Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bison Natural History: Modern Megafaunal Dispersal

One of the curious things at Konza is the dispersal of Gleditsia tricanthos (locust). Gledtsia has pretty big seeds encased in large pods that were likely dispersed by megafauna. Yet, even today you can find isolated seedlings/saplings pretty far from the parent tree. 

What was moving the seeds?

This winter I noticed that bison dung at Konza was packed with locust (Gleditsia) seeds. 

This spring, it's clear that they are germinating in the dung.

Something I had never noticed before, but pretty clear now.

Bison eat and disperse the seeds of trees. 

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