Seed nutrient content rather than size influences seed dispersal by scatterhoarding rodents in a West African montane forest - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Tropical Ecology Year : 2020

Seed nutrient content rather than size influences seed dispersal by scatterhoarding rodents in a West African montane forest

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Biplang Yadok
  • Function : Author
Pierre-Michel Forget
Daniel Gerhard
  • Function : Author
Babale Aliyu
  • Function : Author
Hazel Chapman
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Abstract Rodents can be important in seed dispersal through their scatterhoarding behaviour, yet, the seed traits that are most influential in seed removal by Afrotropical scatterhoarding rodents remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of seed size and nutrient content of four seed species on the scatterhoarding behaviour of rodents in an Afromontane forest, Ngel Nyaki forest, Nigeria. To do this we marked with thread-tags the seeds of Santiria trimera , Beilschmedia mannii , Carapa oreophila and Anthonotha noldeae and observed their fate. We predicted that (1) caching frequency would be higher for larger than smaller seed species; (2) caching frequency would be higher for nutrient-rich than nutrient-poor seeds; (3) larger seeds would be taken across farther distances; and (4) survival of cached seeds would be higher for nutrient-rich seeds. In contrast to studies elsewhere we found no difference in caching probabilities based on seed size, although nutrient-rich (high fat content) seeds had a higher probability of being predated than seeds with lower fat content. Larger and smaller seeds were dispersed over the same distances and nutrient-poor (high fibre content) seeds survived longer in seed caches. Overall, our findings suggest that large, nutrient-rich seed species are less likely to be dispersed by rodents.
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Dates and versions

mnhn-03270476 , version 1 (24-06-2021)

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Biplang Yadok, Pierre-Michel Forget, Daniel Gerhard, Babale Aliyu, Hazel Chapman. Seed nutrient content rather than size influences seed dispersal by scatterhoarding rodents in a West African montane forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 2020, 36 (4), pp.174-181. ⟨10.1017/S0266467420000127⟩. ⟨mnhn-03270476⟩

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