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Sample records for affects seed predation

  1. Indirect interactions between browsers and seed predators affect the seed bank dynamics of a chaparral shrub.

    PubMed

    Deveny, Adrian J; Fox, Laurel R

    2006-11-01

    Interactions between herbivores and seed predators may have long-term consequences for plant populations that rely on persistent seed banks for recovery after unpredictable fires. We assessed the effects of browsing by deer and seed predation by rodents, ants and birds on the densities of seeds entering the seed bank of Ceanothus cuneatus var. rigidus, a maritime chaparral shrub in coastal California. Ceanothus produced many more seeds when protected from browsers in long-term experimental exclosures than did browsed plants, but the seed densities in the soil beneath browsed and unbrowsed Ceanothus were the same at the start of an intensive one-year study. The density of seeds in the soil initially increased in both treatments following summer seed drop: while densities returned to pre-drop levels within a few weeks under browsed plants, soil seed densities remained high for 5-8 months beneath unbrowsed plants. Rodent abundance (especially deer mice) was higher near unbrowsed plants than >30 m away, and rodents removed Ceanothus seeds from dishes in the experimental plots. At least in the short term, rodent density and rates of seed removal were inversely related to the intensity of browsing. Our data have management implications for maintaining viable Ceanothus populations by regulating the intensity of browsing and the timing, intensity and frequency of fires.

  2. Corridors cause differential seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.

    2005-06-01

    Orrock, John, L., and Ellen I. Damschen. 2005. Corridors cause differential seed predation. Ecol. Apps. 15(3):793-798. Abstract. Corridors that connect disjunct populations are heavily debated in conservation, largely because the effects of corridors have rarely been evaluated by replicated, large-scale studies. Using large-scale experimental landscapes, we found that, in addition to documented positive effects, corridors also have negative impacts on bird-dispersed plants by affecting seed predation, and that overall predation is a function of the seeds primary consumer (rodents or arthropods). Both large-seeded Prunus serotina and small-seeded Rubus allegheniensis experienced greater predation in connected patches. However, P. serotina experienced significantly less seed predation compared to R. allegheniensis in unconnected patches, due to decreased impacts of rodent seed predators on this large-seeded species. Viewed in light of previous evidence that corridors have beneficial impacts by increasing pollination and seed dispersal, this work demonstrates that corridors may have both positive and negative effects for the same plant species at different life stages. Moreover, these effects may differentially affect plant species within the same community: seeds primarily consumed by rodents suffer less predation in unconnected patches. By shifting the impact of rodent and arthropod seed predators, corridors constructed for plant conservation could lead to shifts in the seed bank.

  3. Pre-dispersal predation effect on seed packaging strategies and seed viability.

    PubMed

    DeSoto, Lucía; Tutor, David; Torices, Rubén; Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana; Nabais, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    An increased understanding of intraspecific seed packaging (i.e. seed size/number strategy) variation across different environments may improve current knowledge of the ecological forces that drive seed evolution in plants. In particular, pre-dispersal seed predation may influence seed packaging strategies, triggering a reduction of the resources allocated to undamaged seeds within the preyed fruits. Assessing plant reactions to pre-dispersal seed predation is crucial to a better understanding of predation effects, but the response of plants to arthropod attacks remains unexplored. We have assessed the effect of cone predation on the size and viability of undamaged seeds in populations of Juniperus thurifera with contrasting seed packaging strategies, namely, North African populations with single-large-seeded cones and South European populations with multi-small-seeded cones. Our results show that the incidence of predation was lower on the single-large-seeded African cones than on the multi-small-seeded European ones. Seeds from non-preyed cones were also larger and had a higher germination success than uneaten seeds from preyed cones, but only in populations with multi-seeded cones and in cones attacked by Trisetacus sp., suggesting a differential plastic response to predation. It is possible that pre-dispersal seed predation has been a strong selective pressure in European populations with high cone predation rates, being a process which maintains multi-small-seeded cones and empty seeds as a strategy to save some seeds from predation. Conversely, pre-dispersal predation might not have a strong effect in the African populations with single-large-seeded cones characterized by seed germination and filling rates higher than those in the European populations. Our results indicate that differences in pre-dispersal seed predators and predation levels may affect both selection on and intraspecific variation in seed packaging.

  4. Pre-dispersal predation effect on seed packaging strategies and seed viability.

    PubMed

    DeSoto, Lucía; Tutor, David; Torices, Rubén; Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana; Nabais, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    An increased understanding of intraspecific seed packaging (i.e. seed size/number strategy) variation across different environments may improve current knowledge of the ecological forces that drive seed evolution in plants. In particular, pre-dispersal seed predation may influence seed packaging strategies, triggering a reduction of the resources allocated to undamaged seeds within the preyed fruits. Assessing plant reactions to pre-dispersal seed predation is crucial to a better understanding of predation effects, but the response of plants to arthropod attacks remains unexplored. We have assessed the effect of cone predation on the size and viability of undamaged seeds in populations of Juniperus thurifera with contrasting seed packaging strategies, namely, North African populations with single-large-seeded cones and South European populations with multi-small-seeded cones. Our results show that the incidence of predation was lower on the single-large-seeded African cones than on the multi-small-seeded European ones. Seeds from non-preyed cones were also larger and had a higher germination success than uneaten seeds from preyed cones, but only in populations with multi-seeded cones and in cones attacked by Trisetacus sp., suggesting a differential plastic response to predation. It is possible that pre-dispersal seed predation has been a strong selective pressure in European populations with high cone predation rates, being a process which maintains multi-small-seeded cones and empty seeds as a strategy to save some seeds from predation. Conversely, pre-dispersal predation might not have a strong effect in the African populations with single-large-seeded cones characterized by seed germination and filling rates higher than those in the European populations. Our results indicate that differences in pre-dispersal seed predators and predation levels may affect both selection on and intraspecific variation in seed packaging. PMID:26400794

  5. Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    J. L . Orrock; B. J. Danielson; M. J. Burns; D. J. Levey

    2003-02-03

    J.L. Orrock, B.J. Danielson, M.J. Burns, and D.J. Levey. 2003. Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation. Ecology, 84(10):2589-2599. Abstract: Corridors that connect patches of disjunct habitat may be promising tools for mediating the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation, but little is known about how corridors affect ecological interactions. In eight 12-ha experimental landscapes, we examined how corridors affect the impact of invertebrate, rodent, and avian seed predators on pokeweed, Phytolacca americana. Over 13 months in 2000 and 2001, we quantified the effects of patch shape, connectivity, and predator type on the number of seeds germinating in the field (germinants), seed removal, and the viability of remaining seeds. Corridors did not affect the number of P. americana germinants in experimental exclosures or the viability of seeds remaining in exclosures. However, corridors affected the removal of seeds in a predator-specific manner: invertebrates removed more seeds in unconnected patches, whereas rodents removed more seeds in connected patches. Seed removal by birds was similar in connected and unconnected patches. Total seed removal by all seed predators was not affected by corridors, because invertebrates removed more seeds where rodents removed fewer seeds, and vice versa. Overall, seed predation signi®cantly reduced the number and viability of remaining seeds, and reduced the number of germinants in 2000 but not in 2001. The abundance of naturally occurring P. americana plants in our experimental patches in 2000 decreased with increasing seed removal from exclosures but was not related to viability or germinants in 2000, suggesting that seed removal may shape the distribution and abundance of this species. Complementary patterns of seed removal by rodents and invertebrates suggest that corridors alter the effects of these predator taxa by changing the relative amounts of edge and core

  6. Pollination, seed set and seed predation on a landscape scale.

    PubMed

    Steffan-Dewenter, I; Münzenberg, U; Tscharntke, T

    2001-08-22

    We analysed the combined effects of pollination and seed predation on seed set of Centaurea jacea in 15 landscapes differing in structural complexity. In the centre of each landscape, a patch of Centaurea plants was established for standardized measurements of flower visitation, seed predation and seed set. Both the number of flower-visiting bees and the proportion of flower heads damaged by seed predators increased with landscape complexity, which was measured as the proportion of semi-natural habitats. The mean number of seeds per flower head did not increase with the proportion of semi-natural habitats, presumably because of the counterbalancing effects of pollination and seed predation. For a subset of undamaged flower heads, the number of seeds per flower head was positively correlated with the number of flower visits. Further reasons for the unexpected failure to detect a correlation between landscape complexity and seed set appeared to be changes in flower-visitor behaviour and the contrasting responses of honeybees and wild bees to habitat context. Landscape analyses at eight spatial scales (radius of landscape sectors, 250-3000 m) showed that different groups perceived the landscape at different spatial scales. Changes in pollinator numbers could be explained only at small scales (up to 1000 m), while the seed predators also responded to large scales (up to 2500 m).

  7. Hypercarnivorous apex predator could provide ecosystem services by dispersing seeds.

    PubMed

    Sarasola, José Hernán; Zanón-Martínez, Juan Ignacio; Costán, Andrea Silvina; Ripple, William J

    2016-01-01

    Large "hypercarnivorous" felids are recognized for their role as apex predators and hence as key elements in food webs and ecosystem functioning through competition and depredation. Here we show that cougars (Puma concolor), one of the largest and the most widely ranging apex felid predators with a strictly carnivorous diet, could also be effective secondary long distance seed dispersers, potentially establishing direct and non-herbivore mediated interactions with plant species at the bottom of the food web. Cougars accidently ingest and disseminate large amounts of seeds (31,678 seeds in 123 scats) of plant species initially consumed by their main prey, the Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata. The germination potential of seeds for the three plant species most abundantly found in cougar scats (19,570 seeds) was not significantly different from that observed in seeds obtained from dove gizzards, indicating that seed passage through cougar guts did not affect seed germination. Considering the estimated cougar density in our study area, dispersal of seeds by cougars could allow a mean, annual seed spread of ~5,000 seeds per km(2). Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning. PMID:26791932

  8. Hypercarnivorous apex predator could provide ecosystem services by dispersing seeds

    PubMed Central

    Sarasola, José Hernán; Zanón-Martínez, Juan Ignacio; Costán, Andrea Silvina; Ripple, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Large “hypercarnivorous” felids are recognized for their role as apex predators and hence as key elements in food webs and ecosystem functioning through competition and depredation. Here we show that cougars (Puma concolor), one of the largest and the most widely ranging apex felid predators with a strictly carnivorous diet, could also be effective secondary long distance seed dispersers, potentially establishing direct and non-herbivore mediated interactions with plant species at the bottom of the food web. Cougars accidently ingest and disseminate large amounts of seeds (31,678 seeds in 123 scats) of plant species initially consumed by their main prey, the Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata. The germination potential of seeds for the three plant species most abundantly found in cougar scats (19,570 seeds) was not significantly different from that observed in seeds obtained from dove gizzards, indicating that seed passage through cougar guts did not affect seed germination. Considering the estimated cougar density in our study area, dispersal of seeds by cougars could allow a mean, annual seed spread of ~5,000 seeds per km2. Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning. PMID:26791932

  9. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote (Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye (Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  10. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-07-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse ( Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote ( Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass ( Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye ( Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  11. Empty seeds are not always bad: simultaneous effect of seed emptiness and masting on animal seed predation.

    PubMed

    Perea, Ramón; Venturas, Martin; Gil, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seed masting and production of empty seeds have often been considered independently as different strategies to reduce seed predation by animals. Here, we integrate both phenomena within the whole assemblage of seed predators (both pre and post-dispersal) and in two contrasting microsites (open vs. sheltered) to improve our understanding of the factors controlling seed predation in a wind-dispersed tree (Ulmus laevis). In years with larger crop sizes more avian seed predators were attracted with an increase in the proportion of full seeds predated on the ground. However, for abundant crops, the presence of empty seeds decreased the proportion of full seeds predated. Empty seeds remained for a very long period in the tree, making location of full seeds more difficult for pre-dispersal predators and expanding the overall seed drop period at a very low cost (in dry biomass and allocation of C, N and P). Parthenocarpy (non-fertilized seeds) was the main cause of seed emptiness whereas seed abortion was produced in low quantity. These aborted seeds fell prematurely and, thus, could not work as deceptive seeds. A proportion of 50% empty seeds significantly reduced ground seed predation by 26%. However, a high rate of parthenocarpy (beyond 50% empty seeds) did not significantly reduce seed predation in comparison to 50% empty seeds. We also found a high variability and unpredictability in the production of empty seeds, both at tree and population level, making predator deception more effective. Open areas were especially important to facilitate seed survival since rodents (the main post-dispersal predators) consumed seeds mostly under shrub cover. In elm trees parthenocarpy is a common event that might work as an adaptive strategy to reduce seed predation. Masting per se did not apparently reduce the overall proportion of seeds predated in this wind-dispersed tree, but kept great numbers of seeds unconsumed. PMID:23776503

  12. Empty Seeds Are Not Always Bad: Simultaneous Effect of Seed Emptiness and Masting on Animal Seed Predation

    PubMed Central

    Perea, Ramón; Venturas, Martin; Gil, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seed masting and production of empty seeds have often been considered independently as different strategies to reduce seed predation by animals. Here, we integrate both phenomena within the whole assemblage of seed predators (both pre and post-dispersal) and in two contrasting microsites (open vs. sheltered) to improve our understanding of the factors controlling seed predation in a wind-dispersed tree (Ulmus laevis). In years with larger crop sizes more avian seed predators were attracted with an increase in the proportion of full seeds predated on the ground. However, for abundant crops, the presence of empty seeds decreased the proportion of full seeds predated. Empty seeds remained for a very long period in the tree, making location of full seeds more difficult for pre-dispersal predators and expanding the overall seed drop period at a very low cost (in dry biomass and allocation of C, N and P). Parthenocarpy (non-fertilized seeds) was the main cause of seed emptiness whereas seed abortion was produced in low quantity. These aborted seeds fell prematurely and, thus, could not work as deceptive seeds. A proportion of 50% empty seeds significantly reduced ground seed predation by 26%. However, a high rate of parthenocarpy (beyond 50% empty seeds) did not significantly reduce seed predation in comparison to 50% empty seeds. We also found a high variability and unpredictability in the production of empty seeds, both at tree and population level, making predator deception more effective. Open areas were especially important to facilitate seed survival since rodents (the main post-dispersal predators) consumed seeds mostly under shrub cover. In elm trees parthenocarpy is a common event that might work as an adaptive strategy to reduce seed predation. Masting per se did not apparently reduce the overall proportion of seeds predated in this wind-dispersed tree, but kept great numbers of seeds unconsumed. PMID:23776503

  13. Hierarchical Levels of Seed Predation Variation by Introduced Beetles on an Endemic Mediterranean Palm

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Marta; Delibes, Miguel; Fedriani, José Mª.

    2014-01-01

    Seed predators can limit plant recruitment and thus profoundly impinge the dynamics of plant populations, especially when diverse seed predators (e.g., native and introduced) attack particular plant populations. Surprisingly, however, we know little concerning the potential hierarchy of spatial scales (e.g., region, population, patch) and coupled ecological correlates governing variation in the overall impact that native and introduced seed predators have on plant populations. We investigated several spatial scales and ecological correlates of pre-dispersal seed predation by invasive borer beetles in Chamaerops humilis (Arecaceae), a charismatic endemic palm of the Mediteranean basin. To this end, we considered 13 palm populations (115 palms) within four geographical regions of the Iberian Peninsula. The observed interregional differences in percentages of seed predation by invasive beetles were not significant likely because of considerable variation among populations within regions. Among population variation in seed predation was largely related to level of human impact. In general, levels of seed predation were several folds higher in human-altered populations than in natural populations. Within populations, seed predation declined significantly with the increase in amount of persisting fruit pulp, which acted as a barrier against seed predators. Our results revealed that a native species (a palm) is affected by the introduction of related species because of the concurrent introduction of seed predators that feed on both the introduced and native palms. We also show how the impact of invasive seed predators on plants can vary across a hierarchy of levels ranging from variation among individuals within local populations to large scale regional divergences. PMID:25340462

  14. New approaches to understanding weed seed predation in agroecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Postdispersal predation of weed seeds in arable systems can be a valuable ecosystem service, with the potential to support ecological approaches to weed management by reducing inputs to the soil seed bank. Scientific understanding of factors regulating weed seed predation rates is still insufficient...

  15. Uncoupling the effects of seed predation and seed dispersal by granivorous ants on plant population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Rodrigo, Anselm; Retana, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation) and benefits (seed dispersal), the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength.

  16. Uncoupling the Effects of Seed Predation and Seed Dispersal by Granivorous Ants on Plant Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Arnan, Xavier; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Rodrigo, Anselm; Retana, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation) and benefits (seed dispersal), the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength. PMID:22880125

  17. Edge effect on post-dispersal artificial seed predation in the southeastern Amazonia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Penido, G; Ribeiro, V; Fortunato, D S

    2015-05-01

    This paper evaluates the post-dispersal artificial seed predation rates in two areas of the southeastern Amazon forest-savanna boundary, central Brazil. We conducted the survey in a disturbance regime controlled research site to verify if exists an edge effect in these rates and if the disturbance (in this case annual fire and no fire) affects seed predation. We placed 800 peanuts seeds in each area at regular distance intervals from the fragment`s edge. Data were analyzed by a likelihood ratio model selection in generalized linear models (GLM). The complete model (with effects from edge distance and site and its interaction) was significative (F3=4.43; p=0.005). Seeds had a larger predation rates in fragment's interior in both areas, but in the controlled area (no disturbance) this effect was less linear. This suggests an edge effect for post-dispersal seed predation, and that disturbances might alter these effects. Even if we exclude the site effect (grouping both areas together) there is still a strong edge effect on seed predation rates (F3=32.679; p>0.001). We did not verify predator's species in this study; however, the presence of several species of ants was extremely common in the seeds. The detection of an edge effect in only a short survey time suggests that there is heterogeneity in predation rates and that this variation might affect plant recruitment in fragmented areas of the Amazon forest. Henceforth, this seed predation should be taken in consideration in reforestation projects, where the main source of plants species is from seed distribution.

  18. Edge effect on post-dispersal artificial seed predation in the southeastern Amazonia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Penido, G; Ribeiro, V; Fortunato, D S

    2015-05-01

    This paper evaluates the post-dispersal artificial seed predation rates in two areas of the southeastern Amazon forest-savanna boundary, central Brazil. We conducted the survey in a disturbance regime controlled research site to verify if exists an edge effect in these rates and if the disturbance (in this case annual fire and no fire) affects seed predation. We placed 800 peanuts seeds in each area at regular distance intervals from the fragment`s edge. Data were analyzed by a likelihood ratio model selection in generalized linear models (GLM). The complete model (with effects from edge distance and site and its interaction) was significative (F3=4.43; p=0.005). Seeds had a larger predation rates in fragment's interior in both areas, but in the controlled area (no disturbance) this effect was less linear. This suggests an edge effect for post-dispersal seed predation, and that disturbances might alter these effects. Even if we exclude the site effect (grouping both areas together) there is still a strong edge effect on seed predation rates (F3=32.679; p>0.001). We did not verify predator's species in this study; however, the presence of several species of ants was extremely common in the seeds. The detection of an edge effect in only a short survey time suggests that there is heterogeneity in predation rates and that this variation might affect plant recruitment in fragmented areas of the Amazon forest. Henceforth, this seed predation should be taken in consideration in reforestation projects, where the main source of plants species is from seed distribution. PMID:26132017

  19. Seed size variation in the palm Euterpe edulis and the effects of seed predators on germination and seedling survival

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizo, Marco A.; Von Allmen, Christiane; Morellato, L. Patricia C.

    2006-05-01

    Intraspecific variation in seed size is common in wild plant populations and has important consequences for the reproductive success of individual plants. Multiple, often conflicting evolutionary forces mediated by biotic as well as abiotic agents may maintain such a variation. In this paper we assessed seed size variation in a population of the threatened, commercially important palm Euterpe edulis in southeast Brazil. We investigated (i) how this variation affects the probability of attack by vertebrate and invertebrate post-dispersal seed predators, and (ii) if seed size influences the outcome of seeds damaged by beetles in terms of seed germination and early survival of seedlings. Euterpe edulis seeds varied in diameter from 8.3 to 14.1 mm. Neither insects nor rodents selected the seeds they preyed upon based on seed size. Seed germination and total, shoot and root biomasses of one-year seedlings were significantly and positively affected by seed size. Root biomass and seedling survival were negatively affected by seed damage caused by a scolytid beetle ( Coccotrypes palmarum) whose adults bore into seeds to consume part of the endosperm, but do not oviposit on them. Seed size had a marginally significant effect on seedling survival. Therefore, if any advantage is accrued by E. edulis individuals producing large seeds, this is because of greater seed germination success and seedling vigor. If this is so, even a relatively narrow range of variation in seed size as observed in the E. edulis population studied may translate into differential success of individual plants.

  20. Seed predation, not seed dispersal, explains the landscape-level abundance of an early-successional plant.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Douglas J. Levey; Brent J. Danielson; Ellen I Damschen.

    2006-01-01

    Plants may not occur in a given area if there are no suitable sites for seeds to establish (microsite limitation), if seeds fail to arrive in suitable microsites (dispersal limitation) or if seeds in suitable microsites are destroyed by predators (predator limitation). When dispersal and microsites are not limiting, the role of local seed predators can be important for generating emergent, large-scale patterns of plant abundance across landscapes. Moreover, because predators may generate large-scale patterns that resemble other forms of limitation and predators may target specific species, predator impacts should be more frequently incorporated into experiments on the role of seed limitation and plant community composition.

  1. Mechanical defence in seeds to avoid predation by a granivorous ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveras, Jordi; Gómez, Crisanto; Bas, Josep M.; Espadaler, Xavier

    2008-06-01

    Harvester ants have traditionally been considered as seed predators that negatively affect plants. In some cases, however, they can also act as positive seed dispersers. During field observations, we noted that a portion of Psoralea bituminosa seeds that were collected and carried to the nest by the granivorous harvester ant Messor barbarus were discarded intact in refuse piles outside the nest. We analyzed and compared the physical characteristics of size, mass and toughness in P. bituminosa seeds from two different origins: intact seeds found in the ant’s refuse piles and seeds collected directly from the plants. Seeds from refuse piles were similar in width but lighter and tougher than seeds from the plant. Our results point to a mechanical defence based on seed toughness to avoid predation by M. barbarus and suggest that an elevated proportion (~69%) of the seeds produced by P. bituminosa could be too tough to be consumed by this ant. These transported but uneaten seeds could benefit by being moved far from the mother plant and this could act as a selective evolutionary pressure towards tough seeds.

  2. Effects of carbaryl-bran bait on trap catch and seed predation by ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae).

    PubMed

    Fielding, Dennis J; DeFoliart, Linda S; Hagerty, Aaron M

    2013-04-01

    Carbaryl-bran bait is effective against grasshoppers without many impacts on nontarget organisms, but ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) may be susceptible to these baits. Carabids are beneficial in agricultural settings as predators of insect pests and weed seeds. Carabid species and their consumption of weed seeds have not been previously studied in agricultural settings in Alaska. This study examined the effect of grasshopper bran bait on carabid activity-density, as measured by pitfall trap catches, and subsequent predation by invertebrates of seeds of three species of weed. Data were collected in fallow fields in agricultural landscape in the interior of Alaska, near Delta Junction, in 2008 and 2010. Bait applications reduced ground beetle activity-density by over half in each of 2 yr of bait applications. Seed predation was generally low overall (1-10%/wk) and not strongly affected by the bait application, but predation of lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.) seed was lower on treated plots in 1 yr (340 seeds recovered versus 317 seeds, on treated versus untreated plots, respectively). Predation of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale G. H. Weber ex Wiggers) seeds was correlated with ground beetle activity-density in 1 yr, and predation of dragonhead mint (Dracocephalum parvifolium Nutt.) seed in the other year. We conclude that applications of carbaryl-bran bait for control of grasshoppers will have only a small, temporary effect on weed seed populations in high-latitude agricultural ecosystems. PMID:23786053

  3. Effects of carbaryl-bran bait on trap catch and seed predation by ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae).

    PubMed

    Fielding, Dennis J; DeFoliart, Linda S; Hagerty, Aaron M

    2013-04-01

    Carbaryl-bran bait is effective against grasshoppers without many impacts on nontarget organisms, but ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) may be susceptible to these baits. Carabids are beneficial in agricultural settings as predators of insect pests and weed seeds. Carabid species and their consumption of weed seeds have not been previously studied in agricultural settings in Alaska. This study examined the effect of grasshopper bran bait on carabid activity-density, as measured by pitfall trap catches, and subsequent predation by invertebrates of seeds of three species of weed. Data were collected in fallow fields in agricultural landscape in the interior of Alaska, near Delta Junction, in 2008 and 2010. Bait applications reduced ground beetle activity-density by over half in each of 2 yr of bait applications. Seed predation was generally low overall (1-10%/wk) and not strongly affected by the bait application, but predation of lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.) seed was lower on treated plots in 1 yr (340 seeds recovered versus 317 seeds, on treated versus untreated plots, respectively). Predation of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale G. H. Weber ex Wiggers) seeds was correlated with ground beetle activity-density in 1 yr, and predation of dragonhead mint (Dracocephalum parvifolium Nutt.) seed in the other year. We conclude that applications of carbaryl-bran bait for control of grasshoppers will have only a small, temporary effect on weed seed populations in high-latitude agricultural ecosystems.

  4. Parthenocarpy and Seed Predation by Insects in Bursera morelensis

    PubMed Central

    Ramos-Ordoñez, María F.; Márquez-Guzmán, Judith; Del Coro Arizmendi, Ma.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims While parthenocarpy (meaning the production of fruits without seeds) may limit fecundity in many plants, its function is not clear; it has been proposed, however, that it might be associated with a strategy to avoid seed predation. Bursera morelensis is a dioecious endemic plant that produces fruits with and without seeds, and its fruits are parasitized by insects. Its reproductive system is not well described and no published evidence of parthenocarpy exists for the species. The purpose of this work was to describe the breeding system of B. morelensis and its relationship to seed predation by insects. Methods The breeding system was described using pollination experiments, verifying the presence of parthenocarpic fruits and apomictic seeds. Reproductive structures from flower buds to mature fruits were quantified. For fruits, an anatomical and histological characterization was made. The number of fruits in which seeds had been predated by insects was correlated with parthenocarpic fruit production. Key Results The major abortion of reproductive structures occurred during fruit set. The results discard the formation of apomictic seeds. Flowers that were not pollinated formed parthenocarpic fruits and these could be distinguished during early developmental stages. In parthenocarpic fruits in the first stages of development, an unusual spread of internal walls of the ovary occurred invading the locule and preventing ovule development. Unlike fruits with seeds, parthenocarpic fruits do not have calcium oxalate crystals in the ovary wall. Both fruit types can be separated in the field at fruit maturity by the presence of dehiscence, complete in seeded and partial in parthenocarpic fruits. Trees with more parthenocarpic fruits had more parasitized fruits. Conclusions This is the first time the anatomy of parthenocarpic fruits in Burseraceae has been described. Parthenocarpic fruits in B. morelensis might function as a deceit strategy for insect seed

  5. Seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers act synergistically as biotic filters in a mosaic landscape.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  6. Seed Dispersers, Seed Predators, and Browsers Act Synergistically as Biotic Filters in a Mosaic Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  7. Seed predation by insects in tropical mangrove forests: extent and effects on seed viability and the growth of seedlings.

    PubMed

    Robertson, A I; Giddins, R; Smith, T J

    1990-06-01

    Although insects are known to be important seed predators in most terrestrial forests, their role in marine tidal (mangrove) forests has not been examined. Surveys at 12 sites in tropical Australia showed that between 3.1 and 92.7 percent of the seeds or propagules of 12 mangrove tree species had been attacked by insects. Seeds/propagules of six species (Avicennia marina, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, B. parviflora, Heritiera littoralis, Xylocarpus australasicus and X. granatum) showed consistently high (>40%) levels of insect damage. Greater than 99% of H. littoralis seeds were attacked by insect predators. The survival and subsequent growth in height and biomass of insect-damaged and non-damaged control seeds/propagules of eight mangrove species were compared in shadehouse experiments. Mangrove species fell into 4 groups with regard to the effect of insect predators on their seeds and seedlings. Xylocarpus australasicus and X. granatum had significantly decreased survival (X 48 and 70%) and growth in height (X 61 and 96%) and biomass (X 66 and 85%). Bruguiera parviflora showed decreased survival (X 59%), but there was no effect of insects on the growth of surviving propagules. In contrast, there was no effect of insect damage on the survival of seedlings of Avicennia marina and Bruguiera exaristata, but decreased growth in height (X 22 and 25%) and biomass (X 22 and 26%). Survival and growth of seedlings of Rhizophora stylosa and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza were not affected. The influence of insect seed predators on the survival and growth of seeds of mangrove species in forests will depend on the relative abundance of seed-eating crabs and intertidal position in mangrove forests. PMID:22160114

  8. Coevolution of mast seeding in trees and extended diapause of seed predators.

    PubMed

    Tachiki, Yuuya; Iwasa, Yoh

    2013-12-21

    Many trees in forests show synchronized and intermittent reproduction, which is called "masting" or mast seeding. According to recent theoretical studies, the evolution of masting is promoted both by recruitment through the seedling bank and by seed predators. An important class of specialist seed predators (e.g., weevils and some moths) are parasitoids that oviposit on or in fruits from which the next generation emerges over the following several years. This staggered emergence is called "extended diapause". In this paper, we study the simultaneous evolution of tree masting and extended diapause of seed predators. If a fixed fraction of diapausing larvae matures every year, the evolution of trees results in masting (intermittent reproduction with a large fluctuation in reproductive activity) or non-masting (trees reproduce every year). The transition occurs discontinuously, showing evolutionary jumping. The range of seedling survivorship for which masting evolves is broader when the ovipositing efficiency and larval survivorship of the seed predators are large. Interestingly, the conditions for the evolution of masting are broadest for an intermediate fraction of extended diapause of seed predators. When both tree masting and the extended diapause of seed predators evolve simultaneously, the evolutionary end point of the fraction of extended diapause is clearly greater than the value that most favors masting evolution. The stochasticity caused by the finiteness of the number of trees tends to promote masting evolution.

  9. Seed predation by mammals in forest fragments in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Chinchilla, Federico A

    2009-09-01

    Few studies have evaluated seed predation in fragmented landscapes, in which lower species diversity is expected to modifying ecological interactions. The rates of seed removal by mammals were investigated in a continuous forest and two fragmented patches of Premontane Tropical Moist Forest, in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The composition of mammalian seed-predators in each site was recorded during 16 months. The removal of four native tree species of experimental seeds: Ocotea valeriana and Ocotea whitei (Lauraceae), Panopsis costaricensis (Proteaceae) and Billia colombiana (Hippocastanaceae) in forest understories was followed during two annual fruiting seasons for each species. Results indicated similar species composition of seed-predators between continuous forest, the largest fragment (350 ha). However the smaller fragment (20 ha), had fewer seed predators. In this fragment, the specialized seed predator Heteromys desmarestianus (Rodentia) was more abundant. Unexpectedly, seed-predation in the two forest fragments and the continuous forest did not differ statistically for any of the seed species. Apparently, the higher abundance of small seed-predators in the fragments was compensated by the absence of medium and large seed-predators, like Agouti paca, Dasyprocta punctata (both Rodentia) and Pecari tajacu (Artiodactyla) recorded in continuous forest. Removal of experimentally-placed seeds was higher when the number of naturally occurring seeds in the sites was lower. This result could best be attributed to differential satiation of seed predators rather than differences in richness or abundance of seed predators.

  10. Seed predation and climate impacts on reproductive variation in temperate forests of the southeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Bell, David M; Clark, James S

    2016-04-01

    Climatic effects on tree recruitment will be determined by the interactive effects of fecundity and seed predation. Evaluating how insect and vertebrate seed predators mediate tree reproductive responses to climate depends on long-term studies of seed production, development, and predation. In this study, our objectives were to (1) assess the effects of interannual climate variation on seed abortion rates, (2) assess the impact of seed density on predation rates, and (3) examine the degree to which density-dependent seed predation would amplify or dampen interannual variation in fecundity associated with seed abortion. We used a 19-year study of seed abortion and pre-dispersal predation rates by insects and vertebrates (birds and rodents) for five temperate tree species across forest plots from the North Carolina Piedmont to the Southern Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern USA. We found that rates of seed abortion and predation increased reproductive variation for oaks (Quercus species). Probability of seed abortion was greatest during years with cool, dry springs. Responses of seed predation on Quercus species to current year's seed density varied by species, but exhibited positive density-dependence to previous year's seed density consistent with numerical responses of seed predators. Seed abortion and predation rates for two drupe species responded little to variation in climate or seed density, respectively. Given that predation increased interannual variation in seed availability and the negative density-dependence to previous year's seed density, our results indicate that consistent numerical responses of oak seed predators may amplify interannual variation due to climate-mediated processes like seed abortion. PMID:26747267

  11. How much Dillenia indica seed predation occurs from Asian elephant dung?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekar, Nitin; Giam, Xingli; Sharma, Netra Prasad; Sukumar, Raman

    2016-01-01

    Elephants are thought to be effective seed dispersers, but research on whether elephant dung effectively protects seeds from seed predation is lacking. Quantifying rates of seed predation from elephant dung will facilitate comparisons between elephants and alternative dispersers, helping us understand the functional role of megaherbivores in ecosystems. We conducted an experiment to quantify the predation of Dillenia indica seeds from elephant dung in Buxa Reserve, India from December 2012 to April 2013. Using dung boluses from the same dung pile, we compared the number of seeds in boluses that are a) opened immediately upon detection (control boluses), b) made available only to small seed predators (<3 mm wide) for 1-4 months, and c) made available to all seed predators and secondary dispersers for 1-4 months. Using a model built on this experiment, we estimated that seed predation by small seed predators (most likely ants and termites) destroys between 82.9% and 96.4% of seeds in elephant dung between the time of defecation and the median germination date for D. indica. Exposure to larger seed predators and secondary dispersers did not lead to a significant additional reduction in the number of seeds per dung bolus. Our findings suggest that post-dispersal seed predation by small insects (<3 mm) substantially reduces but does not eliminate the success of elephants as dispersers of D. indica in a tropical moist forest habitat.

  12. The functional response of a hoarding seed predator to mast seeding.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Quinn E; Boutin, Stan; Lane, Jeffrey E; LaMontagne, Jalene M; McAdam, Andrew G; Krebs, Charles J; Humphries, Murray M

    2010-09-01

    Mast seeding involves the episodic and synchronous production of large seed crops by perennial plants. The predator satiation hypothesis proposes that mast seeding maximizes seed escape because seed predators consume a decreasing proportion of available seeds with increasing seed production. However, the seed escape benefits of masting depend not only on whether predators are satiated at high levels of seed production, but also on the shape of their functional response (type II vs. type III), and the actual proportion of available seeds that they consume at different levels of seed production. North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) are the primary vertebrate predator of white spruce (Picea glauca) mast seed crops in many boreal regions because they hoard unopened cones in underground locations, preempting the normal sequence of cone opening, seed dispersal, and seed germination. We document the functional response of cone-hoarding by red squirrels across three non-mast years and one mast year by estimating the number of cones present in the territories of individual red squirrels and the proportion of these cones that they hoarded each autumn. Even though red squirrels are not constrained by the ingestive and on-body (fat reserves) energy reserve limitations experienced by animals that consume seeds directly, most squirrels hoarded < 10% of the cones present on their territories under mast conditions. Cone availability during non-mast years also reached levels that satiated the hoarding activity of red squirrels; however, this occurred only on the highest-quality territories. Squirrels switched to mushroom-hoarding when cone production was low and mushrooms were abundant. This resulted in type III functional response whereby the proportional harvest of cones was highest at levels of cone availability that were intermediate within non-mast years. Overall, more cones escaped squirrel cone-hoarding during a mast event than when cone production was low

  13. [Predation and removal of rodents on the seeds with different size and pericarp traits].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li-biao; Yan, Xing-fu; Wang, Jian-li; Zhou, Yun-feng

    2013-08-01

    A field survey was conducted in the Quercus wutaishanica shrubs in Liupan Mountains of Ningxia, Northwest China to study the predation and removal of rodents on the seeds of Q. wutaishanica, Prunus salicina and Pinus armandii, aimed to explore the effects of seed size and pericarp traits on the predation and removal behaviors of rodents. The in situ seed predation rates of smaller Q. wutaishanica seeds and P. armandii seeds were significantly higher than those of larger Q. wutaishanica seeds and P. salicina seeds. The P. salicina seeds with hard and thick pericarp (endocarp) had the highest predation rate and hoarding rate after the removal by rodents. The movement distance of larger Q. wutaishanica seeds during predation events was the longest (3.10 m), and the seed hoarding distance of this species (6.48 m) was significantly longer than that of the three other types of seeds. Over 80% of sites were used as the predation sites by rodents for the seeds, except that the P. salicina seeds contained only a single seed and the cache sites contained a single seed accounted for over 90% for all types of seeds. Few predation and cache sites containing over two seeds were detected. Higher proportion of P. armandii seeds were predated in microhabitats except at the base of shrubs and in the holes after removal by rodent, while the seeds of other three types were predated mainly at the base of shrubs and in the holes after removal by rodents. The seed hoarding patterns after removal by rodents were primarily determined by pericarp traits, and higher proportion of soil burial that the rodents hoarded seeds with hard pericarp (endocarp) was detected.

  14. A seed predator drives the evolution of a seed dispersal mutualism.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Benkman, Craig W

    2008-08-22

    Although antagonists are hypothesized to impede the evolution of mutualisms, they may simultaneously exert selection favouring the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions. We found that increases in limber pine (Pinus flexilis) seed defences arising from selection exerted by a pre-dispersal seed predator (red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) reduced the efficacy of limber pine's primary seed disperser (Clark's nutcracker Nucifraga columbiana) while enhancing seed dispersal by ground-foraging scatter-hoarding rodents (Peromyscus). Thus, there is a shift from relying on primary seed dispersal by birds in areas without red squirrels, to an increasing reliance on secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents in areas with red squirrels. Seed predators can therefore drive the evolution of seed defences, which in turn favour alternative seed dispersal mutualisms that lead to major changes in the mode of seed dispersal. Given that adaptive evolution in response to antagonists frequently impedes one kind of mutualistic interaction, the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions may be a common by-product. PMID:18460433

  15. A seed predator drives the evolution of a seed dispersal mutualism.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Benkman, Craig W

    2008-08-22

    Although antagonists are hypothesized to impede the evolution of mutualisms, they may simultaneously exert selection favouring the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions. We found that increases in limber pine (Pinus flexilis) seed defences arising from selection exerted by a pre-dispersal seed predator (red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) reduced the efficacy of limber pine's primary seed disperser (Clark's nutcracker Nucifraga columbiana) while enhancing seed dispersal by ground-foraging scatter-hoarding rodents (Peromyscus). Thus, there is a shift from relying on primary seed dispersal by birds in areas without red squirrels, to an increasing reliance on secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents in areas with red squirrels. Seed predators can therefore drive the evolution of seed defences, which in turn favour alternative seed dispersal mutualisms that lead to major changes in the mode of seed dispersal. Given that adaptive evolution in response to antagonists frequently impedes one kind of mutualistic interaction, the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions may be a common by-product.

  16. Maternal intraguild predation risk affects offspring anti-predator behavior and learning in mites.

    PubMed

    Seiter, Michael; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-10-09

    Predation risk is a strong selective force shaping prey morphology, life history and behavior. Anti-predator behaviors may be innate, learned or both but little is known about the transgenerational behavioral effects of maternally experienced predation risk. We examined intraguild predation (IGP) risk-induced maternal effects on offspring anti-predator behavior, including learning, in the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. We exposed predatory mite mothers during egg production to presence or absence of the IG predator Amblyseius andersoni and assessed whether maternal stress affects the anti-predator behavior, including larval learning ability, of their offspring as protonymphs. Protonymphs emerging from stressed or unstressed mothers, and having experienced IGP risk as larvae or not, were subjected to choice situations with and without IG predator traces. Predator-experienced protonymphs from stressed mothers were the least active and acted the boldest in site choice towards predator cues. We argue that the attenuated response of the protonymphs to predator traces alone represents optimized risk management because no immediate risk existed. Such behavioral adjustment could reduce the inherent fitness costs of anti-predator behaviors. Overall, our study suggests that P. persimilis mothers experiencing IGP risk may prime their offspring to behave more optimally in IGP environments.

