Think birds are the primary dispersers of seeds? Think again. OSU researchers in Alaska found another animal that might disperse more seeds.
|Image by TodaysReality|
New research recently released by Oregon State University shows bears in southeast Alaska may be the best contributor for spreading berry seeds. Researchers used motion activated cameras set up in a study area about 30 miles north of Haines.
“We checked the cameras and the status of the berry clusters approximately once per week.” quote from the study
|Image taken on December 26, 2017 by Santee Lakes|
|Image by Danilo Carradori - (Fairy Wren)|
|Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon|
“In search of the nutrition in devil’s club fruit, we estimate that a single bear can consume over 100,000 devil’s club berries per hour of continuous foraging, and brown and black bears can collectively disperse an incredible 200,000 seeds.”quote from the study
|Image by http://hookedonflyfishing.net|
The Oregon State researcher's data also showed black bears were more likely to eat berries late in the season when Grizzly Bears were trading in the berries for salmon. 😅
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Here's the full article on the interesting study:
There was previously another study and practical application of utilizing bear scat in nursery plantings to reveal what had been eaten. Brilliant idea and one I'm not unfamiliar with as I've done the same with Coyote Scat and others have fed native Toyon berries to their Mina bird to facilitate California Holly germination.
|Image - Art Norton|