Juniper2007OriginSweetApple (dragged) 5

Juniper2007OriginSweetApple (dragged) 5 - long to indulge...

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2007 January–February 49 www.americanscientist.org © 2007 Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. Reproduction with permission only. Contact perms@amsci.org. long to indulge in some sort of mutual selection pressure. Wherever they are, bears learn quickly. The brown bears of Montana are known, as the artist Ja- net McGahan saw in 2001, to seek out and feed on the sweeter fruits of the grafted apple trees (imported Malus pumila ) in planted orchards. The jaws and guts of a bear, as Anna Traveset at the Mediterranean Insti- tute for Advanced Studies and her co- workers have shown, do little or no damage to the teardrop-shaped, hard and tannin-coated apple pip. Traveset’s group examined a wide range of gut- transmitted seeds, and in virtually ev- ery case the viability of the seeds was either neutral or enhanced. The fecal loads are dumped all over the Tian Shan in the fall—in a fertile mix of nitrogen- rich compost and, we have demonstrat- ed in trial plots, carrying bear-viable apple seed . Then we suppose that, as on every other continent in the world, a spectrum of hard-working dung beetles will disperse, in their various ways, the whole fecal mass along with its fellow- traveling seeds. Thus, probably over the whole of
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