Moonlight and shelter cause differential seed selection and removal by rodents

Perea García-Calvo, Ramón and González Barrio, Rocío and San Miguel Ayanz, Alfonso and Gil Sanchez, Luis Alfonso (2011). Moonlight and shelter cause differential seed selection and removal by rodents. "Animal Behaviour", v. 82 (n. 4); pp. 717-723. ISSN 0003-3472. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.07.001.

Description

Title: Moonlight and shelter cause differential seed selection and removal by rodents
Author/s:
  • Perea García-Calvo, Ramón
  • González Barrio, Rocío
  • San Miguel Ayanz, Alfonso
  • Gil Sanchez, Luis Alfonso
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Animal Behaviour
Date: October 2011
Volume: 82
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

Various environmental factors may influence the foraging behaviour of seed dispersers which could ultimately affect the seed dispersal process. We examined whether moonlight levels and the presence or absence of rodentshelter affect rodentseedremoval (rate, handling time and time of removal) and seedselection (size and species) among seven oak species. The presence or absence of safe microhabitats was found to be more important than moonlight levels in the removal of seeds. Bright moonlight caused a different temporal distribution of seedremoval throughout the night but only affected the overall removal rates in open microhabitats. Seeds were removed more rapidly in open microhabitat (regardless of the moon phase), decreasing the time allocated to seed discrimination and translocation. Only in open microhabitats did increasing levels of moonlight decrease the time allocated to selection and removal of seeds. As a result, a more precise seedselection was made under shelter, owing to lower levels of predation risk. Rodent ranking preference for species was identical between full/new moon in shelter but not in open microhabitats. For all treatments, species selection by rodents was much stronger than size selection. Nevertheless, heavy seeds, which require more energy and time to be transported, were preferentially removed under shelter, where there is no time restriction to move the seeds. Our findings reveal that seedselection is safety dependent and, therefore, microhabitats in which seeds are located (sheltered versus exposed) and moonlight levels in open areas should be taken into account in rodent food selection studies.

More information

Item ID: 11668
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/11668/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:11668
DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.07.001
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 11 Jul 2012 11:04
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2019 13:00
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