Seed predators limit plant recruitment in Neotropical savannas

Seed predators limit plant recruitment in Neotropical savannas Despite the well‐documented impacts of consumers on seed abundance the link between seed predation and plant population dynamics remains poorly understood because experimental studies linking patterns of predation with seedling establishment are rare. We used experimental manipulations with six woody plant species to elucidate the effects of seed predator type, habitat, and plant species identity on rates of seed predation and seedling recruitment in the Neotropical savannas known as the Cerrado. We found that seed predation rates are consistently high across a diversity of local habitat types, with important inter‐habitat variation in seed predation for three of the six species used in our experiments. We also found that seed predation has a clear demographic signal – experimentally excluding predators resulted in higher rates of seedling establishment over the course of two seasons. Because the intensity of seed predation varied between species and habitats, it may play a role in structuring local patterns of plant abundance and community composition. Finally, our results lend support to the recent hypothesis that herbivores have major and underappreciated impacts in Neotropical savannas, and that top–down factors can influence the demography of plants in this extensive and biodiversity‐rich biome in previously unexplored ways. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oikos Wiley

Seed predators limit plant recruitment in Neotropical savannas

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/seed-predators-limit-plant-recruitment-in-neotropical-savannas-nqjFcGlldd
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2011 The Authors
ISSN
0030-1299
eISSN
1600-0706
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1600-0706.2010.19052.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite the well‐documented impacts of consumers on seed abundance the link between seed predation and plant population dynamics remains poorly understood because experimental studies linking patterns of predation with seedling establishment are rare. We used experimental manipulations with six woody plant species to elucidate the effects of seed predator type, habitat, and plant species identity on rates of seed predation and seedling recruitment in the Neotropical savannas known as the Cerrado. We found that seed predation rates are consistently high across a diversity of local habitat types, with important inter‐habitat variation in seed predation for three of the six species used in our experiments. We also found that seed predation has a clear demographic signal – experimentally excluding predators resulted in higher rates of seedling establishment over the course of two seasons. Because the intensity of seed predation varied between species and habitats, it may play a role in structuring local patterns of plant abundance and community composition. Finally, our results lend support to the recent hypothesis that herbivores have major and underappreciated impacts in Neotropical savannas, and that top–down factors can influence the demography of plants in this extensive and biodiversity‐rich biome in previously unexplored ways.

Journal

OikosWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2011

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off