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title: Differential foraging preferences on seed size by rodents result in higher dispersal success of medium-sized seeds
author: Lin Cao;  Zhenyu Wang;  Chuan Yan;  Jin Chen;  Cong Guo;  Zhibin Zhang
Issued Date: 2016
Abstract: Rodent preference for scatter-hoarding large seeds has been widely considered to favor the evolution of large seeds. Previous studies supporting this conclusion were primarily based on observations at earlier stages of seed dispersal, or on a limited sample of successfully established seedlings. Because seed dispersal comprises multiple dispersal stages, we hypothesized that differential foraging preference on seed size by animal dispersers at different dispersal stages would ultimately result in medium-sized seeds having the highest dispersal success rates. In this study, by tracking a large number of seeds for 5 yr, we investigated the effects of seed size on seed fates from seed removal to seedling establishment of a dominant plant Pittosporopsis kerrii(Icacinaceae) dispersed by scatter-hoarding rodents in tropical forest in southwest China. We found that small seeds had a lower survival rate at the early dispersal stage where more small seeds were predated at seed stations and after removal; large seeds had a lower survival rate at the late dispersal stage, more large seeds were recovered, predated after being cached, or larder-hoarded. Medium-sized seeds experienced the highest dispersal success. Our study suggests that differential foraging preferences by scatter-hoarding rodents at different stages of seed dispersal could result in conflicting selective pressures on seed size and higher dispersal success of medium-sized seeds.
Source: Ecology
Appears in Collections:动植物关系组_期刊论文

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全文许可: Creative Commons 署名-非商业性使用-相同方式共享 3.0

Recommended Citation:
Lin Cao,Zhenyu Wang,Chuan Yan,et al. Differential Foraging Preferences On Seed Size By Rodents Result In Higher Dispersal Success Of Medium-sized Seeds[J]. Ecology,2016,97(1):3070-3078.

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