The importance of lizars as seed disperser in Islas Atlánticas de Galicia National Park.

MMA-Red de Parques Nacionales 125/2005

Although it has been assumed that the reptiles could have played a fundamental role in the dispersion of seeds of gymnosperms and in the first angiosperms, nowadays the number of studies on seed dispersion by lizards are relatively few. Moreover, this kind of interaction seems to have more importance on insular ecosystems. The aim of the present project is to increase the body of information on this topic, which, in addition, could be very important in island ecosystems like is the National Park of the Islas Atlánticas de Galicia. Specifically we are analysing the relative importance of fleshy fruits on the diet of lizards, the role of lizards as seed dispersers, and the indirect effect which defaunation of lizards, caused by introduced species, could have on reproductive fitness of lizards-depending plant species.

The lizard Lacerta lepida (Timon lepidus) is playing a fundamental role in the seed dispersal of more than 14 plants which have fleshy fruits. The study has been conducted in the National Park of the Islas Atlánticas de Galicia and in nearest mainland areas.

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