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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 99(4)

Seed Dispersal by Emus on the New South Wales North-east Coast

R.J. McGrath and D. Bass

Emu 99(4) 248 - 252
Published: 1999


Summary: The Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae is no longer common in the north-east coastal region of New South Wales and its habitat is increasingly being fragmented by development. From a pilot study using Emu faecal droppings collected at Main Camp it is established that viable seeds are dispersed by Emus in the region. It is suggested that this viable seed dispersal, combined with the possible extensive range of plant species dispersed indicates Emus may play an important, yet overlooked role in the maintenance of the recorded high regional biodiversity. The Emu’s ability to transport many large seeds over long distances could prove an important link between fragments of remnant vegetation by helping to maintain the genetic mix in plant communities.

Full text doi:10.1071/MU99030

© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 1999

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