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Avian seed dispersal in a mycoheterotrophic orchid Cyrtosia septentrionalis



Orchids produce remarkably small seeds lacking endosperm, which are considered to be predominantly wind-dispersed. Here, we report avian seed dispersal in a mycoheterotrophic orchid Cyrtosia septentrionalis, which occurs under closed canopies where wind is less dependable. Because some orchids occupy similar habitats and have fleshy fruits, shifts in seed dispersal strategy may be a previously unnoticed mechanism promoting the orchid's evolutionary success.

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Figure 1: Cyrtosia septentrionalis and its seed dispersal agents.


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We thank B. Anderson and S. Nakamura for providing comments that improved this manuscript and S. Mori for field assistance. This work was partially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 12J00602, K.S. and No. 22247003, M.K.).

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K.S. designed the study, conducted the experiment and composed the manuscript. A.K. and M.K. contributed to the study design and the manuscript composition.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kenji Suetsugu.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Suetsugu, K., Kawakita, A. & Kato, M. Avian seed dispersal in a mycoheterotrophic orchid Cyrtosia septentrionalis. Nature Plants 1, 15052 (2015).

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