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Post-dispersal removal of seeds of pioneer species from five Panamanian forests

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

Fornara, DA and Dalling, JW (2005) Post-dispersal removal of seeds of pioneer species from five Panamanian forests. JOURNAL OF TROPICAL ECOLOGY, 21 (Part 1). pp. 79-84. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1017/S026646740400197X

Abstract

Variation among forests in environmental and biotic conditions may strongly influence seed fate with important consequences for the abundance and distribution of plant species. Here we examine the post-dispersal seed removal rates of six pioneer species (Cecropia peltata, Miconia argentea, Luchea seemannii. Trenia microntha. Apeiba aspera and jacaranda copaia) from the soil surface at five sites in Panama varying in elevation (0-1100 m) and seasonality (0-4 mo dry season). We compared removal rates of washed seeds placed in vertebrate exclosures, invertebrate exclosures, and unprotected controls in January and June. Overall, removal rates of unprotected seeds were similar among sites. Almost all seed removal could be attributed to litter ants in two subfamilies (Myrmicinae and Ponerinae). Little or no removal was recorded from invertebrate exclosures while vertebrate exclosures had no effect on removal either in lowland and montane forests. Seed removal rates were high for four animal-dispersed species (mean 45%, removed over 2 d), whereas two wind-dispersed species were largely untouched (mean 2%, removed). These results indicate that seed dispersal characteristics, rather than site characteristics, may be the strongest determinant of the post-dispersal seed fate of pioneers.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Environmental Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute
Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Terrestrial Ecology
ID Code:462
Deposited By:Dr Dario Fornara
Deposited On:13 Jan 2010 14:09
Last Modified:28 Mar 2012 15:51

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