Portland State University. Department of Biology
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology
1 online resource (43 Pages)
Hemlock dwarf mistletoe
The goal of this investigation was to determine the potential of birds as vectors for the movement of dwarf mistletoe seeds and the means by which such movement could occur. Birds would greatly speed the rate at which these parasites move horizontally or vertically through the forest. Five areas in Oregon, heavily infected by six species of Arceuthobium were studied. Observations of avian behavior point to 13 species whose general behavior make them potential vectors in the distribution of these parasites. More specifically, the roosting and subsequent bathing behavior of most forest birds proves a very important means of potential seed transport. Additionally, an examination of nesting materials revealed that birds bring viable dwarf mistletoe seeds to infectible portions of host trees during the construction of their nests. Nesting, however, seems the least important of the vector mechanisms discussed. I observed no evidence of birds feeding on the seeds of dwarf mistletoe or of seeds being present in their droppings. The more probably means of seed transport is one of epizoochory.
Zilka, Paul James, "Possible Avian Influences in the Distribution of Dwarf Mistletoe" (1973). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1581.