  17. Effects of a disease affecting a predator on the dynamics of a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Auger, Pierre; McHich, Rachid; Chowdhury, Tanmay; Sallet, Gauthier; Tchuente, Maurice; Chattopadhyay, Joydev

    2009-06-01

    We study the effects of a disease affecting a predator on the dynamics of a predator-prey system. We couple an SIRS model applied to the predator population, to a Lotka-Volterra model. The SIRS model describes the spread of the disease in a predator population subdivided into susceptible, infected and removed individuals. The Lotka-Volterra model describes the predator-prey interactions. We consider two time scales, a fast one for the disease and a comparatively slow one for predator-prey interactions and for predator mortality. We use the classical "aggregation method" in order to obtain a reduced equivalent model. We show that there are two possible asymptotic behaviors: either the predator population dies out and the prey tends to its carrying capacity, or the predator and prey coexist. In this latter case, the predator population tends either to a "disease-free" or to a "disease-endemic" state. Moreover, the total predator density in the disease-endemic state is greater than the predator density in the "disease-free" equilibrium (DFE).

  18. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    PubMed Central

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai’i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0–55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10–20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  19. Are Local Filters Blind to Provenance? Ant Seed Predation Suppresses Exotic Plants More than Natives

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Dean E.; Icasatti, Nadia S.; Hierro, Jose L.; Bird, Benjamin J.

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether species’ origins influence invasion outcomes has been a point of substantial debate in invasion ecology. Theoretically, colonization outcomes can be predicted based on how species’ traits interact with community filters, a process presumably blind to species’ origins. Yet, exotic plant introductions commonly result in monospecific plant densities not commonly seen in native assemblages, suggesting that exotic species may respond to community filters differently than natives. Here, we tested whether exotic and native species differed in their responses to a local community filter by examining how ant seed predation affected recruitment of eighteen native and exotic plant species in central Argentina. Ant seed predation proved to be an important local filter that strongly suppressed plant recruitment, but ants suppressed exotic recruitment far more than natives (89% of exotic species vs. 22% of natives). Seed size predicted ant impacts on recruitment independent of origins, with ant preference for smaller seeds resulting in smaller seeded plant species being heavily suppressed. The disproportionate effects of provenance arose because exotics had generally smaller seeds than natives. Exotics also exhibited greater emergence and earlier peak emergence than natives in the absence of ants. However, when ants had access to seeds, these potential advantages of exotics were negated due to the filtering bias against exotics. The differences in traits we observed between exotics and natives suggest that higher-order introduction filters or regional processes preselected for certain exotic traits that then interacted with the local seed predation filter. Our results suggest that the interactions between local filters and species traits can predict invasion outcomes, but understanding the role of provenance will require quantifying filtering processes at multiple hierarchical scales and evaluating interactions between filters. PMID:25099535

  20. Effects of frugivore impoverishment and seed predators on the recruitment of a keystone palm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadini, Rodrigo F.; Fleury, Marina; Donatti, Camila I.; Galetti, Mauro

    2009-03-01

    Many plant species are threatened as a result of extinction of their large-bodied frugivores all over the world. Additionally, introduced herbivores and seed predators may cause severe pressure on early stages of plant recruitment. We studied the seed dispersal and seed predation of the keystone palm Euterpe edulis on a land-bridge island with a highly impoverished frugivore fauna and overabundant seed predators, and in a continuous Atlantic forest in Brazil. While the diversity of avian seed dispersers and predators was higher on the mainland, the abundance of seed dispersers was 4-fold higher on the island. Turdus flavipes was responsible for 72% and 96% of seeds removed in the island and mainland, respectively. However, the higher density of T. flaviceps on the island did not result in higher seed removal. In fact, seed removal rate was 1.7 times lower there than on the mainland, probably due to the aggressive behavior of the major seed disperser who defend palm fruits. Seed predation, on the other hand, was markedly higher on the island, where nearly 100% of seeds were preyed upon, but only 0.3% on the mainland. As a consequence of higher seed predation the population of E. edulis has few numbers of seedlings and saplings on the island. Therefore, management of the seed predator populations on the island is a key priority for recovering the natural population of this keystone palm and the frugivores that depend on its fruits.

  1. Physiological and behavioural effects of fruit toxins on seed-predating versus seed-dispersing congeneric rodents.

    PubMed

    Samuni-Blank, Michal; Izhaki, Ido; Dearing, M Denise; Karasov, William H; Gerchman, Yoram; Kohl, Kevin D; Lymberakis, Petros; Kurnath, Patrice; Arad, Zeev

    2013-10-01

    Fleshy, ripe fruits attract seed dispersers but also seed predators. Although many fruit consumers (legitimate seed dispersers as well as seed predators) are clearly exposed to plant secondary compounds (PSCs), their impact on the consumers' physiology and foraging behaviour has been largely overlooked. Here, we document the divergent behavioural and physiological responses to fruit consumption of three congeneric rodent species in the Middle East, representing both seed dispersers and seed predators. The fruit pulp of the desert plant Ochradenus baccatus contains high concentrations of glucosinolates (GLSs). These GLSs are hydrolyzed into active toxic compounds upon contact with the myrosinase enzyme released from seeds crushed during fruit consumption. Acomys russatus and A. cahirinus share a desert habitat. Acomys russatus acts as an O. baccatus seed predator, and A. cahirinus circumvents the activation of the GLSs by orally expelling vital seeds. We found that between the three species examined, A. russatus was physiologically most tolerant to whole fruit consumption and even A. minous, which is evolutionarily naïve to O. baccatus, exhibits greater tolerance to whole fruit consumption than A. cahirinus. However, like A. cahirinus, A. minous may also behaviourally avoid the activation of the GLSs by making a hole in the pulp and consuming only the seeds. Our findings demonstrate that seed predators have a higher physiological tolerance than seed dispersers when consuming fruits containing toxic PSCs. The findings also demonstrate the extreme ecological/evolutionary lability of this plant-animal symbiosis to shift from predation to mutualism and vice versa. PMID:23788702

  2. Predation of cassowary dispersed seeds: is the cassowary an effective disperser?

    PubMed

    Bradford, Matt G; Westcott, David A

    2011-09-01

    Post-dispersal predation is a potentially significant modifier of the distribution of recruiting plants and an often unmeasured determinant of the effectiveness of a frugivore's dispersal service. In the wet tropical forests of Australia and New Guinea, the cassowary provides a large volume, long distance dispersal service incorporating beneficial gut processing; however, the resultant clumped deposition might expose seeds to elevated mortality. We examined the contribution of post-dispersal seed predation to cassowary dispersal effectiveness by monitoring the fate of 11 species in southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii Linnaeus) droppings over a period of 1 year. Across all species, the rate of predation and removal was relatively slow. After 1 month, 70% of seeds remained intact and outwardly viable, while the number fell to 38% after 1 year. The proportion of seeds remaining intact in droppings varied considerably between species: soft-seeded and large-seeded species were more likely to escape removal and predation. Importantly, across all species, seeds in droppings were no more likely to be predated than those left undispersed under the parent tree. We speculate that seed predating and scatter-hoarding rodents are responsible for the vast majority of predation and removal from droppings and that the few seeds which undergo secondary dispersal survive to germination. Our findings reinforce the conclusion that the cassowary is an important seed disperser; however, dispersal effectiveness for particular plant species can be reduced by massive post-dispersal seed mortality.

  3. Ecological Interactions Shape the Dynamics of Seed Predation in Acrocomia aculeata (Arecaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Anielle C. F.; Fonseca, Francine S. A.; Mota, Gleicielle R.; Fernandes, Ane K. C.; Fagundes, Marcílio; Reis-Júnior, Ronaldo; Faria, Maurício L.

    2014-01-01

    Background The complex network of direct and indirect relationships determines not only the species abundances but also the community characteristics such as diversity and stability. In this context, seed predation is a direct interaction that affects the reproductive success of the plant. For Acrocomia aculeata, the seed predation by Pachymerus cardo and Speciomerus revoili in post-dispersal may destroy more than 70% of the propagules and is influenced by the herbivory of the fruits during pre-dispersal. Fruits of plants with a higher level of herbivory during pre-dispersal are less attacked by predators in post-dispersal. We proposed a hypothesis that describes this interaction as an indirect defense mediated by fungi in a multitrophic interaction. As explanations, we proposed the predictions: i) injuries caused by herbivores in the fruits of A. aculeata favor fungal colonization and ii) the colonization of A. acuelata fruit by decomposing fungi reduces the selection of the egg-laying site by predator. Methodology/Principal Findings For prediction (i), differences in the fungal colonization in fruits with an intact or damaged epicarp were evaluated in fruits exposed in the field. For prediction (ii), we performed fruit observations in the field to determine the number of eggs of P. cardo and/or S. revoili per fruit and the amount of fungal colonization in the fruits. In another experiment, in the laboratory, we use P. cardo females in a triple-choice protocol. Each insect to choose one of the three options: healthy fruits, fruits with fungus, or an empty pot. The proposed hypothesis was corroborated. Fruits with injuries in the epicarp had a higher fungal colonization, and fruits colonized by fungi were less attractive for egg-laying by seed predators. Conclusion/Significance This study emphasizes the importance of exploring the networks of interactions between multitrophic systems to understand the dynamics and maintenance of natural populations. PMID:24875386

  4. Insect Seed Predators in Erythrina falcata (Fabaceae): Identification of Predatory Species and Ecological Consequences of Asynchronous Flowering.

    PubMed

    Pereira, C M; Moura, M O; Da-Silva, P R

    2014-06-01

    Seed predation by insects exerts negative effects on plant reproduction by limiting the supply of seeds and preventing germination. Seed predators of the family Fabaceae are usually generalists, which increases the rate of predation. One strategy to minimize seed predation, developed by plants from temperate regions, is "escape in time," i.e., flowering before or after the peak of predation. For tropical species, few studies have investigated the strategies used by plants to minimize seed predation. Here, using Erythrina falcata, a tropical species of Fabaceae, we test three main hypotheses: (i) escape in time is a mechanism used by E. falcata to minimize seed predation, (ii) the predators of E. falcata seeds are generalists, and (iii) the biometric variables of the pods can influence seed predation. In order to test these hypotheses, we determined the flowering time of E. falcata, rate of seed predation, the predators insects, and biometric variables of the pods. The analyzed trees were grouped into three classes: "early," "peak," and "late" flowering. The average seed predation rates on trees in the early and late classes were 65% and 50%, respectively, and in the peak class, 80%; thus, our first hypothesis can be accepted. Three species of Lepidoptera and two of Coleoptera were found preying on E. falcata seeds. These species were observed to be generalist predators; thus, our second hypothesis can be accepted. The biometric variables of the pods cannot influence seed predation rate. The ecological consequences of asynchronous flowering on plants and insects are discussed.

  5. Corridors and olfactory predator cues affect small mammal behavior.

    SciTech Connect

    Brinkerhoff, Robert Jory; Haddad, Nick M.; Orrock, John L.

    2005-03-30

    Abstract The behavior of prey individuals is influenced by a variety of factors including, but not limited to, habitat configuration, risk of predation, and availability of resources, and these habitat-dependent factors may have interactive effects. We studied the responses of mice to an increase in perceived predation risk in a patchy environment to understand how habitat corridors might affect interactions among species in a fragmented landscape. We used a replicated experiment to investigate corridor-mediated prey responses to predator cues in a network of open habitat patches surrounded by a matrix of planted pine forest. Some of the patches were connected by corridors. We used mark–recapture techniques and foraging trays to monitor the movement, behavior, and abundance of small mammals. Predation threat was manipulated in one-half of the replicates by applying an olfactory predator cue. Corridors synchronized small mammal foraging activity among connected patches. Foraging also was inhibited in the presence of an olfactory predator cue but apparently increased in adjacent connected patches. Small mammal abundance did not change as a result of the predator manipulation and was not influenced by the presence of corridors. This study is among the 1st to indicate combined effects of landscape configuration and predation risk on prey behavior. These changes in prey behavior may, in turn, have cascading effects on community dynamics where corridors and differential predation risk influence movement and patch use.

  6. Impact of seed predators on the herb Baptista lanceolata (Fabales: Fabacae).

    SciTech Connect

    Scott Horn; James L. Hanula.

    2004-09-01

    Leguminous seeds are a concentrated source of nutrition (Brashier 2000). In a nutrient-poor habitat, these seeds are important resources for many of the animal species residing there. Several insect predators are known to feed on Baptisia seeds. One such insect is Apion rostrum Say (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a weevil that feeds on seeds of several wild indigo species. Females lay eggs in developing seed pods where the larvae eat the seeds.

  7. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer.

    PubMed

    Talluto, Matthew V; Benkman, Craig W

    2014-07-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape. PMID:24979772

  8. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer

    PubMed Central

    Talluto, Matthew V.; Benkman, Craig W.

    2014-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape. PMID:24979772

  9. Reciprocity in predator-prey interactions: exposure to defended prey and predation risk affects intermediate predator life history and morphology.

    PubMed

    Hammill, Edd; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2010-05-01

    A vast body of literature exists documenting the morphological, behavioural and life history changes that predators induce in prey. However, little attention has been paid to how these induced changes feed back and affect the predators' life history and morphology. Larvae of the phantom midge Chaoborus flavicans are intermediate predators in a food web with Daphnia pulex as the basal resource and planktivorous fish as the top predator. C. flavicans prey on D. pulex and are themselves prey for fish; as D. pulex induce morphological defences in the presence of C. flavicans this is an ideal system in which to evaluate the effects of defended prey and top predators on an intermediate consumer. We assessed the impact on C. flavicans life history and morphology of foraging on defended prey while also being exposed to the non-lethal presence of a top fish predator. We tested the basic hypothesis that the effects of defended prey will depend on the presence or absence of top predator predation risk. Feeding rate was significantly reduced and time to pupation was significantly increased by defended morph prey. Gut size, development time, fecundity, egg size and reproductive effort respond to fish chemical cues directly or significantly alter the relationship between a trait and body size. We found no significant interactions between prey morph and the non-lethal presence of a top predator, suggesting that the effects of these two biological factors were additive or singularly independent. Overall it appears that C. flavicans is able to substantially modify several aspects of its biology, and while some changes appear mere consequences of resource limitation others appear facultative in nature. PMID:19936795

  10. Synchrony between fruit maturation and effective dispersers' foraging activity increases seed protection against seed predators

    PubMed Central

    Boulay, Raphaël; Carro, Francisco; Soriguer, Ramón C; Cerdá, Xim

    2007-01-01

    The evolution of pollination and seed dispersal mutualisms is conditioned by the spatial and temporal co-occurrence of animals and plants. In the present study we explore the timing of seed release of a myrmecochorous plant (Helleborus foetidus) and ant activity in two populations in southern Spain during 2 consecutive years. The results indicate that fruit dehiscence and seed shedding occur mostly in the morning and correspond to the period of maximum foraging activity of the most effective ant dispersers. By contrast, ant species that do not transport seeds and/or that do not abound near the plants are active either before or after H. foetidus diaspores are released. Experimental analysis of diet preference for three kinds of food shows that effective ant dispersers are mostly scavengers that readily feed on insect corpses and sugars. Artificial seed depots suggest that seeds deposited on the ground out of the natural daily time window of diaspore releasing are not removed by ants and suffer strong predation by nocturnal rodents Apodemus sylvaticus. Nevertheless, important inter-annual variations in rodent populations cast doubts on their real importance as selection agents. We argue that traits allowing synchrony between seed presentation and effective partners may constitute a crucial pre-adaptation for the evolution of plant–animal mutualisms involving numerous animal partners. PMID:17698486

  11. Impacts of logging on density-dependent predation of dipterocarp seeds in a South East Asian rainforest.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Robert; Philipson, Christopher D; Slade, Eleanor M; Hector, Andy; Phillips, Sam; Villanueva, Jerome F; Lewis, Owen T; Lyal, Christopher H C; Nilus, Reuben; Madran, Adzley; Scholes, Julie D; Press, Malcolm C

    2011-11-27

    Much of the forest remaining in South East Asia has been selectively logged. The processes promoting species coexistence may be the key to the recovery and maintenance of diversity in these forests. One such process is the Janzen-Connell mechanism, where specialized natural enemies such as seed predators maintain diversity by inhibiting regeneration near conspecifics. In Neotropical forests, anthropogenic disturbance can disrupt the Janzen-Connell mechanism, but similar data are unavailable for South East Asia. We investigated the effects of conspecific density (two spatial scales) and distance from fruiting trees on seed and seedling survival of the canopy tree Parashorea malaanonan in unlogged and logged forests in Sabah, Malaysia. The production of mature seeds was higher in unlogged forest, perhaps because high adult densities facilitate pollination or satiate pre-dispersal predators. In both forest types, post-dispersal survival was reduced by small-scale (1 m(2)) conspecific density, but not by proximity to the nearest fruiting tree. Large-scale conspecific density (seeds per fruiting tree) reduced predation, probably by satiating predators. Higher seed production in unlogged forest, in combination with slightly higher survival, meant that recruitment was almost entirely limited to unlogged forest. Thus, while logging might not affect the Janzen-Connell mechanism at this site, it may influence the recruitment of particular species. PMID:22006965

  12. Impacts of logging on density-dependent predation of dipterocarp seeds in a South East Asian rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Bagchi, Robert; Philipson, Christopher D.; Slade, Eleanor M.; Hector, Andy; Phillips, Sam; Villanueva, Jerome F.; Lewis, Owen T.; Lyal, Christopher H. C.; Nilus, Reuben; Madran, Adzley; Scholes, Julie D.; Press, Malcolm C.

    2011-01-01

    Much of the forest remaining in South East Asia has been selectively logged. The processes promoting species coexistence may be the key to the recovery and maintenance of diversity in these forests. One such process is the Janzen–Connell mechanism, where specialized natural enemies such as seed predators maintain diversity by inhibiting regeneration near conspecifics. In Neotropical forests, anthropogenic disturbance can disrupt the Janzen–Connell mechanism, but similar data are unavailable for South East Asia. We investigated the effects of conspecific density (two spatial scales) and distance from fruiting trees on seed and seedling survival of the canopy tree Parashorea malaanonan in unlogged and logged forests in Sabah, Malaysia. The production of mature seeds was higher in unlogged forest, perhaps because high adult densities facilitate pollination or satiate pre-dispersal predators. In both forest types, post-dispersal survival was reduced by small-scale (1 m2) conspecific density, but not by proximity to the nearest fruiting tree. Large-scale conspecific density (seeds per fruiting tree) reduced predation, probably by satiating predators. Higher seed production in unlogged forest, in combination with slightly higher survival, meant that recruitment was almost entirely limited to unlogged forest. Thus, while logging might not affect the Janzen–Connell mechanism at this site, it may influence the recruitment of particular species. PMID:22006965

  13. Impacts of logging on density-dependent predation of dipterocarp seeds in a South East Asian rainforest.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Robert; Philipson, Christopher D; Slade, Eleanor M; Hector, Andy; Phillips, Sam; Villanueva, Jerome F; Lewis, Owen T; Lyal, Christopher H C; Nilus, Reuben; Madran, Adzley; Scholes, Julie D; Press, Malcolm C

    2011-11-27

    Much of the forest remaining in South East Asia has been selectively logged. The processes promoting species coexistence may be the key to the recovery and maintenance of diversity in these forests. One such process is the Janzen-Connell mechanism, where specialized natural enemies such as seed predators maintain diversity by inhibiting regeneration near conspecifics. In Neotropical forests, anthropogenic disturbance can disrupt the Janzen-Connell mechanism, but similar data are unavailable for South East Asia. We investigated the effects of conspecific density (two spatial scales) and distance from fruiting trees on seed and seedling survival of the canopy tree Parashorea malaanonan in unlogged and logged forests in Sabah, Malaysia. The production of mature seeds was higher in unlogged forest, perhaps because high adult densities facilitate pollination or satiate pre-dispersal predators. In both forest types, post-dispersal survival was reduced by small-scale (1 m(2)) conspecific density, but not by proximity to the nearest fruiting tree. Large-scale conspecific density (seeds per fruiting tree) reduced predation, probably by satiating predators. Higher seed production in unlogged forest, in combination with slightly higher survival, meant that recruitment was almost entirely limited to unlogged forest. Thus, while logging might not affect the Janzen-Connell mechanism at this site, it may influence the recruitment of particular species.

  14. Spatial and temporal effects on seed dispersal and seed predation of Musa acuminata in southern Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lingzeng; Gao, Xiuxia; Chen, Jin; Martin, Konrad

    2012-03-01

    Wild bananas are abundant in tropical areas and many ecologists have observed that the succession process is quicker following increased disturbance. This study was conducted to analyze animal-seed interactions and their effects on the seed fate of a wild banana species (Musa acuminata) in tropical southern Yunnan (China) through experiments considering spatial (site and habitat) and temporal (seasons) variation. The largest proportion of fruits (81%) was removed by frugivorous seed dispersers, especially by bats at nighttime. Only 13% of the fruits were removed by climbing seed predators (different species of rats). In the exclosure treatment, rodents accounted for a significantly higher total artificially exposed seed removal number than ants, but with spatial and temporal differences. The highest seed predation rate by rodents (70%) was found in forest with wild banana stands, corresponding with the highest rodent diversity (species numbers and abundance) among the habitat types. In contrast, the seed removal number by ants (57%) was highest in the open land habitats, but there was no close correlation with ant diversity. Seed removal numbers by ants were significantly higher in the dry compared to the rainy season, but rodent activity showed no differences between seasons. The overall results suggest that the largest proportion of seeds produced by wild banana are primarily dispersed by bats. Primary seed dispersal by bats at nighttime is essential for wild banana seeds to escape seed predation.

  15. Escaping peril: perceived predation risk affects migratory propensity

    PubMed Central

    Hulthén, Kaj; Chapman, Ben B.; Nilsson, P. Anders; Vinterstare, Jerker; Hansson, Lars-Anders; Skov, Christian; Brodersen, Jakob; Baktoft, Henrik; Brönmark, Christer

    2015-01-01

    Although migratory plasticity is increasingly documented, the ecological drivers of plasticity are not well understood. Predation risk can influence migratory dynamics, but whether seasonal migrants can adjust their migratory behaviour according to perceived risk is unknown. We used electronic tags to record the migration of individual roach (Rutilus rutilus), a partially migratory fish, in the wild following exposure to manipulation of direct (predator presence/absence) and indirect (high/low roach density) perceived predation risk in experimental mesocosms. Following exposure, we released fish in their lake summer habitat and monitored individual migration to connected streams over an entire season. Individuals exposed to increased perceived direct predation risk (i.e. a live predator) showed a higher migratory propensity but no change in migratory timing, while indirect risk (i.e. roach density) affected timing but not propensity showing that elevated risk carried over to alter migratory behaviour in the wild. Our key finding demonstrates predator-driven migratory plasticity, highlighting the powerful role of predation risk for migratory decision-making and dynamics. PMID:26311158

  16. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Ryan P; Arnold, Paige M; Michaels, Helen J

    2014-06-09

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  17. Effects of pollen load, parasitoids and the environment on pre-dispersal seed predation in the cleistogamous Ruellia nudiflora.

    PubMed

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-11-01

    Few studies have simultaneously addressed the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on pre-dispersal seed predation (PSP). Plant-seed predator interactions may be influenced by natural enemies and pollinators (the latter through changes in fruit or seed traits), and the activity of pre-dispersal seed predators and their natural enemies may both be affected by the abiotic environment. Additionally, in the case of cleistogamous plants with fruit dimorphism, PSP may be biased towards larger and more seeded chasmogamous (CH) fruits [relative to the smaller cleistogamous (CL) fruits], and the effects of biotic and abiotic factors may be contingent upon this fruit dimorphism. We studied PSP in the cleistogamous Ruellia nudiflora using a split-plot experimental design and asked the following: (1) is PSP biased towards CH fruits and is there an effect of pollen load on PSP? (2) Do parasitoids influence PSP and is their effect influenced by pollen load or fruit type? And (3) do light and water availability modify PSP and parasitoid effects? PSP was higher for CH relative to CL fruits, and under low water availability it was lower for pollen-supplemented CH fruits relative to open-pollinated CH fruits. Parasitoids were not influenced by abiotic conditions, but their negative effect on PSP was stronger for pollen-supplemented CH fruits. Overall, we show that fruit dimorphism, abiotic factors and natural enemies affect PSP, and that these effects can be non-additive. PMID:23576106

  18. Simulated predator extinctions: predator identity affects survival and recruitment of oysters.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Nessa E; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Ladwig, Laura M; Bruno, John F

    2008-02-01

    The rate of species loss is increasing at a global scale, and human-induced extinctions are biased toward predator species. We examined the effects of predator extinctions on a foundation species, the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica). We performed a factorial experiment manipulating the presence and abundance of three of the most common predatory crabs, the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), stone crab (Menippe mercenaria), and mud crab (Panopeus herbstii) in estuaries in the eastern United States. We tested the effects of species richness and identity of predators on juvenile oyster survival, oyster recruitment, and organic matter content of sediment. We also manipulated the density of each of the predators and controlled for the loss of biomass of species by maintaining a constant mass of predators in one set of treatments and simultaneously using an additive design. This design allowed us to test the density dependence of our results and test for functional compensation by other species. The identity of predator species, but not richness, affected oyster populations. The loss of blue crabs, alone or in combination with either of the other species, affected the survival rate of juvenile oysters. Blue crabs and stone crabs both affected oyster recruitment and sediment organic matter negatively. Mud crabs at higher than ambient densities, however, could fulfill some of the functions of blue and stone crabs, suggesting a level of ecological redundancy. Importantly, the strong effects of blue crabs in all processes measured no longer occurred when individuals were present at higher-than-ambient densities. Their role as dominant predator is, therefore, dependent on their density within the system and the density of other species within their guild (e.g., mud crabs). Our findings support the hypothesis that the effects of species loss at higher trophic levels are determined by predator identity and are subject to complex intraguild interactions that are largely

  19. Consistency and variation in phenotypic selection exerted by a community of seed predators.

    PubMed

    Benkman, Craig W; Smith, Julie W; Maier, Monika; Hansen, Leif; Talluto, Matt V

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic selection that is sustained over time underlies both anagenesis and cladogenesis, but the conditions that lead to such selection and what causes variation in selection are not well known. We measured the selection exerted by three species of predispersal seed predators of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta latifolia) in the South Hills, Idaho, and found that net selection on different cone and seed traits exerted by red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) and cone borer moths (Eucosma recissoriana) over 10 years of seed crops was similar to that measured in another mountain range. We also found that the strength of selection increased as seed predation increased, which provides a mechanism for the correlation between the escalation of seed defenses and the density of seed predators. Red crossbills consume the most seeds and selection they exert accounts for much of the selection experienced by lodgepole pine, providing additional support for a coevolutionary arms race between crossbills and lodgepole pine in the South Hills. The third seed predator, hairy woodpeckers (Picoides villosus), consumed less than one-sixth as many seeds as crossbills. Across the northern Rocky Mountains, woodpecker abundance and therefore selective impact appears limited by the elevated seed defenses of lodgepole pine. PMID:23289569

  20. Consistency and variation in phenotypic selection exerted by a community of seed predators.

    PubMed

    Benkman, Craig W; Smith, Julie W; Maier, Monika; Hansen, Leif; Talluto, Matt V

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic selection that is sustained over time underlies both anagenesis and cladogenesis, but the conditions that lead to such selection and what causes variation in selection are not well known. We measured the selection exerted by three species of predispersal seed predators of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta latifolia) in the South Hills, Idaho, and found that net selection on different cone and seed traits exerted by red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) and cone borer moths (Eucosma recissoriana) over 10 years of seed crops was similar to that measured in another mountain range. We also found that the strength of selection increased as seed predation increased, which provides a mechanism for the correlation between the escalation of seed defenses and the density of seed predators. Red crossbills consume the most seeds and selection they exert accounts for much of the selection experienced by lodgepole pine, providing additional support for a coevolutionary arms race between crossbills and lodgepole pine in the South Hills. The third seed predator, hairy woodpeckers (Picoides villosus), consumed less than one-sixth as many seeds as crossbills. Across the northern Rocky Mountains, woodpecker abundance and therefore selective impact appears limited by the elevated seed defenses of lodgepole pine.

  1. Implications of Habitat Loss on Seed Predation and Early Recruitment of a Keystone Palm in Anthropogenic Landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Soares, Leiza Aparecida S. S.; Faria, Deborah; Vélez-Garcia, Felipe; Vieira, Emerson M.; Talora, Daniela C.; Cazetta, Eliana

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss is the main driver of the loss of global biodiversity. Knowledge on this subject, however, is highly concentrated on species richness and composition patterns, with little discussion on the consequences of habitat loss for ecological interactions. Therefore, a systemic approach is necessary to maximize the success of conservation efforts by providing more realistic information about the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on natural environmental processes. We investigated the implications of habitat loss for the early recruitment of Euterpe edulis Martius, a keystone palm in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, in nine sampling sites located in landscapes with different percentages of forest cover (9%-83%). We conducted a paired experiment using E. Edulis seeds set up in experimental stations composed of a vertebrate exclosure versus an open treatment. We used ANCOVA models with treatments as factors to assess the influence of habitat loss on the number of germinated seeds, predation by vertebrates and invertebrates, infestation by fungi, and number of seedlings established. Habitat loss did not affect the probability of transition from a dispersed to a germinated seed. However, when seeds were protected from vertebrate removal, seedling recruitment showed a positive relationship with the amount of forest cover. Seed infestation by fungi was not significant, and seed predation was the main factor limiting seed recruitment. The loss of forest cover antagonistically affected the patterns of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates; predation by invertebrates was higher in less forested areas, and predation by vertebrates was higher in forested areas. When seeds were exposed to the action of all biotic mortality factors, the number of recruited seedlings was very low and unrelated to habitat loss. This result indicates that the opposite effects of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates mask a differential response of E. edulis recruitment to

  2. Implications of Habitat Loss on Seed Predation and Early Recruitment of a Keystone Palm in Anthropogenic Landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest.

    PubMed

    Soares, Leiza Aparecida S S; Faria, Deborah; Vélez-Garcia, Felipe; Vieira, Emerson M; Talora, Daniela C; Cazetta, Eliana

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss is the main driver of the loss of global biodiversity. Knowledge on this subject, however, is highly concentrated on species richness and composition patterns, with little discussion on the consequences of habitat loss for ecological interactions. Therefore, a systemic approach is necessary to maximize the success of conservation efforts by providing more realistic information about the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on natural environmental processes. We investigated the implications of habitat loss for the early recruitment of Euterpe edulis Martius, a keystone palm in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, in nine sampling sites located in landscapes with different percentages of forest cover (9%-83%). We conducted a paired experiment using E. Edulis seeds set up in experimental stations composed of a vertebrate exclosure versus an open treatment. We used ANCOVA models with treatments as factors to assess the influence of habitat loss on the number of germinated seeds, predation by vertebrates and invertebrates, infestation by fungi, and number of seedlings established. Habitat loss did not affect the probability of transition from a dispersed to a germinated seed. However, when seeds were protected from vertebrate removal, seedling recruitment showed a positive relationship with the amount of forest cover. Seed infestation by fungi was not significant, and seed predation was the main factor limiting seed recruitment. The loss of forest cover antagonistically affected the patterns of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates; predation by invertebrates was higher in less forested areas, and predation by vertebrates was higher in forested areas. When seeds were exposed to the action of all biotic mortality factors, the number of recruited seedlings was very low and unrelated to habitat loss. This result indicates that the opposite effects of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates mask a differential response of E. edulis recruitment to

  3. Ecological patterns and genetic analysis of post-dispersal seed predation in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) crop-wild hybrids.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Jennifer M; Burger, Jutta C; Burke, John M

    2010-08-01

    Crop-wild hybridization has been documented in many cultivated species, but the ecological and genetic factors that influence the likelihood or rate that cultivar alleles will introgress into wild populations are poorly understood. Seed predation is one factor that could mitigate the spread of otherwise advantageous cultivar alleles into the wild by reducing seedling recruitment of crop-like individuals in hybrid populations. Seed predation has previously been linked to several seed characters that differ between cultivated and wild sunflower, such as seed size and oil content. In this study, seed morphological and nutritional characters were measured in a segregating population of sunflower crop-wild hybrids and wild and cultivated lines. Seed predation rates among lines were then assessed in the field. The relationship between seed predation and seed characters was investigated and quantitative trait loci (QTL) were mapped for all traits. There was no effect of seed type (hybrid vs. parents) on seed predation, although a trend toward more early predation of wild seeds was observed. Within the hybrids, seed predators preferred seeds that contained more oil and energy but were lower in fibre. The relationship between seed predation and oil content was supported by co-localized QTL for these traits on one linkage group. These results suggest that oil content may be a more important determinant of seed predation than seed size and provide molecular genetic evidence for this relationship. The cultivar allele was also found to increase predation at all QTL, indicating that post-dispersal seed predation may mitigate the spread of cultivar alleles into wild populations.

  4. Ecological patterns and genetic analysis of post-dispersal seed predation in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) crop-wild hybrids.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Jennifer M; Burger, Jutta C; Burke, John M

    2010-08-01

    Crop-wild hybridization has been documented in many cultivated species, but the ecological and genetic factors that influence the likelihood or rate that cultivar alleles will introgress into wild populations are poorly understood. Seed predation is one factor that could mitigate the spread of otherwise advantageous cultivar alleles into the wild by reducing seedling recruitment of crop-like individuals in hybrid populations. Seed predation has previously been linked to several seed characters that differ between cultivated and wild sunflower, such as seed size and oil content. In this study, seed morphological and nutritional characters were measured in a segregating population of sunflower crop-wild hybrids and wild and cultivated lines. Seed predation rates among lines were then assessed in the field. The relationship between seed predation and seed characters was investigated and quantitative trait loci (QTL) were mapped for all traits. There was no effect of seed type (hybrid vs. parents) on seed predation, although a trend toward more early predation of wild seeds was observed. Within the hybrids, seed predators preferred seeds that contained more oil and energy but were lower in fibre. The relationship between seed predation and oil content was supported by co-localized QTL for these traits on one linkage group. These results suggest that oil content may be a more important determinant of seed predation than seed size and provide molecular genetic evidence for this relationship. The cultivar allele was also found to increase predation at all QTL, indicating that post-dispersal seed predation may mitigate the spread of cultivar alleles into wild populations. PMID:20637050

  5. Relative Preference and Localized Food Affect Predator Space Use and Consumption of Incidental Prey.

    PubMed

    Schartel, Tyler E; Schauber, Eric M

    2016-01-01

    Abundant, localized foods can concentrate predators and their foraging efforts, thus altering both the spatial distribution of predation risk and predator preferences for prey that are encountered incidentally. However, few investigations have quantified the spatial scale over which localized foods affect predator foraging behavior and consumption of incidental prey. In spring 2010, we experimentally tested how point-source foods altered how generalist predators (white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus) utilized space and depredated two incidental prey items: almonds (Prunus dulcis; highly profitable) and maple seeds (Acer saccharum; less profitable). We estimated mouse population densities with trapping webs, quantified mouse consumption rates of these incidental prey items, and measured local mouse activity with track plates. We predicted that 1) mouse activity would be elevated near full feeders, but depressed at intermediate distances from the feeder, 2) consumption of both incidental prey would be high near feeders providing less-preferred food and, 3) consumption of incidental prey would be contingent on predator preference for prey relative to feeders providing more-preferred food. Mouse densities increased significantly from pre- to post-experiment. Mean mouse activity was unexpectedly greatest in control treatments, particularly <15 m from the control (empty) feeder. Feeders with highly preferred food (sunflower seeds) created localized refuges for incidental prey at intermediate distances (15 to 25m) from the feeder. Feeders with less-preferred food (corn) generated localized high risk for highly preferred almonds <10 m of the feeder. Our findings highlight the contingent but predictable effects of locally abundant food on risk experienced by incidental prey, which can be positive or negative depending on both spatial proximity and relative preference.

  6. Relative Preference and Localized Food Affect Predator Space Use and Consumption of Incidental Prey.

    PubMed

    Schartel, Tyler E; Schauber, Eric M

    2016-01-01

    Abundant, localized foods can concentrate predators and their foraging efforts, thus altering both the spatial distribution of predation risk and predator preferences for prey that are encountered incidentally. However, few investigations have quantified the spatial scale over which localized foods affect predator foraging behavior and consumption of incidental prey. In spring 2010, we experimentally tested how point-source foods altered how generalist predators (white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus) utilized space and depredated two incidental prey items: almonds (Prunus dulcis; highly profitable) and maple seeds (Acer saccharum; less profitable). We estimated mouse population densities with trapping webs, quantified mouse consumption rates of these incidental prey items, and measured local mouse activity with track plates. We predicted that 1) mouse activity would be elevated near full feeders, but depressed at intermediate distances from the feeder, 2) consumption of both incidental prey would be high near feeders providing less-preferred food and, 3) consumption of incidental prey would be contingent on predator preference for prey relative to feeders providing more-preferred food. Mouse densities increased significantly from pre- to post-experiment. Mean mouse activity was unexpectedly greatest in control treatments, particularly <15 m from the control (empty) feeder. Feeders with highly preferred food (sunflower seeds) created localized refuges for incidental prey at intermediate distances (15 to 25m) from the feeder. Feeders with less-preferred food (corn) generated localized high risk for highly preferred almonds <10 m of the feeder. Our findings highlight the contingent but predictable effects of locally abundant food on risk experienced by incidental prey, which can be positive or negative depending on both spatial proximity and relative preference. PMID:26978659

  7. Relative Preference and Localized Food Affect Predator Space Use and Consumption of Incidental Prey

    PubMed Central

    Schartel, Tyler E.; Schauber, Eric M.

    2016-01-01

    Abundant, localized foods can concentrate predators and their foraging efforts, thus altering both the spatial distribution of predation risk and predator preferences for prey that are encountered incidentally. However, few investigations have quantified the spatial scale over which localized foods affect predator foraging behavior and consumption of incidental prey. In spring 2010, we experimentally tested how point-source foods altered how generalist predators (white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus) utilized space and depredated two incidental prey items: almonds (Prunus dulcis; highly profitable) and maple seeds (Acer saccharum; less profitable). We estimated mouse population densities with trapping webs, quantified mouse consumption rates of these incidental prey items, and measured local mouse activity with track plates. We predicted that 1) mouse activity would be elevated near full feeders, but depressed at intermediate distances from the feeder, 2) consumption of both incidental prey would be high near feeders providing less-preferred food and, 3) consumption of incidental prey would be contingent on predator preference for prey relative to feeders providing more-preferred food. Mouse densities increased significantly from pre- to post-experiment. Mean mouse activity was unexpectedly greatest in control treatments, particularly <15 m from the control (empty) feeder. Feeders with highly preferred food (sunflower seeds) created localized refuges for incidental prey at intermediate distances (15 to 25m) from the feeder. Feeders with less-preferred food (corn) generated localized high risk for highly preferred almonds <10 m of the feeder. Our findings highlight the contingent but predictable effects of locally abundant food on risk experienced by incidental prey, which can be positive or negative depending on both spatial proximity and relative preference. PMID:26978659

  8. Seed dispersal and predation of Buchenavia tomentosa Eichler (Combretaceae) in a Cerrado sensu stricto, midwest Brazil.

    PubMed

    Farias, J; Sanchez, M; Abreu, M F; Pedroni, F

    2015-11-01

    The ecology of seed dispersal is critical to understand the patterns of distribution and abundance of plant species. We investigated seed dispersal aspects associated with the high abundance of Buchenavia tomentosa in the Serra Azul State Park (PESA). We estimated fruit production and conducted fruit removal experiments. We carried out diurnal and nocturnal observations on frugivory as well as germination tests. Fruiting occurred in the dry season and totaled 1,365,015 ± 762,670 fruits.ha-1. B. tomentosa fruits were utilized by eight animal species. The lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) was considered the main seed disperser. Leafcutter ants (Atta laevigata and Atta sexdens) participated in the seed cleaning and occasionally dispersed seeds. The beetle Amblycerus insuturatus, blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna) and red-and-green macaw (Ara chloropterus) were considered pre-dispersal seed predators. The seeds manually cleaned presented higher germination rate (100%) and speed index (4.2 seeds.d-1) than that of seeds with pulp. Germination of seeds found in tapirs'feces was 40%, while for the seeds without pulp it was 25%. The high abundance of B. tomentosa in the cerrado of PESA may be due to massive fruit production, low rates of seed predation, and efficient seed dispersal by tapirs, occurring before the rains which promote germination and recruitment of this species.

  9. Seed dispersal and predation of Buchenavia tomentosa Eichler (Combretaceae) in a Cerrado sensu stricto, midwest Brazil.

    PubMed

    Farias, J; Sanchez, M; Abreu, M F; Pedroni, F

    2015-11-01

    The ecology of seed dispersal is critical to understand the patterns of distribution and abundance of plant species. We investigated seed dispersal aspects associated with the high abundance of Buchenavia tomentosa in the Serra Azul State Park (PESA). We estimated fruit production and conducted fruit removal experiments. We carried out diurnal and nocturnal observations on frugivory as well as germination tests. Fruiting occurred in the dry season and totaled 1,365,015 ± 762,670 fruits.ha-1. B. tomentosa fruits were utilized by eight animal species. The lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) was considered the main seed disperser. Leafcutter ants (Atta laevigata and Atta sexdens) participated in the seed cleaning and occasionally dispersed seeds. The beetle Amblycerus insuturatus, blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna) and red-and-green macaw (Ara chloropterus) were considered pre-dispersal seed predators. The seeds manually cleaned presented higher germination rate (100%) and speed index (4.2 seeds.d-1) than that of seeds with pulp. Germination of seeds found in tapirs'feces was 40%, while for the seeds without pulp it was 25%. The high abundance of B. tomentosa in the cerrado of PESA may be due to massive fruit production, low rates of seed predation, and efficient seed dispersal by tapirs, occurring before the rains which promote germination and recruitment of this species. PMID:26602355

  10. Indirect interactions among tropical tree species through shared rodent seed predators: a novel mechanism of tree species coexistence.

    PubMed

    Garzon-Lopez, Carol X; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Ordoñez, Alejandro; Bohlman, Stephanie A; Olff, Han; Jansen, Patrick A

    2015-08-01

    The coexistence of numerous tree species in tropical forests is commonly explained by negative dependence of recruitment on the conspecific seed and tree density due to specialist natural enemies that attack seeds and seedlings ('Janzen-Connell' effects). Less known is whether guilds of shared seed predators can induce a negative dependence of recruitment on the density of different species of the same plant functional group. We studied 54 plots in tropical forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, with contrasting mature tree densities of three coexisting large seeded tree species with shared seed predators. Levels of seed predation were far better explained by incorporating seed densities of all three focal species than by conspecific seed density alone. Both positive and negative density dependencies were observed for different species combinations. Thus, indirect interactions via shared seed predators can either promote or reduce the coexistence of different plant functional groups in tropical forest.

  11. Scatterhoarding rodents favor higher predation risks for cache sites: The potential for predators to influence the seed dispersal process.

    PubMed

    Steele, Michael A; Rompré, Ghislain; Stratford, Jeffrey A; Zhang, Hongmao; Suchocki, Matthew; Marino, Shealyn

    2015-05-01

    Scatterhoarding rodents often place caches in the open where pilferage rates are reduced, suggesting that they tradeoff higher risks of predation for more secure cache sites. We tested this hypothesis in two study systems by measuring predation risks inferred from measures of giving-up densities (GUDs) at known cache sites and other sites for comparison. Rodent GUDs were measured with small trays containing 3 L of fine sand mixed with sunflower seeds. In the first experiment, we relied on a 2-year seed dispersal study in a natural forest to identify caches of eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and then measured GUDs at: (i) these caches; (ii) comparable points along logs and rocks where rodent activity was assumed highest; and (iii) a set of random points. We found that GUDs and, presumably, predation risks, were higher at both cache and random points than those with cover. At the second site, we measured GUDs of eastern gray squirrels in an open park system and found that GUDs were consistently lowest at the base of the tree compared to more open sites, where previous studies show caching by squirrels to be highest and pilferage rates by naïve competitors to be lowest. These results confirm that predation risks can influence scatterhoarding decisions but that they are also highly context dependent, and that the landscape of fear, now so well documented in the literature, could potentially shape the temporal and spatial patterns of seedling establishment and forest regeneration in systems where scatterhoarding is common.

  12. Scatterhoarding rodents favor higher predation risks for cache sites: The potential for predators to influence the seed dispersal process.

    PubMed

    Steele, Michael A; Rompré, Ghislain; Stratford, Jeffrey A; Zhang, Hongmao; Suchocki, Matthew; Marino, Shealyn

    2015-05-01

    Scatterhoarding rodents often place caches in the open where pilferage rates are reduced, suggesting that they tradeoff higher risks of predation for more secure cache sites. We tested this hypothesis in two study systems by measuring predation risks inferred from measures of giving-up densities (GUDs) at known cache sites and other sites for comparison. Rodent GUDs were measured with small trays containing 3 L of fine sand mixed with sunflower seeds. In the first experiment, we relied on a 2-year seed dispersal study in a natural forest to identify caches of eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and then measured GUDs at: (i) these caches; (ii) comparable points along logs and rocks where rodent activity was assumed highest; and (iii) a set of random points. We found that GUDs and, presumably, predation risks, were higher at both cache and random points than those with cover. At the second site, we measured GUDs of eastern gray squirrels in an open park system and found that GUDs were consistently lowest at the base of the tree compared to more open sites, where previous studies show caching by squirrels to be highest and pilferage rates by naïve competitors to be lowest. These results confirm that predation risks can influence scatterhoarding decisions but that they are also highly context dependent, and that the landscape of fear, now so well documented in the literature, could potentially shape the temporal and spatial patterns of seedling establishment and forest regeneration in systems where scatterhoarding is common. PMID:25827710

  13. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators.

    PubMed

    Wenninger, Alexandria; Kim, Tania N; Spiesman, Brian J; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta) as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants) resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers), and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation. PMID:27271673

  14. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators

    PubMed Central

    Wenninger, Alexandria; Kim, Tania N.; Spiesman, Brian J.; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta) as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants) resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers), and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation. PMID:27271673

  15. Adaptive Advantage of Myrmecochory in the Ant-Dispersed Herb Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae): Predation Avoidance through the Deterrence of Post-Dispersal Seed Predators

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Koki; Ogata, Kanako; Mukai, Hiromi; Yamawo, Akira; Tokuda, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is found worldwide, but the benefits that plants obtain from this mutualism remain uncertain. In the present study, we conducted laboratory experiments to demonstrate seed predator avoidance as a benefit of myrmecochory using the annual ant-dispersed herb Lamium amplexicaule, the disperser ant Tetramorium tsushimae, and the seed predatory burrower bug Adomerus rotundus. We compared the predation intensity of Lamium amplexicaule seeds by Adomerus rotundus under the presence or absence of Tetramorium tsushimae. Both the number of seeds sucked by Adomerus rotundus adults and the feeding duration of sucked seeds by nymphs were significantly reduced in the presence of ants. This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment. Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds. The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants. PMID:26197397

  16. Adaptive Advantage of Myrmecochory in the Ant-Dispersed Herb Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae): Predation Avoidance through the Deterrence of Post-Dispersal Seed Predators.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Koki; Ogata, Kanako; Mukai, Hiromi; Yamawo, Akira; Tokuda, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is found worldwide, but the benefits that plants obtain from this mutualism remain uncertain. In the present study, we conducted laboratory experiments to demonstrate seed predator avoidance as a benefit of myrmecochory using the annual ant-dispersed herb Lamium amplexicaule, the disperser ant Tetramorium tsushimae, and the seed predatory burrower bug Adomerus rotundus. We compared the predation intensity of Lamium amplexicaule seeds by Adomerus rotundus under the presence or absence of Tetramorium tsushimae. Both the number of seeds sucked by Adomerus rotundus adults and the feeding duration of sucked seeds by nymphs were significantly reduced in the presence of ants. This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment. Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds. The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants. PMID:26197397

  17. Endocarp thickness affects seed removal speed by small rodents in a warm-temperate broad-leafed deciduous forest, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongmao; Zhang, Zhibin

    2008-11-01

    Seed traits are important factors affecting seed predation by rodents and thereby the success of recruitment. Seeds of many tree species have hard hulls. These are thought to confer mechanical protection, but the effect of endocarp thickness on seed predation by rodents has not been well investigated. Wild apricot ( Prunus armeniaca), wild peach ( Amygdalus davidiana), cultivated walnut ( Juglans regia), wild walnut ( Juglans mandshurica Maxim) and Liaodong oak ( Quercus liaotungensis) are very common tree species in northwestern Beijing city, China. Their seeds vary greatly in size, endocarp thickness, caloric value and tannin content. This paper aims to study the effects of seed traits on seed removal speed of these five tree species by small rodents in a temperate deciduous forest, with emphasis on the effect of endocarp thickness. The results indicated that speed of removal of seeds released at stations in the field decreased significantly with increasing endocarp thickness. We found no significant correlations between seed removal speed and other seed traits such as seed size, caloric value and tannin content. In seed selection experiments in small cages, Père David's rock squirrel ( Sciurotamias davidianus), a large-bodied, strong-jawed rodent, selected all of the five seed species, and the selection order among the five seed species was determined by endocarp thickness and the ratio of endocarp mass/seed mass. In contrast, the Korean field mouse ( Apodemus peninsulae) and Chinese white-bellied rat ( Niviventer confucianus), with relatively small bodies and weak jaws, preferred to select small seeds like acorns of Q. liaotungensis and seeds of P. armeniaca, indicating that rodent body size is also an important factor affecting food selection based on seed size. These results suggest endocarp thickness significantly reduces seed removal speed by rodents and then negatively affects dispersal fitness of seeds before seed removal of tree species in the study

  18. Carabid larvae as predators of weed seeds: granivory in larvae of Amara eurynota (Coleoptera: Carabidae).

    PubMed

    Saska, Pavel

    2004-01-01

    Up to date we do not have much information about predation on seeds by larvae of ground beetles. One of the reasons why such knowledge is important is that granivorous larvae contribute to predation of weed seeds. In this study, the food requirements of larvae of autumn breeding carabid species Amara eurynota (Panzer) were investigated in the laboratory and a hypothesis, that they are granivorous was tested. Insect diet (Tenebrio molitor larvae), three seed diets (seeds of Artemisia vulgaris, Tripleurospermum inodorum or Urtica dioica or a mixed diet (T. molitor + A. uulgaris) were used as food. For larvae of A. eurynota, seeds are essential for successful completion of development, because all those fed pure insect diet died before pupation. However, differences in suitability were observed between pure seed diets. Larvae fed seeds of A. vulgaris had the lowest mortality and fastest development of the seed diets. Those fed seeds of T. inodorum had also low mortality, but the development was prolonged in the third instar. In contrast, development of larvae reared on seeds of U. dioica was slowest of the tested diets and could not be completed, as all individuals died before pupation. When insects were included to seed diet of A. vulgaris (mixed diet), the duration of development shortened, but mortality remained the same when compared to seed diet of A. vulgaris. According to the results it was concluded that larvae of A. eurynota are granivorous. A mixed diet and seed diets of A. uulgaris and T. inodorum were suitable and insect diet and seeds of U. dioica were unsuitable diets in this experiment.

  19. Predation risk affects reproductive physiology and demography of elk.

    PubMed

    Creel, Scott; Christianson, David; Liley, Stewart; Winnie, John A

    2007-02-16

    Elk (Cervus elaphus) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alter patterns of aggregation, habitat selection, vigilance, and foraging in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Antipredator behaviors like these can reduce predation risk but are also likely to carry costs. Data from five elk populations studied for 16 site years showed that progesterone concentrations (from 1489 fecal samples) declined with the ratio of elk to wolves. In turn, progesterone concentrations were a good predictor of calf recruitment in the subsequent year. Together, these data suggest that wolves indirectly affect the reproductive physiology and the demography of elk through the costs of antipredator behavior. PMID:17303746

  20. Effects of carbaryl-bran bait on trap-catch and seed predation by ground beetles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Carbaryl-bran bait is effective against grasshoppers without many impacts on non-target organisms, but ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) may be susceptible to these baits. Carabids are beneficial in agricultural settings as predators of insect pests and weed seeds. Carabid species composition a...

  1. [Predation, removal and seed dispersal in a wetland dominated by palms (Arecaceae)].

    PubMed

    Myers, Ronald L

    2013-09-01

    In the Tortuguero floodplains, Costa Rica, a significant number of trees such as Carapa guianensis, Pentaclethra mnacroloba and the palm Manicaria saccifera have floating seeds adapted to hydrocory, while others, such as the almendro Dipteryx oleifera and the raffia palm Raphia taedigera have heavy seeds that do not float. These species have differential distributions, and while C. guianensis, P macroloba and D. oleifera also grow on slopes away from the flood, the palms M saccifera and R. taedigera hardly occur outside the swamps, where they stand as the dominant species. To understand the differences in the micro-distribution of these tree species in waterlogged environments and differences in their seed adaptations, I did a series of experiments to compare the loss and germination of their seeds in the slope forest and in palm swamps in the region. Overall, seeds in the forest slope have higher removal rates than those in the M. saccifera and R. taedigera swamps. This last one exhibits the lowest seed loss of all three habitats. Also, differences in seed predation/removal were noticed between the two species of palms studied. Thus, seeds of M saccifera disappeared rapidly, regardless of density aggregation and location in the swamp. Removal rates in R. taedigera seeds were low in the raffia dominated swamp, where apparently, seed losses are slightly higher in the mounds of palm clumps than in the swamp floor. These observations suggest that both: flooding and microtopography determine, directly or indirectly, the fate of tree species within these wetlands. Restrictions on seed dispersal and the slow germination confine R. taedigera marshes and flooded places, whereas flooding and predators mediate in the distribution of the other tree species. PMID:24459753

  2. Rodent foraging is affected by indirect, but not by direct, cues of predation risk.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Danielson, Brent, J.; Brinkerhoff, R., Jory

    2004-01-01

    Behavioral Ecology Vol. 15 No. 3: 433 - 437 We used foraging trays to determine whether old field mice, Peromyscus polionotus , altered foraging in response to direct cues of predation risk (urine of native and nonnative predators) and indirect cues of predation risk (foraging microhabitat, precipitation, and moon illumination). The proportion of seeds remaining in each tray (a measure of the giving-up density [GUD]) was used to measure risk perceived by mice. Mice did not alter their GUD when presented with cues of native predators (bobcats, Lynx r ufus , and red foxes, Vulpes vulpes), recently introduced predators (coyotes, Canis latrans ), nonnative predators (ocelots, Leopardus pardalis ), a native herbivore (white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus), or a water control. Rather, GUD was related to microhabitat: rodents removed more seeds from foraging trays sheltered beneath vegetative cover compared with exposed trays outside of cover. Rodents also removed more seeds during nights with precipitation and when moon illumination was low. Our results suggest that P. polionotus used indirect cues rather than direct cues to assess risk of vertebrate predation. Indirect cues may be more reliable than are direct scent cues for estimating risk from multiple vertebrate predators that present the most risk in open environments.

  3. Seed harvester ants (Polonomyrmex rugosus) as "pulse" predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed harvesting ants, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, collected grass cicadas at a high rate (>5 min-1 taken into the nest) at one location where cicada emergence exceeded 3m-2. Dry conditions in the winter-spring resulted in no annual plants in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. P. rugosus colonies were inactiv...

  4. Pre-Dispersal Seed Predation in a Species-Rich Forest Community: Patterns and the Interplay with Determinants

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yue; Shen, Zehao; Li, Daoxin; Guo, Qinfeng

    2015-01-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation (PDSP) is commonly observed in woody plants, and recognized as a driver of seed production variability that is critical for successful regeneration. Earlier studies on PDSP and its determinants were mostly species specific, with community-level PDSP rarely estimated; and the interactions between the temporal variability of seed production and PDSP remain elusive. In this study, the community seed rain of woody plants in a mixed evergreen-deciduous broadleaf forest was monitored for seven years. We examined predation on collected seeds and analyzed the determinants of PDSP. PDSP was recorded in 17 out of 44 woody plant species, and three-quarters of PDSP was due to insect predators. Annual seed production varied substantially at community level, reversely linked with the temporal variation of PDSP rate. The PDSP rate was biased regarding fruit types, and being significantly correlated with seed mass when using phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs) or without taking into account phylogenetic relations, especially for nuts. PDSP rate was also negatively correlated with seed density, showing a threshold-related predator satiation effect. The community-level PDSP rate was primarily determined by tree height, fruit type, and interannual variation of seed production and seed mass. Our analysis revealed a causal link between seed production and the dynamics of PDSP rate at the community level. The predator satiation effect was primarily contributed by the dominant species, whereas the rare species seemed to apply a distinct “hide-and-seek” strategy to control the risk of PDSP. The mechanistic difference of seed production between the common and rare species can shed new light on species coexistence and community assembly. Long-term monitoring of both seed rain and seed predation is required for understanding the ecological and evolutionary implications of species regeneration strategies in a species-rich forest community. PMID:26575270

  5. Pre-Dispersal Seed Predation in a Species-Rich Forest Community: Patterns and the Interplay with Determinants.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yue; Shen, Zehao; Li, Daoxin; Guo, Qinfeng

    2015-01-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation (PDSP) is commonly observed in woody plants, and recognized as a driver of seed production variability that is critical for successful regeneration. Earlier studies on PDSP and its determinants were mostly species specific, with community-level PDSP rarely estimated; and the interactions between the temporal variability of seed production and PDSP remain elusive. In this study, the community seed rain of woody plants in a mixed evergreen-deciduous broadleaf forest was monitored for seven years. We examined predation on collected seeds and analyzed the determinants of PDSP. PDSP was recorded in 17 out of 44 woody plant species, and three-quarters of PDSP was due to insect predators. Annual seed production varied substantially at community level, reversely linked with the temporal variation of PDSP rate. The PDSP rate was biased regarding fruit types, and being significantly correlated with seed mass when using phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs) or without taking into account phylogenetic relations, especially for nuts. PDSP rate was also negatively correlated with seed density, showing a threshold-related predator satiation effect. The community-level PDSP rate was primarily determined by tree height, fruit type, and interannual variation of seed production and seed mass. Our analysis revealed a causal link between seed production and the dynamics of PDSP rate at the community level. The predator satiation effect was primarily contributed by the dominant species, whereas the rare species seemed to apply a distinct "hide-and-seek" strategy to control the risk of PDSP. The mechanistic difference of seed production between the common and rare species can shed new light on species coexistence and community assembly. Long-term monitoring of both seed rain and seed predation is required for understanding the ecological and evolutionary implications of species regeneration strategies in a species-rich forest community.

  6. Gut passage and secondary metabolites alter the source of post-dispersal predation for bird-dispersed chili seeds.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Evan C; Haak, David C; Levey, Douglas J; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2016-07-01

    Plants can influence the source and severity of seed predation through various mechanisms; the use of secondary metabolites for chemical defense, for example, is well documented. Gut passage by frugivores can also reduce mortality of animal-dispersed seeds, although this mechanism has gained far less attention than secondary metabolites. Apart from influencing the severity of seed predation, gut passage may also influence the source of seed predation. In Bolivia, we compared impacts of these two mechanisms, gut passage and secondary metabolites, on the source of seed predation in Capsicum chacoense, a wild chili species that is polymorphic for pungency (individual plants either produce fruits and seeds containing or lacking capsaicinoids). Using physical exclosures, we isolated seed removal by insects, mammals, and birds; seeds in the trials were from either pungent or non-pungent fruits and were either passed or not passed by seed-dispersing birds. Pungency had little influence on total short-term seed removal by animals, although prior work on this species indicates that capsaicin reduces mortality caused by fungi at longer time scales. Gut passage strongly reduced removal by insects, altering the relative impact of the three predator types. The weak impact of pungency on short-term predation contrasts with previous studies, highlighting the context dependence of secondary metabolites. The strong impact of gut passage demonstrates that this mechanism alone can influence which seed predators consume seeds, and that impacts of gut passage can be larger than those of secondary metabolites, which are more commonly acknowledged as a defense mechanism. PMID:27016078

  7. Interactions between nectar robbers and seed predators mediated by a shared host plant, Ipomopsis aggregata.

    PubMed

    Brody, Alison K; Irwin, Rebecca E; McCutcheon, Meghan L; Parsons, Emily C

    2008-02-01

    Animals that consume plant parts or rewards but provide no services in return are likely to have significant impacts on the reproductive success of their host plants. The effects of multiple antagonists to plant reproduction may not be predictable from studying their individual effects in isolation. If consumer behaviors are contingent on each other, such interactions may limit the ability of the host to evolve in response to any one enemy. Here, we asked whether nectar robbing by a bumblebee (Bombus occidentalis) altered the likelihood of pre-dispersal seed predation by a fly (Hylemya sp.) on a shared host plant, Ipomopsis aggregata (Polemoniaceae). We estimated the fitness consequences of the combined interactions using experimental manipulations of nectar robbing within and among sites. Within sites, nectar robbing reduced the percentage of fruits destroyed by Hylemya. However, the negative effects of robbing on seed production outweighed any advantages associated with decreased seed predation in robbed plants. We found similar trends among sites when we manipulated robbing to all plants within a local population, although the results were not statistically significant. Taken together, our results suggest that seed predation is not independent of nectar robbing. Thus, accounting for the interactions among species is crucial to predicting their ecological effects and plant evolutionary response.

  8. Climate affects predator control of an herbivore outbreak.

    PubMed

    Preisser, Evan L; Strong, Donald R

    2004-05-01

    Herbivore outbreaks and the accompanying devastation of plant biomass can have enormous ecological effects. Climate directly affects such outbreaks through plant stress or alterations in herbivore life-history traits. Large-scale variation in climate can indirectly affect outbreaks through trophic interactions, but the magnitude of such effects is unknown. On the California coast, rainfall in years during and immediately previous to mass lupine mortality was two-thirds that of years without such mortality. However, neither mature lupines nor their root-feeding herbivores are directly affected by annual variation in rainfall. By increasing soil moisture to levels characteristic of summers following El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, we increased persistence of a predator (the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis marelatus). This led to suppression of an outbreak of the herbivorous moth Hepialus californicus, indirectly protecting bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus). Our results are consistent with the marine-oriented Menge-Sutherland hypothesis (Menge and Sutherland 1987) that abiotic stress has greater effects on higher than on lower trophic levels. The mechanisms producing these results differ from those proposed by Menge-Sutherland, however, highlighting differences between trophic processes in underground and terrestrial/marine food webs. Our evidence suggests that herbivore outbreaks and mass lupine mortality are indirectly affected by ENSO's facilitation of top-down control in this food web.

  9. Beach almond (Terminalia catappa, Combretaceae) seed production and predation by scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides).

    PubMed

    Henn, Jonathan J; McCoy, Michael B; Vaughan, Christopher S

    2014-09-01

    Knowledge of ecological impacts of exotic beach almond (Terminalia catappa) in the central Pacific of Costa Rica are little known, but studies have found this species to be a potentially important food source for endangered scarlet macaws (Ara macao). In this study, reproductive phenology and seed predation by variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides) and scarlet macaws were measured during March and April 2011 on beaches of central Pacific coastal Costa Rica. Seed productivity and predation levels were quantified on a weekly basis for 111 beach almond trees to assess the importance of beach almond as a food source for scarlet macaws and the extent of resource partitioning between seed predators. Seed production of the trees was great (about 194 272 seeds) and approximately 67% of seeds were predated by seed predators. Macaws consumed an estimated 49% of seeds while squirrels consumed 18%. Additionally, evidence of resource partitioning between squirrels and macaws was found. Scarlet macaws preferred to feed on the northern side and edge of the canopy while squirrels preferred to feed on the southern and inside parts of the canopy. Both species ate most seeds on the ocean side of the tree. Despite the status of this tree as an exotic species, the beach almond appears to be an important resource for scarlet macaw population recovery. The resource produced by this tree should be taken into account as reforestation efforts continue in Costa Rica. PMID:25412525

  10. It's a predator-eat-parasite world: how characteristics of predator, parasite and environment affect consumption.

    PubMed

    Orlofske, Sarah A; Jadin, Robert C; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the effects of predation on disease dynamics is increasingly important in light of the role ecological communities can play in host-parasite interactions. Surprisingly, however, few studies have characterized direct predation of parasites. Here we used an experimental approach to show that consumption of free-living parasite stages is highly context dependent, with significant influences of parasite size, predator size and foraging mode, as well as environmental condition. Among the four species of larval trematodes and two types of predators (fish and larval damselflies) studied here, parasites with larger infective stages (size >1,000 μm) were most vulnerable to predation by fish, while small-bodied fish and damselflies (size <10 mm) consumed the most infectious stages. Small parasite species (size approx. 500 μm) were less frequently consumed by both fish and larval damselflies. However, these results depended strongly on light availability; trials conducted in the dark led to significantly fewer parasites consumed overall, especially those with a size of <1,000 μm, emphasizing the importance of circadian shedding times of parasite free-living stages for predation risk. Intriguingly, active predation functioned to help limit fishes' infection by directly penetrating parasite species. Our results are consistent with established theory developed for predation on zooplankton that emphasizes the roles of body size, visibility and predation modes and further suggest that consumer-resource theory may provide a predictive framework for when predators should significantly influence parasite transmission. These results contribute to our understanding of transmission in natural systems, the role of predator-parasite links in food webs and the evolution of parasite morphology and behavior.

  11. It's a predator-eat-parasite world: how characteristics of predator, parasite and environment affect consumption.

    PubMed

    Orlofske, Sarah A; Jadin, Robert C; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the effects of predation on disease dynamics is increasingly important in light of the role ecological communities can play in host-parasite interactions. Surprisingly, however, few studies have characterized direct predation of parasites. Here we used an experimental approach to show that consumption of free-living parasite stages is highly context dependent, with significant influences of parasite size, predator size and foraging mode, as well as environmental condition. Among the four species of larval trematodes and two types of predators (fish and larval damselflies) studied here, parasites with larger infective stages (size >1,000 μm) were most vulnerable to predation by fish, while small-bodied fish and damselflies (size <10 mm) consumed the most infectious stages. Small parasite species (size approx. 500 μm) were less frequently consumed by both fish and larval damselflies. However, these results depended strongly on light availability; trials conducted in the dark led to significantly fewer parasites consumed overall, especially those with a size of <1,000 μm, emphasizing the importance of circadian shedding times of parasite free-living stages for predation risk. Intriguingly, active predation functioned to help limit fishes' infection by directly penetrating parasite species. Our results are consistent with established theory developed for predation on zooplankton that emphasizes the roles of body size, visibility and predation modes and further suggest that consumer-resource theory may provide a predictive framework for when predators should significantly influence parasite transmission. These results contribute to our understanding of transmission in natural systems, the role of predator-parasite links in food webs and the evolution of parasite morphology and behavior. PMID:25648648

  12. Does Predation Risk Affect Mating Behavior? An Experimental Test in Dumpling Squid (Euprymna tasmanica)

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Amanda M.; Squires, Zoe E.; Stuart-Fox, Devi

    2014-01-01

    Introduction One of the most important trade-offs for many animals is that between survival and reproduction. This is particularly apparent when mating increases the risk of predation, either by increasing conspicuousness, reducing mobility or inhibiting an individual's ability to detect predators. Individuals may mitigate the risk of predation by altering their reproductive behavior (e.g. increasing anti-predator responses to reduce conspicuousness). The degree to which individuals modulate their reproductive behavior in relation to predation risk is difficult to predict because both the optimal investment in current and future reproduction (due to life-history strategies) and level of predation risk may differ between the sexes and among species. Here, we investigate the effect of increased predation risk on the reproductive behavior of dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica). Results Females, but not males, showed a substantial increase in the number of inks (an anti-predator behavior) before mating commenced in the presence of a predator (sand flathead Platycephalus bassensis). However, predation risk did not affect copulation duration, the likelihood of mating, female anti-predator behavior during or after mating or male anti-predator behavior at any time. Conclusions Inking is a common anti-predator defense in cephalopods, thought to act like a smokescreen, decoy or distraction. Female dumpling squid are probably using this form of defense in response to the increase in predation risk prior to mating. Conversely, males were undeterred by the increase in predation risk. A lack of change in these variables may occur if the benefit of completing mating outweighs the risk of predation. Prioritizing current reproduction, even under predation risk, can occur when the chance of future reproduction is low, there is substantial energetic investment into mating, or the potential fitness payoffs of mating are high. PMID:25551378

  13. Seed Predators, not Herbivores, Exert Natural Selection on Solidago spp. in an Urban Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Bode, R F; Gilbert, A B

    2016-02-01

    The effects of urbanization on biodiversity are well established, as a growing city will reduce the size and diversity of patches of native plants. Recolonization of old patches and discovery of new ones by arthropod herbivores should occur as predicted by island biogeography theory. Although colonization represents an increase in biodiversity, such arrivals may exert new forms of natural selection on plants through herbivory and seed predation. Using a single species of old-field aster (Solidago altissima L.), we found that the level of natural selection by seed predators and herbivores follows patterns of island biogeography, with lower amounts of damage on smaller islands, where there are fewer species, and hypothetically smaller populations of arthropods. We also found that in an urban system, levels of herbivory are far below the tolerance levels of Solidago, and that seed predators are likely to be the only arthropod to cause reduced fitness. The pattern seen also implies that as a patch of Solidago grows through clonal expansion, it will come under higher selective pressure. PMID:26494854

  14. Social deprivation affects cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Saskia; Anaya-Rojas, Jaime M.; Frommen, Joachim G.; Thünken, Timo

    2015-01-01

    The social environment individuals are exposed to during ontogeny shapes social skills and social competence in group-living animals. Consequently, social deprivation has serious effects on behaviour and development in animals but little is known about its impact on cooperation. In this study, we examined the effect of social environment on cooperative predator inspection. Predator inspection behaviour is a complex behaviour, which is present in a variety of shoaling fish species. Often, two fish leave the safety of the group and inspect a potentially dangerous predator in order to gather information about the current predation risk. As predator inspection is highly risky, it is prone to conflicts and cheating. However, cooperation among individuals may reduce the individual predation risk. We investigated this complex social behaviour in juveniles of the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus that were reared in two different social environments throughout development. Fish reared in a group inspected more often than isolation-reared fish and were more likely to cooperate, i.e. they conducted conjoint inspection of a predator. By contrast, isolation-reared fish were more likely to perform a single inspection without a companion. These results suggest an impairment of cooperative behaviour in isolation-reared fish most probably due to lack of social experience and resulting in lowered social skills needed in coordinated behaviour. PMID:26064616

  15. Fruit production and predispersal seed fall and predation in Rhamnus alaternus (Rhamnaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bas, Josep M.; Gómez, Crisanto; Pons, Pere

    2005-03-01

    In the reproductive cycle of fleshy-fruited plants, and before the seeds are dispersed, some fruits fall down or are predated on the branches. Here, we study the predispersal biology of Rhamnus alaternus in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula over a 4-year period. Specifically, we examined fruit production, fructification and the phenology of ripening, together with the causes and the consequences of the predispersal loss in female plants. In addition, we evaluated the influence of the biometric traits and the spatial distribution of plants with regard to these aspects. The total estimated fruit production and fruiting phenology varied between localities and years, and there was no relation either to the plant biometry or to the spatial situation. The ripening period was between April and August, with a mean period of fruit permanence on the branches of 102 days. The maximum presence of ripe fruits was from early June to July, 54 days in average after fruit ripening began. The interaction of animals with the fruits has four important consequences: (a) losses in the initial production due to depredation of seeds, mainly by rodents; (b) direct fall of fruit and seeds under the cover of the female plants due to invertebrate predators of pulp; (c) reduction of the period of fruit availability on the branches; and (d) reduction of the proportion of ripe fruits on branches. In summary, the number of seeds available to be dispersed by frugivorous vertebrates is considerably reduced as a consequence of predispersal effects.

  16. Prey community structure affects how predators select for Mullerian mimicry.

    PubMed

    Ihalainen, Eira; Rowland, Hannah M; Speed, Michael P; Ruxton, Graeme D; Mappes, Johanna

    2012-06-01

    Müllerian mimicry describes the close resemblance between aposematic prey species; it is thought to be beneficial because sharing a warning signal decreases the mortality caused by sampling by inexperienced predators learning to avoid the signal. It has been hypothesized that selection for mimicry is strongest in multi-species prey communities where predators are more prone to misidentify the prey than in simple communities. In this study, wild great tits (Parus major) foraged from either simple (few prey appearances) or complex (several prey appearances) artificial prey communities where a specific model prey was always present. Owing to slower learning, the model did suffer higher mortality in complex communities when the birds were inexperienced. However, in a subsequent generalization test to potential mimics of the model prey (a continuum of signal accuracy), only birds that had foraged from simple communities selected against inaccurate mimics. Therefore, accurate mimicry is more likely to evolve in simple communities even though predator avoidance learning is slower in complex communities. For mimicry to evolve, prey species must have a common predator; the effective community consists of the predator's diet. In diverse environments, the limited diets of specialist predators could create 'simple community pockets' where accurate mimicry is selected for.

  17. Cheating on the mutualistic contract: nutritional gain through seed predation in the frugivorous bat Chiroderma villosum (Phyllostomidae).

    PubMed

    Wagner, Insa; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Tschapka, Marco

    2015-04-01

    Most frugivorous bats are efficient seed dispersers, as they typically do not damage seeds and transport them over long distances. In contrast, bats of the phyllostomid genus Chiroderma cheat fig trees by acting more as seed predators than as seed dispersers. The bats initially separate seeds from fruit pulp in the mouth. After extracting the juice from the fruit pulp, they thoroughly chew the seeds and spit out small seed fragments in a pellet. Consequently, the faeces contain almost no viable seeds. We compared the nutrient content of intact fig seeds with ejecta and faecal samples from both Chiroderma villosum and the 'conventional' frugivorous bat Artibeus watsoni. We show that C. villosum can extract nutrients from the seeds, especially protein and fat. The processing time of figs showed no significant difference between the two bat species. Food-choice experiments showed that C. villosum preferred fig species with more seeds over those with fewer seeds. This preference, in combination with the specialized seed-chewing behaviour, leads to an increased nutrient intake per fig. This unique strategy enables C. villosum to satisfy its nutritional requirements with a lower number of figs than other species, which decreases the amount of energy necessary for foraging flights as well as the predation risk during foraging.

  18. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine

    PubMed Central

    Tella, José L.; Dénes, Francisco V.; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P.; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved. PMID:27546381

  19. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine.

    PubMed

    Tella, José L; Dénes, Francisco V; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-08-22

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved.

  20. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine.

    PubMed

    Tella, José L; Dénes, Francisco V; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved. PMID:27546381

  1. Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, James D.; Soldan, Theodore

    1983-01-01

    Describes two computer simulations of the predator-prey interaction in which students explore theories and mathematical equations involved in this biological process. The programs (for Apple II), designed for college level ecology, may be used in lecture/demonstrations or as a basis for laboratory assignments. A list of student objectives is…

  2. Short-term sublethal hypoxia affects a predator-prey system in northern Adriatic transitional waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munari, Cristina; Mistri, Michele

    2012-01-01

    Predation intensity depends on factors that affect both the predator's ability to locate prey as well as defensive responses by prey to approaching predators. The interactive effects of short-term hypoxia and predation were tested on the survival of two bivalves ( Tapes philippinarum and Musculista senhousia) through laboratory experiments using the crab Carcinus aestuarii as predator. We found M. senhousia to be a focal prey of C. aestuarii but, after non-lethal hypoxia, the crabs' preference for the focal prey was influenced by the presence of the other prey, T. philippinarum. We observed an environmentally-mediated, non-reciprocal indirect interaction between the two prey species, probably caused by differences in specific traits. Identifying the influence of short-term disturbance on predator-prey relationships is critical for predicting the effects of changes in water quality on trophic interactions and food web dynamics in transitional systems.

  3. Spatial variation in post-dispersal seed removal in an Atlantic forest: Effects of habitat, location and guilds of seed predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christianini, Alexander V.; Galetti, Mauro

    2007-11-01

    Studies of post-dispersal seed removal in the Neotropics have rarely examined the magnitude of seed removal by different types of granivores. The relative impact of invertebrates, small rodents, and birds on seed removal was investigated in a 2,178 ha Atlantic forest fragment in southeastern Brazil. We used popcorn kernels ( Zea mays—Poaceae) to investigate seed removal in a series of selective exclosure treatments in a replicated, paired design experiment that included forest understory, gaps, and forest edge sites. We recorded the vegetation around the experimental seed stations in detail in order to evaluate the influence of microhabitat traits on seed removal. Vertebrate granivores (rodents and birds) were surveyed to determine whether granivore abundance was correlated with seed removal levels. Seed removal varied spatially and in unpredictable ways at the study site. Seed encounter and seed use varied with treatments, but not with habitat type. However, seed removal by invertebrates was negatively correlated with gap-related traits, which suggested an avoidance of large gaps by granivorous ants. The abundance of small mammals was remarkably low, but granivorous birds (tinamous and doves) were abundant at the study site. Birds were the main seed consumers in open treatments, but there was no correlation between local granivorous bird abundance and seed removal. These results emphasize the stochastic spatial pattern of seed removal, and, contrary to previous studies, highlight the importance of birds as seed predators in forest habitats.

  4. Predation and landscape characteristics independently affect reef fish community organization.

    PubMed

    Stier, Adrian C; Hanson, Katharine M; Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Brooks, Andrew J

    2014-05-01

    Trophic island biogeography theory predicts that the effects of predators on prey diversity are context dependent in heterogeneous landscapes. Specifically, models predict that the positive effect of habitat area on prey diversity should decline in the presence of predators, and that predators should modify the partitioning of alpha and beta diversity across patchy landscapes. However, experimental tests of the predicted context dependency in top-down control remain limited. Using a factorial field experiment we quantify the effects of a focal predatory fish species (grouper) and habitat characteristics (patch size, fragmentation) on the partitioning of diversity and assembly of coral reef fish communities. We found independent effects of groupers and patch characteristics on prey communities. Groupers reduced prey abundance by 50% and gamma diversity by 45%, with a disproportionate removal of rare species relative to common species (64% and 36% reduction, respectively; an oddity effect). Further, there was a 77% reduction in beta diversity. Null model analysis demonstrated that groupers increased the importance of stochastic community assembly relative to patches without groupers. With regard to patch size, larger patches contained more fishes, but a doubling of patch size led to a modest (36%) increase in prey abundance. Patch size had no effect on prey diversity; however, fragmented patches had 50% higher species richness and modified species composition relative to unfragmented patches. Our findings suggest two different pathways (i.e., habitat or predator shifts) by which natural and/or anthropogenic processes can drive variation in fish biodiversity and community assembly. PMID:25000761

  5. How predation risk affects the temporal dynamics of avian leks: greater sage grouse versus golden eagles.

    PubMed

    Boyko, Adam R

    2004-01-01

    Leks often attract predators as well as mates, yet most evolutionary models have assumed that sexual selection, not predation, drives lekking behavior. We explored the influence of predation on lek dynamics using a stochastic dynamic game model based on the lek-breeding greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and its principal avian predator, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The model predicts time-dependent male lek attendance as a function of factors affecting both mating success (female arrival rate, male numbers, and social status) and predation risk (eagle arrival rate and group size). Dominant males are predicted to arrive sooner and leave later than subordinates, especially if mating skew is high, predation risk is low, or the relationship between lek size and female arrival rate is weak. Both high mean levels of predation risk and small lek size should reduce lek attendance, but the relative tendency of predators to attack large versus small leks has little influence on predicted lekking behavior. Field observations confirmed the predicted effects of female arrival rate, lek size, male dominance, and weather-dependent predator arrival rates on lek departure times. Predicted effects of female arrival rates and male dominance on seasonal lek attendance were also supported. Our model provides an empirically supported adaptive explanation for short-term lek dynamics. It also suggests alternative interpretations for phenomena previously invoked to support the hotshot and skew models of lek formation.

  6. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    PubMed

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. PMID:22380551

  7. How predation risk affects the temporal dynamics of avian leks: greater sage grouse versus golden eagles.

    PubMed

    Boyko, Adam R

    2004-01-01

    Leks often attract predators as well as mates, yet most evolutionary models have assumed that sexual selection, not predation, drives lekking behavior. We explored the influence of predation on lek dynamics using a stochastic dynamic game model based on the lek-breeding greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and its principal avian predator, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The model predicts time-dependent male lek attendance as a function of factors affecting both mating success (female arrival rate, male numbers, and social status) and predation risk (eagle arrival rate and group size). Dominant males are predicted to arrive sooner and leave later than subordinates, especially if mating skew is high, predation risk is low, or the relationship between lek size and female arrival rate is weak. Both high mean levels of predation risk and small lek size should reduce lek attendance, but the relative tendency of predators to attack large versus small leks has little influence on predicted lekking behavior. Field observations confirmed the predicted effects of female arrival rate, lek size, male dominance, and weather-dependent predator arrival rates on lek departure times. Predicted effects of female arrival rates and male dominance on seasonal lek attendance were also supported. Our model provides an empirically supported adaptive explanation for short-term lek dynamics. It also suggests alternative interpretations for phenomena previously invoked to support the hotshot and skew models of lek formation. PMID:14767844

  8. Yucca brevifolia fruit production, predispersal seed predation, and fruit removal by rodents during two years of contrasting reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borchert, Mark I.; DeFalco, Lesley

    2016-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The distribution of Yucca brevifolia, a keystone species of the Mojave Desert, may contract with climate change, yet reproduction and dispersal are poorly understood. We tracked reproduction, seed predation, and fruit dispersal for two years and discuss whether Y. brevifolia is a masting species. METHODS: Fruit maturation, seed predation (larval yucca moths), and fruit dispersal (rodents) were monitored on a random sample of panicles during 2013 and 2014, which were years of high and low reproduction, respectively. Fates of fruits placed on the ground and in canopies were also tracked. Rodents were live-trapped to assess abundance and species composition. KEY RESULTS: In 2013, 66% of inflorescences produced fruit of which 53% escaped larval predation; 19.5% of seeds were destroyed in infested fruits. Total seed production was estimated to be >100 times greater in 2013 than 2014. One-third of the fruit crop fell to the ground and was removed by rodents over the course of 120 d. After ground fruits became scarce, rodents exploited canopy fruits. Rodent numbers were low in 2013, so fruits remained in canopies for 370 d. In 2014, fruit production was approximately 20% lower. Larvae infested the majority of fruits, and almost twice the number of seeds were damaged. Fruits were exploited by rodents within 65 d. CONCLUSIONS: High fertilization, prolific seed production, and low predispersal predation in 2013 suggests that pollinator attraction and satiation of seed predators influence masting in Y. brevifolia. Abundant, prolonged fruit availability to seed-dispersing rodents likely extends recruitment opportunities during mast years.

