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Seed type, habitat and time of day influence post-dispersal seed removal in temperate ecosystems

Wehner, Katja and Schäfer, Lea and Blüthgen, Nico and Mody, Karsten (2020):
Seed type, habitat and time of day influence post-dispersal seed removal in temperate ecosystems.
In: PeerJ, 8, PeerJ, ISSN 2167-8359,
DOI: 10.25534/tuprints-00011575,
[Online-Edition: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8769],
Secondary publishing via sponsored Golden Open Access, [Article]

Available under CC-BY 4.0 International - Creative Commons, Attribution.

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Item Type: Article
Origin: Secondary publishing via sponsored Golden Open Access
Title: Seed type, habitat and time of day influence post-dispersal seed removal in temperate ecosystems
Language: English

Seed survival is of great importance for the performance of plant species and it is strongly affected by post-dispersal seed removal by either different animals such as granivorous species and secondary dispersers or abiotic conditions such as wind or water. The success of post-dispersal seed removal depends on seed specific traits including seed size, the presence of coats or elaiosomes, the mode of seed dispersion, and on the habitat in which seeds happen to arrive. In the present study we asked how seed traits (dehulled vs. intact; size; dispersal mode), habitat (forest vs. grassland), and time of day (night vs. day) influence post-dispersal seed removal of the four plant species Chelidonium majus, Lotus corniculatus, Tragopogon pratensis and Helianthus annuus. Seed removal experiments were performed in three regions in Hesse, Germany. The results showed different, inconsistent influences of time of day, depending on habitat and region, but consistent variation across seed types. C. majus and dehulled H. annuus seeds had the fastest removal rates. The impact of the habitat on post-dispersal seed removal was very low, only intact H. annuus seeds were removed at significantly higher rates in grasslands than in forests. Our study demonstrates consistent differences across seed types across different habitats and time: smaller seeds and those dispersed by animals had a faster removal rate. It further highlights that experimental studies need to consider seeds in their natural form to be most realistic.

Journal or Publication Title: PeerJ
Journal volume: 8
Publisher: PeerJ
Classification DDC: 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik > 570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
Divisions: 10 Department of Biology > Ecological Networks
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2020 10:07
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2020 10:07
DOI: 10.25534/tuprints-00011575
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8769
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-115755
URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/11575
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