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Birkhead, R. D., Guyer, C., Hermann, S. M., & Michener, W. K. (2005). Patterns of folivory and seed ingestion by gopher tortoises (gopherus polyphemus) in a southeastern pine savanna. American Midland Naturalist, 154(1), 143–1151. 
Added by: Admin (14 Aug 2008 20:31:51 UTC)
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Birkhead2005
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Categories: General
Keywords: Ernährung = nutrition, Gopherus, Gopherus polyphemus, Habitat = habitat, Nordamerika = North America, Schildkröten = turtles + tortoises, Testudinidae
Creators: Birkhead, Guyer, Hermann, Michener
Collection: American Midland Naturalist
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Testudinidae This study documents the ingestion of leaves and seeds by gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in a relatively intact pine savanna habitat. Fifty-three species of seeds were identified. Species richness of seeds ingested was highest during spring and fall and was lowest during summer. Grass seed and foliage were consumed consistently by tortoises throughout the year. Despite being found in only 12% of all scats, Rubus seed comprised half of all seeds recovered. Based on seeds in scats, tortoises ingested the fruits of plants in the same proportions in which the plants occurred immediately around active burrows. Although some kinds of leaves were less prevalent in scats than predicted by their availability near active tortoise burrows, this may have occurred because these leaves were digested and, therefore unrecognizable in scats. The role of the gopher tortoise as a generalist herbivore and an opportunistic frugivore was confirmed.
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Zusammenfassung in Schildkröten im Fokus 2 (4) 2005
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