  9. Alternative strategies of seed predator escape by early-germinating oaks in Asia and North America.

    PubMed

    Yi, Xianfeng; Yang, Yueqin; Curtis, Rachel; Bartlow, Andrew W; Agosta, Salvatore J; Steele, Michael A

    2012-03-01

    Early germination of white oaks is widely viewed as an evolutionary strategy to escape rodent predation; yet, the mechanism by which this is accomplished is poorly understood. We report that chestnut oak Quercus montana (CO) and white oak Q. alba (WO) (from North America), and oriental cork oak Q. variabilis (OO) and Mongolian oak Q. mongolica (MO) (from Asia) can escape predation and successfully establish from only taproots. During germination in autumn, cotyledonary petioles of acorns of CO and WO elongate and push the plumule out of the cotyledons, whereas OO and MO extend only the hypocotyls and retain the plumule within the cotyledons. Experiments showed that the pruned taproots (>6 cm) of CO and WO acorns containing the plumule successfully germinated and survived, and the pruned taproots (≥12 cm) of OO and MO acorns without the plumule successfully regenerated along with the detached acorns, thus producing two seedlings. We argue that these two distinct regeneration morphologies reflect alternative strategies for escaping seed predation.

  10. Seed predation by bonobos (Pan paniscus) at Kokolopori, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Georgiev, Alexander V; Thompson, Melissa Emery; Lokasola, Albert Lotana; Wrangham, Richard W

    2011-10-01

    We compared the feeding ecology of the Hali-Hali community of bonobos (Pan paniscus) at Kokolopori, a new field site in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, between two periods 5 months apart. During the first study period (SP1), bonobos relied heavily on the dry seeds of Guibourtia (Caesalpiniaceae), mostly eaten from the ground. The second period (SP2) was characterized by high consumption of ripe tree fruit. Terrestrial herbaceous vegetation (THV) contributed little to the diet in either study period. The low amount of ripe fruit and the high reliance on seeds in the diet during SP1 were associated with high cortisol production and low levels of urinary C-peptide in females, suggesting nutritional stress. However, female gregariousness was not constrained during the fruit-poor period, probably because high seed abundance on the ground ameliorated scramble feeding competition. This is the first description of extensive seed predation by bonobos. It suggests that bonobo feeding ecology may be more similar to that of chimpanzees than previously recognized.

  11. Inducible offences affect predator-prey interactions and life-history plasticity in both predators and prey.

    PubMed

    Kishida, Osamu; Costa, Zacharia; Tezuka, Ayumi; Michimae, Hirofumi

    2014-07-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can have strong impacts on predator-prey interactions. Although much work has examined the effects of inducible defences, less understood is how inducible offences in predators affect predator-prey interactions and predator and prey phenotypes. Here, we examine the impacts of an inducible offence on the interactions and life histories of a cohort of predatory Hynobius retardatus salamander larvae and their prey, Rana pirica tadpoles. We examined larval (duration, survival) and post-metamorphic (size) traits of both species after manipulating the presence/absence of tadpoles and salamanders with offensive (broadened gape width) or non-offensive phenotypes in pond enclosures. Offensive phenotype salamanders reduced tadpole survival and metamorph emergence by 58% compared to tadpole-only treatments, and by over 30% compared to non-offensive phenotypes. Average time to metamorphosis of frogs was delayed by 30% in the presence of salamanders, although this was independent of salamander phenotype. Thus, offensive phenotype salamanders reduced the number of tadpoles remaining in the pond over time by reducing tadpole survival, not by altering patterns of metamorph emergence. Offensive phenotypes also caused tadpoles to metamorphose 19% larger than no salamander treatments and 6% larger than non-offensive phenotype treatments. Pooled across salamander treatments, tadpoles caused salamanders to reach metamorphosis faster and larger. Moreover, in the presence of tadpoles, offensive phenotype salamanders metamorphosed 25% faster and 5% larger than non-offensive phenotype salamanders, but in their absence, neither their size nor larval period differed from non-offensive phenotype individuals. To our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate that inducible offences in predators can have strong impacts on predator and prey phenotypes across multiple life stages. Since early metamorphosis at a larger size has potential fitness advantages, the impacts

  12. Remote Cameras Reveal Experimental Artifact in a Study of Seed Predation in a Semi-Arid Shrubland

    PubMed Central

    Deutschman, Douglas H.; Braswell, Jessica; McLaughlin, Dana

    2016-01-01

    Granivorous animals may prefer to predate or cache seed of certain plant species over others. Multiple studies have documented preference for larger, non-native seed by granivores. To accomplish this, researchers have traditionally used indirect inference by relating patterns of seed removal to the species composition of the granivorous animal community. To measure seed removal, researchers present seed to granivorous animals in the field using equipment intended to exclude certain animal taxa while permitting access to others. This approach allows researchers to differentiate patterns of seed removal among various taxa (e.g., birds, small mammals, and insects); however, it is unclear whether the animals of interest are freely using the exclusion devices, which may be a hindrance to discovering the seed dishes. We used video observation to perform a study of seed predation using a custom-built, infrared digital camera and recording system. We presented native and non-native seed mixtures in partitioned Petri dishes both within and outside of exclusion cages. The exclusion cages were intended to allow entrance by rodent taxa while preventing entrance by rabbits and birds. We documented all seed removal visits by granivorous animals, which we identified to the genus level. Genera exhibited varying seed removal patterns based on seed type (native vs. non-native) and dish type (open vs. enclosed). We documented avoidance of the enclosed dishes by all but one rodent taxa, even though these dishes were intended to be used freely by rodents. This suggests that preference for non-native seed occurs differentially among granivorous animals in this system; however, interpretation of these nuanced results would be difficult without the benefit of video observation. When feasible, video observation should accompany studies using in situ equipment to ensure incorrect assumptions do not lead to inappropriate interpretation of results. PMID:27764200

  13. Habitat edges affect patterns of artificial nest predation along a wetland-meadow boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suvorov, Petr; Svobodová, Jana; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2014-08-01

    Wetland habitats are among the most endangered ecosystems in the world. However, little is known about factors affecting the nesting success of birds in pristine grass-dominated wetlands. During three breeding periods we conducted an experiment with artificial ground nests to test two basic mechanisms (the matrix and ecotonal effects) that may result in edge effects on nest predation in grass-dominated wetland habitats. Whereas the matrix effect model supposes that predator penetrate from habitat of higher predator density to habitat of lower predator density, thus causing an edge effect in the latter, according to the ecotonal effect model predators preferentially use edge habitats over habitat interiors. In addition, we tested the edge effect in a wetland habitat using artificial shrub nests that simulated the real nests of small open-cup nesting passerines. In our study area, the lowest predation rates on ground nests were found in wetland interiors and were substantially higher along the edges of both wetland and meadow habitat. However, predation was not significantly different between meadow and wetland interiors, indicating that both mechanisms can be responsible for the edge effect in wetland edges. An increased predation rate along wetland edges was also observed for shrub nests, and resembled the predation pattern of real shrub nests in the same study area. Though we are not able to distinguish between the two mechanisms of the edge effect found, our results demonstrate that species nesting in wetland edges bordering arable land may be exposed to higher predation. Therefore, an increase in the size of wetland patches that would lead to a reduced proportion of edge areas might be a suitable management practice to protect wetland bird species in cultural European landscapes.

  14. Plastic hatching timing by red-eyed treefrog embryos interacts with larval predator identity and sublethal predation to affect prey morphology but not performance.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles' tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation.

  15. Plastic hatching timing by red-eyed treefrog embryos interacts with larval predator identity and sublethal predation to affect prey morphology but not performance.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles' tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation

  16. Plastic Hatching Timing by Red-Eyed Treefrog Embryos Interacts with Larval Predator Identity and Sublethal Predation to Affect Prey Morphology but Not Performance

    PubMed Central

    Touchon, Justin C.; Wojdak, Jeremy M.

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles’ tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation

  17. Protistan predation affects trichloroethene biodegradation in a bedrock aquifer.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Joseph J; Kinner, Nancy E; Lewis, Maureen

    2009-12-01

    Despite extensive research on the bottom-up force of resource availability (e.g., electron donors and acceptors), slow biodegradation rates and stalling at cis-dichloroethene (cDCE) and vinyl chloride continue to be observed in aquifers contaminated with trichloroethene (TCE). The objective of this research was to gauge the impact of the top-down force of protistan predation on TCE biodegradation in laboratory microcosms. When indigenous bacteria from an electron donor-limited TCE-contaminated bedrock aquifer were present, the indigenous protists inhibited reductive dechlorination altogether. The presence of protists during organic carbon-amended conditions caused the bacteria to elongate (length:width, > or =10:1), but reductive dechlorination was still inhibited. When a commercially available dechlorinating bacterial culture and an organic carbon amendment were added in he presence of protists, the elongated bacteria predominated and reductive dechlorination stalled at cDCE. When protists were removed under organic carbon-amended conditions, reductive dechlorination stalled at cDCE, whereas in the presence organic carbon and bacterial amendments, the total chlorinated ethene concentration decreased, indicating TCE was converted to ethene and/or CO2. The data suggested that indigenous protists grazed dechlorinators to extremely low levels, inhibiting dechlorination altogether. Hence, in situ bioremediation/bioaugmentation may not be successful in mineralizing TCE unless the top-down force of protistan predation is inhibited.

  18. Elevated CO2 Affects Predator-Prey Interactions through Altered Performance

    PubMed Central

    Allan, Bridie J. M.; Domenici, Paolo; McCormick, Mark I.; Watson, Sue-Ann; Munday, Philip L.

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown that exposure to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) affects how fishes perceive their environment, affecting behavioral and cognitive processes leading to increased prey mortality. However, it is unclear if increased mortality results from changes in the dynamics of predator-prey interactions or due to prey increasing activity levels. Here we demonstrate that ocean pCO2 projected to occur by 2100 significantly effects the interactions of a predator-prey pair of common reef fish: the planktivorous damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis and the piscivorous dottyback Pseudochromis fuscus. Prey exposed to elevated CO2 (880 µatm) or a present-day control (440 µatm) interacted with similarly exposed predators in a cross-factored design. Predators had the lowest capture success when exposed to elevated CO2 and interacting with prey exposed to present-day CO2. Prey exposed to elevated CO2 had reduced escape distances and longer reaction distances compared to prey exposed to present-day CO2 conditions, but this was dependent on whether the prey was paired with a CO2 exposed predator or not. This suggests that the dynamics of predator-prey interactions under future CO2 environments will depend on the extent to which the interacting species are affected and can adapt to the adverse effects of elevated CO2. PMID:23484032

  19. Seed predation and fruit damage of Solanum lycocarpum (Solanaceae) by rodents in the cerrado of central Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briani and, Denis C., Jr.; Guimarães, Paulo R.

    2007-01-01

    Although neotropical savannas and grasslands, collectively referred to as cerrado, are rich in seed-eating species of rodents, little is known about seed predation and its determinants in this habitat. In this study, we investigated seed predation and damage to fruits of the widespread shrub Solanum lycocarpum. In addition, the influence of two possible determinants (distance from the parental plant and total crop size) on the feeding behaviour of Oryzomys scotti (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae) was also examined. O. scotti were captured more frequently close to the shrubs or on shrub crops, indicating that these rodents were attracted to the shrubs and that seed predation was probably distance-dependent. Moreover, the proportion of damaged fruit on the plant decreased as the total crop size increased; consequently, more productive plants were attacked proportionally less by rodents. This pattern of fruit damage may reflect predator satiation caused by the consumption of a large amount of pulp. Alternatively, secondary metabolites in S. lycocarpum fruits may reduce the pulp consumption per feeding event, thereby limiting the number of fruits damaged.

  20. Integrated management of Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius: is control enhanced when seed predation is combined with prescribed fire or mowing?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Integrated weed management (IWM) strategies are being advocated and employed to control invasive plants species. Prescribed fire, mechanical removal, and biological control (seed predator Exapion fuscirostre) are used to manage the invasive plant, Cytisus scoparius, in prairies at Fort Lewis, Washi...

  1. Brain size affects the behavioural response to predators in female guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

    PubMed Central

    van der Bijl, Wouter; Thyselius, Malin; Kotrschal, Alexander; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-01-01

    Large brains are thought to result from selection for cognitive benefits, but how enhanced cognition leads to increased fitness remains poorly understood. One explanation is that increased cognitive ability results in improved monitoring and assessment of predator threats. Here, we use male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), artificially selected for large and small brain size, to provide an experimental evaluation of this hypothesis. We examined their behavioural response as singletons, pairs or shoals of four towards a model predator. Large-brained females, but not males, spent less time performing predator inspections, an inherently risky behaviour. Video analysis revealed that large-brained females were further away from the model predator when in pairs but that they habituated quickly towards the model when in shoals of four. Males stayed further away from the predator model than females but again we found no brain size effect in males. We conclude that differences in brain size affect the female predator response. Large-brained females might be able to assess risk better or need less sensory information to reach an accurate conclusion. Our results provide experimental support for the general idea that predation pressure is likely to be important for the evolution of brain size in prey species. PMID:26203003

  2. Brain size affects the behavioural response to predators in female guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    van der Bijl, Wouter; Thyselius, Malin; Kotrschal, Alexander; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-08-01

    Large brains are thought to result from selection for cognitive benefits, but how enhanced cognition leads to increased fitness remains poorly understood. One explanation is that increased cognitive ability results in improved monitoring and assessment of predator threats. Here, we use male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), artificially selected for large and small brain size, to provide an experimental evaluation of this hypothesis. We examined their behavioural response as singletons, pairs or shoals of four towards a model predator. Large-brained females, but not males, spent less time performing predator inspections, an inherently risky behaviour. Video analysis revealed that large-brained females were further away from the model predator when in pairs but that they habituated quickly towards the model when in shoals of four. Males stayed further away from the predator model than females but again we found no brain size effect in males. We conclude that differences in brain size affect the female predator response. Large-brained females might be able to assess risk better or need less sensory information to reach an accurate conclusion. Our results provide experimental support for the general idea that predation pressure is likely to be important for the evolution of brain size in prey species.

  3. Intraguild predation by shore crabs affects mortality, behavior, growth, and densities of California horn snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, J.; Hechinger, R.F.; Cooper, S. D.; Kuris, A. M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2016-01-01

    The California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica, and the shore crabs, Pachygrapsus crassipesand Hemigrapsus oregonensis, compete for epibenthic microalgae, but the crabs also eat snails. Such intraguild predation is common in nature, despite models predicting instability. Using a series of manipulations and field surveys, we examined intraguild predation from several angles, including the effects of stage-dependent predation along with direct consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects on intraguild prey. In the laboratory, we found that crabs fed on macroalgae, snail eggs, and snails, and the size of consumed snails increased with predator crab size. In field experiments, snails grew less in the presence of crabs partially because snails behaved differently and were buried in the sediment (nonconsumptive effects). Consistent with these results, crab and snail abundances were negatively correlated in three field surveys conducted at three different spatial scales in estuaries of California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur: (1) among 61 sites spanning multiple habitat types in three estuaries, (2) among the habitats of 13 estuaries, and (3) among 34 tidal creek sites in one estuary. These results indicate that shore crabs are intraguild predators on California horn snails that affect snail populations via predation and by influencing snail behavior and performance.

  4. Brain size affects the behavioural response to predators in female guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    van der Bijl, Wouter; Thyselius, Malin; Kotrschal, Alexander; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-08-01

    Large brains are thought to result from selection for cognitive benefits, but how enhanced cognition leads to increased fitness remains poorly understood. One explanation is that increased cognitive ability results in improved monitoring and assessment of predator threats. Here, we use male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), artificially selected for large and small brain size, to provide an experimental evaluation of this hypothesis. We examined their behavioural response as singletons, pairs or shoals of four towards a model predator. Large-brained females, but not males, spent less time performing predator inspections, an inherently risky behaviour. Video analysis revealed that large-brained females were further away from the model predator when in pairs but that they habituated quickly towards the model when in shoals of four. Males stayed further away from the predator model than females but again we found no brain size effect in males. We conclude that differences in brain size affect the female predator response. Large-brained females might be able to assess risk better or need less sensory information to reach an accurate conclusion. Our results provide experimental support for the general idea that predation pressure is likely to be important for the evolution of brain size in prey species. PMID:26203003

  5. Emergence of ratio-dependent and predator-dependent functional responses for pollination mutualism and seed parasitism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Holland, J. Nathaniel

    2006-01-01

    Prey (N) dependence [g(N)], predator (P) dependence [g(P) or g(N,P)], and ratio dependence [f(P/N)] are often seen as contrasting forms of the predator's functional response describing predator consumption rates on prey resources in predator–prey and parasitoid–host interactions. Analogously, prey-, predator-, and ratio-dependent functional responses are apparently alternative functional responses for other types of consumer–resource interactions. These include, for example, the fraction of flowers pollinated or seeds parasitized in pollination (pre-dispersal) seed-parasitism mutualisms, such as those between fig wasps and fig trees or yucca moths and yucca plants. Here we examine the appropriate functional responses for how the fraction of flowers pollinated and seeds parasitized vary with the density of pollinators (predator dependence) or the ratio of pollinator and flower densities (ratio dependence). We show that both types of functional responses can emerge from minor, but biologically important variations on a single model. An individual-based model was first used to describe plant–pollinator interactions. Conditional upon on whether the number of flowers visited by the pollinator was limited by factors other than search time (e.g., by the number of eggs it had to lay, if it was also a seed parasite), and on whether the pollinator could directly find flowers on a plant, or had to search, the simulation results lead to either a predator-dependent or a ratio-dependent functional response. An analytic model was then used to show mathematically how these two cases can arise.

  6. Interactions between benthic predators and zooplanktonic prey are affected by turbulent waves.

    PubMed

    Robinson, H E; Finelli, C M; Koehl, M A R

    2013-11-01

    Predators capture prey in complex and variable environments. In the ocean, bottom-dwelling (benthic) organisms are subjected to water currents, waves, and turbulent eddies. For benthic predators that feed on small animals carried in the water (zooplankton), flow not only delivers prey, but can also shape predator-prey interactions. Benthic passive suspension feeders collect prey delivered by movement of ambient water onto capture-surfaces, whereas motile benthic predators, such as burrow-dwelling fish, dart out to catch passing zooplankton. How does the flow of ambient water affect these contrasting modes of predation by benthic zooplanktivores? We studied the effects of turbulent, wavy flow on the encounter, capture, and retention of motile zooplanktonic prey (copepods, Acartia spp.) by passive benthic suspension feeders (sea anemones, Anthopleura elegantissima). Predator-prey interactions were video-recorded in a wave-generating flume under two regimes of oscillating flow with different peak wave velocities and levels of turbulent kinetic energy ("weak" and "strong" waves). Rates of encounter (number of prey passing through a sea anemone's capture zone per time), capture (prey contacting and sticking to tentacles per time), and retention (prey retained on tentacles, without struggling free or washing off, per time) were measured at both strengths of waves. Strong waves enhanced encounter rates both for dead copepods and for actively swimming copepods, but there was so much variability in the behavior of the live prey that the effect of wave strength on encounter rates was not significant. Trapping efficiency (number of prey retained per number encountered) was the same in both flow regimes because, although fewer prey executed maneuvers to escape capture in strong waves, more of the captured prey was washed off the predators' tentacles. Although peak water velocities and turbulence of waves did not affect feeding rates of passive suspension-feeding sea anemones

  7. Predator cues and an herbicide affect activity and emigration in an agrobiont wolf spider.

    PubMed

    Wrinn, Kerri M; Evans, Samuel C; Rypstra, Ann L

    2012-04-01

    Animals use chemical cues for signaling between species. However, anthropogenic chemicals might interrupt this natural chemical information flow, with potential impacts on predator-prey interactions. Our goal was to explore how Buccaneer® Plus, a common herbicide similar to Round-up® (active ingredient glyphosate), affected the interactions between intraguild predators. The wolf spider Pardosa milvina (Hentz, 1844) is numerically dominant in agricultural systems across the eastern United States, and often falls prey to or competes with the larger wolf spider, Hogna helluo (Walckenaer, 1837) and/or the carabid beetle, Scarites quadriceps (Chaudoir, 1843). We tested the effects of chemical cues from these intraguild predators and exposure to herbicide on the activity, emigration, and survival of P. milvina using a full-factorial laboratory experiment. Both predator cues and herbicide led to a decrease in movement by P. milvina. However, although H. helluo cues alone decreased movement, S. quadriceps cues only decreased movement when combined with herbicide. These results indicate that predation risk and herbicide application likely interact in complex ways to affect the movement of a major arthropod predator in agricultural systems, and thus may have complex effects on the food web.

  8. Zebra mussels affect benthic predator foraging success and habitat choice on soft sediments.

    PubMed

    Beekey, M A; McCabe, D J; Marsden, J E

    2004-09-01

    The introduction of zebra mussels ( Dreissena spp.) to North America has resulted in dramatic changes to the complexity of benthic habitats. Changes in habitat complexity may have profound effects on predator-prey interactions in aquatic communities. Increased habitat complexity may affect prey and predator dynamics by reducing encounter rates and foraging success. Zebra mussels form thick contiguous colonies on both hard and soft substrates. While the colonization of substrata by zebra mussels has generally resulted in an increase in both the abundance and diversity of benthic invertebrate communities, it is not well known how these changes affect the foraging efficiencies of predators that prey on benthic invertebrates. We examined the effect of zebra mussels on the foraging success of four benthic predators with diverse prey-detection modalities that commonly forage in soft substrates: slimy sculpin ( Cottus cognatus), brown bullhead ( Ameirus nebulosus), log perch ( Percina caprodes), and crayfish ( Orconectes propinquus). We conducted laboratory experiments to assess the impact of zebra mussels on the foraging success of predators using a variety of prey species. We also examined habitat use by each predator over different time periods. Zebra mussel colonization of soft sediments significantly reduced the foraging efficiencies of all predators. However, the effect was dependent upon prey type. All four predators spent more time in zebra mussel habitat than in either gravel or bare sand. The overall effect of zebra mussels on benthic-feeding fishes is likely to involve a trade-off between the advantages of increased density of some prey types balanced against the reduction in foraging success resulting from potential refugia offered in the complex habitat created by zebra mussels.

  9. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  10. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  11. Harnessing ant defence at fruits reduces bruchid seed predation in a symbiotic ant–plant mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Pringle, Elizabeth G.

    2014-01-01

    In horizontally transmitted mutualisms, mutualists disperse separately and reassemble in each generation with partners genetically unrelated to those in the previous generation. Because of this, there should be no selection on either partner to enhance the other's reproductive output directly. In symbiotic ant–plant mutualisms, myrmecophytic plants host defensive ant colonies, and ants defend the plants from herbivores. Plants and ants disperse separately, and, although ant defence can indirectly increase plant reproduction by reducing folivory, it is unclear whether ants can also directly increase plant reproduction by defending seeds. The neotropical tree Cordia alliodora hosts colonies of Azteca pittieri ants. The trees produce domatia where ants nest at stem nodes and also at the node between the peduncle and the rachides of the infloresence. Unlike the stem domatia, these reproductive domatia senesce after the tree fruits each year. In this study, I show that the tree's resident ant colony moves into these ephemeral reproductive domatia, where they tend honeydew-producing scale insects and patrol the nearby developing fruits. The presence of ants significantly reduced pre-dispersal seed predation by Amblycerus bruchid beetles, thereby directly increasing plant reproductive output. PMID:24807259

  12. Native and exotic earthworms affect orchid seed loss

    PubMed Central

    McCormick, Melissa K.; Parker, Kenneth L.; Szlavecz, Katalin; Whigham, Dennis F.

    2013-01-01

    Non-native earthworms have invaded ecosystems around the world but have recently received increased attention as they invaded previously earthworm-free habitats in northern North America. Earthworms can affect plants by ingesting seeds and burying them in the soil. These effects can be negative or positive but are expected to become increasingly negative with decreasing seed size. Orchids have some of the smallest seeds of any plants, so we hypothesized that earthworm consumption of seeds would decrease seed viability and lead to burial of ingested seeds. We used a combination of mesocosms and field measurements to determine whether native and non-native earthworms would affect Goodyera pubescens seed germination by decreasing seed viability through digestion or burial. To determine soil depths at which seed burial would decrease chances of germination, we used field measurements of the abundance of mycorrhizal fungi needed for G. pubescens germination at different soil depths. We found that the combined effects of earthworm ingestion and burial would be expected to result in a loss of 49 % of orchid seeds in mature forests and 68 % of those in successional forests over an average year. Differences in seed ingestion and burial among soils from mature and successional forests were probably driven by differences in their ability to support earthworm biomass and not by differences in earthworm behaviour as a function of soil type. The combined effects of earthworm ingestion and burial have the potential to result in substantial loss of orchid seeds, particularly in successional forests. This effect may slow the ability of orchids to recolonize forests as they proceed through succession. Determining whether this strong effect of earthworms on G. pubescens viability and germination also applies to other orchid species awaits further testing.

  13. Effects of seed predators and light level on the distribution of Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. in tropical, tidal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Thomas J.

    1987-07-01

    Avicennia marina has an unusual distributional pattern across the intertidal region in mangrove forests of north-eastern Australia. It is often abundant in the low intertidal and high intertidal but is very rare in mid-intertidal areas. The influences of shade intolerance and seed predators on the distribution of Avicennia were investigated. Field observations of 391 light gaps indicated that while seedlings were equally abundant in gaps versus under the neighboring forest canopy, saplings were much more abundant in gaps. Subsequent field studies showed that seedlings survived and grew best in light gaps as opposed to under the forest canopy. Further field experiments revealed that 96·0±3·4% of the post-dispersal propagules of Avicennia are consumed by seed predators, primarily grapsid crabs. Predation on propagules was less in low and high intertidal regions where conspecific adults were common and was highest in the mid intertidal where Avicennia is rarest. Predator exclusion experiments indicated that Avicennia was capable of growing in mid-intertidal areas. It is concluded that the combination of shade intolerance and extensive predation on its' propagules effectively limits the distribution of Avicennia marina across the intertidal and may account for the dominance by members of the Rhizophoraceae in the mangrove forests of northern Australia.

  14. Interspecific and annual variation in pre-dispersal seed predation by a granivorous bird in two East Asian hackberries, Celtis biondii and Celtis sinensis.

    PubMed

    Yoshikawa, T; Masaki, T; Isagi, Y; Kikuzawa, K

    2012-05-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation by granivorous birds has potential to limit fruit removal and subsequent seed dispersal by legitimate avian seed dispersers in bird-dispersed plants, especially when the birds form flocks. We monitored pre-dispersal seed predation by the Japanese grosbeak, Eophona personata, of two bird-dispersed hackberry species (Cannabaceae), Celtis biondii (four trees) and Celtis sinensis (10 trees), for 3 years (2005, 2007 and 2008) in a fragmented forest in temperate Japan. Throughout the 3 years, predation was more intense on C. biondii, which, as a consequence, lost a larger part of its fruit crop. Grosbeaks preferred C. biondii seeds that had a comparatively lower energy content and lower hardness than C. sinensis, suggesting an association between seed hardness and selective foraging by grosbeaks. In C. biondii, intensive predation markedly reduced fruit duration and strongly limited fruit removal by seed dispersers, especially in 2007 and 2008. In C. sinensis, seed dispersers consumed fruits throughout the fruiting seasons in all 3 years. In C. biondii, variation in the timing of grosbeak migration among years was associated with annual variation in this bird's effects on fruit removal. Our results demonstrate that seed predation by flocks of granivorous birds can dramatically disrupt seed dispersal in fleshy-fruited plants and suggest the importance of understanding their flocking behaviour. PMID:22136589

  15. Interactions between a pollinating seed predator and its host plant: the role of environmental context within a population

    PubMed Central

    Kula, Abigail A R; Castillo, Dean M; Dudash, Michele R; Fenster, Charles B

    2014-01-01

    Plant–insect interactions often are important for plant reproduction, but the outcome of these interactions may vary with environmental context. Pollinating seed predators have positive and negative effects on host plant reproduction, and the interaction outcome is predicted to vary with density or abundance of the partners. We studied the interaction between Silene stellata, an herbaceous perennial, and Hadena ectypa, its specialized pollinating seed predator. Silene stellata is only facultatively dependent upon H. ectypa for pollination because other nocturnal moth co-pollinators are equally effective at pollen transfer. We hypothesized that for plants without conspecific neighbors, H. ectypa would have higher visitation rates compared to co-pollinators, and the plants would experience lower levels of H. ectypa pollen deposition. We predicted similar oviposition throughout the study site but greater H. ectypa predation in the area without conspecific neighbors compared to plants embedded in a naturally high density area. We found that H. ectypa had consistently higher visitation than moth co-pollinators in all host plant contexts. However, H. ectypa pollinator importance declined in areas with low conspecific density because of reduced pollen deposition, resulting in lower seed set. Conversely, oviposition was similar across the study site independent of host plant density. Greater likelihood of very high fruit predation combined with lower pollination by H. ectypa resulted in reduced S. stellata female reproductive success in areas with low conspecific density. Our results demonstrate local context dependency of the outcomes of pollinating seed predator interactions with conspecific host plant density within a population. PMID:25165527

  16. Landscape-scale eco-evolutionary dynamics: selection by seed predators and fire determine a major reproductive strategy.

    PubMed

    Talluto, Matt V; Benkman, Craig W

    2013-06-01

    Recent work in model systems has demonstrated significant effects of rapid evolutionary change on ecological processes (eco-evolutionary dynamics). Fewer studies have addressed whether eco-evolutionary dynamics structure natural ecosystems. We investigated variation in the frequency of serotiny in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), a widespread species in which postfire seedling density and ecosystem structure are largely determined by serotiny. Serotiny, the retention of mature seeds in cones in a canopy seed bank, is thought to be an adaptation for stand-replacing fire, but less attention has been paid to the potential selective effects of seed predation on serotiny. We hypothesized that spatial variation in percentage serotiny in lodgepole pine forests results from an eco-evolutionary dynamic where the local level of serotiny depends on the relative strengths of conflicting directional selection from fire (favoring serotiny) and seed predation (favoring cones that open at maturity). We measured percentage serotiny, the abundance of American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus; the primary pre-dispersal seed predator of lodgepole pine), and several measures of forest structure in Yellowstone National Park, USA. Fire frequency strongly predicted the frequency of serotiny, a pattern that is well-supported in the literature. At sites with high fire frequency (return intervals of -135-185 years) where fire favors increased serotiny, squirrel abundance was negatively associated with serotiny, suggesting that selection from predation can overwhelm selection from fire when squirrels are abundant. At sites with low fire frequency (return intervals of -280-310 years), serotiny was nearly universally uncommon (< 10%). Finally, forest structure strongly predicted squirrel density independently of serotiny, and serotiny provided no additional explanatory power, suggesting that the correlation is caused by selection against serotiny exerted by squirrels, rather than

  17. Small but Powerful: Top Predator Local Extinction Affects Ecosystem Structure and Function in an Intermittent Stream

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators’ extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a ‘mesopredator release’, affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to ‘mesopredator release’, and also to ‘prey release’ despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem’s structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers’ extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  18. Distribution and abundance of predators that affect duck production--prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Greenwood, R.J.; Sovada, M.A.; Shaffer, T.L.

    1993-01-01

    During 1983-88, the relative abundance of 18 species and species-groups of mammalian and avian predators affecting duck production in the prairie pothole region was determined in 33 widely scattered study areas ranging in size from 23-26 km2. Accounts of each studied species and species-group include habitat and history, population structure and reported densities, and information on distribution and abundance from the present study. Index values of undetected, scarce, uncommon, common, or numerous were used to rate abundance of nearly all species in each study area. Principal survey methods were livetrapping of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and Franklin's ground squirrels (Spermophilus franklinii), systematic searches for carnivore tracks in quarter sections (0.65 km2), daily records of sightings of individual predator species, and systematic searches for occupied nests of tree-nesting avian predators. Abundances of predators in individual areas were studied 1-3 years.The distribution and abundance of predator species throughout the prairie pothole region have undergone continual change since settlement of the region by Europeans in the late 1800's. Predator populations in areas we studied differed markedly from those of pristine times. The changes occurred from habitat alterations, human-inflicted mortality of predators, and interspecific relations among predator species. Indices from surveys of tracks revealed a decline in the abundance of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and an albeit less consistent decline in the abundance of raccoons (Procyon lotor) with an increase in the abundance of coyotes (Canis latrans). Records of locations of occupied nests revealed great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) and red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) tended to nest 0.5 km apart, and American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) tended to avoid nesting 0.5 km of nests of red-tailed hawks. Excluding large gulls, for which no measurements of abundance were obtained, the number of

  19. Phenotypic Selection Exerted by a Seed Predator Is Replicated in Space and Time and among Prey Species.

    PubMed

    Benkman, Craig W; Mezquida, Eduardo T

    2015-11-01

    Although consistent phenotypic selection arising from biotic interactions is thought to be the primary cause of adaptive diversification, studies documenting such selection are relatively few. Here we analyze 12 episodes of phenotypic selection exerted by a predispersal seed predator, the red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra complex), on five species of pines (Pinus). We find that even though the intensity of selection for some traits increased with the strength of the interaction (i.e., proportion of seeds eaten), the relative strength of selection exerted by crossbills on cone and seed traits is replicated across space and time and among species. Such selection (1) can account for repeated patterns of conifer cone evolution and escalation in seed defenses with time and (2) suggests that variation in selection is less the result of variation intrinsic to pairwise biotic interactions than, for example, variation in relative densities of the interacting species, community context, and abiotic factors.

  20. State of emergency: behavior of gerbils is affected by the hunger state of their predators.

    PubMed

    Berger-Tal, Oded; Kotler, Burt P

    2010-02-01

    Predator-prey interactions are usually composed of behaviorally sophisticated games in which the values of the strategies of foraging prey individuals may depend on those of their predators, and vice versa. Therefore, any change in the behavior of the predator should result in changes to the behavior of the prey. However, this key prediction has rarely been tested. To examine the effects of the predator state on prey behavior, we manipulated the state of captive Barn Owls, Tyto alba, and released them into an enclosure containing Allenby's gerbils, Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi, a common prey of the owls. The owls were significantly more active when hungry. In response, the gerbils altered their behavior according to the state of the owl. When the owl was hungry, the gerbils visited fewer food patches, foraged in fewer patches, and harvested less food from each patch. Moreover, the gerbils kept their foraging bouts closer to their burrow, which reduced the overlap among foraging ranges of individual gerbils. Thus, changes in the state of the predator affect the foraging behavior of its prey and can also mediate competition among prey individuals. PMID:20392023

  1. The impact of specialist and generalist pre-dispersal seed predators on the reproductive output of a common and a rare Euphorbia species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boieiro, Mário; Rego, Carla; Serrano, Artur R. M.; Espadaler, Xavier

    2010-03-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predators can have a severe impact on the reproductive output of their hosts, which can translate into negative effects on population dynamics. Here we compared the losses due to specialist and generalist insect seed predators in two Euphorbia species, a rare ( Euphorbia welwitschii) and a common one ( Euphorbia characias). Pre-dispersal losses to specialist seed-wasps ( Eurytoma jaltica) and generalist hemipterans ( Cydnus aterrimus and Dicranocephalus agilis) were on average higher for the rare E. welwitschii than for its widespread congener. In both Euphorbia species, the variation in losses to specialist and generalist seed predators was not related with traits indicative of plant size, fecundity, or isolation. Nevertheless, the temporal variation in losses to seed-wasps seemed to be intimately associated with the magnitude of yearly variation in fruit production. The impact of seed-wasps and hemipterans on the reproductive output of both Euphorbia species was additive, though there was evidence for infochemical-mediated interference at the fruit level. The moderate levels of seed predation in E. welwitschii, together with the results from the comparative analysis with its widespread congener, suggest that insect seed predation is not a causal effect of plant rarity.

  2. Phylogeography of specialist weevil Trichobaris soror: a seed predator of Datura stramonium.

    PubMed

    De-la-Mora, Marisol; Piñero, Daniel; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2015-12-01

    Can the genetic structure of a specialist weevil be explained by the geological history of their distribution zone? We analyze the genetic variation of the weevil Trichobaris soror, a specialist seed predator of Datura stramonium, in order to address this question. For the phylogeographic analysis we used the COI gene, and assessed species identity in weevil populations through geometric morphometric approach. In total, we found 53 haplotypes in 413 samples, whose genetic variation supports the formation of three groups: (1) the Transmexican Volcanic Belt (TVB group), (2) the Sierra Madre Sur (SMS group) and (3) the Balsas Basin (BB group). The morphometric analysis suggests that BB group is probably not T. soror. Our results have two implications: first, the phylogeographic pattern of T. soror is explained by both the formation of the geological provinces where it is currently distributed and the coevolution with its host plant, because the TVB and SMS groups could be separated due to the discontinuity of altitude between the geological provinces, but the recent population expansion of TVB group and the high frequency of only one haplotype can be due to specialization to the host plant. Second, we report a new record of a different species of weevil in BB group parasitizing D. stramonium fruits. PMID:26498017

  3. Phylogeography of specialist weevil Trichobaris soror: a seed predator of Datura stramonium.

    PubMed

    De-la-Mora, Marisol; Piñero, Daniel; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2015-12-01

    Can the genetic structure of a specialist weevil be explained by the geological history of their distribution zone? We analyze the genetic variation of the weevil Trichobaris soror, a specialist seed predator of Datura stramonium, in order to address this question. For the phylogeographic analysis we used the COI gene, and assessed species identity in weevil populations through geometric morphometric approach. In total, we found 53 haplotypes in 413 samples, whose genetic variation supports the formation of three groups: (1) the Transmexican Volcanic Belt (TVB group), (2) the Sierra Madre Sur (SMS group) and (3) the Balsas Basin (BB group). The morphometric analysis suggests that BB group is probably not T. soror. Our results have two implications: first, the phylogeographic pattern of T. soror is explained by both the formation of the geological provinces where it is currently distributed and the coevolution with its host plant, because the TVB and SMS groups could be separated due to the discontinuity of altitude between the geological provinces, but the recent population expansion of TVB group and the high frequency of only one haplotype can be due to specialization to the host plant. Second, we report a new record of a different species of weevil in BB group parasitizing D. stramonium fruits.

  4. Carbon nanotubes are able to penetrate plant seed coat and dramatically affect seed germination and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Khodakovskaya, Mariya; Dervishi, Enkeleda; Mahmood, Meena; Xu, Yang; Li, Zhongrui; Watanabe, Fumiya; Biris, Alexandru S

    2009-10-27

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were found to penetrate tomato seeds and affect their germination and growth rates. The germination was found to be dramatically higher for seeds that germinated on medium containing CNTs (10-40 mug/mL) compared to control. Analytical methods indicated that the CNTs are able to penetrate the thick seed coat and support water uptake inside seeds, a process which can affect seed germination and growth of tomato seedlings. PMID:19772305

  5. Dominant meat ants affect only their specialist predator in an epigaeic arthropod community.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise

    2003-08-01

    Ants are thought to exert an important influence on the structure of arthropod assemblages through predation and competition. I examined the effect of a dominant ant, Iridomyrmex purpureus, on epigaeic arthropod assemblages on rock outcrops using an exclusion experiment. I compared arthropod assemblages on four replicate outcrops allocated to each of the following treatments: I. purpureus present; I. purpureus absent; I. purpureus excluded; and procedural control. Nests of I. purpureus were caged in summer 2001 and epigaeic arthropod assemblages were sampled at all sites using pitfall traps in autumn and spring 2001 and summer 2002. I also collected items from foraging workers to determine the diet of I. purpureus. Exclusion cages successfully reduced the abundance of I. purpureus workers in pitfall traps by more than 97%. Exclusion of I. purpureus did not affect the size distribution, biomass or abundance of arthropod predators or non-predatory arthropods, although the total biomass of ants was greater at sites with I. purpureus. Spider biomass, species richness, abundance and composition were also not affected by the presence of I. purpureus, although the I. purpureus mimic and specialist predator, Habronestes bradleyi, became less abundant at sites from which I. purpureus was excluded. Predation by I. purpureus on other arthropods may not have a significant effect on epigaeic arthropod communities, but the complex role of I. purpureus in this ecosystem and the high diversity of species belonging to multiple trophic levels may obscure its effects in this system.

  6. Bird predation affects diurnal and nocturnal web-building spiders in a Mediterranean citrus grove

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mestre, L.; Garcia, N.; Barrientos, J. A.; Espadaler, X.; Piñol, J.

    2013-02-01

    Spiders and birds can greatly decrease insect populations, but birds also limit spider densities in some habitats. Bird predation is thought to be one of the causes behind nocturnal activity in spiders, so night-active spiders that hide in retreats during the day should be less affected by bird foraging than day-active spiders. However, this hypothesis has not yet been tested. We investigated the importance of bird predation on the spider community of a Mediterranean organic citrus grove. We excluded birds by placing net cages over the trees and we conducted visual searches in the canopies to sample web-building spiders. As there are many nocturnal species in the family Araneidae, we conducted searches both by day and by night to compare the abundance of active araneids in these two time periods. We sampled the tree trunks with cardboard bands to collect hunting spiders. In bird-excluded canopies there were more spiders of the families Araneidae and Theridiidae. There were higher numbers of active Araneidae at night, but these were just as negatively affected by bird predation as day-active Araneidae, so there was no evidence of nocturnal activity serving as an anti-predator strategy. We did not find any negative impact of birds on hunting spiders. Our results contrast with other studies reporting a negative effect of birds on hunting but not on web-building spiders.

  7. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography.

    PubMed

    Bost, Charles A; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-27

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  8. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    PubMed Central

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes. PMID:26506134

  9. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  10. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography.

    PubMed

    Bost, Charles A; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes. PMID:26506134

  11. Neighborhoods have little effect on fungal attack or insect predation of developing seeds in a grassland biodiversity experiment.

    PubMed

    Beckman, Noelle G; Dybzinski, Ray; Tilman, G David

    2014-02-01

    Numerous observational studies have documented conspecific negative density-dependence that is consistent with the Janzen-Connell Hypothesis (JCH) of diversity maintenance. However, there have been few experimental tests of a central prediction of the JCH: that removing host-specific enemies should lead to greater increases in per capita recruitment in areas of higher host density or lower relative phylogenetic diversity. Using spatially randomized plots of high and low host biomass in a temperate grassland biodiversity experiment, we treated developing seedheads of six prairie perennials to factorial applications of fungicide and insecticide. We measured predispersal seed production, seed viability, and seedling biomass. Results were highly species-specific and idiosyncratic. Effects of insect seed predators and fungal pathogens on predispersal responses varied with neither conspecific biomass nor phylogenetic diversity, suggesting that-at least at the predispersal stage and for the insect and fungal seed predators we were able to exclude-the JCH is not sufficient to contribute to negative conspecific density-dependence for these dominant prairie species.

  12. Impact of the newly arrived seed-predating beetle Specularius impressithorax (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) in Hawai'i

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Medeiros, A.C.; Von Allmen, E.; Fukada, M.; Samuelson, A.; Lau, T.

    2008-01-01

    Prior to 2001, seed predation was virtually absent in the endemic Wiliwili Erythrina sandwicensis (Fabaceae: Degener), dominant tree species of lower-elevation Hawaiian dryland forests. The African bruchine chrysomelid Specularius impressithorax (Pic) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) was first detected in Hawai'i in 2001 and became established on all main islands within the next two years. The mode of entry for this invasive Erythrina seed predator into Hawai'i is unknown, but likely occurred with the importation of trinket jewelry from Africa containing characteristically brightly-colored Erythrina seeds. The initial establishment of this insect likely occurred on a non-native host, the widely cultivated coral tree E. variegata. Within three years of its first record, S. impressithorax accounted for 77.4% mean seed crop loss in 12 populations of Wiliwili on six main Hawaiian islands. Specularius impressithorax, dispersed through international commerce and established via E. variegata, has become a threat to a unique Hawaiian forest type and may threaten other Erythrina, especially New World representatives.

  13. Feeding behaviour of an intertidal snail: Does past environmental stress affect predator choices and prey vulnerability?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gestoso, Ignacio; Arenas, Francisco; Olabarria, Celia

    2015-03-01

    Predation is one of the most important factors in determining structure and dynamics of communities on intertidal rocky shores. Such regulatory role may be of special relevance in novel communities resulting from biological invasions. Non-indigenous species frequently escape natural predators that limit their distribution and abundance in the native range. However, biological interactions also can limit the establishment and spread of non-native populations. There is a growing concern that climate change might affect predator-prey interactions exacerbating the ecological impacts of non-indigenous species. However, mechanisms underlying such interactions are poorly understood in marine ecosystems. Here, we explored if past environmental stress, i.e., increasing temperature and decreasing pH, could affect the vulnerability of two mussel prey, the native Mytilus galloprovincialis and the non-indigenous Xenostrobus securis, to predation by the native dogwhelk Nucella lapillus. In addition, we evaluated the consequences on the feeding behaviour of N. lapillus. First, we exposed monospecific assemblages of each mussel species to combined experimental conditions of increasing temperature and decreasing pH in mesocosms for 3 weeks. Then assemblages were placed on a rocky shore and were enclosed in cages with dogwhelks where they remained for 3 weeks. Despite the lack of preference, consumption was much greater on the native than on the invasive mussels, which barely were consumed by dogwhelks. However, this trend was diverted when temperature increased. Thus, under a coastal warming scenario shifts in dogwhelks feeding behaviour may help to contain invader's populations, especially in estuarine areas where these predators are abundant.

  14. Perceived Risk of Predation Affects Reproductive Life-History Traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but Not in Heterandria formosa

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Shomen; Heithaus, Michael R.; Trexler, Joel C.; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Vaudo, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Key to predicting impacts of predation is understanding the mechanisms through which predators impact prey populations. While consumptive effects are well-known, non-consumptive predator effects (risk effects) are increasingly being recognized as important. Studies of risk effects, however, have focused largely on how trade-offs between food and safety affect fitness. Less documented, and appreciated, is the potential for predator presence to directly suppress prey reproduction and affect life-history characteristics. For the first time, we tested the effects of visual predator cues on reproduction of two prey species with different reproductive modes, lecithotrophy (i.e. embryonic development primarily fueled by yolk) and matrotrophy (i.e. energy for embryonic development directly supplied by the mother to the embryo through a vascular connection). Predation risk suppressed reproduction in the lecithotrophic prey (Gambusia holbrokii) but not the matrotroph (Heterandria formosa). Predator stress caused G. holbrooki to reduce clutch size by 43%, and to produce larger and heavier offspring compared to control females. H. formosa, however, did not show any such difference. In G. holbrooki we also found a significantly high percentage (14%) of stillbirths in predator-exposed treatments compared to controls (2%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct empirical evidence of predation stress affecting stillbirths in prey. Our results suggest that matrotrophy, superfetation (clutch overlap), or both decrease the sensitivity of mothers to environmental fluctuation in resource (food) and stress (predation risk) levels compared to lecithotrophy. These mechanisms should be considered both when modeling consequences of perceived risk of predation on prey-predator population dynamics and when seeking to understand the evolution of reproductive modes. PMID:24551171

  15. Negative synergism of rainfall patterns and predators affects frog egg survival.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin Charles; Warkentin, Karen Michelle

    2009-07-01

    1. The importance of rainfall is recognized in arid habitats, but has rarely been explored in ecosystems not viewed as rainfall limited. In addition, most attempts to study how rainfall affects organismal survival have focused on long-term rainfall metrics (e.g. monthly or seasonal patterns) instead of short-term measures. For organisms that are short lived or are sensitive to desiccation, short-term patterns of rainfall may provide insight to understanding what determines survival in particular habitats. 2. We monitored daily rainfall and survival of arboreal eggs of the treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus at two ponds during the rainy season in central Panama. Desiccation and predation were the primary sources of egg mortality and their effects were not independent. Rainfall directly reduced desiccation mortality by hydrating and thickening the jelly surrounding eggs. In addition, rainfall reduced predation on egg clutches. 3. To elucidate the mechanism by which rainfall alters predation, we exposed experimentally hydrated and dehydrated egg clutches to the two D. ebraccatus egg predators most common at our site, ants and social wasps. Ants and wasps preferentially preyed on dehydrated clutches and ants consumed dehydrated eggs three times faster than hydrated eggs. 4. Rainfall patterns are expected to change and the responses of organisms that use rainfall as a reliable cue to reproduce may prove maladaptive. If rainfall becomes more sporadic, as is predicted to happen during this century, it may have negative consequences for desiccation-sensitive organisms. PMID:19486379

  16. Experimental evidence that livestock grazing intensity affects the activity of a generalist predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villar, Nacho; Lambin, Xavier; Evans, Darren; Pakeman, Robin; Redpath, Steve

    2013-05-01

    Grazing by domestic ungulates has substantial impacts on ecosystem structure and composition. In grasslands of the northern hemisphere, livestock grazing limits populations of small mammals, which are a main food source for a variety of vertebrate predators. However, no experimental studies have described the impact of livestock grazing on vertebrate predators. We experimentally manipulated sheep and cattle grazing intensity in the Scottish uplands to test its impact on a relatively abundant small mammal, the field vole (Microtus agrestis), and its archetypal generalist predator, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). We demonstrate that ungulate grazing had a strong consistent negative impact on both vole densities and indices of fox activity. Ungulate grazing did not substantially affect the relationship between fox activity and vole densities. However, the data suggested that, as grazing intensity increased i) fox activity indices tended to be higher when vole densities were low, and ii) the relationship between fox activity and vole density was weaker. All these patterns are surprising given the relative small scale of our experiment compared to large red fox territories in upland habitats of Britain, and suggest that domestic grazing intensity causes a strong response in the activity of generalist predators important for their conservation in grassland ecosystems.

  17. Short-term exposure to predation affects body elemental composition, climbing speed and survival ability in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Krams, Indrikis; Eichler Inwood, Sarah; Trakimas, Giedrius; Krams, Ronalds; Burghardt, Gordon M; Butler, David M; Luoto, Severi; Krama, Tatjana

    2016-01-01

    Factors such as temperature, habitat, larval density, food availability and food quality substantially affect organismal development. In addition, risk of predation has a complex impact on the behavioural and morphological life history responses of prey. Responses to predation risk seem to be mediated by physiological stress, which is an adaptation for maintaining homeostasis and improving survivorship during life-threatening situations. We tested whether predator exposure during the larval phase of development has any influence on body elemental composition, energy reserves, body size, climbing speed and survival ability of adult Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit fly larvae were exposed to predation by jumping spiders (Phidippus apacheanus), and the percentage of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content, extracted lipids, escape response and survival were measured from predator-exposed and control adult flies. The results revealed predation as an important determinant of adult phenotype formation and survival ability. D. melanogaster reared together with spiders had a higher concentration of body N (but equal body C), a lower body mass and lipid reserves, a higher climbing speed and improved adult survival ability. The results suggest that the potential of predators to affect the development and the adult phenotype of D. melanogaster is high enough to use predators as a more natural stimulus in laboratory experiments when testing, for example, fruit fly memory and learning ability, or when comparing natural populations living under different predation pressures. PMID:27602281

  18. Short-term exposure to predation affects body elemental composition, climbing speed and survival ability in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Krams, Indrikis; Eichler Inwood, Sarah; Trakimas, Giedrius; Krams, Ronalds; Burghardt, Gordon M; Butler, David M; Luoto, Severi; Krama, Tatjana

    2016-01-01

    Factors such as temperature, habitat, larval density, food availability and food quality substantially affect organismal development. In addition, risk of predation has a complex impact on the behavioural and morphological life history responses of prey. Responses to predation risk seem to be mediated by physiological stress, which is an adaptation for maintaining homeostasis and improving survivorship during life-threatening situations. We tested whether predator exposure during the larval phase of development has any influence on body elemental composition, energy reserves, body size, climbing speed and survival ability of adult Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit fly larvae were exposed to predation by jumping spiders (Phidippus apacheanus), and the percentage of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content, extracted lipids, escape response and survival were measured from predator-exposed and control adult flies. The results revealed predation as an important determinant of adult phenotype formation and survival ability. D. melanogaster reared together with spiders had a higher concentration of body N (but equal body C), a lower body mass and lipid reserves, a higher climbing speed and improved adult survival ability. The results suggest that the potential of predators to affect the development and the adult phenotype of D. melanogaster is high enough to use predators as a more natural stimulus in laboratory experiments when testing, for example, fruit fly memory and learning ability, or when comparing natural populations living under different predation pressures.

  19. Short-term exposure to predation affects body elemental composition, climbing speed and survival ability in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Eichler Inwood, Sarah; Trakimas, Giedrius; Krams, Ronalds; Burghardt, Gordon M.; Butler, David M.; Luoto, Severi; Krama, Tatjana

    2016-01-01

    Factors such as temperature, habitat, larval density, food availability and food quality substantially affect organismal development. In addition, risk of predation has a complex impact on the behavioural and morphological life history responses of prey. Responses to predation risk seem to be mediated by physiological stress, which is an adaptation for maintaining homeostasis and improving survivorship during life-threatening situations. We tested whether predator exposure during the larval phase of development has any influence on body elemental composition, energy reserves, body size, climbing speed and survival ability of adult Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit fly larvae were exposed to predation by jumping spiders (Phidippus apacheanus), and the percentage of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content, extracted lipids, escape response and survival were measured from predator-exposed and control adult flies. The results revealed predation as an important determinant of adult phenotype formation and survival ability. D. melanogaster reared together with spiders had a higher concentration of body N (but equal body C), a lower body mass and lipid reserves, a higher climbing speed and improved adult survival ability. The results suggest that the potential of predators to affect the development and the adult phenotype of D. melanogaster is high enough to use predators as a more natural stimulus in laboratory experiments when testing, for example, fruit fly memory and learning ability, or when comparing natural populations living under different predation pressures.

  20. Short-term exposure to predation affects body elemental composition, climbing speed and survival ability in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Eichler Inwood, Sarah; Trakimas, Giedrius; Krams, Ronalds; Burghardt, Gordon M.; Butler, David M.; Luoto, Severi; Krama, Tatjana

    2016-01-01

    Factors such as temperature, habitat, larval density, food availability and food quality substantially affect organismal development. In addition, risk of predation has a complex impact on the behavioural and morphological life history responses of prey. Responses to predation risk seem to be mediated by physiological stress, which is an adaptation for maintaining homeostasis and improving survivorship during life-threatening situations. We tested whether predator exposure during the larval phase of development has any influence on body elemental composition, energy reserves, body size, climbing speed and survival ability of adult Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit fly larvae were exposed to predation by jumping spiders (Phidippus apacheanus), and the percentage of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content, extracted lipids, escape response and survival were measured from predator-exposed and control adult flies. The results revealed predation as an important determinant of adult phenotype formation and survival ability. D. melanogaster reared together with spiders had a higher concentration of body N (but equal body C), a lower body mass and lipid reserves, a higher climbing speed and improved adult survival ability. The results suggest that the potential of predators to affect the development and the adult phenotype of D. melanogaster is high enough to use predators as a more natural stimulus in laboratory experiments when testing, for example, fruit fly memory and learning ability, or when comparing natural populations living under different predation pressures. PMID:27602281

  1. Brain size affects female but not male survival under predation threat

    PubMed Central

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Buechel, Séverine D; Zala, Sarah M; Corral-Lopez, Alberto; Penn, Dustin J; Kolm, Niclas; Sorci, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    There is remarkable diversity in brain size among vertebrates, but surprisingly little is known about how ecological species interactions impact the evolution of brain size. Using guppies, artificially selected for large and small brains, we determined how brain size affects survival under predation threat in a naturalistic environment. We cohoused mixed groups of small- and large-brained individuals in six semi-natural streams with their natural predator, the pike cichlid, and monitored survival in weekly censuses over 5 months. We found that large-brained females had 13.5% higher survival compared to small-brained females, whereas the brain size had no discernible effect on male survival. We suggest that large-brained females have a cognitive advantage that allows them to better evade predation, whereas large-brained males are more colourful, which may counteract any potential benefits of brain size. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that trophic interactions can affect the evolution of brain size. PMID:25960088

  2. Brain size affects female but not male survival under predation threat.

    PubMed

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Buechel, Séverine D; Zala, Sarah M; Corral-Lopez, Alberto; Penn, Dustin J; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-07-01

    There is remarkable diversity in brain size among vertebrates, but surprisingly little is known about how ecological species interactions impact the evolution of brain size. Using guppies, artificially selected for large and small brains, we determined how brain size affects survival under predation threat in a naturalistic environment. We cohoused mixed groups of small- and large-brained individuals in six semi-natural streams with their natural predator, the pike cichlid, and monitored survival in weekly censuses over 5 months. We found that large-brained females had 13.5% higher survival compared to small-brained females, whereas the brain size had no discernible effect on male survival. We suggest that large-brained females have a cognitive advantage that allows them to better evade predation, whereas large-brained males are more colourful, which may counteract any potential benefits of brain size. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that trophic interactions can affect the evolution of brain size. PMID:25960088

  3. Evidence Suggesting Protozoan Predation on Rhizobium Associated with Germinating Seeds and in the Rhizosphere of Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.).

    PubMed

    Ramirez, C; Alexander, M

    1980-09-01

    Changes in populations of microorganisms around germinating bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seeds, in the rhizosphere of bean, and in a model rhizosphere were studied. Strains of Rhizobium phaseoli that were resistant to streptomycin and thiram were used, and as few as 300 R. phaseoli cells per g of soil could be enumerated with a selective medium that was devised. A direct role was not evident for bacterial competitors, lytic bacteria, antibiotic-producing microorganisms, bacteriophages, and Bdellovibrio in the suppression of R. phaseoli around germinating seeds and in the rhizosphere. Protozoa increased in numbers in the soil upon planting of the seeds. The extent of colonization of soil by R. phaseoli was inversely related to the presence of large numbers of bacteria and protozoa. Colonization of R. phaseoli was improved upon suppression of protozoa with thiram and also when the soil was amended with other protozoan inhibitors and mannitol to simulate seed and root exudation. The data support the view that the decrease in numbers of R. phaseoli is caused by an increase in protozoan predation, the protozoa increasing in number because they prey on bacteria that proliferate by using seed and root exudates as nutrients.

  4. Evidence Suggesting Protozoan Predation on Rhizobium Associated with Germinating Seeds and in the Rhizosphere of Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Carlos; Alexander, Martin

    1980-01-01

    Changes in populations of microorganisms around germinating bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seeds, in the rhizosphere of bean, and in a model rhizosphere were studied. Strains of Rhizobium phaseoli that were resistant to streptomycin and thiram were used, and as few as 300 R. phaseoli cells per g of soil could be enumerated with a selective medium that was devised. A direct role was not evident for bacterial competitors, lytic bacteria, antibiotic-producing microorganisms, bacteriophages, and Bdellovibrio in the suppression of R. phaseoli around germinating seeds and in the rhizosphere. Protozoa increased in numbers in the soil upon planting of the seeds. The extent of colonization of soil by R. phaseoli was inversely related to the presence of large numbers of bacteria and protozoa. Colonization of R. phaseoli was improved upon suppression of protozoa with thiram and also when the soil was amended with other protozoan inhibitors and mannitol to simulate seed and root exudation. The data support the view that the decrease in numbers of R. phaseoli is caused by an increase in protozoan predation, the protozoa increasing in number because they prey on bacteria that proliferate by using seed and root exudates as nutrients. PMID:16345628

  5. Along came a spider who sat down beside her: Perceived predation risk, but not female age, affects female mate choosiness.

    PubMed

    Atwell, Ashley; Wagner, William E

    2015-06-01

    Organisms often exhibit behavioral plasticity in response to changes in factors, such as predation risk, mate density, and age. Particularly, female mate choosiness (the strength of female's attraction to male traits as they deviate from preferred trait values) has repeatedly been shown to be plastic. This is due to the costs associated with searching for preferred males fluctuating with changes in such factors. Because these factors can interact naturally, it is important to understand how female mate choosiness responds to these interactions. We studied the interaction between perceived predation risk and female age on the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps. Females were either exposed or not exposed to predation cues from a sympatric, cursorial, wolf spider predator, Hogna sp. We then tested the females at one of three adult ages and measured their choosiness by recording their responsiveness to a low quality male song. We found female choosiness plasticity was affected by neither age nor the interaction between age and perceived predation risk. Perceived predation risk was the only factor to significantly affect the plasticity of female mate choosiness: females were less choosy when they perceived predation risk and were more choosy when they did not. Predation may be such a strong source of selection that, regardless of differences in other factors, most individuals respond similarly. PMID:25857998

  6. Along came a spider who sat down beside her: Perceived predation risk, but not female age, affects female mate choosiness.

    PubMed

    Atwell, Ashley; Wagner, William E

    2015-06-01

    Organisms often exhibit behavioral plasticity in response to changes in factors, such as predation risk, mate density, and age. Particularly, female mate choosiness (the strength of female's attraction to male traits as they deviate from preferred trait values) has repeatedly been shown to be plastic. This is due to the costs associated with searching for preferred males fluctuating with changes in such factors. Because these factors can interact naturally, it is important to understand how female mate choosiness responds to these interactions. We studied the interaction between perceived predation risk and female age on the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps. Females were either exposed or not exposed to predation cues from a sympatric, cursorial, wolf spider predator, Hogna sp. We then tested the females at one of three adult ages and measured their choosiness by recording their responsiveness to a low quality male song. We found female choosiness plasticity was affected by neither age nor the interaction between age and perceived predation risk. Perceived predation risk was the only factor to significantly affect the plasticity of female mate choosiness: females were less choosy when they perceived predation risk and were more choosy when they did not. Predation may be such a strong source of selection that, regardless of differences in other factors, most individuals respond similarly.

  7. Do predator-prey relationships on the river bed affect fine sediment ingress?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathers, Kate; Rice, Stephen; Wood, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystem engineers are organisms that alter their physical environment and thereby influence the flow of resources through ecosystems. In rivers, several ecosystem engineers are also important geomorphological agents that modify fluvial sediment dynamics. By altering channel morphology and bed material characteristics, such modifications can affect the availability of habitats for other organisms, with implications for ecosystem health and wider community composition. In this way geomorphological and ecological systems are intimately interconnected. This paper focuses on one element of this intricate abiotic-biotic coupling: the interaction between fine sediment ingress into the river bed and the predator-prey relationships of aquatic organisms living on and in the river bed. Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) have been shown to modify fine sediment fluxes in rivers, but their effect on fine sediment ingress into riverbeds remains unclear. Many macroinvertebrate taxa have adapted avoidance strategies to avoid predation by crayfish, with one example being the freshwater shrimp (Gammarus pulex) which relies on open interstitial spaces within subsurface sediments as a refuge from crayfish predation. Fine sedimentation that fills gravelly frameworks may preclude access to those spaces, therefore leaving freshwater shrimp susceptible to predation. Ex-situ experiments were conducted which sought to examine: i) if freshwater shrimps and signal crayfish, alone and in combination, influenced fine sediment infiltration rates; and ii) whether modifications to substratum composition, specifically the introduction of fine sediment, modified predator-prey interactions. The results demonstrate that crayfish are significant geomorphic agents and that fine sediment ingress rates were significantly enhanced in their presence compared to control conditions or the presence of only freshwater shrimps. The combination of both organisms (i.e. allowing the interaction between

  8. Habitat restoration affects immature stages of a wetland butterfly through indirect effects on predation.

    PubMed

    Aschehoug, Erik T; Sivakoff, F S; Cayton, H L; Morris, W F; Haddad, N M

    2015-07-01

    Habitat loss worldwide has led to the widespread use of restoration practices for the recovery of imperiled species. However, recovery success may be hampered by focusing on plant communities, rather than the complex suite of direct and indirect interactions among trophic levels that occur in natural systems. Through a factorial field experiment, we tested the effects of wetland restoration on egg and juvenile survival of a locally rare butterfly, Satyrodes appalachia, via tree removal and damming. Tree removal more than tripled S. appalachia host plant abundance, but neither restoration action directly affected S. appalachia egg and juvenile survival. Instead, we found strong indirect effects of habitat manipulation on S. appalachia egg and juvenile survival that were mediated through predation. The interaction of tree removal and damming significantly decreased predation of S. appalachia eggs relative to each treatment alone. Damming alone had a significant positive indirect effect on the survival of S. appalachia juveniles, likely because increases in standing water reduced predator access. Our results emphasize the need for experiments that evaluate the demographic responses of imperiled species to habitat restoration prior to management action and quantify potential indirect effects mediated through higher trophic levels. PMID:26378298

  9. Tri-trophic interactions affect density dependence of seed fate in a tropical forest palm.

    PubMed

    Visser, Marco D; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Wright, S Joseph; Rutten, Gemma; Jansen, Patrick A

    2011-11-01

    Natural enemies, especially host-specific enemies, are hypothesised to facilitate the coexistence of plant species by disproportionately inflicting more damage at increasing host abundance. However, few studies have assessed such Janzen-Connell mechanisms on a scale relevant for coexistence and no study has evaluated potential top-down influences on the specialized pests. We quantified seed predation by specialist invertebrates and generalist vertebrates, as well as larval predation on these invertebrates, for the Neotropical palm Attalea butyracea across ten 4-ha plots spanning 20-fold variation in palm density. As palm density increased, seed attack by bruchid beetles increased, whereas seed predation by rodents held constant. But because rodent predation on bruchid larvae increased disproportionately with increasing palm density, bruchid emergence rates and total seed predation by rodents and bruchids combined were both density-independent. Our results demonstrate that top-down effects can limit the potential of host-specific insects to induce negative-density dependence in plant populations.

  10. The nutritional content of prey affects the foraging of a generalist arthropod predator.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Jason M; Sebastian, Peter; Wilder, Shawn M; Rypstra, Ann L

    2012-01-01

    While foraging theory predicts that predatory responses should be determined by the energy content and size of prey, it is becoming increasingly clear that carnivores regulate their intake of specific nutrients. We tested the hypothesis that prey nutrient composition and predator nutritional history affects foraging intensity, consumption, and prey selection by the wolf spider, Pardosa milvina. By altering the rearing environment for fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, we produced high quality flies containing more nitrogen and protein and less lipid than low quality fruit flies. In one experiment, we quantified the proportion of flies taken and consumption across a range of densities of either high or low quality flies and, in a second experiment, we determined the prey capture and consumption of spiders that had been maintained on contrasting diets prior to testing. In both cases, the proportion of prey captured declined with increasing prey density, which characterizes the Type II functional response that is typical of wolf spiders. Spiders with similar nutritional histories killed similar numbers of each prey type but consumed more of the low quality prey. Spiders provided high quality prey in the weeks prior to testing killed more prey than those on the low quality diet but there was no effect of prior diet on consumption. In the third experiment, spiders were maintained on contrasting diets for three weeks and then allowed to select from a mixture of high and low quality prey. Interestingly, feeding history affected prey preferences: spiders that had been on a low quality diet showed no preference but those on the high quality diet selected high quality flies from the mixture. Our results suggest that, even when prey size and species identity are controlled, the nutritional experience of the predator as well as the specific content of the prey shapes predator-prey interactions. PMID:23145130

  11. The nutritional content of prey affects the foraging of a generalist arthropod predator.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Jason M; Sebastian, Peter; Wilder, Shawn M; Rypstra, Ann L

    2012-01-01

    While foraging theory predicts that predatory responses should be determined by the energy content and size of prey, it is becoming increasingly clear that carnivores regulate their intake of specific nutrients. We tested the hypothesis that prey nutrient composition and predator nutritional history affects foraging intensity, consumption, and prey selection by the wolf spider, Pardosa milvina. By altering the rearing environment for fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, we produced high quality flies containing more nitrogen and protein and less lipid than low quality fruit flies. In one experiment, we quantified the proportion of flies taken and consumption across a range of densities of either high or low quality flies and, in a second experiment, we determined the prey capture and consumption of spiders that had been maintained on contrasting diets prior to testing. In both cases, the proportion of prey captured declined with increasing prey density, which characterizes the Type II functional response that is typical of wolf spiders. Spiders with similar nutritional histories killed similar numbers of each prey type but consumed more of the low quality prey. Spiders provided high quality prey in the weeks prior to testing killed more prey than those on the low quality diet but there was no effect of prior diet on consumption. In the third experiment, spiders were maintained on contrasting diets for three weeks and then allowed to select from a mixture of high and low quality prey. Interestingly, feeding history affected prey preferences: spiders that had been on a low quality diet showed no preference but those on the high quality diet selected high quality flies from the mixture. Our results suggest that, even when prey size and species identity are controlled, the nutritional experience of the predator as well as the specific content of the prey shapes predator-prey interactions.

  12. Management intensity at field and landscape levels affects the structure of generalist predator communities.

    PubMed

    Rusch, Adrien; Birkhofer, Klaus; Bommarco, Riccardo; Smith, Henrik G; Ekbom, Barbara

    2014-07-01

    Agricultural intensification is recognised as a major driver of biodiversity loss in human-modified landscapes. Several agro-environmental measures at different spatial scales have been suggested to mitigate the negative impact of intensification on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The effect of these measures on the functional structure of service-providing communities remains, however, largely unexplored. Using two distinct landscape designs, we examined how the management options of organic farming at the field scale and crop diversification at the landscape level affect the taxonomic and functional structure of generalist predator communities and how these effects vary along a landscape complexity gradient. Organic farming as well as landscapes with longer and more diversified crop rotations enhanced the activity-density of spiders and rove beetles, but not the species richness or evenness. Our results indicate that the two management options affected the functional composition of communities, as they primarily enhanced the activity-density of functionally similar species. The two management options increased the functional similarity between spider species in regards to hunting mode and habitat preference. Organic farming enhanced the functional similarity of rove beetles. Management options at field and landscape levels were generally more important predictors of community structure when compared to landscape complexity. Our study highlights the importance of considering the functional composition of generalist predators in order to understand how agro-environmental measures at various scales shape community assemblages and ecosystem functioning in agricultural landscapes. PMID:24810324

  13. Social interactions, predation behaviour and fast start performance are affected by ammonia exposure in brown trout (Salmo trutta L.).

    PubMed

    Tudorache, Christian; Blust, R; De Boeck, G

    2008-11-11

    In fish, fast starts are brief, sudden accelerations during predator-prey encounters. They serve for escape and predation and are therefore ecologically important movements. Fast starts are generated by glycolytic muscle performance and are influenced by many internal and external factors. It is known that ammonia pollution has a major effect on the glycolytic muscle action, thus creating conditions in which fast start performance might be reduced and predation rates altered. Therefore, escape response and predation strikes were investigated in brown trout (Salmo trutta) of 10 and 20 cm body length exposed to an elevated (1 mg l(-1)) ammonia concentration for 24 and 96 h. Various locomotor and behavioural variables were measured. In C-starts, i.e. an escape start where the fish bends into a C-shaped position, ammonia exposure had no effect on response latency. After 96 h of exposure, cumulative distance, maximum swimming speed and turning radius of the prey were all significantly reduced and the escape went in no definite direction. The effect of ammonia exposure was more pronounced in large fish than in small fish. Predation strikes were also affected. Distance, speed and turning radius were significantly lower in exposed fish. Agonistic behaviour of dominant fish was significantly reduced and fish spent more time resting. Predator behaviour was also altered and the number of prey captured was reduced. This study shows that ammonia exposure affects brown trout escape response mainly through a reduction in fast start velocity and through an impairment of directionality. Thus, in addition to a reduced strength of the response, ammonia exposure could also reduce the fish's elusiveness facing a predator. Predation rate and social interactions are disrupted and predator-prey relationships could be altered.

  14. A field experiment demonstrating plant life-history evolution and its eco-evolutionary feedback to seed predator populations.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Johnson, Marc T J; Hastings, Amy P; Maron, John L

    2013-05-01

    The extent to which evolutionary change occurs in a predictable manner under field conditions and how evolutionary changes feed back to influence ecological dynamics are fundamental, yet unresolved, questions. To address these issues, we established eight replicate populations of native common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis). Each population was planted with 18 genotypes in identical frequency. By tracking genotype frequencies with microsatellite DNA markers over the subsequent three years (up to three generations, ≈5,000 genotyped plants), we show rapid and consistent evolution of two heritable plant life-history traits (shorter life span and later flowering time). This rapid evolution was only partially the result of differential seed production; genotypic variation in seed germination also contributed to the observed evolutionary response. Since evening primrose genotypes exhibited heritable variation for resistance to insect herbivores, which was related to flowering time, we predicted that evolutionary changes in genotype frequencies would feed back to influence populations of a seed predator moth that specializes on O. biennis. By the conclusion of the experiment, variation in the genotypic composition among our eight replicate field populations was highly predictive of moth abundance. These results demonstrate how rapid evolution in field populations of a native plant can influence ecological interactions. PMID:23598358

  15. Disturbance frequency and vertical distribution of seeds affect long-term population dynamics: a mechanistic seed bank model.

    PubMed

    Eager, Eric Alan; Haridas, Chirakkal V; Pilson, Diana; Rebarber, Richard; Tenhumberg, Brigitte

    2013-08-01

    Seed banks are critically important for disturbance specialist plants because seeds of these species germinate only in disturbed soil. Disturbance and seed depth affect the survival and germination probability of seeds in the seed bank, which in turn affect population dynamics. We develop a density-dependent stochastic integral projection model to evaluate the effect of stochastic soil disturbances on plant population dynamics with an emphasis on mimicking how disturbances vertically redistribute seeds within the seed bank. We perform a simulation analysis of the effect of the frequency and mean depth of disturbances on the population's quasi-extinction probability, as well as the long-term mean and variance of the total density of seeds in the seed bank. We show that increasing the frequency of disturbances increases the long-term viability of the population, but the relationship between the mean depth of disturbance and the long-term viability of the population are not necessarily monotonic for all parameter combinations. Specifically, an increase in the probability of disturbance increases the long-term viability of the total seed bank population. However, if the probability of disturbance is too low, a shallower mean depth of disturbance can increase long-term viability, a relationship that switches as the probability of disturbance increases. However, a shallow disturbance depth is beneficial only in scenarios with low survival in the seed bank.

  16. Seed chemistry of Sophora chrysophylla (mamane) in relation to diet of specialist avian seed predator Loxioides bailleui (palila) in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banko, P.C.; Cipollini, M.L.; Breton, G.W.; Paulk, E.; Wink, M.; Izhaki, I.

    2002-01-01

    This study describes the chemical ecology of a tritrophic interaction among species endemic to the island of Hawaii, USA: a tree (Sophora chrysophylla: mamane), an endangered bird (Loxioides bailleui; palila), and moth larvae (Cydia spp.). Palila and Cydia both specialize on the seed embryos of mamane but avoid eating the seed coats. Palila actively seek out and feed mamane embryos and Cydia larvae to their nestlings. Because mamane embryos contain potentially toxic levels of alkaloids, including broadly toxic quinolizidine alkaloids, and because insects often sequester alkaloids from their food plants, we focus on the questions of why palila forage upon mamane embryos and why they supplement their diet with Cydia larvae. Our data show that mamane embryos contain high amounts of potentially toxic alkaloids, but are well balanced nutritionally and contain lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, and minerals at levels that are likely to be sufficient for maintenance and breeding. Mamane seed coats contain lower levels of alkaloids and nutrients, somewhat higher levels of phenolics, and much higher levels of nondigestible fiber. Taken together, these results suggest that palila have evolved tolerance to high levels of alkaloids and that they forage upon embryos primarily because of their availability in the habitat and high nutritional reward. Our data also suggest that Cydia are used by palila because they are readily accessible, nontoxic, and nutritious; the larvae apparently do not sequester alkaloids while feeding upon mamane seeds. Our results are interpreted with respect to the likelihood of current and historical coadaptive responses in this ecologically isolated and simplified island setting.

  17. Differential seed handling by two African primates affects seed fate and establishment of large-seeded trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross-Camp, Nicole D.; Kaplin, Beth A.

    2011-11-01

    We examined the influence of seed handling by two semi-terrestrial African forest primates, chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes) and l'Hoest's monkeys ( Cercopithecus lhoesti), on the fate of large-seeded tree species in an afromontane forest. Chimpanzees and l'Hoest's monkeys dispersed eleven seed species over one year, with quantity and quality of dispersal varying through time. Primates differed in their seed handling behaviors with chimpanzees defecating large seeds (>0.5 cm) significantly more than l'Hoest's. Furthermore, they exhibited different oral-processing techniques with chimpanzees discarding wadges containing many seeds and l'Hoest's monkeys spitting single seeds. A PCA examined the relationship between microhabitat characteristics and the site where primates deposited seeds. The first two components explained almost half of the observed variation. Microhabitat characteristics associated with sites where seeds were defecated had little overlap with those characteristics describing where spit seeds arrived, suggesting that seed handling in part determines the location where seeds are deposited. We monitored a total of 552 seed depositions through time, recording seed persistence, germination, and establishment. Defecations were deposited significantly farther from an adult conspecific than orally-discarded seeds where they experienced the greatest persistence but poorest establishment. In contrast, spit seeds were deposited closest to an adult conspecific but experienced the highest seed establishment rates. We used experimental plots to examine the relationship between seed handling, deposition site, and seed fate. We found a significant difference in seed handling and fate, with undispersed seeds in whole fruits experiencing the lowest establishment rates. Seed germination differed by habitat type with open forest experiencing the highest rates of germination. Our results highlight the relationship between primate seed handling and deposition site and seed

  18. Radish (Raphanus sativus) seed size affects germination response to coumarin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The inhibition of seed germination by an allelochemical is generally greater in small seeds than in large seeds. Studies reporting these results used a large number of plant species that varied in seed size, which might have introduced differences in germination characteristics or various parameter...

  19. Handling and isolation in three strains of rats affect open field, exploration, hoarding and predation.

    PubMed

    Rebouças, R C; Schmidek, W R

    1997-11-01

    Male albino (Al), brown hooded (Br) and black hooded (Bl) rats were raised in social isolation or in pairs, with or without systematic handling. At 90 and 180 days of age, the animals were individually tested for activity in an open field (Of), exploratory behavior in a complex environment, food hoarding (Hd) and insect predation (Pd). Multivariate analysis of the results showed significant influences of all three factors (strain, handling and social isolation) and interactions among them. Strain affected Of, Hd and Pd, with contrastingly high performances of Br in Of, Al in Hd and Bl in Pd. Handling increased Of and exploration scores in both test series. Isolation induced higher performances in all the four behaviors in the second test series. Accentuated and stable individual differences occurred in the performances off all the behaviors. The results emphasize the subtleness and complexity of the interplay of genetic and environmental influences and stress the independence of the regulatory processes of different behaviors.

  20. Cover crops increase foraging activity of omnivorous predators in seed patches and facilitate weed biological control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Omnivores are important consumers of both weed seeds and insect pests, and habitat provisions like cover crops are suggested to promote their ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, few studies establish direct links between cover, food, and pest suppression because they are entangled a...

  1. Variation in wind and piscivorous predator fields affecting the survival of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, in the Gulf of Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Friedland, K.D.; Manning, J.P.; Link, Jason S.; Gilbert, J.R.; Gilbert, A.T.; O'Connell, A.F.

    2012-01-01

    Observations relevant to the North American stock complex of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., suggest that marine mortality is influenced by variation in predation pressure affecting post-smolts during the first months at sea. This hypothesis was tested for Gulf of Maine (GOM) stocks by examining wind pseudostress and the distribution of piscivorous predator fields potentially affecting post-smolts. Marine survival has declined over recent decades with a change in the direction of spring winds, which is likely extending the migration of post-smolts by favouring routes using the western GOM. In addition to changes in spring wind patterns, higher spring sea surface temperatures have been associated with shifting distributions of a range of fish species. The abundance of several pelagic piscivores, which based on their feeding habits may predate on salmon post-smolts, has increased in the areas that serve as migration corridors for post-smolts. In particular, populations of silver hake, Merluccius bilinearis (Mitchell), red hake, Urophycis chuss (Walbaum), and spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias L., increased in size in the portion of the GOM used by post-smolts. Climate variation and shifting predator distributions in the GOM are consistent with the predator hypothesis of recruitment control suggested for the stock complex.

  2. Does maternal exposure to an environmental stressor affect offspring response to predators?

    PubMed

    Todd, Brian D; Bergeron, Christine M; Hepner, Mark J; Burke, John N; Hopkins, William A

    2011-05-01

    There is growing recognition of the ways in which maternal effects can influence offspring size, physiological performance, and survival. Additionally, environmental contaminants increasingly act as stressors in maternal environments, possibly leading to maternal effects on subsequent offspring. Thus, it is important to determine whether contaminants and other stressors can contribute to maternal effects, particularly under varied ecological conditions that encompass the range under which offspring develop. We used aquatic mesocosms to determine whether maternal effects of mercury (Hg) exposure shape offspring phenotype in the American toad (Bufo americanus) in the presence or absence of larval predators (dragonfly naiads). We found significant maternal effects of Hg exposure and significant effects of predators on several offspring traits, but there was little evidence that maternal effects altered offspring interactions with predators. Offspring from Hg-exposed mothers were 18% smaller than those of reference mothers. Offspring reared with predators were 23% smaller at metamorphosis than those reared without predators. There was also evidence of reduced larval survival when larvae were reared with predators, but this was independent of maternal effects. Additionally, 5 times more larvae had spinal malformations when reared without predators, suggesting selective predation of malformed larvae by predators. Lastly, we found a significant negative correlation between offspring survival and algal density in mesocosms, indicating a role for top-down effects of predators on periphyton communities. Our results demonstrate that maternal exposure to an environmental stressor can induce phenotypic responses in offspring in a direction similar to that produced by direct exposure of offspring to predators. PMID:21416404

  3. Cache placement, pilfering, and a recovery advantage in a seed-dispersing rodent: Could predation of scatter hoarders contribute to seedling establishment?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, Michael A.; Bugdal, Melissa; Yuan, Amy; Bartlow, Andrew; Buzalewski, Jarrod; Lichti, Nathan; Swihart, Robert

    2011-11-01

    Scatter-hoarding mammals are thought to rely on spatial memory to relocate food caches. Yet, we know little about how long these granivores (primarily rodents) recall specific cache locations or whether individual hoarders have an advantage when recovering their own caches. Indeed, a few recent studies suggest that high rates of pilferage are common and that individual hoarders may not have a retriever's advantage. We tested this hypothesis in a high-density (>7 animals/ha) population of eastern gray squirrels ( Sciurus carolinensis) by presenting individually marked animals (>20) with tagged acorns, mapping cache sites, and following the fate of seed caches. PIT tags allowed us to monitor individual seeds without disturbing cache sites. Acorns only remained in the caches for 12-119 h (0.5-5 d). However, when we live-trapped and removed some animals from the site immediately after they stored seeds (thus simulating predation), their seed caches remained intact for significantly longer periods (16-27 d). Cache duration corresponded roughly to the time at which squirrels were returned to the study area. These results suggest that squirrels have a retriever's advantage and may remember specific cache sites longer than previously thought. We further suggest that predation of scatter hoarders who store seeds for long periods and also possess a recovery advantage may be one important mechanism by which seed establishment is achieved.

  4. Antidepressants at environmentally relevant concentrations affect predator avoidance behavior of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Painter, M.M.; Buerkley, M.A.; Julius, M.L.; Vajda, A.M.; Norris, D.O.; Barber, L.B.; Furlong, E.T.; Schultz, M.M.; Schoenfuss, H.L.

    2009-01-01

    The effects of embryonic and larval exposure to environmentally relevant (ng/L) concentrations of common antidepressants, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, and bupropion (singularly and in mixture) on C-start escape behavior were evaluated in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Embryos (postfertilization until hatching) were exposed for 5 d and, after hatching, were allowed to grow in control well water until 12 d old. Similarly, posthatch fathead minnows were exposed for 12 d to these compounds. High-speed (1,000 frames/s) video recordings of escape behavior were collected and transferred to National Institutes of Health Image for frame-by-frame analysis of latency periods, escape velocities, and total escape response (combination of latency period and escape velocity). When tested 12 d posthatch, fluoxetine and venlafaxine adversely affected C-start performance of larvae exposed as embryos. Conversely, larvae exposed for 12 d posthatch did not exhibit altered escape responses when exposed to fluoxetine but were affected by venlafaxine and bupropion exposure. Mixtures of these four antidepressant pharmaceuticals slowed predator avoidance behaviors in larval fathead minnows regardless of the exposure window. The direct impact of reduced C-start performance on survival and, ultimately, reproductive fitness provides an avenue to assess the ecological relevance of exposure in an assay of relatively short duration. ?? 2009 SETAC.

  5. Antidepressants at environmentally relevant concentrations affect predator avoidance behavior of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Furlong, Edward T.; Barber, Larry B.; Meghan R. McGee,; Megan A. Buerkley,; Matthew L. Julius,; Vajda, Alan M.; Heiko L. Schoenfuss,; Schultz, Melissa M.; Norris, David O.

    2009-01-01

    The effects of embryonic and larval exposure to environmentally relevant (ng/L) concentrations of common antidepressants, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, and bupropion (singularly and in mixture) on C-start escape behavior were evaluated in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Embryos (postfertilization until hatching) were exposed for 5 d and, after hatching, were allowed to grow in control well water until 12 d old. Similarly, posthatch fathead minnows were exposed for 12 d to these compounds. High-speed (1,000 frames/s) video recordings of escape behavior were collected and transferred to National Institutes of Health Image for frame-by- frame analysis of latency periods, escape velocities, and total escape response (combination of latency period and escape velocity). When tested 12 d posthatch, fluoxetine and venlafaxine adversely affected C-start performance of larvae exposed as embryos. Conversely, larvae exposed for 12 d posthatch did not exhibit altered escape responses when exposed to fluoxetine but were affected by venlafaxine and bupropion exposure. Mixtures of these four antidepressant pharmaceuticals slowed predator avoidance behaviors in larval fathead minnows regardless of the exposure window. The direct impact of reduced C-start performance on survival and, ultimately, reproductive fitness provides an avenue to assess the ecological relevance of exposure in an assay of relatively short duration.

  6. Susceptibility to Predation Affects Trait-Mediated Indirect Interactions by Reversing Interspecific Competition

    PubMed Central

    Mowles, Sophie L.; Rundle, Simon D.; Cotton, Peter A.

    2011-01-01

    Numerous studies indicate that the behavioral responses of prey to the presence of predators can have an important role in structuring assemblages through trait-mediated indirect interactions. Few studies, however, have addressed how relative susceptibility to predation influences such interactions. Here we examine the effect of chemical cues from the common shore crab Carcinus maenas on the foraging behavior of two common intertidal gastropod molluscs. Of the two model consumers studied, Littorina littorea is morphologically more vulnerable to crab predation than Gibbula umbilicalis, and it exhibited greater competitive ability in the absence of predation threat. However, Littorina demonstrated a greater anti-predator response when experimentally exposed to predation cues, resulting in a lower level of foraging. This reversed the competitive interaction, allowing Gibbula substantially increased access to shared resources. Our results demonstrate that the susceptibility of consumers to predation can influence species interactions, and suggest that inter-specific differences in trait-mediated indirect interactions are another mechanism through which non-consumptive predator effects may influence trophic interactions. PMID:21857993

  7. Foraging mode affects the evolution of egg size in generalist predators embedded in complex food webs.

    PubMed

    Verdeny-Vilalta, O; Fox, C W; Wise, D H; Moya-Laraño, J

    2015-06-01

    Ecological networks incorporate myriad biotic interactions that determine the selection pressures experienced by the embedded populations. We argue that within food webs, the negative scaling of abundance with body mass and foraging theory predict that the selective advantages of larger egg size should be smaller for sit-and-wait than active-hunting generalist predators, leading to the evolution of a difference in egg size between them. Because body mass usually scales negatively with predator abundance and constrains predation rate, slightly increasing egg mass should simultaneously allow offspring to feed on more prey and escape from more predators. However, the benefits of larger offspring would be relatively smaller for sit-and-wait predators because (i) due to their lower mobility, encounters with other predators are less common, and (ii) they usually employ a set of alternative hunting strategies that help to subdue relatively larger prey. On the other hand, for active predators, which need to confront prey as they find them, body-size differences may be more important in subduing prey. This difference in benefits should lead to the evolution of larger egg sizes in active-hunting relative to sit-and-wait predators. This prediction was confirmed by a phylogenetically controlled analysis of 268 spider species, supporting the view that the structure of ecological networks may serve to predict relevant selective pressures acting on key life history traits.

  8. Susceptibility to predation affects trait-mediated indirect interactions by reversing interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Mowles, Sophie L; Rundle, Simon D; Cotton, Peter A

    2011-01-01

    Numerous studies indicate that the behavioral responses of prey to the presence of predators can have an important role in structuring assemblages through trait-mediated indirect interactions. Few studies, however, have addressed how relative susceptibility to predation influences such interactions. Here we examine the effect of chemical cues from the common shore crab Carcinus maenas on the foraging behavior of two common intertidal gastropod molluscs. Of the two model consumers studied, Littorina littorea is morphologically more vulnerable to crab predation than Gibbula umbilicalis, and it exhibited greater competitive ability in the absence of predation threat. However, Littorina demonstrated a greater anti-predator response when experimentally exposed to predation cues, resulting in a lower level of foraging. This reversed the competitive interaction, allowing Gibbula substantially increased access to shared resources. Our results demonstrate that the susceptibility of consumers to predation can influence species interactions, and suggest that inter-specific differences in trait-mediated indirect interactions are another mechanism through which non-consumptive predator effects may influence trophic interactions. PMID:21857993

  9. Foraging mode affects the evolution of egg size in generalist predators embedded in complex food webs.

    PubMed

    Verdeny-Vilalta, O; Fox, C W; Wise, D H; Moya-Laraño, J

    2015-06-01

    Ecological networks incorporate myriad biotic interactions that determine the selection pressures experienced by the embedded populations. We argue that within food webs, the negative scaling of abundance with body mass and foraging theory predict that the selective advantages of larger egg size should be smaller for sit-and-wait than active-hunting generalist predators, leading to the evolution of a difference in egg size between them. Because body mass usually scales negatively with predator abundance and constrains predation rate, slightly increasing egg mass should simultaneously allow offspring to feed on more prey and escape from more predators. However, the benefits of larger offspring would be relatively smaller for sit-and-wait predators because (i) due to their lower mobility, encounters with other predators are less common, and (ii) they usually employ a set of alternative hunting strategies that help to subdue relatively larger prey. On the other hand, for active predators, which need to confront prey as they find them, body-size differences may be more important in subduing prey. This difference in benefits should lead to the evolution of larger egg sizes in active-hunting relative to sit-and-wait predators. This prediction was confirmed by a phylogenetically controlled analysis of 268 spider species, supporting the view that the structure of ecological networks may serve to predict relevant selective pressures acting on key life history traits. PMID:25882583

  10. Tracking Seed Fates of Tropical Tree Species: Evidence for Seed Caching in a Tropical Forest in North-East India

    PubMed Central

    Sidhu, Swati; Datta, Aparajita

    2015-01-01

    Rodents affect the post-dispersal fate of seeds by acting either as on-site seed predators or as secondary dispersers when they scatter-hoard seeds. The tropical forests of north-east India harbour a high diversity of little-studied terrestrial murid and hystricid rodents. We examined the role played by these rodents in determining the seed fates of tropical evergreen tree species in a forest site in north-east India. We selected ten tree species (3 mammal-dispersed and 7 bird-dispersed) that varied in seed size and followed the fates of 10,777 tagged seeds. We used camera traps to determine the identity of rodent visitors, visitation rates and their seed-handling behavior. Seeds of all tree species were handled by at least one rodent taxon. Overall rates of seed removal (44.5%) were much higher than direct on-site seed predation (9.9%), but seed-handling behavior differed between the terrestrial rodent groups: two species of murid rodents removed and cached seeds, and two species of porcupines were on-site seed predators. In addition, a true cricket, Brachytrupes sp., cached seeds of three species underground. We found 309 caches formed by the rodents and the cricket; most were single-seeded (79%) and seeds were moved up to 19 m. Over 40% of seeds were re-cached from primary cache locations, while about 12% germinated in the primary caches. Seed removal rates varied widely amongst tree species, from 3% in Beilschmiedia assamica to 97% in Actinodaphne obovata. Seed predation was observed in nine species. Chisocheton cumingianus (57%) and Prunus ceylanica (25%) had moderate levels of seed predation while the remaining species had less than 10% seed predation. We hypothesized that seed traits that provide information on resource quantity would influence rodent choice of a seed, while traits that determine resource accessibility would influence whether seeds are removed or eaten. Removal rates significantly decreased (p < 0.001) while predation rates increased (p = 0

  11. Tracking Seed Fates of Tropical Tree Species: Evidence for Seed Caching in a Tropical Forest in North-East India.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Swati; Datta, Aparajita

    2015-01-01

    Rodents affect the post-dispersal fate of seeds by acting either as on-site seed predators or as secondary dispersers when they scatter-hoard seeds. The tropical forests of north-east India harbour a high diversity of little-studied terrestrial murid and hystricid rodents. We examined the role played by these rodents in determining the seed fates of tropical evergreen tree species in a forest site in north-east India. We selected ten tree species (3 mammal-dispersed and 7 bird-dispersed) that varied in seed size and followed the fates of 10,777 tagged seeds. We used camera traps to determine the identity of rodent visitors, visitation rates and their seed-handling behavior. Seeds of all tree species were handled by at least one rodent taxon. Overall rates of seed removal (44.5%) were much higher than direct on-site seed predation (9.9%), but seed-handling behavior differed between the terrestrial rodent groups: two species of murid rodents removed and cached seeds, and two species of porcupines were on-site seed predators. In addition, a true cricket, Brachytrupes sp., cached seeds of three species underground. We found 309 caches formed by the rodents and the cricket; most were single-seeded (79%) and seeds were moved up to 19 m. Over 40% of seeds were re-cached from primary cache locations, while about 12% germinated in the primary caches. Seed removal rates varied widely amongst tree species, from 3% in Beilschmiedia assamica to 97% in Actinodaphne obovata. Seed predation was observed in nine species. Chisocheton cumingianus (57%) and Prunus ceylanica (25%) had moderate levels of seed predation while the remaining species had less than 10% seed predation. We hypothesized that seed traits that provide information on resource quantity would influence rodent choice of a seed, while traits that determine resource accessibility would influence whether seeds are removed or eaten. Removal rates significantly decreased (p < 0.001) while predation rates increased (p = 0

  12. Tracking Seed Fates of Tropical Tree Species: Evidence for Seed Caching in a Tropical Forest in North-East India.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Swati; Datta, Aparajita

    2015-01-01

    Rodents affect the post-dispersal fate of seeds by acting either as on-site seed predators or as secondary dispersers when they scatter-hoard seeds. The tropical forests of north-east India harbour a high diversity of little-studied terrestrial murid and hystricid rodents. We examined the role played by these rodents in determining the seed fates of tropical evergreen tree species in a forest site in north-east India. We selected ten tree species (3 mammal-dispersed and 7 bird-dispersed) that varied in seed size and followed the fates of 10,777 tagged seeds. We used camera traps to determine the identity of rodent visitors, visitation rates and their seed-handling behavior. Seeds of all tree species were handled by at least one rodent taxon. Overall rates of seed removal (44.5%) were much higher than direct on-site seed predation (9.9%), but seed-handling behavior differed between the terrestrial rodent groups: two species of murid rodents removed and cached seeds, and two species of porcupines were on-site seed predators. In addition, a true cricket, Brachytrupes sp., cached seeds of three species underground. We found 309 caches formed by the rodents and the cricket; most were single-seeded (79%) and seeds were moved up to 19 m. Over 40% of seeds were re-cached from primary cache locations, while about 12% germinated in the primary caches. Seed removal rates varied widely amongst tree species, from 3% in Beilschmiedia assamica to 97% in Actinodaphne obovata. Seed predation was observed in nine species. Chisocheton cumingianus (57%) and Prunus ceylanica (25%) had moderate levels of seed predation while the remaining species had less than 10% seed predation. We hypothesized that seed traits that provide information on resource quantity would influence rodent choice of a seed, while traits that determine resource accessibility would influence whether seeds are removed or eaten. Removal rates significantly decreased (p < 0.001) while predation rates increased (p = 0

  13. Predator functional response and prey survival: direct and indirect interactions affecting a marked prey population.

    PubMed

    Miller, David A; Grand, James B; Fondell, Thomas F; Anthony, Michael

    2006-01-01

    1. Predation plays an integral role in many community interactions, with the number of predators and the rate at which they consume prey (i.e. their functional response) determining interaction strengths. Owing to the difficulty of directly observing predation events, attempts to determine the functional response of predators in natural systems are limited. Determining the forms that predator functional responses take in complex systems is important in advancing understanding of community interactions. 2. Prey survival has a direct relationship to the functional response of their predators. We employed this relationship to estimate the functional response for bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocepalus predation of Canada goose Branta canadensis nests. We compared models that incorporated eagle abundance, nest abundance and alternative prey presence to determine the form of the functional response that best predicted intra-annual variation in survival of goose nests. 3. Eagle abundance, nest abundance and the availability of alternative prey were all related to predation rates of goose nests by eagles. There was a sigmoidal relationship between predation rate and prey abundance and prey switching occurred when alternative prey was present. In addition, predation by individual eagles increased as eagle abundance increased. 4. A complex set of interactions among the three species examined in this study determined survival rates of goose nests. Results show that eagle predation had both prey- and predator-dependent components with no support for ratio dependence. In addition, indirect interactions resulting from the availability of alternative prey had an important role in mediating the rate at which eagles depredated nests. As a result, much of the within-season variation in nest survival was due to changing availability of alternative prey consumed by eagles. 5. Empirical relationships drawn from ecological theory can be directly integrated into the estimation process to

  14. Predator functional response and prey survival: Direct and indirect interactions affecting a marked prey population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, David A.; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Anthony, M.

    2006-01-01

    1. Predation plays an integral role in many community interactions, with the number of predators and the rate at which they consume prey (i.e. their functional response) determining interaction strengths. Owing to the difficulty of directly observing predation events, attempts to determine the functional response of predators in natural systems are limited. Determining the forms that predator functional responses take in complex systems is important in advancing understanding of community interactions. 2. Prey survival has a direct relationship to the functional response of their predators. We employed this relationship to estimate the functional response for bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocepalus predation of Canada goose Branta canadensis nests. We compared models that incorporated eagle abundance, nest abundance and alternative prey presence to determine the form of the functional response that best predicted intra-annual variation in survival of goose nests. 3. Eagle abundance, nest abundance and the availability of alternative prey were all related to predation rates of goose nests by eagles. There was a sigmoidal relationship between predation rate and prey abundance and prey switching occurred when alternative prey was present. In addition, predation by individual eagles increased as eagle abundance increased. 4. A complex set of interactions among the three species examined in this study determined survival rates of goose nests. Results show that eagle predation had both prey- and predator-dependent components with no support for ratio dependence. In addition, indirect interactions resulting from the availability of alternative prey had an important role in mediating the rate at which eagles depredated nests. As a result, much of the within-season variation in nest survival was due to changing availability of alternative prey consumed by eagles. 5. Empirical relationships drawn from ecological theory can be directly integrated into the estimation process to

  15. UV wavelengths experienced during development affect larval newt visual sensitivity and predation efficiency.

    PubMed

    Martin, Mélissa; Théry, Marc; Rodgers, Gwendolen; Goven, Delphine; Sourice, Stéphane; Mège, Pascal; Secondi, Jean

    2016-02-01

    We experimentally investigated the influence of developmental plasticity of ultraviolet (UV) visual sensitivity on predation efficiency of the larval smooth newt, Lissotriton vulgaris. We quantified expression of SWS1 opsin gene (UV-sensitive protein of photoreceptor cells) in the retinas of individuals who had developed in the presence (UV+) or absence (UV-) of UV light (developmental treatments), and tested their predation efficiency under UV+ and UV- light (testing treatments). We found that both SWS1 opsin expression and predation efficiency were significantly reduced in the UV- developmental group. Larvae in the UV- testing environment displayed consistently lower predation efficiency regardless of their developmental treatment. These results prove for the first time, we believe, functional UV vision and developmental plasticity of UV sensitivity in an amphibian at the larval stage. They also demonstrate that UV wavelengths enhance predation efficiency and suggest that the magnitude of the behavioural response depends on retinal properties induced by the developmental lighting environment.

  16. UV wavelengths experienced during development affect larval newt visual sensitivity and predation efficiency.

    PubMed

    Martin, Mélissa; Théry, Marc; Rodgers, Gwendolen; Goven, Delphine; Sourice, Stéphane; Mège, Pascal; Secondi, Jean

    2016-02-01

    We experimentally investigated the influence of developmental plasticity of ultraviolet (UV) visual sensitivity on predation efficiency of the larval smooth newt, Lissotriton vulgaris. We quantified expression of SWS1 opsin gene (UV-sensitive protein of photoreceptor cells) in the retinas of individuals who had developed in the presence (UV+) or absence (UV-) of UV light (developmental treatments), and tested their predation efficiency under UV+ and UV- light (testing treatments). We found that both SWS1 opsin expression and predation efficiency were significantly reduced in the UV- developmental group. Larvae in the UV- testing environment displayed consistently lower predation efficiency regardless of their developmental treatment. These results prove for the first time, we believe, functional UV vision and developmental plasticity of UV sensitivity in an amphibian at the larval stage. They also demonstrate that UV wavelengths enhance predation efficiency and suggest that the magnitude of the behavioural response depends on retinal properties induced by the developmental lighting environment. PMID:26843556

  17. An Analysis of Predator Selection to Affect Aposematic Coloration in a Poison Frog Species.

    PubMed

    Dreher, Corinna E; Cummings, Molly E; Pröhl, Heike

    2015-01-01

    Natural selection is widely noted to drive divergence of phenotypic traits. Predation pressure can facilitate morphological divergence, for example the evolution of both cryptic and conspicuous coloration in animals. In this context Dendrobatid frogs have been used to study evolutionary forces inducing diversity in protective coloration. The polytypic strawberry poison frog (Oophaga pumilio) shows strong divergence in aposematic coloration among populations. To investigate whether predation pressure is important for color divergence among populations of O. pumilio we selected four mainland populations and two island populations from Costa Rica and Panama. Spectrometric measurements of body coloration were used to calculate color and brightness contrasts of frogs as an indicator of conspicuousness for the visual systems of several potential predators (avian, crab and snake) and a conspecific observer. Additionally, we conducted experiments using clay model frogs of different coloration to investigate whether the local coloration of frogs is better protected than non-local color morphs, and if predator communities vary among populations. Overall predation risk differed strongly among populations and interestingly was higher on the two island populations. Imprints on clay models indicated that birds are the main predators while attacks of other predators were rare. Furthermore, clay models of local coloration were equally likely to be attacked as those of non-local coloration. Overall conspicuousness (and brightness contrast) of local frogs was positively correlated with attack rates by birds across populations. Together with results from earlier studies we conclude that conspicuousness honestly indicates toxicity to avian predators. The different coloration patterns among populations of strawberry poison frogs in combination with behavior and toxicity might integrate into equally efficient anti-predator strategies depending on local predation and other ecological

  18. An Analysis of Predator Selection to Affect Aposematic Coloration in a Poison Frog Species.

    PubMed

    Dreher, Corinna E; Cummings, Molly E; Pröhl, Heike

    2015-01-01

    Natural selection is widely noted to drive divergence of phenotypic traits. Predation pressure can facilitate morphological divergence, for example the evolution of both cryptic and conspicuous coloration in animals. In this context Dendrobatid frogs have been used to study evolutionary forces inducing diversity in protective coloration. The polytypic strawberry poison frog (Oophaga pumilio) shows strong divergence in aposematic coloration among populations. To investigate whether predation pressure is important for color divergence among populations of O. pumilio we selected four mainland populations and two island populations from Costa Rica and Panama. Spectrometric measurements of body coloration were used to calculate color and brightness contrasts of frogs as an indicator of conspicuousness for the visual systems of several potential predators (avian, crab and snake) and a conspecific observer. Additionally, we conducted experiments using clay model frogs of different coloration to investigate whether the local coloration of frogs is better protected than non-local color morphs, and if predator communities vary among populations. Overall predation risk differed strongly among populations and interestingly was higher on the two island populations. Imprints on clay models indicated that birds are the main predators while attacks of other predators were rare. Furthermore, clay models of local coloration were equally likely to be attacked as those of non-local coloration. Overall conspicuousness (and brightness contrast) of local frogs was positively correlated with attack rates by birds across populations. Together with results from earlier studies we conclude that conspicuousness honestly indicates toxicity to avian predators. The different coloration patterns among populations of strawberry poison frogs in combination with behavior and toxicity might integrate into equally efficient anti-predator strategies depending on local predation and other ecological

  19. An Analysis of Predator Selection to Affect Aposematic Coloration in a Poison Frog Species

    PubMed Central

    Dreher, Corinna E.; Cummings, Molly E.; Pröhl, Heike

    2015-01-01

    Natural selection is widely noted to drive divergence of phenotypic traits. Predation pressure can facilitate morphological divergence, for example the evolution of both cryptic and conspicuous coloration in animals. In this context Dendrobatid frogs have been used to study evolutionary forces inducing diversity in protective coloration. The polytypic strawberry poison frog (Oophaga pumilio) shows strong divergence in aposematic coloration among populations. To investigate whether predation pressure is important for color divergence among populations of O. pumilio we selected four mainland populations and two island populations from Costa Rica and Panama. Spectrometric measurements of body coloration were used to calculate color and brightness contrasts of frogs as an indicator of conspicuousness for the visual systems of several potential predators (avian, crab and snake) and a conspecific observer. Additionally, we conducted experiments using clay model frogs of different coloration to investigate whether the local coloration of frogs is better protected than non-local color morphs, and if predator communities vary among populations. Overall predation risk differed strongly among populations and interestingly was higher on the two island populations. Imprints on clay models indicated that birds are the main predators while attacks of other predators were rare. Furthermore, clay models of local coloration were equally likely to be attacked as those of non-local coloration. Overall conspicuousness (and brightness contrast) of local frogs was positively correlated with attack rates by birds across populations. Together with results from earlier studies we conclude that conspicuousness honestly indicates toxicity to avian predators. The different coloration patterns among populations of strawberry poison frogs in combination with behavior and toxicity might integrate into equally efficient anti-predator strategies depending on local predation and other ecological

  20. Sensitivity of Polygonum aviculare Seeds to Light as Affected by Soil Moisture Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Batlla, Diego; Nicoletta, Marcelo; Benech-Arnold, Roberto

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims It has been hypothesized that soil moisture conditions could affect the dormancy status of buried weed seeds, and, consequently, their sensitivity to light stimuli. In this study, an investigation is made of the effect of different soil moisture conditions during cold-induced dormancy loss on changes in the sensitivity of Polygonum aviculare seeds to light. Methods Seeds buried in pots were stored under different constant and fluctuating soil moisture environments at dormancy-releasing temperatures. Seeds were exhumed at regular intervals during storage and were exposed to different light treatments. Changes in the germination response of seeds to light treatments during storage under the different moisture environments were compared in order to determine the effect of soil moisture on the sensitivity to light of P. aviculare seeds. Key Results Seed acquisition of low-fluence responses during dormancy release was not affected by either soil moisture fluctuations or different constant soil moisture contents. On the contrary, different soil moisture environments affected seed acquisition of very low fluence responses and the capacity of seeds to germinate in the dark. Conclusions The results indicate that under field conditions, the sensitivity to light of buried weed seeds could be affected by the soil moisture environment experienced during the dormancy release season, and this could affect their emergence pattern. PMID:17430979

  1. Species-abundance--seed-size patterns within a plant community affected by grazing disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gao-lin; Shang, Zhan-huan; Zhu, Yuan-jun; Ding, Lu-ming; Wang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    Seed size has been advanced as a key factor that influences the dynamics of plant communities, but there are few empirical or theoretical predictions of how community dynamics progress based on seed size patterns. Information on the abundance of adults, seedlings, soil seed banks, seed rains, and the seed mass of 96 species was collected in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China), which had different levels of grazing disturbance. The relationships between seed-mass-abundance patterns for adults, seedlings, the soil seed bank, and seed rain in the plant community were evaluated using regression models. Results showed that grazing levels affected the relationship between seed size and abundance properties of adult species, seedlings, and the soil seed bank, suggesting that there is a shift in seed-size--species-abundance relationships as a response to the grazing gradient. Grazing had no effect on the pattern of seed-size-seed-rain-abundance at four grazing levels. Grazing also had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--species-abundance and pattern of seed-size--soil-seed-bank-abundance in meadows with no grazing, light grazing, and moderate grazing), but there was a significant negative effect in meadows with heavy grazing. Grazing had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--seedling-abundance with no grazing, but had significant negative effects with light, moderate, and heavy grazing, and the |r| values increased with grazing levels. This indicated that increasing grazing pressure enhanced the advantage of smaller-seeded species in terms of the abundances of adult species, seedlings, and soil seed banks, whereas only the light grazing level promoted the seed rain abundance of larger-seeded species in the plant communities. This study suggests that grazing disturbances are favorable for increasing the species abundance for smaller-seeded species but not for the larger-seeded species in an alpine meadow community. Hence, there is a clear

  2. Reproductive state affects hiding behaviour under risk of predation but not exploratory activity of female Spanish terrapins.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Alejandro; Marzal, Alfonso; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2015-02-01

    Female investment during reproduction may reduce survivorship due to increased predation risk. During pregnancy, the locomotor performance of gravid females might be diminished due to the additional weight acquired. In addition, egg production may also increase thermoregulatory, metabolic and physiological costs. Also, pregnant females have greater potential fitness and should take fewer risks. Thus, females should ponder their reproductive state when considering their behavioural responses under risky situations. Here, we examine how reproductive state influence risk-taking behaviour in different contexts in female Spanish terrapins (Mauremys leprosa). We simulated predator attacks of different risk levels and measured the time that the turtles spent hiding entirely inside their own shells (i.e. appearance times). We also assessed the subsequent time after emergence from the shell that the turtles spent immobile monitoring for predators before starting to escape actively (i.e. waiting times). Likewise, we performed a novel-environment test and measured the exploratory activity of turtles. We found no correlations between appearance time, waiting time or exploratory activity, but appearance times were correlated across different risk levels. Only appearance time was affected by the reproductive state, where gravid females reappeared relatively later from their shells after a predator attack than non-gravid ones. Moreover, among gravid females, those carrying greater clutches tended to have longer appearance times. This suggests that only larger clutches could affect hiding behaviour in risky contexts. In contrast, waiting time spent scanning for predators and exploratory activity were not affected by the reproductive state. These differences between gravid and non-gravid females might be explained by the metabolic-physiological costs associated with egg production and embryo maintenance, as well as by the relatively higher potential fitness of gravid females.

  3. Form of an evolutionary tradeoff affects eco-evolutionary dynamics in a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Kasada, Minoru; Yamamichi, Masato; Yoshida, Takehito

    2014-11-11

    Evolution on a time scale similar to ecological dynamics has been increasingly recognized for the last three decades. Selection mediated by ecological interactions can change heritable phenotypic variation (i.e., evolution), and evolution of traits, in turn, can affect ecological interactions. Hence, ecological and evolutionary dynamics can be tightly linked and important to predict future dynamics, but our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics is still in its infancy and there is a significant gap between theoretical predictions and empirical tests. Empirical studies have demonstrated that the presence of genetic variation can dramatically change ecological dynamics, whereas theoretical studies predict that eco-evolutionary dynamics depend on the details of the genetic variation, such as the form of a tradeoff among genotypes, which can be more important than the presence or absence of the genetic variation. Using a predator-prey (rotifer-algal) experimental system in laboratory microcosms, we studied how different forms of a tradeoff between prey defense and growth affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Our experimental results show for the first time to our knowledge that different forms of the tradeoff produce remarkably divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics, including near fixation, near extinction, and coexistence of algal genotypes, with quantitatively different population dynamics. A mathematical model, parameterized from completely independent experiments, explains the observed dynamics. The results suggest that knowing the details of heritable trait variation and covariation within a population is essential for understanding how evolution and ecology will interact and what form of eco-evolutionary dynamics will result. PMID:25336757

  4. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L. Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-01-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits. PMID:25240065

  5. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-12-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits.

  6. [Effects of rodents and litter coverage on the seed fate of wild Prunus divaricata in wild fruit forest of Tianshan Mountain, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yu; Liu, Ying; Wang, Jian-Ming; Zhang, Yong-Heng; Yang, Yun-Fei

    2014-09-01

    The dynamic variation characteristics of seed bank and the main factors influencing the fate of Prunus divaricata seeds under the pressure of rodent predation and litter coverage were investigated with artificial soil seed banks from September, 2010 to April, 2013. It was found that there was about 48.3% of seeds germinated under the rodent predation disturbance conditions, 50% of the seeds was predated in situ or removed, and only about 4% decayed. The artificial seed bank formed a short-term persistent soil seed bank without any rodent predation disturbance, and the seeds could germinate even though they had been stored in the seed bank for three years. Soil burial provided a lower predation pressure and promoted the recruitment of wild P. divaricata seedlings, removal and predation in situ by animals was an important factor affecting the fate of seeds. At the same time, seeds removed and foraged in situ in the control and litter coverage samples were significantly less than that in the bare soil samples. Ground coverage reduced the removal and predation of seeds by rodents, but the effect was not enough to result in more seedlings. Rodent predation and removal were the main factors that could affect the seed fate and dynamics of seed bank. PMID:25757305

  7. Skin toxins in coral-associated Gobiodon species (Teleostei: Gobiidae) affect predator preference and prey survival

    PubMed Central

    Gratzer, Barbara; Millesi, Eva; Walzl, Manfred; Herler, Juergen

    2015-01-01

    Predation risk is high for the many small coral reef fishes, requiring successful sheltering or other predator defence mechanisms. Coral-dwelling gobies of the genus Gobiodon live in close association with scleractinian corals of the genus Acropora. Earlier studies indicated that the low movement frequency of adult fishes and the development of skin toxins (crinotoxicity) are predation avoidance mechanisms. Although past experiments showed that predators refuse food prepared with goby skin mucus, direct predator–prey interactions have not been studied. The present study compares the toxicity levels of two crinotoxic coral gobies – Gobiodon histrio, representative of a conspicuously coloured species, and Gobiodon sp.3 with cryptic coloration – using a standard bioassay method. The results show that toxin levels of both species differ significantly shortly after mucus release but become similar over time. Predator preferences were tested experimentally in an aquarium in which the two gobies and a juvenile damselfish Chromis viridis were exposed to the small grouper Epinephelus fasciatus. Video-analysis revealed that although coral gobies are potential prey, E. fasciatus clearly preferred the non-toxic control fish (C. viridis) over Gobiodon. When targeting a goby, the predator did not prefer one species over the other. Contrary to our expectations that toxic gobies are generally avoided, gobies were often captured, but they were expelled quickly, repeatedly and alive. This unusual post-capture avoidance confirms that these gobies have a very good chance of surviving attacks in the field due to their skin toxins. Nonetheless, some gobies were consumed: the coral shelter may therefore also provide additional protection, with toxins protecting them mainly during movement between corals. In summary, chemical deterrence by crinotoxic fishes seems to be far more efficient in predation avoidance than in physical deterrence involving body squamation and/or strong fin

  8. Endozoochorous dispersal of aquatic plants: does seed gut passage affect plant performance?

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Jordi; Santamaría, Luis; Green, Andy J; Luque, Isabel; Alvarez, Raquel; Charalambidou, Iris

    2005-04-01

    The ingestion of seeds by vertebrates can affect the germinability and/or germination rate of seeds. It is, however, unclear if an earlier germination as a result of ingestion affects later plant performance. For sago pondweed, Potamogeton pectinatus, the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on both germinability and germination rate have been previously reported from laboratory experiments. We performed an experiment to determine the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on germination, seedling survival, plant growth and asexual multiplication. Both at the start and end of the winter, seeds were fed to three captive shovelers (Anas clypeata) and planted outdoors in water-filled containers. Plant biomass and its allocation to vegetative parts (shoot and roots), tubers, and seeds were determined in autumn. More duck-ingested seeds than control (uningested) seeds germinated in early winter, but this difference disappeared for seeds planted in late winter, when the treatments were first stratified for 3 mo. None of the variables for measuring seedling survival and plant performance varied between treatments. Under our experimental conditions (no herbivory or competition), ingestion by ducks in early winter resulted in increased performance for seeds surviving gut passage due to enhanced seed germinability, without other costs or benefits for the seedlings.

  9. Herbivore and Fungal Pathogen Exclusion Affects the Seed Production of Four Common Grassland Species

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, Timothy L.; Mitchell, Charles E.

    2010-01-01

    Insect herbivores and fungal pathogens can independently affect plant fitness, and may have interactive effects. However, few studies have experimentally quantified the joint effects of insects and fungal pathogens on seed production in non-agricultural populations. We examined the factorial effects of insect herbivore exclusion (via insecticide) and fungal pathogen exclusion (via fungicide) on the population-level seed production of four common graminoid species (Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium, Poa pratensis, and Carex siccata) over two growing seasons in Minnesota, USA. We detected no interactive effects of herbivores and pathogens on seed production. However, the seed production of all four species was affected by either insecticide or fungicide in at least one year of the study. Insecticide consistently doubled the seed production of the historically most common species in the North American tallgrass prairie, A. gerardii (big bluestem). This is the first report of insect removal increasing seed production in this species. Insecticide increased A. gerardii number of seeds per seed head in one year, and mass per seed in both years, suggesting that consumption of flowers and seed embryos contributed to the effect on seed production. One of the primary insect species consuming A. gerardii flowers and seed embryos was likely the Cecidomyiid midge, Contarinia wattsi. Effects on all other plant species varied among years. Herbivores and pathogens likely reduce the dispersal and colonization ability of plants when they reduce seed output. Therefore, impacts on seed production of competitive dominant species may help to explain their relatively poor colonization abilities. Reduced seed output by dominant graminoids may thereby promote coexistence with subdominant species through competition-colonization tradeoffs. PMID:20711408

  10. Cotyledon damage affects seed number through final plant size in the annual grassland species Medicago lupulina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shiting; Zhao, Chuan; Lamb, Eric G.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The effects of cotyledon damage on seedling growth and survival are relatively well established, but little is known about the effects on aspects of plant fitness such as seed number and size. Here the direct and indirect mechanisms linking cotyledon damage and plant fitness in the annual species Medicago lupulina are examined. Methods Growth and reproductive traits, including mature plant size, time to first flowering, flower number, seed number and individual seed mass were monitored in M. lupulina plants when zero, one or two cotyledons were removed at 7 d old. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the mechanisms linking cotyledon damage to seed number and seed mass. Key Results Cotyledon damage reduced seed number but not individual seed mass. The primary mechanism was a reduction in plant biomass with cotyledon damage that in turn reduced seed number primarily through a reduction in flower numbers. Although cotyledon damage delayed flower initiation, it had little effect on seed number. Individual seed mass was not affected by cotyledon removal, but there was a trade-off between seed number and seed mass. Conclusions It is shown how a network of indirect mechanisms link damage to cotyledons and fitness in M. lupulina. Cotyledon damage had strong direct effects on both plant size and flowering phenology, but an analysis of the causal relationships among plant traits and fitness components showed that a reduction in plant size associated with cotyledon damage was an important mechanism influencing fitness. PMID:21196450

  11. Macroalgal assemblage type affects predation pressure on sea urchins by altering adhesion strength.

    PubMed

    Gianguzza, P; Bonaviri, C; Milisenda, G; Barcellona, A; Agnetta, D; Vega Fernández, T; Badalamenti, F

    2010-07-01

    In the Mediterranean, sea breams are the most effective Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula predators. Generally, seabreams dislodge adult urchins from the rocky substrate, turn them upside down and crush their tests. Sea urchins may respond to fish attacks clinging tenaciously to the substratum. This study is the first attempt to investigate sea urchin adhesion strength in two alternative algal assemblages of the rocky infralittoral and valuated its possible implication for fish predation. We hypothesized that (1) sea urchin adhesion strength is higher in rocky shores dominated by encrusting macroalgae (ECA) than in erected macroalgae (EMA); (2) predation rates upon sea urchins are lower in ECA than in EMA; and (3) predation rate on A. lixula is lower than that on P. lividus. We observed that attachment tenacity of both sea urchins was higher in ECA than EMA and that A. lixula exhibited a stronger attachment tenacity than P. lividus in ECA. Results supported the importance of adhesion strength, as efficient defence against sea bream attacks, only for, P. lividus. A. lixula adhesion strength does not seem to be an important factor in avoiding fish predation, possibly because of the low palatability of the species. These patterns may deserve particular interest in understanding the processes responsible for the maintenance of sea urchin barrens that are dominated by ECA assemblage. PMID:20382419

  12. CO2, nitrogen, and diversity differentially affect seed production of prairie plants.

    PubMed

    HilleRisLambers, J; Harpole, W S; Schnitzer, S; Tilman, D; Reich, P B

    2009-07-01

    Plant species composition and diversity is often influenced by early life history stages; thus, global change could dramatically affect plant community structure by altering seed production. Unfortunately, plant reproductive responses to global change are rarely studied in field settings, making it difficult to assess this possibility. To address this issue, we quantified the effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen deposition, and declining diversity on inflorescence production and inflorescence mass of 11 perennial grassland species in central Minnesota, U.S.A. We analyzed these data to ask whether (1) global change differentially affects seed production of co-occurring species; (2) seed production responses to global change are similar for species within the same functional group (defined by ecophysiology and growth form); and (3) seed production responses to global change match productivity responses: We found that, on average, allocation to seed production decreased under elevated CO2, although individual species responses were rarely significant due to low power (CO2 treatment df = 2). The effects of nitrogen deposition on seed production were similar within functional groups: C4 grasses tended to increase while C3 grasses tended to decrease allocation to seed production. Responses to nitrogen deposition were negatively correlated to productivity responses, suggesting a trade-off. Allocation to seed production of some species responded to a diversity gradient, but responses were uncorrelated to productivity responses and not similar within functional groups. Presumably, species richness has complex effects on the biotic and abiotic variables that influence seed production. In total, our results suggest that seed production of co-occurring species will be altered by global change, which may affect plant communities in unpredictable ways. Although functional groups could be used to generalize seed production responses to nitrogen deposition in Minnesota prairies, we

  13. Increased temperatures negatively affect Juniperus communis seeds: evidence from transplant experiments along a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Gruwez, R; De Frenne, P; Vander Mijnsbrugge, K; Vangansbeke, P; Verheyen, K

    2016-05-01

    With a distribution range that covers most of the Northern hemisphere, common juniper (Juniperus communis) has one of the largest ranges of all vascular plant species. In several regions in Europe, however, populations are decreasing in size and number due to failing recruitment. One of the main causes for this failure is low seed viability. Observational evidence suggests that this is partly induced by climate warming, but our mechanistic understanding of this effect remains incomplete. Here, we experimentally assess the influence of temperature on two key developmental phases during sexual reproduction, i.e. gametogenesis and fertilisation (seed phase two, SP2) and embryo development (seed phase three, SP3). Along a latitudinal gradient from southern France to central Sweden, we installed a transplant experiment with shrubs originating from Belgium, a region with unusually low juniper seed viability. Seeds of both seed phases were sampled during three consecutive years, and seed viability assessed. Warming temperatures negatively affected the seed viability of both SP2 and SP3 seeds along the latitudinal gradient. Interestingly, the effect on embryo development (SP3) only occurred in the third year, i.e. when the gametogenesis and fertilisation also took place in warmer conditions. We found strong indications that this negative influence mostly acts via disrupting growth of the pollen tube, the development of the female gametophyte and fertilisation (SP2). This, in turn, can lead to failing embryo development, for example, due to nutritional problems. Our results confirm that climate warming can negatively affect seed viability of juniper.

