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Seed trait and rodent species determine seed dispersal and predation: evidences from semi-natural enclosures

Xianfeng Yi (1)   , Zhenyu Wang (1), Changqu Liu (2), Guoqiang Liu (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 207-213 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1185-008
Published: Aug 28, 2014 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles


Seed traits affect seed dispersal by animals. However, the combined role of seeds and dispersers in determining seed dispersal is not well explored. We attempted to test how seed traits and predators determine seed dispersal and predation interaction in a rodent-mediated seed dispersal system. Semi-natural enclosure experiments were conducted to investigate seed dispersal and predation of five sympatric tree species with different seed traits, Juglans mandshurica, Quercus mongolica, Pinus koraiensis, Corylus mandshurica and C. heterophylla by three rodent species, Apodemus peninsulae, Tamias sibiricus and Clethrionomys rufocanus showing different body sizes, hoarding behaviors and activity rhythms. Our results demonstrated that seed species with thick coat were removed more slowly than thin-coated seeds in regardless of rodent species, reflecting a consistent negative effect of seed coat on seed dispersal. Seeds with thick coat were less likely to be eaten both in situ and after removal by small rodents. Seeds with high caloric value were more likely to be larder-hoarded, whereas seed traits showed no influence on scatter-hoarding. Rodent species with large body size tended to eat more seeds in situ, while small-sized rodents preferred to eat seeds after removal. Large-sized rodent species scatter-hoarded more seeds, however, small-sized rodents larder-hoarded more seeds. Seeds with thick coat showed high mutualism but low predation with rodents, while rodents with large size showed low mutualism but high predation with seeds. Our results indicate that both seeds and predators play important roles in determining seed dispersal and predation in the seed-rodent dispersal system.

  Keywords


Body Size, Caloric Value, Seed Coat, Seed Dispersal

Authors’ address

(1)
Xianfeng Yi
Zhenyu Wang
College of Life Sciences, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022 (China)
(2)
Changqu Liu
Guoqiang Liu
College of Agriculture, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471003 (China)

Corresponding author

 
Xianfeng Yi
yxfeng1975@126.com

Citation

Yi X, Wang Z, Liu C, Liu G (2015). Seed trait and rodent species determine seed dispersal and predation: evidences from semi-natural enclosures. iForest 8: 207-213. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1185-008

Academic Editor

Massimo Faccoli

Paper history

Received: Nov 20, 2013
Accepted: Jun 24, 2014

First online: Aug 28, 2014
Publication Date: Apr 01, 2015
Publication Time: 2.17 months

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