>The occurrence of mistletoebird in the suburbs is
interesting, but how else
>did the mistletoe get there?
>From one who has innvestigated this relationship of
plants/plants/ fauna, I
>find the occurrence of that species of mistletoe in that
species of shrub
In my experience the Australian Amyema species of mistletoe
(like Box Mistletoe A. miquelli or Wire-leaf Mistletoe A.
preissii) are somewhat host-specific, and hardly ever (maybe
never??) occur on exotic trees. On the other hand in this
part of Australia Creeping Mistletoe (Muellerina
eucalyptoides) occurs mostly on River Red Gum (E.
camaldulensis) in natural situations, but on a wide range of
exotics in suburbia. I see it commonly on Plane Trees
(Platanus) and ornamental cherries (Prunus spp.), but also
on liquidamber, oaks, etc. It is often locally very
abundant (as it is around where I live).
I think the River Red Gum connection takes it into cities,
but then birds (not just Mistletoebird) probably spread the
propagules. The fact that Creeping Mistletoe is so
unselective about its hosts is rather fascinating though! I
don't know anything about the evolutionary history of
Muellerina, but perhaps it has an origin outside Australia,
which may explain its plasticity WRT host plants.
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