TITLE

Could poor seed dispersal contribute to predation by introduced rodents in a Hawaiian dry forest?

AUTHOR(S)
Chimera, Charles G.; Drake, Donald R.
PUB. DATE
April 2011
SOURCE
Biological Invasions;Apr2011, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p1029
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Dry forests are among the most diverse, yet threatened, communities in Hawai'i. Dry forests throughout the archipelago suffer from a lack of natural regeneration of trees. Two factors that may limit tree recruitment include poor seed dispersal and seed predation by rodents. Poor or limited dispersal of fleshy-fruited species results in seeds and fruits falling directly under parents. Dispersed and non-dispersed seeds may differ in their vulnerability to predation. We tested effects of seed location (under/away from parent trees) and pulp (presence/absence) on predation of four native species that suffer from limited dispersal and one readily-dispersed alien species in Kanaio Natural Area Reserve, Maui. Three natives ( Diospyros sandwicensis, Pleomele auwahiensis, Santalum ellipticum), had significantly more seeds removed under parent trees than in exposed sites away from trees. For the one alien ( Bocconia frutescens) and two native trees ( D. sandwicensis, P. auwahiensis) that were evaluated, significantly more intact fruits were removed than were cleaned seeds. Presence of teeth marks and gnawed seed husk fragments indicate introduced rodents are destroying many of the seeds they remove. These results suggest that seed predation is disproportionately concentrated among poorly-dispersed seeds and may contribute to recruitment failure.
ACCESSION #
59317050

 

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