Re: interesting question
Tue, 6 May 1997 21:03:47 -0400 (EDT)
> are specific mistletoe species only found on certain trees? I always
> thought they were dispersed by birds, so how would the mistletoe
> that its seeds were deposited on the correct species of tree?
> interesting question indeed!
>So - you are suggesting that mistletoe seed dispersing birds "randomly"
>visit different species of tree??? I don't think so!
>Keith M. Martin Tel +32 16 32 18 62
>Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Fax +32 16 32 19 86
>Kardinaal Mercierlaan 94
I'm not very familiar with parasitic plants, the only one I've ever had
any experience with is orange dodder (not sure of the species name or if
it occurs in Australia)
I don't think misteltoe eating birds randomly visit trees, obviously they
visit trees that have mistletoe growing on them. But supposing a bird was
feeding on different species of mistletoe, some of which were host
specific and some of which weren't. Eventually seeds from a host specific
species would be deposited on the wrong kind of host tree. Why wouldn't
that seed be able to germinate there since it is on the wrong kind of
tree? is it a biochemical incompatibility or a physical one?
also as another item of curiostity, do mistletoe seeds require processing
in a bird's gut to germinate, or can they simply fall from their branch
onto another branch of the same tree and grow there?
(who had a nasty run in with leeches yesterday)
Katie Bertsche .........If you're too busy to go birding, you're too busy.
Sydney, NSW Australia
The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering
takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely
a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way.
If you wish to get material removed from the archive or
have other queries about the archive e-mail
Andrew Taylor at this address: