Testing the capacity of clothing to act as a vector for non-native seed in protected areas
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Although humans are a major mechanism for short and long distance seed dispersal, there is limited research testing clothing as a vector. The effect of different types of material (sports versus hiking socks), or different items of clothing (boots, socks, laces versus legs) or the same item (socks) worn in different places on seed composition were assessed in Kosciuszko National Park, Australia. Data was analyzed using Repeated Measures ANOVA, independent and paired t-tests, Multidimensional Scaling Ordinations and Analysis of Similarity. A total of 24776 seeds from 70 taxa were collected from the 207 pieces of clothing sampled, with seed identified from 31 native and 19 non-native species. Socks worn off-track collected more native seeds while those worn on roadsides collected more non-native seeds. Sports socks collected a greater diversity of seeds and more native seeds than hiking socks. Boots, uncovered socks and laces collect more seeds than covered socks and laces, resulting in 17% fewer seeds collected when wearing trousers. With seeds from over 179 species (134 recognized weeds) collected on clothing in this, and nine other studies, it is clear that clothing contributes to unintended human mediated seed dispersal, including for many invasive species.
Journal of Environmental Management
Copyright 2009 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified