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Dispersal of Aquatic Organisms: Viability of Disseminules Recovered From the Intestinal Tract of Captive Killdeer

Proctor, Vernon W., Malone, Charles R., DeVlaming, Victor L.
Ecology 1967 v.48 no.4 pp. 672-676
Anas platyrhynchos, Artemia salina, Chara, Charadrius, adults, algae, ducks, eggs, feces, intestines, oospores, vegetative cells, viability
Earlier studies have shown that viable disseminules of a variety of aquatic, organisms my be recovered from the feces of birds. The present report is concerned primarily with the maximum length of time that vegetative cells and spores of algae, various crustacean eggs, and living adult ostracods can be retained within the divestive tracts of Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) and, to a lesser extent, Mallard Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos). Some disseminules survived only rapid passage while others were still viable after being retained within the intestional tract for 12—24 hr. Eggs of Artemia salina and oospores of Chara zeylanica were retained for the longest periods. Viable disseminules were retained for much longer periods by Killdeer than by ducks. The results suggest that Killdeer and similar shore birds may be important agents of transport for many kinds of aquatic organisms. Smaller numbers of disseminules area carried by individual shore birds than by ducks, but they can be retained for longer periods, and hence carried across greater intervening distances.