The value of Mistletoe

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: The value of Mistletoe
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 11:26:23 +1000
There seems to be a different relationship between possums and mistletoes
and that of some bird species and mistletoes.

As far as I can tell the definitive work (cited by David Watson in his
paper on Mistletoes as a Keystone resource) on the topic is by Nick Reid
"Pollination and seed dispersal of Mistletoes (Loranthaceae by birds in
Southern Australia" which forms a chapter in "The Dynamic Partnership Birds
and Plants in Southern Australia" by H A Ford and D C Payton.

While several species of birds appear to potentially act as pollinators
and/or seed dispersers Reid notes on p78 the possums ".. tend to destroy
flowers when feeding and are better regarded as flower predators than
pollinators.".  He makes a similar comment about parrots and lorikeets (op
cit p68)


On 15 August 2013 10:43, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

> Yes, that "Brushtail Possums eat a great deal of Mistletoe" is one of the
> things mentioned by David Watson, at COG last night as a likely hypothesis
> that is especially relevant as one of the contributing factors to why there
> aren't mistletoes in Tasmania (or not many).
> Funny, a message from me and Sandra about this came through at the same
> time.
> Philip
> -----Original Message-----From: 
>  On Behalf Of brian
> fleming
> Sent: Thursday, 15 August 2013 8:40 AMTo: 
> :
> [Birding-Aus] Fwd: Re: The value of Mistletoe

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