Impacts of secondary seed dispersal and herbivory on seedling survival in Aesculus turbinata

Impacts of secondary seed dispersal and herbivory on seedling survival in Aesculus turbinata Abstract. Aesculus turbinata is a tree species with large seeds (6.2 g mean dry weight). We studied the demography of its seeds and seedlings in a temperate deciduous forest in northern Japan to elucidate the ecological significance of large seeds with special reference to herbivory and secondary dispersal. Both seed and seedling stages suffered greatly from herbivores. Seedling herbivory was important judged from experiments with shoot clipping and hypogeal cotyledon removal. However, some seedlings survived through re‐sprouting after herbivory. Survival rate and percentage resprouting seedlings were lower than those with remaining cotyledons, though seedling size was not affected. This suggests that stored resources in hypogeal cotyledons are working as a kind of ‘risk hedge’ against severe aboveground shoot clipping experienced by A. turbinata. The spatial distribution of seedlings was expanded via seed scatter‐hoarding by rodents. Seedling survival rate was higher within canopy gaps than under closed canopy, indicating that canopy gaps are safe sites for establishment, and was negatively correlated with seedling density. Therefore, secondary seed dispersal in this species seems to be effective in ‘finding’ safe sites and in ‘escaping’ density‐dependent mortality. The large seeds and seedlings of A. turbinata are attractive to herbivores, but the high resistance of seedlings to herbivory due to large reserves and the effective secondary dispersal appear to mitigate these disadvantages. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Vegetation Science Wiley

Impacts of secondary seed dispersal and herbivory on seedling survival in Aesculus turbinata

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
1997 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science
ISSN
1100-9233
eISSN
1654-1103
DOI
10.2307/3237379
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract. Aesculus turbinata is a tree species with large seeds (6.2 g mean dry weight). We studied the demography of its seeds and seedlings in a temperate deciduous forest in northern Japan to elucidate the ecological significance of large seeds with special reference to herbivory and secondary dispersal. Both seed and seedling stages suffered greatly from herbivores. Seedling herbivory was important judged from experiments with shoot clipping and hypogeal cotyledon removal. However, some seedlings survived through re‐sprouting after herbivory. Survival rate and percentage resprouting seedlings were lower than those with remaining cotyledons, though seedling size was not affected. This suggests that stored resources in hypogeal cotyledons are working as a kind of ‘risk hedge’ against severe aboveground shoot clipping experienced by A. turbinata. The spatial distribution of seedlings was expanded via seed scatter‐hoarding by rodents. Seedling survival rate was higher within canopy gaps than under closed canopy, indicating that canopy gaps are safe sites for establishment, and was negatively correlated with seedling density. Therefore, secondary seed dispersal in this species seems to be effective in ‘finding’ safe sites and in ‘escaping’ density‐dependent mortality. The large seeds and seedlings of A. turbinata are attractive to herbivores, but the high resistance of seedlings to herbivory due to large reserves and the effective secondary dispersal appear to mitigate these disadvantages.

Journal

Journal of Vegetation ScienceWiley

Published: Oct 1, 1997

References

  • Pathogen mortality of tropical tree seedlings: experimental studies of the effects of dispersal distance, seedling mortality, and light conditions
    Augspurger, Augspurger; Kelly, Kelly
  • Ecology of seed dispersal
    Howe, Howe; Smallwood, Smallwood
  • Seed predation by animals
    Janzen, Janzen
  • Rodents as seed dispersers in a heath ‐ oak wood succession
    Jensen, Jensen; Nielsen, Nielsen
  • Seed size, establishment sites and species coexistence in a Chilean rain forest
    Lusk, Lusk
  • Effects of herbivory and herb interference on oak establishment in a semi‐arid temperate savanna
    McPherson, McPherson
  • Establishment and growth of Quercus floribunda seedlings after a mast year
    Negi, Negi; Negi, Negi; Singh, Singh
  • Cache site selection by chipmunks (Tamias spp.) and its influence on the effectiveness of seed dispersal in Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi)
    Vander Wall, Vander Wall

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