Seed predators in south Swedish deciduous woods: a field experiment

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Abstract

Seeds from oak, horse chestnut, hawthorn, and sloe were exposed to seed predation during one week in autumn and over winter (for 6 months) in two different years. Three different exposure treatments were used and designed to exclude (1) small mammals and birds or (2) birds or (3) none. Insects and slugs had access to all exposures. 16 replicate experiments were set up in different deciduous woods and small woodlots. The pattern of seed loss from the different treatments suggest that small mammals were the quantitatively most important seed predators on chestnut, acorns and sloe nuts. Invertebrates probably had some importance as predators on hawthorn nuts. Birds appeared to be of less importance. This conclusion was valid for both woods and small woodlots. In one year, total predation rates were significantly higher in small woodlots than in large woods.

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  • Biological Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-468
JournalActa Zoologica Sinica
Volume52
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes