Is the European red fox a vector of the invasive basket asparagus (Asparagus aethiopicus) in eastern Australia?

O'Conner, Julie M. and Burrows, David M. and Allen, Benjamin L. and Burnett, Scott E. (2019) Is the European red fox a vector of the invasive basket asparagus (Asparagus aethiopicus) in eastern Australia? Australian Mammalogy, 42 (2). pp. 204-210. ISSN 0310-0049


Abstract

Basket asparagus (Asparagus aethiopicus) has become a naturalised invasive plant in some coastal areas of Australia since its introduction in the late 19th century. Its spread through garden waste dumping and avian seed dispersal has been well documented and both are considered to be the primary means of dispersal. While a small number of avian vectors have been identified, no Australian studies have investigated the potential of mammals to disperse basket asparagus seeds. We collected basket asparagus seeds from fox (Vulpes vulpes) scats collected in the field, confirmed the viability of these seeds in germination trials, and further documented the germination of basket asparagus seeds from an undisturbed fox scat in situ. These results demonstrate that foxes consume and disperse basket asparagus seeds, and that these seeds are viable and germinate under field conditions. Foxes not only use basket asparagus stands as harbour, but can also facilitate the plant’s dispersal in coastal ecosystems.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 23:50
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2021 01:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asparagus aethiopicus, endozoochory, frugivory, hybrid ecosystem, invasive species, Vulpes vulpes
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180602 Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/AM19001
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/40495

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