  14. Determinants of spatial behavior of a tropical forest seed predator: The roles of optimal foraging, dietary diversification, and home range defense.

    PubMed

    Palminteri, Suzanne; Powell, George V N; Peres, Carlos A

    2016-05-01

    Specialized seed predators in tropical forests may avoid seasonal food scarcity and interspecific feeding competition but may need to diversify their daily diet to limit ingestion of any given toxin. Seed predators may, therefore, adopt foraging strategies that favor dietary diversity and resource monitoring, rather than efficient energy intake, as suggested by optimal foraging theory. We tested whether fine-scale space use by a small-group-living seed predator-the bald-faced saki monkey (Pithecia irrorata)-reflected optimization of short-term foraging efficiency, maximization of daily dietary diversity, and/or responses to the threat of territorial encroachment by neighboring groups. Food patches across home ranges of five adjacent saki groups were widely spread, but areas with higher densities of stems or food species were not allocated greater feeding time. Foraging patterns-specifically, relatively long daily travel paths that bypassed available fruiting trees and relatively short feeding bouts in undepleted food patches-suggest a strategy that maximizes dietary diversification, rather than "optimal" foraging. Travel distance was unrelated to the proportion of seeds in the diet. Moreover, while taxonomically diverse, the daily diets of our study groups were no more species-rich than randomly derived diets based on co-occurring available food species. Sakis preferentially used overlapping areas of their HRs, within which adjacent groups shared many food trees, yet the density of food plants or food species in these areas was no greater than in other HR areas. The high likelihood of depletion by neighboring groups of otherwise enduring food sources may encourage monitoring of peripheral food patches in overlap areas, even if at the expense of immediate energy intake, suggesting that between-group competition is a key driver of fine-scale home range use in sakis. PMID:25807916

  15. Determinants of spatial behavior of a tropical forest seed predator: The roles of optimal foraging, dietary diversification, and home range defense.

    PubMed

    Palminteri, Suzanne; Powell, George V N; Peres, Carlos A

    2016-05-01

    Specialized seed predators in tropical forests may avoid seasonal food scarcity and interspecific feeding competition but may need to diversify their daily diet to limit ingestion of any given toxin. Seed predators may, therefore, adopt foraging strategies that favor dietary diversity and resource monitoring, rather than efficient energy intake, as suggested by optimal foraging theory. We tested whether fine-scale space use by a small-group-living seed predator-the bald-faced saki monkey (Pithecia irrorata)-reflected optimization of short-term foraging efficiency, maximization of daily dietary diversity, and/or responses to the threat of territorial encroachment by neighboring groups. Food patches across home ranges of five adjacent saki groups were widely spread, but areas with higher densities of stems or food species were not allocated greater feeding time. Foraging patterns-specifically, relatively long daily travel paths that bypassed available fruiting trees and relatively short feeding bouts in undepleted food patches-suggest a strategy that maximizes dietary diversification, rather than "optimal" foraging. Travel distance was unrelated to the proportion of seeds in the diet. Moreover, while taxonomically diverse, the daily diets of our study groups were no more species-rich than randomly derived diets based on co-occurring available food species. Sakis preferentially used overlapping areas of their HRs, within which adjacent groups shared many food trees, yet the density of food plants or food species in these areas was no greater than in other HR areas. The high likelihood of depletion by neighboring groups of otherwise enduring food sources may encourage monitoring of peripheral food patches in overlap areas, even if at the expense of immediate energy intake, suggesting that between-group competition is a key driver of fine-scale home range use in sakis.

  16. Social bonds affect anti-predator behaviour in a tolerant species of macaque, Macaca nigra.

    PubMed

    Micheletta, Jérôme; Waller, Bridget M; Panggur, Maria R; Neumann, Christof; Duboscq, Julie; Agil, Muhammad; Engelhardt, Antje

    2012-10-01

    Enduring positive social bonds between individuals are crucial for humans' health and well being. Similar bonds can be found in a wide range of taxa, revealing the evolutionary origins of humans' social bonds. Evidence suggests that these strong social bonds can function to buffer the negative effects of living in groups, but it is not known whether they also function to minimize predation risk. Here, we show that crested macaques (Macaca nigra) react more strongly to playbacks of recruitment alarm calls (i.e. calls signalling the presence of a predator and eliciting cooperative mobbing behaviour) if they were produced by an individual with whom they share a strong social bond. Dominance relationships between caller and listener had no effect on the reaction of the listener. Thus, strong social bonds may improve the coordination and efficiency of cooperative defence against predators, and therefore increase chances of survival. This result broadens our understanding of the evolution and function of social bonds by highlighting their importance in the anti-predator context. PMID:22859593

  17. Social bonds affect anti-predator behaviour in a tolerant species of macaque, Macaca nigra.

    PubMed

    Micheletta, Jérôme; Waller, Bridget M; Panggur, Maria R; Neumann, Christof; Duboscq, Julie; Agil, Muhammad; Engelhardt, Antje

    2012-10-01

    Enduring positive social bonds between individuals are crucial for humans' health and well being. Similar bonds can be found in a wide range of taxa, revealing the evolutionary origins of humans' social bonds. Evidence suggests that these strong social bonds can function to buffer the negative effects of living in groups, but it is not known whether they also function to minimize predation risk. Here, we show that crested macaques (Macaca nigra) react more strongly to playbacks of recruitment alarm calls (i.e. calls signalling the presence of a predator and eliciting cooperative mobbing behaviour) if they were produced by an individual with whom they share a strong social bond. Dominance relationships between caller and listener had no effect on the reaction of the listener. Thus, strong social bonds may improve the coordination and efficiency of cooperative defence against predators, and therefore increase chances of survival. This result broadens our understanding of the evolution and function of social bonds by highlighting their importance in the anti-predator context.

  18. Water-triacylglycerol interactions affect oil body structure and seed viability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We are investigating interactions between water and triacylglycerols (TAG) that appear to affect oil body stability and viability of seeds. Dried seeds are usually stored at freezer temperatures (-20oC) for long-term conservation of genetic resources. This globally accepted genebanking practice is...

  19. Does multiple paternity affect seed mass in angiosperms? An experimental test in Dalechampia scandens.

    PubMed

    Pélabon, C; Albertsen, E; Falahati-Anbaran, M; Wright, J; Armbruster, W S

    2015-09-01

    Flowers fertilized by multiple fathers may be expected to produce heavier seeds than those fertilized by a single father. However, the adaptive mechanisms leading to such differences remain unclear, and the evidence inconsistent. Here, we first review the different hypotheses predicting an increase in seed mass when multiple paternity occurs. We show that distinguishing between these hypotheses requires information about average seed mass, but also about within-fruit variance in seed mass, bias in siring success among pollen donors, and whether siring success and seed mass are correlated. We then report the results of an experiment on Dalechampia scandens (Euphorbiaceae), assessing these critical variables in conjunction with a comparison of seed mass resulting from crosses with single vs. multiple pollen donors. Siring success differed among males when competing for fertilization, but average seed mass was not affected by the number of fathers. Furthermore, paternal identity explained only 3.8% of the variance in seed mass, and siring success was not correlated with the mass of the seeds produced. Finally, within-infructescence variance in seed mass was not affected by the number of fathers. These results suggest that neither differential allocation nor sibling rivalry has any effect on the average mass of seeds in multiply sired fruits in D. scandens. Overall, the limited paternal effects observed in most studies and the possibility of diversification bet hedging among flowers (but not within flowers), suggest that multiple paternity within fruits or infructescence is unlikely to affect seed mass in a large number of angiosperm species. PMID:26174371

  20. Seasonal Variation in the Fate of Seeds under Contrasting Logging Regimes

    PubMed Central

    Fleury, Marina; Rodrigues, Ricardo R.; do Couto, Hilton T. Z.; Galetti, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    Seed predators and dispersers may drive the speed and structure of forest regeneration in natural ecosystems. Rodents and ants prey upon and disperse seeds, yet empirical studies on the magnitude of these effects are lacking. Here, we examined the role of ants and rodents on seed predation in 4 plant species in a successional gradient on a tropical rainforest island. We found that (1) seeds are mostly consumed rather than dispersed; (2) rates of seed predation vary by habitat, season, and species; (3) seed size, shape, and hardness do not affect the probability of being depredated. Rodents were responsible for 70% of seed predation and were negligible (0.14%) seed dispersers, whereas ants were responsible for only 2% of seed predation and for no dispersal. We detected seasonal and habitat effects on seed loss, with higher seed predation occurring during the wet season and in old-growth forests. In the absence of predators regulating seed-consumer populations, the densities of these resilient animals explode to the detriment of natural regeneration and may reduce diversity and carrying capacity for consumers and eventually lead to ecological meltdown. PMID:24614500

  1. Seasonal variation in the fate of seeds under contrasting logging regimes.

    PubMed

    Fleury, Marina; Rodrigues, Ricardo R; do Couto, Hilton T Z; Galetti, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    Seed predators and dispersers may drive the speed and structure of forest regeneration in natural ecosystems. Rodents and ants prey upon and disperse seeds, yet empirical studies on the magnitude of these effects are lacking. Here, we examined the role of ants and rodents on seed predation in 4 plant species in a successional gradient on a tropical rainforest island. We found that (1) seeds are mostly consumed rather than dispersed; (2) rates of seed predation vary by habitat, season, and species; (3) seed size, shape, and hardness do not affect the probability of being depredated. Rodents were responsible for 70% of seed predation and were negligible (0.14%) seed dispersers, whereas ants were responsible for only 2% of seed predation and for no dispersal. We detected seasonal and habitat effects on seed loss, with higher seed predation occurring during the wet season and in old-growth forests. In the absence of predators regulating seed-consumer populations, the densities of these resilient animals explode to the detriment of natural regeneration and may reduce diversity and carrying capacity for consumers and eventually lead to ecological meltdown. PMID:24614500

  2. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    PubMed

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees.

  3. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    PubMed

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees. PMID:25901681

  4. Tillage and residue burning affects weed populations and seed banks.

    PubMed

    Narwal, S; Sindel, B M; Jessop, R S

    2006-01-01

    An integrated weed management approach requires alternative management practices to herbicide use such as tillage, crop rotations and cultural controls to reduce soil weed seed banks. The objective of this study was to examine the value of different tillage practices and stubble burning to exhaust the seed bank of common weeds from the northern grain region of Australia. Five tillage and burning treatments were incorporated in a field experiment, at Armidale (30 degrees 30'S, 151 degrees 40'E), New South Wales, Australia in July 2004 in a randomized block design replicated four times. The trial was continued and treatments repeated in July 2005 with all the mature plants from the first year being allowed to shed seed in their respective treatment plots. The treatments were (i) no tillage (NT), (ii) chisel ploughing (CP), (iii) mould board ploughing (MBP), (iv) wheat straw burning with no tillage (SBNT) and (v) wheat straw burning with chisel ploughing (SBC). Soil samples were collected before applying treatments and before the weeds flowered to establish the seed bank status of the various weeds in the soil. Wheat was sown after the tillage treatments. Burning treatments were only initiated in the second year, one month prior to tillage treatments. The major weeds present in the seed bank before initiating the trial were Polygonum aviculare, Sonchus oleraceus and Avena fatua. Tillage promoted the germination of other weeds like Hibiscus trionum, Medicago sativa, Vicia sp. and Phalaris paradoxa later in the season in 2004 and Convolvulus erubescens emerged as a new weed in 2005. The MBP treatment in 2004 reduced the weed biomass to a significantly lower level of 55 g/m2 than the other treatments of CP (118 g/m2) and NT plots (196 g/m2) (P < 0.05). However, in 2005 SBC and MBP treatments were similar in reducing the weed biomass. In 2004, the grain yield trend of wheat was significantly different between CP and NT, and MBP and NT (P < 0.05) with maximum yield of 5898

  5. Tillage and residue burning affects weed populations and seed banks.

    PubMed

    Narwal, S; Sindel, B M; Jessop, R S

    2006-01-01

    An integrated weed management approach requires alternative management practices to herbicide use such as tillage, crop rotations and cultural controls to reduce soil weed seed banks. The objective of this study was to examine the value of different tillage practices and stubble burning to exhaust the seed bank of common weeds from the northern grain region of Australia. Five tillage and burning treatments were incorporated in a field experiment, at Armidale (30 degrees 30'S, 151 degrees 40'E), New South Wales, Australia in July 2004 in a randomized block design replicated four times. The trial was continued and treatments repeated in July 2005 with all the mature plants from the first year being allowed to shed seed in their respective treatment plots. The treatments were (i) no tillage (NT), (ii) chisel ploughing (CP), (iii) mould board ploughing (MBP), (iv) wheat straw burning with no tillage (SBNT) and (v) wheat straw burning with chisel ploughing (SBC). Soil samples were collected before applying treatments and before the weeds flowered to establish the seed bank status of the various weeds in the soil. Wheat was sown after the tillage treatments. Burning treatments were only initiated in the second year, one month prior to tillage treatments. The major weeds present in the seed bank before initiating the trial were Polygonum aviculare, Sonchus oleraceus and Avena fatua. Tillage promoted the germination of other weeds like Hibiscus trionum, Medicago sativa, Vicia sp. and Phalaris paradoxa later in the season in 2004 and Convolvulus erubescens emerged as a new weed in 2005. The MBP treatment in 2004 reduced the weed biomass to a significantly lower level of 55 g/m2 than the other treatments of CP (118 g/m2) and NT plots (196 g/m2) (P < 0.05). However, in 2005 SBC and MBP treatments were similar in reducing the weed biomass. In 2004, the grain yield trend of wheat was significantly different between CP and NT, and MBP and NT (P < 0.05) with maximum yield of 5898

  6. Floral asymmetry and predation risk modify pollinator behavior, but only predation risk decreases plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems.

  7. Floral asymmetry and predation risk modify pollinator behavior, but only predation risk decreases plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems. PMID:26861474

  8. Factors affecting individual foraging specialization and temporal diet stability across the range of a large “generalist” apex predator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Nifong, James C.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Elsey, Ruth M.; Decker, Rachel A.; Silliman, Brian R.; Guillette, Louis J.; Lowers, Russell H.; Larson, Justin C.

    2015-01-01

    Individual niche specialization (INS) is increasingly recognized as an important component of ecological and evolutionary dynamics. However, most studies that have investigated INS have focused on the effects of niche width and inter- and intraspecific competition on INS in small-bodied species for short time periods, with less attention paid to INS in large-bodied reptilian predators and the effects of available prey types on INS. We investigated the prevalence, causes, and consequences of INS in foraging behaviors across different populations of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), the dominant aquatic apex predator across the southeast US, using stomach contents and stable isotopes. Gut contents revealed that, over the short term, although alligator populations occupied wide ranges of the INS spectrum, general patterns were apparent. Alligator populations inhabiting lakes exhibited lower INS than coastal populations, likely driven by variation in habitat type and available prey types. Stable isotopes revealed that over longer time spans alligators exhibited remarkably consistent use of variable mixtures of carbon pools (e.g., marine and freshwater food webs). We conclude that INS in large-bodied reptilian predator populations is likely affected by variation in available prey types and habitat heterogeneity, and that INS should be incorporated into management strategies to efficiently meet intended goals. Also, ecological models, which typically do not consider behavioral variability, should include INS to increase model realism and applicability.

  9. The Effect of Pollen Source vs. Flower Type on Progeny Performance and Seed Predation under Contrasting Light Environments in a Cleistogamous Herb

    PubMed Central

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A.; Campos-Navarrete, María J.; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-01-01

    Dimorphic cleistogamy is a specialized form of mixed mating system where a single plant produces both open, potentially outcrossed chasmogamous (CH) and closed, obligately self-pollinated cleistogamous (CL) flowers. Typically, CH flowers and seeds are bigger and energetically more costly than those of CL. Although the effects of inbreeding and floral dimorphism are critical to understanding the evolution and maintenance of cleistogamy, these effects have been repeatedly confounded. In an attempt to separate these effects, we compared the performance of progeny derived from the two floral morphs while controlling for the source of pollen. That is, flower type and pollen source effects were assessed by comparing the performance of progeny derived from selfed CH vs. CL and outcrossed CH vs. selfed CH flowers, respectively. The experiment was carried out with the herb Ruellia nudiflora under two contrasting light environments. Outcrossed progeny generally performed better than selfed progeny. However, inbreeding depression ranges from low (1%) to moderate (36%), with the greatest value detected under shaded conditions when cumulative fitness was used. Although flower type generally had less of an effect on progeny performance than pollen source did, the progeny derived from selfed CH flowers largely outperformed the progeny from CL flowers, but only under shaded conditions and when cumulative fitness was taken into account. On the other hand, the source of pollen and flower type influenced seed predation, with selfed CH progeny the most heavily attacked by predators. Therefore, the effects of pollen source and flower type are environment-dependant and seed predators may increase the genetic differences between progeny derived from CH and CL flowers. Inbreeding depression alone cannot account for the maintenance of a mixed mating system in R. nudiflora and other unidentified mechanisms must thus be involved. PMID:24260515

  10. The effect of pollen source vs. flower type on progeny performance and seed predation under contrasting light environments in a cleistogamous herb.

    PubMed

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A; Campos-Navarrete, María J; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-01-01

    Dimorphic cleistogamy is a specialized form of mixed mating system where a single plant produces both open, potentially outcrossed chasmogamous (CH) and closed, obligately self-pollinated cleistogamous (CL) flowers. Typically, CH flowers and seeds are bigger and energetically more costly than those of CL. Although the effects of inbreeding and floral dimorphism are critical to understanding the evolution and maintenance of cleistogamy, these effects have been repeatedly confounded. In an attempt to separate these effects, we compared the performance of progeny derived from the two floral morphs while controlling for the source of pollen. That is, flower type and pollen source effects were assessed by comparing the performance of progeny derived from selfed CH vs. CL and outcrossed CH vs. selfed CH flowers, respectively. The experiment was carried out with the herb Ruellia nudiflora under two contrasting light environments. Outcrossed progeny generally performed better than selfed progeny. However, inbreeding depression ranges from low (1%) to moderate (36%), with the greatest value detected under shaded conditions when cumulative fitness was used. Although flower type generally had less of an effect on progeny performance than pollen source did, the progeny derived from selfed CH flowers largely outperformed the progeny from CL flowers, but only under shaded conditions and when cumulative fitness was taken into account. On the other hand, the source of pollen and flower type influenced seed predation, with selfed CH progeny the most heavily attacked by predators. Therefore, the effects of pollen source and flower type are environment-dependant and seed predators may increase the genetic differences between progeny derived from CH and CL flowers. Inbreeding depression alone cannot account for the maintenance of a mixed mating system in R. nudiflora and other unidentified mechanisms must thus be involved. PMID:24260515

  11. Field observations of climbing behavior and seed predation by adult ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a lowland area of the temperate zone.

    PubMed

    Sasakawa, Kôji

    2010-10-01

    Granivory is a specialized food habit in the predominantly carnivorous beetle family Carabidae. Most studies of carabid granivory have been conducted under laboratory conditions; thus, our knowledge of the feeding ecology of granivorous carabids in the field is insufficient. I conducted field observations of climbing behavior and seed predation by adult carabids in a lowland area of eastern Japan, from early October to late November in 2008. This is the first systematic field observation of the feeding ecology of granivorous carabids in the temperate zone. In total, 176 carabid individuals of 11 species were observed, with 108 individuals feeding on plant seeds/flowers. Each carabid species was primarily observed feeding on a particular plant species. Frequently observed combinations were: Amara gigantea Motschulsky on Humulus scandens (Loureiro) Merrill (Moraceae) seed, Amara lucens Baliani on Artemisia indica Willdenow (Asteraceae) flower, and Amara macronota (Solsky) and Harpalus (Pseudoophonus) spp. on Digitaria ciliaris (Retzius) Koeler (Poaceae) seed. In all but one species, the sex ratio of individuals observed feeding was female-biased. In Am. gigantea and Am. macronota, a larger proportion of females than males ate seeds. In the three Amara species, copulations on plants, with the female feeding on its seeds/flowers, were often observed. These observations may indicate that, whereas females climb onto plants to feed on seeds, males climb to seek females for copulation rather than forage. Because granivorous carabids play important roles as weed-control agents in temperate agro-ecosystems, the present results would provide valuable basic information for future studies on this subject.

  12. Field observations of climbing behavior and seed predation by adult ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a lowland area of the temperate zone.

    PubMed

    Sasakawa, Kôji

    2010-10-01

    Granivory is a specialized food habit in the predominantly carnivorous beetle family Carabidae. Most studies of carabid granivory have been conducted under laboratory conditions; thus, our knowledge of the feeding ecology of granivorous carabids in the field is insufficient. I conducted field observations of climbing behavior and seed predation by adult carabids in a lowland area of eastern Japan, from early October to late November in 2008. This is the first systematic field observation of the feeding ecology of granivorous carabids in the temperate zone. In total, 176 carabid individuals of 11 species were observed, with 108 individuals feeding on plant seeds/flowers. Each carabid species was primarily observed feeding on a particular plant species. Frequently observed combinations were: Amara gigantea Motschulsky on Humulus scandens (Loureiro) Merrill (Moraceae) seed, Amara lucens Baliani on Artemisia indica Willdenow (Asteraceae) flower, and Amara macronota (Solsky) and Harpalus (Pseudoophonus) spp. on Digitaria ciliaris (Retzius) Koeler (Poaceae) seed. In all but one species, the sex ratio of individuals observed feeding was female-biased. In Am. gigantea and Am. macronota, a larger proportion of females than males ate seeds. In the three Amara species, copulations on plants, with the female feeding on its seeds/flowers, were often observed. These observations may indicate that, whereas females climb onto plants to feed on seeds, males climb to seek females for copulation rather than forage. Because granivorous carabids play important roles as weed-control agents in temperate agro-ecosystems, the present results would provide valuable basic information for future studies on this subject. PMID:22546452

  13. Intraspecific phenotypic variation in a fish predator affects multitrophic lake metacommunity structure

    PubMed Central

    Howeth, Jennifer G; Weis, Jerome J; Brodersen, Jakob; Hatton, Elizabeth C; Post, David M

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary insights from evolutionary ecology suggest that population divergence in ecologically important traits within predators can generate diversifying ecological selection on local community structure. Many studies acknowledging these effects of intraspecific variation assume that local populations are situated in communities that are unconnected to similar communities within a shared region. Recent work from metacommunity ecology suggests that species dispersal among communities can also influence species diversity and composition but can depend upon the relative importance of the local environment. Here, we study the relative effects of intraspecific phenotypic variation in a fish predator and spatial processes related to plankton species dispersal on multitrophic lake plankton metacommunity structure. Intraspecific diversification in foraging traits and residence time of the planktivorous fish alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) among coastal lakes yields lake metacommunities supporting three lake types which differ in the phenotype and incidence of alewife: lakes with anadromous, landlocked, or no alewives. In coastal lakes, plankton community composition was attributed to dispersal versus local environmental predictors, including intraspecific variation in alewives. Local and beta diversity of zooplankton and phytoplankton was additionally measured in response to intraspecific variation in alewives. Zooplankton communities were structured by species sorting, with a strong influence of intraspecific variation in A. pseudoharengus. Intraspecific variation altered zooplankton species richness and beta diversity, where lake communities with landlocked alewives exhibited intermediate richness between lakes with anadromous alewives and without alewives, and greater community similarity. Phytoplankton diversity, in contrast, was highest in lakes with landlocked alewives. The results indicate that plankton dispersal in the region supplied a migrant pool that was

  14. Glyphosate affects seed composition in glyphosate-resistant soybean.

    PubMed

    Zobiole, Luiz H S; Oliveira, Rubem S; Visentainer, Jesui V; Kremer, Robert J; Bellaloui, Nacer; Yamada, Tsuioshi

    2010-04-14

    The cultivation of glyphosate-resistant (GR) soybeans has continuously increased worldwide in recent years mainly due to the importance of glyphosate in current weed management systems. However, not much has been done to understand eventual effects of glyphosate application on GR soybean physiology, especially those related to seed composition with potential effects on human health. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of glyphosate application on GR soybeans compared with its near-isogenic non-GR parental lines. Results of the first experiment showed that glyphosate application resulted in significant decreases in shoot nutrient concentrations, photosynthetic parameters, and biomass production. Similar trends were observed for the second experiment, although glyphosate application significantly altered seed nutrient concentrations and polyunsaturated fatty acid percentages. Glyphosate resulted in significant decreases in polyunsaturated linoleic acid (18:2n-6) (2.3% decrease) and linolenic acid (18:3n-3) (9.6% decrease) and a significant increase in monounsaturated fatty acids 17:1n-7 (30.3% increase) and 18:1n-7 (25% increase). The combined observations of decreased photosynthetic parameters and low nutrient availability in glyphosate-treated plants may explain potential adverse effects of glyphosate in GR soybeans.

  15. Spatial arrangement of prey affects the shape of ratio-dependent functional response in strongly antagonistic predators.

    PubMed

    Hossie, Thomas J; Murray, Dennis L

    2016-04-01

    Predators play a key role in shaping natural ecosystems, and understanding the factors that influence a predator's kill rate is central to predicting predator-prey dynamics. While prey density has a well-established effect on predation, it is increasingly apparent that predator density also can critically influence predator kill rates. The effects of both prey and predator density on the functional response will, however, be determined in part by their distribution on the landscape. To examine this complex relationship we experimentally manipulated prey density, predator density, and prey distribution using a tadpole (prey)-dragonfly nymph (predator) system. Predation was strongly ratio-dependent irrespective of prey distribution, but the shape of the functional response changed from hyperbolic to sigmoidal when prey were clumped in space. This sigmoidal functional response reflected a relatively strong negative effect of predator interference on kill rates at low prey: predator ratios when prey were clumped. Prey aggregation also appeared to promote stabilizing density-dependent intraguild predation in our system. We conclude that systems with highly antagonistic predators and patchily distributed prey are more likely to experience stable dynamics, and that our understanding of the functional response will be improved by research that examines directly the mechanisms generating interference. PMID:27220200

  16. Increased temperatures negatively affect Juniperus communis seeds: evidence from transplant experiments along a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Gruwez, R; De Frenne, P; Vander Mijnsbrugge, K; Vangansbeke, P; Verheyen, K

    2016-05-01

    With a distribution range that covers most of the Northern hemisphere, common juniper (Juniperus communis) has one of the largest ranges of all vascular plant species. In several regions in Europe, however, populations are decreasing in size and number due to failing recruitment. One of the main causes for this failure is low seed viability. Observational evidence suggests that this is partly induced by climate warming, but our mechanistic understanding of this effect remains incomplete. Here, we experimentally assess the influence of temperature on two key developmental phases during sexual reproduction, i.e. gametogenesis and fertilisation (seed phase two, SP2) and embryo development (seed phase three, SP3). Along a latitudinal gradient from southern France to central Sweden, we installed a transplant experiment with shrubs originating from Belgium, a region with unusually low juniper seed viability. Seeds of both seed phases were sampled during three consecutive years, and seed viability assessed. Warming temperatures negatively affected the seed viability of both SP2 and SP3 seeds along the latitudinal gradient. Interestingly, the effect on embryo development (SP3) only occurred in the third year, i.e. when the gametogenesis and fertilisation also took place in warmer conditions. We found strong indications that this negative influence mostly acts via disrupting growth of the pollen tube, the development of the female gametophyte and fertilisation (SP2). This, in turn, can lead to failing embryo development, for example, due to nutritional problems. Our results confirm that climate warming can negatively affect seed viability of juniper. PMID:26465806

  17. Maternal environment affects the genetic basis of seed dormancy in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Postma, Froukje M; Ågren, Jon

    2015-02-01

    The genetic basis of seed dormancy, a key life history trait important for adaptive evolution in plant populations, has yet been studied only using seeds produced under controlled conditions in greenhouse environments. However, dormancy is strongly affected by maternal environmental conditions, and interactions between seed genotype and maternal environment have been reported. Consequently, the genetic basis of dormancy of seeds produced under natural field conditions remains unclear. We examined the effect of maternal environment on the genetic architecture of seed dormancy using a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from a cross between two locally adapted populations of Arabidopsis thaliana from Italy and Sweden. We mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) for dormancy of seeds produced in the greenhouse and at the native field sites of the parental genotypes. The Italian genotype produced seeds with stronger dormancy at fruit maturation than did the Swedish genotype in all three environments, and the maternal field environments induced higher dormancy levels compared to the greenhouse environment in both genotypes. Across the three maternal environments, a total of nine dormancy QTL were detected, three of which were only detected among seeds matured in the field, and six of which showed significant QTL × maternal environment interactions. One QTL had a large effect on dormancy across all three environments and colocalized with the candidate gene DOG1. Our results demonstrate the importance of studying the genetic basis of putatively adaptive traits under relevant conditions.

  18. A decrease in phytic acid content substantially affects the distribution of mineral elements within rice seeds.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Hiroaki; Iwai, Toru; Matsubara, Chie; Usui, Yuto; Okamura, Masaki; Yatou, Osamu; Terada, Yasuko; Aoki, Naohiro; Nishida, Sho; Yoshida, Kaoru T

    2015-09-01

    Phytic acid (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate; InsP6) is the storage compound of phosphorus and many mineral elements in seeds. To determine the role of InsP6 in the accumulation and distribution of mineral elements in seeds, we performed fine mappings of mineral elements through synchrotron-based X-ray microfluorescence analysis using developing seeds from two independent low phytic acid (lpa) mutants of rice (Oryza sativa L.). The reduced InsP6 in lpa seeds did not affect the translocation of mineral elements from vegetative organs into seeds, because the total amounts of phosphorus and the other mineral elements in lpa seeds were identical to those in the wild type (WT). However, the reduced InsP6 caused large changes in mineral localization within lpa seeds. Phosphorus and potassium in the aleurone layer of lpa greatly decreased and diffused into the endosperm. Zinc and copper, which were broadly distributed from the aleurone layer to the inner endosperm in the WT, were localized in the narrower space around the aleurone layer in lpa mutants. We also confirmed that similar distribution changes occurred in transgenic rice with the lpa phenotype. Using these results, we discussed the role of InsP6 in the dynamic accumulation and distribution patterns of mineral elements during seed development.

  19. Scatter hoarding of seeds confers survival advantages and disadvantages to large-seeded tropical plants at different life stages.

    PubMed

    Kuprewicz, Erin K

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  20. Scatter Hoarding of Seeds Confers Survival Advantages and Disadvantages to Large-Seeded Tropical Plants at Different Life Stages

    PubMed Central

    Kuprewicz, Erin K.

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  1. Scatter hoarding of seeds confers survival advantages and disadvantages to large-seeded tropical plants at different life stages.

    PubMed

    Kuprewicz, Erin K

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  2. Insecticide use in hybrid onion seed production affects pre- and postpollination processes.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Sandra; Long, Rachael; Seitz, Nicola; Williams, Neal

    2014-02-01

    Research on threats to pollination service in agro-ecosystems has focused primarily on the negative impacts of land use change and agricultural practices such as insecticide use on pollinator populations. Insecticide use could also affect the pollination process, through nonlethal impacts on pollinator attraction and postpollination processes such as pollen viability or pollen tube growth. Hybrid onion seed (Allium cepa L., Alliaceae) is an important pollinator-dependent crop that has suffered yield declines in California, concurrent with increased insecticide use. Field studies suggest that insecticide use reduces pollination service in this system. We conducted a field experiment manipulating insecticide use to examine the impacts of insecticides on 1) pollinator attraction, 2) pollen/stigma interactions, and 3) seed set and seed quality. Select insecticides had negative impacts on pollinator attraction and pollen/stigma interactions, with certain products dramatically reducing pollen germination and pollen tube growth. Decreased pollen germination was not associated with reduced seed set; however, reduced pollinator attraction was associated with lower seed set and seed quality, for one of the two female lines examined. Our results highlight the importance of pesticide effects on the pollination process. Overuse may lead to yield reductions through impacts on pollinator behavior and postpollination processes. Overall, in hybrid onion seed production, moderation in insecticide use is advised when controlling onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, on commercial fields. PMID:24665681

  3. Factors affecting methylmercury biomagnification by a widespread aquatic invertebrate predator, the phantom midge larvae Chaoborus.

    PubMed

    Le Jeune, Anne-Hélène; Bourdiol, Floriane; Aldamman, Lama; Perron, Tania; Amyot, Marc; Pinel-Alloul, Bernadette

    2012-06-01

    MeHg biomagnification by the phantom midge Chaoborus in relation to MeHg concentrations in their prey and its migratory behavior was investigated in two Canadian Precambrian Shield lakes. Three Chaoborus species with contrasted migratory behavior were collected in a fishless and a fish-inhabited lake. All species accumulated MeHg through their ontogenic development. In the lake inhabited by fish, all instars of Chaoborus punctipennis displayed a marked migratory behavior and were unable to biomagnify MeHg, whereas in the fishless lake, Chaoborus americanus and Chaoborus trivittatus biomagnified MeHg. Reduced biomagnification capacity of C. trivittatus, the coexisting species living with C. americanus, was also ascribed to a progressive vertical segregation with age. Growth dilution, amount and type of prey items or trophic position could not explain the different patterns of biomagnification. Our findings demonstrate that the most common invertebrate predator of temperate planktonic food webs can biomagnify mercury, contrarily to previous reports. PMID:22420993

  4. Factors affecting methylmercury biomagnification by a widespread aquatic invertebrate predator, the phantom midge larvae Chaoborus.

    PubMed

    Le Jeune, Anne-Hélène; Bourdiol, Floriane; Aldamman, Lama; Perron, Tania; Amyot, Marc; Pinel-Alloul, Bernadette

    2012-06-01

    MeHg biomagnification by the phantom midge Chaoborus in relation to MeHg concentrations in their prey and its migratory behavior was investigated in two Canadian Precambrian Shield lakes. Three Chaoborus species with contrasted migratory behavior were collected in a fishless and a fish-inhabited lake. All species accumulated MeHg through their ontogenic development. In the lake inhabited by fish, all instars of Chaoborus punctipennis displayed a marked migratory behavior and were unable to biomagnify MeHg, whereas in the fishless lake, Chaoborus americanus and Chaoborus trivittatus biomagnified MeHg. Reduced biomagnification capacity of C. trivittatus, the coexisting species living with C. americanus, was also ascribed to a progressive vertical segregation with age. Growth dilution, amount and type of prey items or trophic position could not explain the different patterns of biomagnification. Our findings demonstrate that the most common invertebrate predator of temperate planktonic food webs can biomagnify mercury, contrarily to previous reports.

  5. Defaunation affects Astrocaryum gratum (Arecales: Arecaceae) seed survivorship in a sub-montane tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Aliaga-Rossel, Enzo; Manuel Fragoso, Jos

    2015-03-01

    initial 400 seeds left for each control exclosure in each type of forest, there was a significant difference between the seed removal; 1.75% seeds in the unhunted forest remained; 43.5% in the moderately hunted forest, and 48.5% in hunted forest. The main cause of seed mortality was white lipped peccaries; while in the forests without them, the main removal was caused by rodents and a higher insect infection was observed in the heavily hunted forest. Our results indicated that defaunation affects seed survivorship.

  6. Defaunation affects Astrocaryum gratum (Arecales: Arecaceae) seed survivorship in a sub-montane tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Aliaga-Rossel, Enzo; Manuel Fragoso, Jos

    2015-03-01

    initial 400 seeds left for each control exclosure in each type of forest, there was a significant difference between the seed removal; 1.75% seeds in the unhunted forest remained; 43.5% in the moderately hunted forest, and 48.5% in hunted forest. The main cause of seed mortality was white lipped peccaries; while in the forests without them, the main removal was caused by rodents and a higher insect infection was observed in the heavily hunted forest. Our results indicated that defaunation affects seed survivorship. PMID:26299115

  7. EASTERN DODDER (CUSCUTA MONOGYNA VAHL.) SEED GERMINATION AFFECTED BY SOME HERBACEOUS DISTILLATES.

    PubMed

    Movassaghi, M; Hassannejad, S

    2015-01-01

    Eastern dodder (Cuscuta monogyna Vahl.) is one of the noxious parasitic weeds that infected many ornamental trees in green spaces and gardens. Our purpose is to find natural inhibitors for prevention of its seed germination. In order to reach this aim, laboratory studies were conducted by using of herbaceous distillates of Dracocephalum moldavica, Nasturtium officinalis, Malva neglecta, Mentha piperita, Mentha pulegium, Rosa damascene, Ziziphora tenuior, and Urtica dioica on seed germination of C. monogyna. Z. tenuior distillate stimulated C. monogyna seed germination, whereas others reduced this parasitic weed's seed germination. D. moldavica caused maximum inhibition on weed seed germination. Seedling growth of C. monogyna was more affected than its seed germination. All of these herbaceous distillates reduced C. monogyna seedling length so that the latter decreased from 28.2 mm in distilled water to 4.5, 3.97, 3.85, 3.67, 3.1, 2.87, 2.57, 1.9, and 1.17 in M. pulegium, M. piperita, F. officinalis, Z. tenuior, N. officinalis, M. neglecta, R. damascene, U. dioica and D. moldavica, respectively. By using these medicinal plants distillates instead of herbicides, the parasitic weed seedling length and host plant infection will reduce.

