Freshwater Biology Article Published

Congratulations to Neil Coughlan on his latest article, published in Freshwater Biology. The title of the review paper is “Up, up and away: bird-mediated ectozoochorous dispersal between aquatic environments”. The paper can be freely accessed at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fwb.12894/full.

One of the article’s accompanying figures was selected for the cover of this issue of Freshwater Biology:

mallard covered in duckweedThe paper reviews the literature on bird-mediated external (ectozoochorous) dispersal of propagules (dispersal units) between aquatic environments.  This is an important topic in the context of habitat fragmentation, climate change and the associated alterations in species distributions and biological invasions. The paper summarises dispersal of plants, invertebrates and microbes by birds, and considers the key steps in the process, including contact, attachment, survival and release.

The review also identifies key questions for future research. This includes quantification of bird-mediated ectozoochory, and the role of environmental factors that influence attachment and detachment of dispersal units. The review confirms that bird-mediated ectozoochorous transport of aquatic dispersal units is a frequent process, at least at a local scale. It therefore needs to be considered in the context of connectivity and gene flow between isolated aquatic environments.

Co-authors are Tom C. Kelly, John Davenport and Marcel A. K. Jansen

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