. (1831). Ornithological Biography Vol. 5 Edinburgh
BennettL.J. EnglishP.F. WattsR.L. (1943). The food habits of the black bear in Pennsylvania Journal of Mammalogy 24 25 31
BernaboJ.C. WebbT.III (1977). Changing patterns in the Holocene pollen record of northeastern North America: A mapped summary Quaternary Research 8 64 96
BrodkorbP. (1971). Catalogue of fossil birds, Part 4 (Columbiformes through Piciformes) Bulletin of the Florida State Museum (Biological Sciences) 15 4
CahalaneV.H. (1942). Caching and recovery of food by the western fox squirrel Journal of Wildlife Management 6 338 352
CampbellJ.T. (1886). Causes of forest rotation American Naturalist 20 521 527 851 856
CarlquistS. (1974). Island Biology Columbia, New York
CluteW.N. (1923). A Dictionary of American Plant Names Clute Joliet, Ill
CorganJ.X. (1974). Fossil birds of Tennessee Migrant 45 81 85
CrudenR.W. (1966). Birds as agents of long-distance dispersal for disjunct plant groups of the temperate western hemisphere Evolution 20 517 532
DahlbergB.L. GuettingerR.C. (1956). The White Tailed Deer in Wisconsin Wisconsin Conservation Department Technical Wildlife Bulletin No. 14, Madison
Darley-HillS. JohnsonW.C. (1981). Acorn dispersal by the blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) Oecologia 50 231 232
DavisM.B. (1976). Pleistocene biogeography of temperate deciduous forests Geoscience and Man 13 13 26
DavisM.B. (1981). Quaternary history and the stability of forest communities WestD.C. ShugartH.H. BotkinD.B. Forest Succession: Concepts and Applications Springer-Verlag New York 132 153
DavisM.B. (1983). Holocene vegetational history of the eastern United States WrightH.E.Jr. Late-Quaternary Environments of the United States Vol. 2 Univ. of Minnesota Press Minneapolis 166 181 “The Holocene”
DavisM.B. WoodsK.D. WebbS.L. FutymaR.P. (1986). Dispersal versus climate: Expansion of Fagus and Tsuga into the Upper Great Lakes Vegetatio in press
DentonG.H. HughesT.J. (1981). The Last Great Ice Sheets Wiley New York
deVlamingV.L. ProctorV.W. (1968). Dispersal of aquatic organisms: Viability of seeds recovered from the droppings of captive killdeer and mallard ducks American Journal of Botany 55 20 26
EagleT.C. (1979). Foods of Black Bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park M. S. thesis University of Tennessee Knoxville
FowellsH.A. (1965). Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States U.S. Gov. Printing Office Washington, D.C U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook No. 271
FoxJ.F. (1982). Adaptations of gray squirrel behavior to autumn germination by white oak acorns Evolution 36 800 809
FryM.E. VaughnC.E. (1977). Acorn selection by band-tailed pigeons California Fish and Game 63 59 60
GlendenningR. (1944). The Garry oak in British Columbia Canadian Field-Naturalist 58 61 65
GoodwinD. (1976). Crows of the World Cornell Univ. Press (Comstock) Ithaca, N.Y
GrantP.R. SmithJ.N.M. GrantB.R. AbbottI.J. AbbottL.K. (1975). Finch numbers, owl predation, and plant dispersal on Isle Daphne Major, Galapagos Oecologia 19 239 257
HargraveL.L. EmslieS.D. (1980). Passenger pigeon bones from archaeological sites in New Mexico, USA Contributions in Science (Los Angeles) 330 257 260
HarperJ.L. LovellP.H. MooreK.G. (1970). The shapes and sizes of seeds Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 1 327 356
HewittG.H. (1967). The Wild Turkey and Its Management Wildlife Society Washington, D.C
HowardH. (1971). Quaternary avian remains from Dark Canyon, New Mexico Condor 73 237 240
HoweH.F. (1985). Gomphothere fruits: A critique American Naturalist 125 853 865
JanzenD.H. (1974). Tropical backwater rivers, animals, and mast fruiting by Diptocarpaceae Biotropica 6 69 102
JanzenD.H. MartinP.S. (1982). Neotropical anachronisms: The fruits the gomphotheres ate Science 215 19 27
JohnsonW.C. AdkissonC.S. (1985). Dispersal of beech nuts by blue jays in fragmented landscapes American Midland Naturalist 113 319 324
KalmP. (1911). A description of the wild pigeons which visit the southern English colonies in North America during certain years in incredible multitudes Auk 28 53 66
LandersJ.L. HamiltonR.J. JohnsonA.S. MarchintonR.L. (1979). Foods and habitat of black bears in southeastern North Carolina Journal of Wildlife Management 43 143 153
