Disentangling factors controlling fruit and seed removal by rodents in temperate forests

Perea García-Calvo, Ramón and San Miguel Ayanz, Alfonso and Gil Sanchez, Luis Alfonso (2011). Disentangling factors controlling fruit and seed removal by rodents in temperate forests. "Seed Science Research", v. 21 (n. 3); pp. 227-234. ISSN 0960-2585. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0960258511000122.

Description

Title: Disentangling factors controlling fruit and seed removal by rodents in temperate forests
Author/s:
  • Perea García-Calvo, Ramón
  • San Miguel Ayanz, Alfonso
  • Gil Sanchez, Luis Alfonso
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Seed Science Research
Date: September 2011
Volume: 21
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Montes (UPM)
Department: Silvopascicultura [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

Fleshy fruits fall on to the ground together with cleaned seeds previously ingested by primary dispersers, offering a wide range of fruits and seeds to the ground foragers. Although nutritional properties strongly differ between fruits and seeds, this different seed presentation (cleaned seeds versus seeds within the pulp) has not been addressed in seed removal studies. This study reports on the removal of fruits versus their seeds in five fleshy-fruited species in a temperate forest. We found that rodents removed most of the seeds and partially consumed most of the fruits, preferring seeds to fruits. Rodents bit the fruits to extract the seeds, leaving most of the pulp. We found a preference ranking for the seeds (Sorbus aucuparia>Ilex aquifolium>Sorbus aria>Rosa canina>Crataegus monogyna) but no preferences were found for the fruits, probably due to their similarities in pulp constituents. Seed and fruit choice were affected by chemical and physical properties and not by their size. The presence of alternative and preferred seeds (nuts) delayed the encounter of the fruits and seeds and diminished their removal rates. We found that higher rodent abundance is not necessarily associated with higher removal rates of fleshy fruits. Rodent abundance, fruit size and seed size are minor factors in the removal of fleshy fruits and their seeds. This study underlines that scatter-hoarding rodents are important removers of fleshy fruits and their seeds, producing a differential seed removal depending on the seed presentation (with or without pulp), the nutritional properties of the seeds (but not of the fruits) and the presence of alternative food

More information

Item ID: 11665
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/11665/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:11665
DOI: 10.1017/S0960258511000122
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 12 Jul 2012 08:05
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2019 12:59
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