Ecological Research

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 249–256 | Cite as

Seed germination and seedling survival in a colony of the common cormorant,Phalacrocorax carbo

  • Akira Ishida


Germination and seedling survival of some woody plants were examined in a colony of the common cormorant at Unoyama, central Japan. The germination ofQuercus serrata andPinus densiflora was less successful in the colony than outside the colony. The percentage of germination success was negatively correlated with the amount of cormorant faeces scattered on the ground and also with the soil water conent. Most of the germinated seedlings inside of the colony died with symptoms such as necrosis spreading from the edge of leaves. Saplings ofQ. serrata also tended to die more in the colony than outside the colony. The survival rate ofQuercus glauca seedlings with scattered faeces on their leaves and/or on the the surrounding soil was significantly lower than the rate of those free of faeces. These results suggest that in the cormorant colony, germination of seeds and seedling survival are greatly inhibited due to both the direct and indirect effects of cormorant faeces.

Key words

cormorant colony faeces germination seedling survival soil properties 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aichi Prefecture (1994)Laural forest zone. I. Vegetation of Aichi Prefecture. Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  2. Beatty S. M. &Sholes O. D. V. (1988) Leaf litter effect on plant species compositon of deciduous forest treefall pits.Canadian Journal of Forest Research 18: 553–559.Google Scholar
  3. Collins S. L. &Good R. E. (1987) The seedling regeneration niche: habitat structure of tree seedlings in an oak-pine forest.OIKOS 48: 89–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dutch J. &Wolstenholme R. (1994) The effects of sewage sludge application to a heathland site prior to planting with Sitka spruce.Forest Ecology and Management 66: 151–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fitter A. H. &Hay R. K. M. (1981)Environmental Physiology of Plants. Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  6. Gillham M. E. (1960) Destruction of indigenous heath vegetation in Victorian sea-bird colonies.Australian Journal of Botany 8: 277–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hashizume H. (1992) Seeds. In:Silviculture. pp. 67–82. Asakura-shoten, Tokyo (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  8. Ishida A. (1991) The effect of a colony of the common cormorant on the vegetation around Unoyama at Chita Peninsula.Bulletin of the Nagoya University Furukawa Museum 7: 67–85 (in Japanese with English summary).Google Scholar
  9. Ishida A. (1993) The effect of cormorants' inhabitation on trees and forest succession in the cormorant colony.Journal of Kansai Organization for Nature Conservation 14: 99–106 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  10. Ishida A. (1996a) Change of soil properties in the colonies of the common cormorant,Phalacrocorax carbo.Journal of Forest Research 1: 31–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ishida A. (1996b) Effects of the common cormorant,Phalacrocorax carbo, on evergreen forests in two nest sites at Lake Biwa, Japan.Ecological Research 11: 193–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ishizuka K. (1966) Ecology of the ornithocoprophilous plant communities on breeding places of the Blacktailed Gull,Larus crassirostris, along the coast of Japan: I. Vegetation analysis.Ecological Review 16: 229–244.Google Scholar
  13. Japanese Association for Preservation of Birds (1988) Common cormorant. In:A Report of the Survey for the Counter Measure of Wildlife Injury. Environment Agency (62nd fiscal year of Showa), Tokyo (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  14. Maesako Y. (1991) Effect of streaked shearwaterCalonectris leucomelas on species composition ofPersea thunbergii forest on Kanmurijima Island, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.Ecological Research 6: 371–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Matsuda K. (1989) Survival and growth of konara oak (Quercus serrata Thunb.). Seedlings in an abandoned coppice forest.Ecological Research 4: 309–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mizutani H. &Wada E. (1984) Nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios in seabird rookeries and their ecological implications.Ecology 69: 340–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mohr H. &Schopfer P. (1995)Plant Physiology. Springer, Berlin.Google Scholar
  18. Oyamada S. (1986) Unoyama.Yuutopia 5: 49–85 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  19. Prescott C. E., Coward L. P., Weetman G. F. &Gessel S. P. (1993) Effect of repeated nitrogen fertilization on the ericaceous shrub, salal (Gaultheria shallon), in two coastal Douglas-fir forests.Forest Ecology and Management 61: 45–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Prescott C. E., Kumi J. W. &Weetman G. F. (1995) Long-term effects of repeated N fertilization and straw application in a jack pine forest. 2. Changes in the ericaceous ground vegetation.Canadian Journal of Forest Research 25: 1984–1990.Google Scholar
  21. Smith V. R. (1978) Animal-plant-soil nutrient relationships on Marion Island.Oecologia 32: 239–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sobey D. G. &Kenworthy J. B. (1979) The relationship between herring gulls and the vegetation of their breeding colonies.Journal of Ecology 28: 269–288.Google Scholar
  23. Tobita H., Enoki T. &Kawaguchi H. (1993) Effects of site conditions on natural regeneration in aPinus thunbergii plantation on Mt Tanakami.Bulletin of the Kyoto University Forests 65: 50–62 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  24. Watanabe K. (1986)Diagnosis of Physiological Obstacle. Nou-san-gyoson Bunka Society, Tokyo (in Japanese).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ecological Society of Japan 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira Ishida
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Forest Protection, School of Agricultural SciencesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

Personalised recommendations