LannerR.M. (1983). The expansion of singleleaf pinyon in the Great Basin ThomasD.H. The Archaeology of the Monitor Valley Vol. 2 American Museum of Natural History 167 171 Anthropology Papers 59
LarsonJ.S. (1962). Notes on a recent squirrel emigration in New England Journal of Mammalogy 43 272 273
LewisA.R. (1982). Selection of nuts by gray squirrels and optimal foraging theory American Midland Naturalist 107 250 257
MacClintockD. (1970). Squirrels of North America. Van Nostrand New York
ParmaleeP.W. (1980). Utilization of birds by the Archaic and Fremont cultural groups of Utah Contributions in Science (Los Angeles) 330 237 250
RidleyH.N. (1930). The Dispersal of Plants throughout the World Reeve Ashford, Kent
RobertsT.S. (1936). Birds of Minnesota Vol. 1 Univ. of Minnesota Press Minneapolis
RogersL.L. (1976). Effects of mast and berry crop failure on survival, growth, and reproductive success of black bears Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 41 431 438
RogersL.L. ApplegateR.D. (1983). Dispersal of fruit seeds by black bears Journal of Mammalogy 64 310 311
SalisburyE.J. (1942). The Reproductive Capacity of Plants Bell London
SayleM. (1924). Viability of seeds passing through the alimentary canal of pigeons Auk 41 474 475
SchopmeyerC.S. (1974). Seeds of the Woody Plants in the United States U.S. Govt. Printing Office Washington, D.C U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook No. 450
SchorgerA.W. (1947). An emigration of squirrels in Wisconsin Journal of Mammalogy 28 401 403
SchorgerA.W. (1955). The Passenger Pigeon: Its Natural History and Extinction Fascimile 1973 Univ. of Wisconsin Press Madison Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman
SetonE.T. (1920). Migrations of the gray squirrel Journal of Mammalogy 1 53 58
SilvertownJ.W. (1980). The evolutionary ecology of mast seeding in trees Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 14 235 250
SimpsonG.G. (1952). Probabilities of dispersal in geologic time American Museum of Natural History Bulletin 99 163 176
SkellumJ.G. (1951). Random dispersal in theoretical populations Biometrika 38 196 218
SmithC.C. (1970). Coevolution of pine squirrels (Tamiasciurus) and conifers Ecological Monographs 40 349 371
SmithH.C. KiddR.S. (1971). A record of the passenger pigeon in Alberta Canadian Field-Naturalist 85 259
SnowD.W. (1965). A possible selective factor in the evolution of fruiting seasons in tropical forests Oikos 15 274 281
SorkV.L. BoucherD.H. (1977). Dispersal of sweet pignut hickory in a predation by a year of low fruit production, and the influence of Curculionid beetle Oecologia 28 289 299
SpencerH.E. (1961). The Black Bear and Its Status in Maine Game Division Bulletin 4 3rd ed. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Game
StapanianM.A. (1982). Evolution of fruiting strategies among fleshy-fruited plant species of eastern Kansas Ecology 63 1422 1431
StilesE.W. (1980). Patterns of fruit presentation and seed dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the eastern deciduous forest American Naturalist 116 670 688
ThompsonJ.N. WillsonM.F. (1979). Evolution of temperate fruit-bird interactions: Phenological strategies Evolution 33 973 982
TownsendC.W. (1963). Ectopistes migratorius: The passenger pigeon BentA.C. Life Histories of North American Gallinaceous Birds Dover New York 379 401
U.S. Department of Agriculture (1896). Nut Culture in the United States U.S. Govt. Printing Office Washington, D.C
van der PijlL. 2nd ed. (1982). Principles of Dispersal in Higher Plants Springer-Verlag Berlin
van DersalW.R. (1940). Utilisation of oaks by birds and mammals Journal of Wildlife Management 4 404 428
Vander WallS.B. BaldaR.P. (1977). Coadaptations of the Clark's nutcracker and pinon pine for efficient seed harvest and dispersal Ecological Monographs 47 89 111
WebbS.L. (1983). The Holocene Extension of the Range of American beech (Fagus grandifolia) into Wisconsin: Paleoecological Evidence for Long-Distance Seed Dispersal Thesis Univ. of Minnesota Minneapolis
WilsonA. (1832). American Ornithology Vol. 3 Collins New York
WrightA.H. (1911). Other early records of the passenger pigeon Auk 28 346 366
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 40 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 20th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.