Abstract

Seed dispersal capabilities by red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) in southwestern Missouri were investigated for mulberry (Morus spp.), barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli), and curly dock (Rumex crispus). Feeding trials conducted on these seeds demonstrated that seed damage was low and percentage of germination of turtle-passed seeds did not exceed controls for any seed species tested. These turtle species are capable of dispersing mulberry, barnyardgrass, and curly dock seeds to areas near pond margins and to more distant locations during overland movements.

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