  8. EASTERN DODDER (CUSCUTA MONOGYNA VAHL.) SEED GERMINATION AFFECTED BY SOME HERBACEOUS DISTILLATES.

    PubMed

    Movassaghi, M; Hassannejad, S

    2015-01-01

    Eastern dodder (Cuscuta monogyna Vahl.) is one of the noxious parasitic weeds that infected many ornamental trees in green spaces and gardens. Our purpose is to find natural inhibitors for prevention of its seed germination. In order to reach this aim, laboratory studies were conducted by using of herbaceous distillates of Dracocephalum moldavica, Nasturtium officinalis, Malva neglecta, Mentha piperita, Mentha pulegium, Rosa damascene, Ziziphora tenuior, and Urtica dioica on seed germination of C. monogyna. Z. tenuior distillate stimulated C. monogyna seed germination, whereas others reduced this parasitic weed's seed germination. D. moldavica caused maximum inhibition on weed seed germination. Seedling growth of C. monogyna was more affected than its seed germination. All of these herbaceous distillates reduced C. monogyna seedling length so that the latter decreased from 28.2 mm in distilled water to 4.5, 3.97, 3.85, 3.67, 3.1, 2.87, 2.57, 1.9, and 1.17 in M. pulegium, M. piperita, F. officinalis, Z. tenuior, N. officinalis, M. neglecta, R. damascene, U. dioica and D. moldavica, respectively. By using these medicinal plants distillates instead of herbicides, the parasitic weed seedling length and host plant infection will reduce. PMID:27145591

  9. Seed dimorphism, nutrients and salinity differentially affect seed traits of the desert halophyte Suaeda aralocaspica via multiple maternal effects

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Maternal effects may influence a range of seed traits simultaneously and are likely to be context-dependent. Disentangling the interactions of plant phenotype and growth environment on various seed traits is important for understanding regeneration and establishment of species in natural environments. Here, we used the seed-dimorphic plant Suaeda aralocaspica to test the hypothesis that seed traits are regulated by multiple maternal effects. Results Plants grown from brown seeds had a higher brown:black seed ratio than plants from black seeds, and germination percentage of brown seeds was higher than that of black seeds under all conditions tested. However, the coefficient of variation (CV) for size of black seeds was higher than that of brown seeds. Seeds had the smallest CV at low nutrient and high salinity for plants from brown seeds and at low nutrient and low salinity for plants from black seeds. Low levels of nutrients increased size and germinability of black seeds but did not change the seed morph ratio or size and germinability of brown seeds. High levels of salinity decreased seed size but did not change the seed morph ratio. Seeds from high-salinity maternal plants had a higher germination percentage regardless of level of germination salinity. Conclusions Our study supports the multiple maternal effects hypothesis. Seed dimorphism, nutrient and salinity interacted in determining a range of seed traits of S. aralocaspica via bet-hedging and anticipatory maternal effects. This study highlights the importance of examining different maternal factors and various offspring traits in studies that estimate maternal effects on regeneration. PMID:23006315

  10. Clutch identity and predator-induced hatching affect behavior and development in a leaf-breeding treefrog.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, Megan E; George, M Patricia

    2013-04-01

    For species with complex life cycles, transitions between life stages result in niche shifts that are often associated with evolutionary trade-offs. When conditions across life stages are unpredictable, plasticity in niche shift timing may be adaptive; however, factors associated with clutch identity (e.g., genetic or maternal) may influence the effects of such plasticity. The red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) is an ideal organism for investigating the effects of genetics and life stage switch point timing because embryos exhibit adaptive phenotypic plasticity in hatching time. In this study, we evaluated the effects of experimentally manipulated hatching time and clutch identity on antipredator behavior of tadpoles and on developmental traits of metamorphs, including larval period, mass, SVL, and jumping ability. We found that in the presence of dragonfly nymph predator cues at 21 days post-oviposition, tadpoles reduced both their activity level and height in the water column. Furthermore, early-hatched tadpoles were less active than late-hatched tadpoles of the same age. This difference in behavior patterns of early- and late-hatched tadpoles may represent an adaptive response due to a longer period of susceptibility to odonate predators for early-hatched tadpoles, or it may be a carry-over effect mediated by early exposure to an environmental stressor (i.e., induction of early hatching). We also found that hatching time affected both behavioral traits and developmental traits, but its effect on developmental traits varied significantly among clutches. This study shows that a single early-life event may influence a suite of factors during subsequent life stages and that some of these effects appear to be dependent on clutch identity. This interaction may represent an evolutionary response to a complex life cycle and unpredictable environments, regardless of whether the clutch differences are due to additive genetic variance or maternal effects.

  11. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

  12. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

  13. The effect of burial depth on removal of seeds of Phytolacca americana.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.: Damschen, Ellen, I.

    2007-04-01

    Abstract - Although burial is known to have important effects on seed predation in a variety of habitats, the role of burial depth in affecting the removal of seeds in early successional systems is poorly known. Phytolacca American (pokeweed) is a model species to examine the role of burial depth in affecting seed removal because it is common in early-successional habitats, studies suggest that seed removal is indicative of seed predation, and seed predation is related to the recruitment of mature plants. To determine how burial depth affects P. americana seed removal, 20 seeds of P. americana were buried at depths of 0, 1, or 3 cm in early-successional habitats at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina for over 6 weeks. The frequency with which seeds were encountered (as measured by the removal of at least one seed) and the proportion of seeds removed was significantly greater when seeds were on the soil surface (0 cm depth) compared to seeds that were buried 1 cm or 3 cm; there was no difference in encounter or removal between seeds at 1 cm or 3 cm. Our findings suggest that burial may have important consequences for P. americana population dynamics, because seed survival depends upon whether or not the seed is buried, and relatively shallow burial can yield large increases in seed survival. Because seed limitation is known to be an important determinant of plant community composition in early successional systems, our work suggests that burial may play an unappreciated role in the dynamics of these communities by reducing predator-mediated seed limitation.

  14. Diurnal Temperature Variations Affect Development of a Herbivorous Arthropod Pest and its Predators

    PubMed Central

    Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Audenaert, Joachim; Nguyen, Duc Tung; Verhoeven, Ruth; Gobin, Bruno; Tirry, Luc; De Clercq, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The impact of daily temperature variations on arthropod life history remains woefully understudied compared to the large body of research that has been carried out on the effects of constant temperatures. However, diurnal varying temperature regimes more commonly represent the environment in which most organisms thrive. Such varying temperature regimes have been demonstrated to substantially affect development and reproduction of ectothermic organisms, generally in accordance with Jensen’s inequality. In the present study we evaluated the impact of temperature alternations at 4 amplitudes (DTR0, +5, +10 and +15°C) on the developmental rate of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot and Neoseiulus californicus McGregor (Acari: Phytoseiidae) and their natural prey, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae). We have modelled their developmental rates as a function of temperature using both linear and nonlinear models. Diurnally alternating temperatures resulted in a faster development in the lower temperature range as compared to their corresponding mean constant temperatures, whereas the opposite was observed in the higher temperature range. Our results indicate that Jensen’s inequality does not suffice to fully explain the differences in developmental rates at constant and alternating temperatures, suggesting additional physiological responses play a role. It is concluded that diurnal temperature range should not be ignored and should be incorporated in predictive models on the phenology of arthropod pests and their natural enemies and their performance in biological control programmes. PMID:25874697

  15. Diurnal temperature variations affect development of a herbivorous arthropod pest and its predators.

    PubMed

    Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Audenaert, Joachim; Nguyen, Duc Tung; Verhoeven, Ruth; Gobin, Bruno; Tirry, Luc; De Clercq, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The impact of daily temperature variations on arthropod life history remains woefully understudied compared to the large body of research that has been carried out on the effects of constant temperatures. However, diurnal varying temperature regimes more commonly represent the environment in which most organisms thrive. Such varying temperature regimes have been demonstrated to substantially affect development and reproduction of ectothermic organisms, generally in accordance with Jensen's inequality. In the present study we evaluated the impact of temperature alternations at 4 amplitudes (DTR0, +5, +10 and +15°C) on the developmental rate of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot and Neoseiulus californicus McGregor (Acari: Phytoseiidae) and their natural prey, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae). We have modelled their developmental rates as a function of temperature using both linear and nonlinear models. Diurnally alternating temperatures resulted in a faster development in the lower temperature range as compared to their corresponding mean constant temperatures, whereas the opposite was observed in the higher temperature range. Our results indicate that Jensen's inequality does not suffice to fully explain the differences in developmental rates at constant and alternating temperatures, suggesting additional physiological responses play a role. It is concluded that diurnal temperature range should not be ignored and should be incorporated in predictive models on the phenology of arthropod pests and their natural enemies and their performance in biological control programmes. PMID:25874697

  16. How fragmentation and corridors affect wind dynamics and seed dispersal in open habitats.

    PubMed

    Damschen, Ellen I; Baker, Dirk V; Bohrer, Gil; Nathan, Ran; Orrock, John L; Turner, Jay R; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Levey, Douglas J; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2014-03-01

    Determining how widespread human-induced changes such as habitat loss, landscape fragmentation, and climate instability affect populations, communities, and ecosystems is one of the most pressing environmental challenges. Critical to this challenge is understanding how these changes are affecting the movement abilities and dispersal trajectories of organisms and what role conservation planning can play in promoting movement among remaining fragments of suitable habitat. Whereas evidence is mounting for how conservation strategies such as corridors impact animal movement, virtually nothing is known for species dispersed by wind, which are often mistakenly assumed to not be limited by dispersal. Here, we combine mechanistic dispersal models, wind measurements, and seed releases in a large-scale experimental landscape to show that habitat corridors affect wind dynamics and seed dispersal by redirecting and bellowing airflow and by increasing the likelihood of seed uplift. Wind direction interacts with landscape orientation to determine when corridors provide connectivity. Our results predict positive impacts of connectivity and patch shape on species richness of wind-dispersed plants, which we empirically illustrate using 12 y of data from our experimental landscapes. We conclude that habitat fragmentation and corridors strongly impact the movement of wind-dispersed species, which has community-level consequences.

  17. Limbic system activation is affected by prenatal predator exposure and postnatal environmental enrichment and further moderated by dam and sex.

    PubMed

    Korgan, Austin C; Green, Amanda D; Perrot, Tara S; Esser, Michael J

    2014-02-01

    Epilepsy is a relatively common and chronic neurological condition, affecting 1-2% of the population. However, understanding of the underlying pathophysiology remains incomplete. To identify potential factors in the early environment that may increase the risk for experiencing seizures, maternal stress and environmental enrichment (EE) were utilized. Pregnant Long-Evans rats were exposed to an ethologically relevant predator stress (PS) and maternal glucocorticoid (GC) response was assessed across the exposure period. At birth, litters were divided into standard care (SC) and EE groups until postnatal day 14 (PD14) when a model of febrile convulsions was used to determine seizure susceptibility of the various groups. Pup brains were then processed for immunohistochemical detection of FosB from several structures in the limbic system as a measure of neuronal activation. Maternal PS-induced GC levels were elevated early in the exposure period, and pup birth weights, in both sexes, were lower in litters from dams exposed to PS. Seizure scores at PD14 were highly individualized and litter dependent, suggesting a dam-dependent and variable effect of controlled pre- and postnatal environmental factors. Further, analysis of FosB-immunoreactive (-ir) patterns revealed an activity dependent distribution, reflecting individual seizure susceptibility. EE had a varying effect on FosB-ir that was dependent on region. In the hippocampus FosB-ir levels were greater in the EE groups while extra-hippocampal regions showed lower levels of FosB-ir. Our results support the concept that pre- and postnatal environmental influences affect fetal programming and neurodevelopment of processes that could underlie seizure susceptibility, but that the magnitude of these effects appears to be dam- or litter-dependent.

  18. Seed trait-mediated selection by rodents affects mutualistic interactions and seedling recruitment of co-occurring tree species.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongmao; Yan, Chuan; Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-02-01

    As mutualists, seed dispersers may significantly affect mutualistic interactions and seedling recruitment of sympatric plants that share similar seed dispersers, but studies are rare. Here, we compared seed dispersal fitness in two co-occurring plant species (Armeniaca sibirica and Amygdalus davidiana) that inhabit warm temperate deciduous forest in northern China. We tested the hypothesis that seed trait-mediated selection by rodents may influence mutualistic interactions with rodents and then seedling establishment of co-occurring plant species. A. davidiana seeds are larger and harder (thick endocarps) than A. sibirica seeds, but they have similar levels of nutrients (crude fat, crude protein), caloric value and tannin. More A. sibirica seedlings are found in the field. Semi-natural enclosure tests indicated that the two seed species were both harvested by the same six rodent species, but that A. sibirica had mutualistic interactions (scatter hoarding) with four rodent species (Apodemus peninsulae, A. agrarius, Sciurotamias davidianus, Tamias sibiricus), and A. davidiana with only one (S. davidianus). Tagged seed dispersal experiments in the field indicated that more A. sibirica seeds were scatter-hoarded by rodents, and more A. sibirica seeds survived to the next spring and became seedlings. A. sibirica seeds derive more benefit from seed dispersal by rodents than A. davidiana seeds, particularly in years with limited seed dispersers, which well explained the higher seedling recruitment of A. sibirica compared with that of A. davidiana under natural conditions. Our results suggest that seed dispersers may play a significant role in seedling recruitment and indirect competition between co-occurring plant species. PMID:26546082

  19. Seed trait-mediated selection by rodents affects mutualistic interactions and seedling recruitment of co-occurring tree species.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongmao; Yan, Chuan; Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-02-01

    As mutualists, seed dispersers may significantly affect mutualistic interactions and seedling recruitment of sympatric plants that share similar seed dispersers, but studies are rare. Here, we compared seed dispersal fitness in two co-occurring plant species (Armeniaca sibirica and Amygdalus davidiana) that inhabit warm temperate deciduous forest in northern China. We tested the hypothesis that seed trait-mediated selection by rodents may influence mutualistic interactions with rodents and then seedling establishment of co-occurring plant species. A. davidiana seeds are larger and harder (thick endocarps) than A. sibirica seeds, but they have similar levels of nutrients (crude fat, crude protein), caloric value and tannin. More A. sibirica seedlings are found in the field. Semi-natural enclosure tests indicated that the two seed species were both harvested by the same six rodent species, but that A. sibirica had mutualistic interactions (scatter hoarding) with four rodent species (Apodemus peninsulae, A. agrarius, Sciurotamias davidianus, Tamias sibiricus), and A. davidiana with only one (S. davidianus). Tagged seed dispersal experiments in the field indicated that more A. sibirica seeds were scatter-hoarded by rodents, and more A. sibirica seeds survived to the next spring and became seedlings. A. sibirica seeds derive more benefit from seed dispersal by rodents than A. davidiana seeds, particularly in years with limited seed dispersers, which well explained the higher seedling recruitment of A. sibirica compared with that of A. davidiana under natural conditions. Our results suggest that seed dispersers may play a significant role in seedling recruitment and indirect competition between co-occurring plant species.

  20. Phenology of semiochemical-mediated host foraging by the western boxelder bug, Boisea rubrolineata, an aposematic seed predator.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Joseph; Gries, Regine; Hillier, Kirk; Vickers, Neil; Gries, Gerhard

    2009-01-01

    The western boxelder bug (BEB), Boisea rubrolineata (Heteroptera: Rhopalidae), is a specialist herbivore of boxelder trees, Acer negundo. We tested the hypothesis that BEBs use semiochemicals to locate host trees. Headspace volatiles from trees bearing staminate inflorescences ("staminate trees") and from trees bearing pistillate inflorescences ("pistillate trees") were collected throughout the season and bioassayed in Y-tube olfactometer experiments. Headspace extracts of early-season, pollen-bearing staminate trees and midseason pistillate trees with mature samaras (seed pods) attracted female and male BEBs. By using coupled gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we identified and tested a five-component synthetic blend of candidate semiochemicals (hexanol, pentyl acetate, phenylacetonitrile, 2-phenethyl acetate, and trans-nerolidol). This blend attracted females, males, and fifth-instar nymphs. Phenylacetonitrile by itself was as attractive as the five-component blend to both adults and nymphs. By responding to phenylacetonitrile emitted by pollen-bearing staminate trees and pistillate trees with maturing seeds, BEBs appear to track and exploit the availability of nutrient-rich food sources, suggesting that the bugs' reproductive ecology is synchronized to the phenology of their host boxelder tree. PMID:19123035

  1. Do Flower Color and Floral Scent of Silene Species affect Host Preference of Hadena bicruris, a Seed-Eating Pollinator, under Field Conditions?

    PubMed Central

    Page, Paul; Favre, Adrien; Schiestl, Florian P.; Karrenberg, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    Specialization in plant–insect interactions is an important driver of evolutionary divergence; yet, plant traits mediating such interactions are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated how flower color and floral scent are related to seed predation by a seed-eating pollinator. We used field-transplanted recombinant F2 hybrids between Silene latifolia and S. dioica that are the preferred and alternative hosts of the moth Hadena bicruris and crosses within these species for comparison. We scored seed predation and flower color and analyzed floral scent. Pinker S. dioica-like flowers and emission of α-pinene decreased the odds of seed predation while emission of benzyl acetate and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one increased the odds of seed predation. Emission of these compounds did not differ significantly between the two Silene species. Our results suggest that flower color plays an important role in the specific interaction of H. bicruris with its preferred host S. latifolia. The compounds α-pinene, benzyl acetate and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one could represent non-specific deterrents and attractants to ovipositing moths. Alternatively, emission of these compounds could be related to herbivory or pathogen attack and act as a signal for host quality. This would weaken the predictability of the plant's costs and benefits of the interaction and act to maintain an imperfect degree of specialization. PMID:24905986

  2. Seed protein, oil, fatty acids, and minerals concentration as affected by foliar K-glyphosate application in soybean cultivars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous studies showed that glyphosate (Gly) may chelate cation nutrients, including potassium (K), which might affect the nutritional status of soybean seed. The objective of this study was to evaluate seed composition (protein, oil, fatty acids, and minerals) as influenced by foliar applications ...

  3. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) seed size affects germination response to coumarin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The inhibition of seed germination by an allelochemical is generally greater in small seeds than in large seeds. This response may have significant impact on weed control by allelopathic cover crops where the small-seeded weeds would be more effectively controlled than large-seeded species. The stu...

  4. Factors affecting the efficacy of pressure inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on alfalfa seeds and seed viability.

    PubMed

    Neetoo, Hudaa; Ye, Mu; Chen, Haiqiang

    2009-05-31

    The application of high hydrostatic pressure technology as a seed decontamination technology was evaluated. Alfalfa seeds inoculated with approximately 10(5) CFU/g of Escherichia coli O157:H7 were subjected to oscillatory pressure treatments at 600 MPa and 20 degrees C for up to five cycles with a holding time of 2 min/cycle. However, oscillatory pressurization was not able to eliminate E. coli O157:H7. The application of pressure treatment at 600 MPa for 2 min at 20 degrees C in the presence of chemicals such as calcium hypochlorite, calcium hydroxide, lactic acid or sodium acid sulfate was subsequently investigated and it was demonstrated that this "multiple hurdle" approach was unable to decontaminate alfalfa seeds. Soaking seeds prior to pressure treatment was found to play a critical role on enhancing the pressure inactivation of E. coli O157:H7; seeds soaked in water for 60 min followed by treatment at 600 MPa for 2 min at 20 degrees C were decontaminated and had a germination rate of 91% which was 4% lower than that of the untreated seeds (not statistically significant, P>0.05). It was further demonstrated that a process involving soaking seeds in water for > or = 10 min followed by treatment at 600 MPa for 15 min at 20 degrees C was equally effective with respect to E. coli O157:H7 elimination and viability retention of the seeds.

  5. Contagious seed dispersal beneath heterospecific fruiting trees and its consequences.

    SciTech Connect

    Kwit, Charles; Levey, Douglas, J.; Greenberg, Cathyrn, H.

    2004-05-03

    Kwit, Charles, D.J. Levey and Cathryn H. Greenberg. 2004. Contagious seed dispersal beneath heterospecific fruiting trees and its consequences. Oikos. 107:303-308 A n hypothesized advantage of seed dispersal is avoidance of high per capita mortality (i.e. density-dependent mortality) associated with dense populations of seeds and seedlings beneath parent trees. This hypothesis, inherent in nearly all seed dispersal studies, assumes that density effects are species-specific. Yet because many tree species exhibit overlapping fruiting phenologies and share dispersers, seeds may be deposited preferentially under synchronously fruiting heterospecific trees, another location where they may be particularly vulnerable to mortality, in this case by generalist seed predators. We demonstrate that frugivores disperse higher densities of Cornus florida seeds under fruiting (female) I lex opaca trees than under non-fruiting (male) I lex trees in temperate hardwood forest settings in South Carolina, U SA . To determine if density of Cornus and/or I lex seeds influences survivorship of dispersed Cornus seeds, we followed the fates of experimentally dispersed Cornus seeds in neighborhoods of differing, manipulated background densities of Cornus and I lex seeds. We found that the probability of predation on dispersed Cornus seeds was a function of both Cornus and I lex background seed densities. H igher densities of I lex seeds negatively affected Cornus seed survivorship, and this was particularly evident as background densities of dispersed Cornus seeds increased. These results illustrate the importance of viewing seed dispersal and predation in a community context, as the pattern and intensity of density-dependent mortality may not be solely a function of conspecific densities.

  6. Fenugreek seed affects intestinal microbiota and immunological variables in piglets after weaning.

    PubMed

    Zentek, Jürgen; Gärtner, Stefanie; Tedin, Lydia; Männer, Klaus; Mader, Anneluise; Vahjen, Wilfried

    2013-03-14

    Fenugreek seed has been shown to affect the intestinal microbiota and immunological responses in animals. A feeding trial with male castrated piglets was performed over 28 d without or with the addition of 1·5 g fenugreek seeds/kg complete diet in ten and eleven piglets, weaned at 21 d. In the intestinal tract, pH, lactate and SCFA were measured as major bacterial metabolites. Immune cell phenotypes, phagocytic activity and lymphocyte proliferation after stimulation with pokeweed mitogen, concanavalin A and phytohaemagglutinin M were measured by flow cytometry. Health status and performance of the piglets were not affected by fenugreek. The pH in the caecum and colon were reduced compared with the control (P< 0·05). Higher concentrations of l-lactic acid were recorded in the small-intestinal digesta (average concentrations from the duodenum, jejunum and ileum; P< 0·05), while the concentrations of SCFA remained unchanged except an increase in n-butyric acid in colon contents (P< 0·05). The piglets fed the fenugreek diet had higher Lactobacillus and clostridium cluster I concentrations and lower Escherichia, Hafnia and Shigella concentrations in the small intestine. The addition of fenugreek increased the relative concentration of the γδ T-cell population (TCR1+CD8α-) in the blood with a simultaneous reduction of antigen-presenting cells (MHCII+CD5-) (P< 0·05). Proliferation rate and phagocytosis activity of monocytes were not affected by the additive. In conclusion, fenugreek seeds might be interesting as a feed ingredient for young piglets due to their effects on the intestinal microbiota and immunological variables. The impact on performance and animal health has to be further evaluated. PMID:22874597

  7. Fenugreek seed affects intestinal microbiota and immunological variables in piglets after weaning.

    PubMed

    Zentek, Jürgen; Gärtner, Stefanie; Tedin, Lydia; Männer, Klaus; Mader, Anneluise; Vahjen, Wilfried

    2013-03-14

    Fenugreek seed has been shown to affect the intestinal microbiota and immunological responses in animals. A feeding trial with male castrated piglets was performed over 28 d without or with the addition of 1·5 g fenugreek seeds/kg complete diet in ten and eleven piglets, weaned at 21 d. In the intestinal tract, pH, lactate and SCFA were measured as major bacterial metabolites. Immune cell phenotypes, phagocytic activity and lymphocyte proliferation after stimulation with pokeweed mitogen, concanavalin A and phytohaemagglutinin M were measured by flow cytometry. Health status and performance of the piglets were not affected by fenugreek. The pH in the caecum and colon were reduced compared with the control (P< 0·05). Higher concentrations of l-lactic acid were recorded in the small-intestinal digesta (average concentrations from the duodenum, jejunum and ileum; P< 0·05), while the concentrations of SCFA remained unchanged except an increase in n-butyric acid in colon contents (P< 0·05). The piglets fed the fenugreek diet had higher Lactobacillus and clostridium cluster I concentrations and lower Escherichia, Hafnia and Shigella concentrations in the small intestine. The addition of fenugreek increased the relative concentration of the γδ T-cell population (TCR1+CD8α-) in the blood with a simultaneous reduction of antigen-presenting cells (MHCII+CD5-) (P< 0·05). Proliferation rate and phagocytosis activity of monocytes were not affected by the additive. In conclusion, fenugreek seeds might be interesting as a feed ingredient for young piglets due to their effects on the intestinal microbiota and immunological variables. The impact on performance and animal health has to be further evaluated.

  8. Landscape and regional context differentially affect nest parasitism and nest predation for Wood Thrush in central Virginia, USA (Presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many empirical studies have shown that forest-breeding songbirds suffer greater rates of nest predation and nest parasitism in smaller forest patches and in fragmented landscapes. To compare the performance of different metrics of spatial habitat configuration resulting from defo...

  9. Does Cold Plasma Affect Breaking Dormancy and Seed Germination? A Study on Seeds of Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album agg.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Božena, Šerá; Michal, Šerý; Vitězslav, Štrañák; Petr, Špatenka; Milan, tichý

    2009-12-01

    Low-pressure discharge is applied for stimulation of germination of two seed lots of Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album agg.) with different starting germinations (17%, 8%) and in different stages of dormancy. Different exposition durations with cold plasma treatment were applied. The variable of the ratio cumulative germination was calculated. The Richards' equation was used for curve-fitting and simulation of the growth curves. Population parameters, namely Vi - viability, Me - time, Qu - dispersion, and Sk - skewness, counted from the curves described the germination rate well. Significant differences among Qu confirmed the erratic dormancy and gradual germination of Lamb's Quarters. No difference in the Me parameter was found between two tested seed lots, and no interspecies characteristics were changed using low-pressure discharge. The results suggested that plasma treatment changed seed germination in Lamb's Quarters seeds.

  10. Do seed mass and family affect germination and juvenile performance in Knautia arvensis? A study using failure-time methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vange, Vibekke; Heuch, Ivar; Vandvik, Vigdis

    2004-05-01

    Germination and seedling establishment are vulnerable stages in the plant life cycle. We investigated how seed mass and family (progeny origin) affect germination and juvenile performance in the grassland herb Knautia arvensis. Seeds were produced by cross-pollination by hand. The fate of 15 individually weighed seeds from each of 15 plants was followed during a 3-month growth chamber experiment. Progeny origin affected germination, both through seed mass and as an independent factor. Two groups of progenies could be distinguished by having rapid or delayed germination. The two groups had similar mean seed masses, but a positive relationship between seed mass and germination rate could be established only among the rapidly germinating progenies. These biologically relevant patterns were revealed because timing of germination was taken into account in the analyses, not only frequencies. Time-to-event data were analysed with failure-time methods, which gave more stable estimates for the relation between germination and seed mass than the commonly applied logistic regression. Progeny origin and seed mass exerted less impact on later characters like juvenile survival, juvenile biomass, and rosette number. These characters were not affected by the timing of germination under the competition-free study conditions. The decrease in the effect of progeny origin from the seed and germination to the juvenile stages suggests that parental effects other than those contributing to the offspring genotype strongly influenced the offspring phenotype at the earliest life stages. Further, the division of progeny germination patterns into two fairly distinct groups indicates that there was a genetic basis for the variation in stratification requirements among parental plants. Field studies are needed to elucidate effects of different timing of germination in the seasonal grasslands that K. arvensis inhabits.

  11. Predators determine how weather affects the spatial niche of lizard prey: exploring niche dynamics at a fine scale.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Darias, Marta; Schoener, Thomas W; Spiller, David A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2012-12-01

    Although abiotic and biotic factors can interact to shape the spatial niche of a species, studies that explore the interactive effects of both at a local scale are rare. We demonstrate that one of the main axes (perch height) characterizing the spatial niche of a common lizard, Anolis sagrei, varies according to the interactive effects of weather and the activity of a larger predatory lizard, Leiocephalus carinatus. Results were completely consistent: no matter how favorable the weather conditions for using the ground (mainly characterized by temperature, humidity, wind speed, rain), A. sagrei did not do so if the predator was present. Hence, great behavioral plasticity enabled A. sagrei to adjust its use of space very quickly. To the best of our knowledge, these results constitute the first field demonstration for anoles (and possibly for other animals as well) of how time-varying environmental conditions and predator presence interact to produce short-term changes in utilization along a major niche axis.

  12. Predator Presence and Vegetation Density Affect Capture Rates and Detectability of Litoria aurea Tadpoles: Wide-Ranging Implications for a Common Survey Technique

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Madeleine R.; Clulow, Simon; Bower, Deborah S.; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Trapping is a common sampling technique used to estimate fundamental population metrics of animal species such as abundance, survival and distribution. However, capture success for any trapping method can be heavily influenced by individuals’ behavioural plasticity, which in turn affects the accuracy of any population estimates derived from the data. Funnel trapping is one of the most common methods for sampling aquatic vertebrates, although, apart from fish studies, almost nothing is known about the effects of behavioural plasticity on trapping success. We used a full factorial experiment to investigate the effects that two common environmental parameters (predator presence and vegetation density) have on the trapping success of tadpoles. We estimated that the odds of tadpoles being captured in traps was 4.3 times higher when predators were absent compared to present and 2.1 times higher when vegetation density was high compared to low, using odds ratios based on fitted model means. The odds of tadpoles being detected in traps were also 2.9 times higher in predator-free environments. These results indicate that common environmental factors can trigger behavioural plasticity in tadpoles that biases trapping success. We issue a warning to researchers and surveyors that trapping biases may be commonplace when conducting surveys such as these, and urge caution in interpreting data without consideration of important environmental factors present in the study system. Left unconsidered, trapping biases in capture success have the potential to lead to incorrect interpretations of data sets, and misdirection of limited resources for managing species. PMID:26605923

  13. Increased phloem transport of S-methylmethionine positively affects sulfur and nitrogen metabolism and seed development in pea plants.

    PubMed

    Tan, Qiumin; Zhang, Lizhi; Grant, Jan; Cooper, Pauline; Tegeder, Mechthild

    2010-12-01

    Seeds of grain legumes are important energy and food sources for humans and animals. However, the yield and quality of legume seeds are limited by the amount of sulfur (S) partitioned to the seeds. The amino acid S-methylmethionine (SMM), a methionine derivative, has been proposed to be an important long-distance transport form of reduced S, and we analyzed whether SMM phloem loading and source-sink translocation are important for the metabolism and growth of pea (Pisum sativum) plants. Transgenic plants were produced in which the expression of a yeast SMM transporter, S-Methylmethionine Permease1 (MMP1, YLL061W), was targeted to the phloem and seeds. Phloem exudate analysis showed that concentrations of SMM are elevated in MMP1 plants, suggesting increased phloem loading. Furthermore, expression studies of genes involved in S transport and metabolism in source organs, as well as xylem sap analyses, support that S uptake and assimilation are positively affected in MMP1 roots. Concomitantly, nitrogen (N) assimilation in root and leaf and xylem amino acid profiles were changed, resulting in increased phloem loading of amino acids. When investigating the effects of increased S and N phloem transport on seed metabolism, we found that protein levels were improved in MMP1 seeds. In addition, changes in SMM phloem loading affected plant growth and seed number, leading to an overall increase in seed S, N, and protein content in MMP1 plants. Together, these results suggest that phloem loading and source-sink partitioning of SMM are important for plant S and N metabolism and transport as well as seed set.

  14. Factors affecting post-control reinvasion by seed of an invasive species, Phragmites australis, in the central Platte River, Nebraska.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Galatowitsch, Susan M.; Larson, Diane L.; Larson, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive plants, such as Phragmites australis, can profoundly affect channel environments of large rivers by stabilizing sediments and altering water flows. Invasive plant removal is considered necessary where restoration of dynamic channels is needed to provide critical habitat for species of conservation concern. However, these programs are widely reported to be inefficient. Post-control reinvasion is frequent, suggesting increased attention is needed to prevent seed regeneration. To develop more effective responses to this invader in the Central Platte River (Nebraska, USA), we investigated several aspects of Phragmites seed ecology potentially linked to post-control reinvasion, in comparison to other common species: extent of viable seed production, importance of water transport, and regeneration responses to hydrology. We observed that although Phragmites seed does not mature until very late in the ice-free season, populations produce significant amounts of viable seed (>50 % of filled seed). Most seed transported via water in the Platte River are invasive perennial species, although Phragmites abundances are much lower than species such as Lythrum salicaria, Cyperus esculentus and Phalaris arundinacea. Seed regeneration of Phragmites varies greatly depending on hydrology, especially timing of water level changes. Flood events coinciding with the beginning of seedling emergence reduced establishment by as much as 59 % compared to flood events that occurred a few weeks later. Results of these investigations suggest that prevention of seed set (i.e., by removal of flowering culms) should be a priority in vegetation stands not being treated annually. After seeds are in the seedbank, preventing reinvasion using prescribed flooding has a low chance of success given that Phragmites can regenerate in a wide variety of hydrologic microsites.

  15. Growth environment but not seed position on the parent plant affect seed germination of two Thlaspi arvense L. populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Thlaspi arvense L. is a common weed found in most temperate regions throughout the world that also shows excellent potential for domestication as an oilseed crop. The complexity of T. arvense seed dormancy presently makes it difficult to manage as a weed or oilseed crop. Therefore, a better understa...

  16. Salinity affects production and salt tolerance of dimorphic seeds of Suaeda salsa.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fengxia; Xu, Yan-Ge; Wang, Shuai; Shi, Weiwei; Liu, Ranran; Feng, Gu; Song, Jie

    2015-10-01

    The effect of salinity on brown seeds/black seeds ratio, seed weight, endogenous hormone concentrations, and germination of brown and black seeds in the euhalophyte Suaeda salsa was investigated. The brown seeds/black seeds ratio, seed weight of brown and black seeds and the content of protein increased at a concentration of 500 mM NaCl compared to low salt conditions (1 mM NaCl). The germination percentage and germination index of brown seeds from plants cultured in 500 mM NaCl were higher than those cultured in 1 mM NaCl, but it was not true for black seeds. The concentrations of IAA (indole-3-acetic acid), ZR (free zeatin riboside) and ABA (abscisic acid) in brown seeds were much greater than those in black seeds, but there were no differences in the level of GAs (gibberellic acid including GA1 and GA3) regardless of the degree of salinity. Salinity during plant culture increased the concentration of GAs, but salinity had no effect on the concentrations of the other three endogenous hormones in brown seeds. Salinity had no effect on the concentration of IAA but increased the concentrations of the other three endogenous hormones in black seeds. Accumulation of endogenous hormones at different concentrations of NaCl during plant growth may be related to seed development and to salt tolerance of brown and black S. salsa seeds. These characteristics may help the species to ensure seedling establishment and population succession in variable saline environments. PMID:26184090

  17. Salinity affects production and salt tolerance of dimorphic seeds of Suaeda salsa.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fengxia; Xu, Yan-Ge; Wang, Shuai; Shi, Weiwei; Liu, Ranran; Feng, Gu; Song, Jie

    2015-10-01

    The effect of salinity on brown seeds/black seeds ratio, seed weight, endogenous hormone concentrations, and germination of brown and black seeds in the euhalophyte Suaeda salsa was investigated. The brown seeds/black seeds ratio, seed weight of brown and black seeds and the content of protein increased at a concentration of 500 mM NaCl compared to low salt conditions (1 mM NaCl). The germination percentage and germination index of brown seeds from plants cultured in 500 mM NaCl were higher than those cultured in 1 mM NaCl, but it was not true for black seeds. The concentrations of IAA (indole-3-acetic acid), ZR (free zeatin riboside) and ABA (abscisic acid) in brown seeds were much greater than those in black seeds, but there were no differences in the level of GAs (gibberellic acid including GA1 and GA3) regardless of the degree of salinity. Salinity during plant culture increased the concentration of GAs, but salinity had no effect on the concentrations of the other three endogenous hormones in brown seeds. Salinity had no effect on the concentration of IAA but increased the concentrations of the other three endogenous hormones in black seeds. Accumulation of endogenous hormones at different concentrations of NaCl during plant growth may be related to seed development and to salt tolerance of brown and black S. salsa seeds. These characteristics may help the species to ensure seedling establishment and population succession in variable saline environments.

  18. Ecological meltdown in predator-free forest fragments.

    PubMed

    Terborgh, J; Lopez, L; Nuñez, P; Rao, M; Shahabuddin, G; Orihuela, G; Riveros, M; Ascanio, R; Adler, G H; Lambert, T D; Balbas, L

    2001-11-30

    The manner in which terrestrial ecosystems are regulated is controversial. The "top-down" school holds that predators limit herbivores and thereby prevent them from overexploiting vegetation. "Bottom-up" proponents stress the role of plant chemical defenses in limiting plant depredation by herbivores. A set of predator-free islands created by a hydroelectric impoundment in Venezuela allows a test of these competing world views. Limited area restricts the fauna of small (0.25 to 0.9 hectare) islands to predators of invertebrates (birds, lizards, anurans, and spiders), seed predators (rodents), and herbivores (howler monkeys, iguanas, and leaf-cutter ants). Predators of vertebrates are absent, and densities of rodents, howler monkeys, iguanas, and leaf-cutter ants are 10 to 100 times greater than on the nearby mainland, suggesting that predators normally limit their populations. The densities of seedlings and saplings of canopy trees are severely reduced on herbivore-affected islands, providing evidence of a trophic cascade unleashed in the absence of top-down regulation.

  19. Male Seminal Fluid Substances Affect Sperm Competition Success and Female Reproductive Behavior in a Seed Beetle

    PubMed Central

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females’ initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females’ initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species. PMID:25893888

  20. Male seminal fluid substances affect sperm competition success and female reproductive behavior in a seed beetle.

    PubMed

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females' initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females' initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species.

  1. Soil moisture and fungi affect seed survival in California grassland annual plants.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Erin A

    2012-01-01

    Survival of seeds in the seed bank is important for the population dynamics of many plant species, yet the environmental factors that control seed survival at a landscape level remain poorly understood. These factors may include soil moisture, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil pathogens. Because many soil fungi respond to moisture and host species, fungi may mediate environmental drivers of seed survival. Here, I measure patterns of seed survival in California annual grassland plants across 15 species in three experiments. First, I surveyed seed survival for eight species at 18 grasslands and coastal sage scrub sites ranging across coastal and inland Santa Barbara County, California. Species differed in seed survival, and soil moisture and geographic location had the strongest influence on survival. Grasslands had higher survival than coastal sage scrub sites for some species. Second, I used a fungicide addition and exotic grass thatch removal experiment in the field to tease apart the relative impact of fungi, thatch, and their interaction in an invaded grassland. Seed survival was lower in the winter (wet season) than in the summer (dry season), but fungicide improved winter survival. Seed survival varied between species but did not depend on thatch. Third, I manipulated water and fungicide in the laboratory to directly examine the relationship between water, fungi, and survival. Seed survival declined from dry to single watered to continuously watered treatments. Fungicide slightly improved seed survival when seeds were watered once but not continually. Together, these experiments demonstrate an important role of soil moisture, potentially mediated by fungal pathogens, in driving seed survival.

  2. Can salvage logging affect seed dispersal by birds into burned forests?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rost, J.; Pons, P.; Bas, J. M.

    2009-09-01

    The recovery of vegetation in Mediterranean ecosystems after wildfire is mostly a result of direct regeneration, since the same species existing before the fire regenerate on-site by seeding or resprouting. However, the possibility of plant colonization by dispersal of seeds from unburned areas remains poorly studied. We addressed the role of the frugivorous, bird-dependent seed dispersal (seed rain) of fleshy-fruited plants in a burned and managed forest in the second winter after a fire, before on-site fruit production had begun. We also assessed the effect on seed rain of different microhabitats resulting from salvage logging (erosion barriers, standing snags, open areas), as well as the microhabitats of unlogged patches and an unburned control forest, taking account of the importance of perches as seed rain sites. We found considerable seed rain by birds in the burned area. Seeds, mostly from Olive trees Olea europaea and Evergreen pistaches Pistacia lentiscus, belonged to plants fruiting only in surrounding unburned areas. Seed rain was heterogeneous, and depended on microhabitat, with the highest seed density in the unburned control forest but closely followed by the wood piles of erosion barriers. In contrast, very low densities were found under perches of standing snags. Furthermore, frugivorous bird richness seemed to be higher in the erosion barriers than elsewhere. Our results highlight the importance of this specific post-fire management in bird-dependent seed rain and also may suggest a consequent heterogeneous distribution of fleshy-fruited plants in burned and managed areas. However, there needs to be more study of the establishment success of dispersed seeds before an accurate assessment can be made of the role of bird-mediated seed dispersal in post-fire regeneration.

  3. Soil Moisture and Fungi Affect Seed Survival in California Grassland Annual Plants

    PubMed Central

    Mordecai, Erin A.

    2012-01-01

    Survival of seeds in the seed bank is important for the population dynamics of many plant species, yet the environmental factors that control seed survival at a landscape level remain poorly understood. These factors may include soil moisture, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil pathogens. Because many soil fungi respond to moisture and host species, fungi may mediate environmental drivers of seed survival. Here, I measure patterns of seed survival in California annual grassland plants across 15 species in three experiments. First, I surveyed seed survival for eight species at 18 grasslands and coastal sage scrub sites ranging across coastal and inland Santa Barbara County, California. Species differed in seed survival, and soil moisture and geographic location had the strongest influence on survival. Grasslands had higher survival than coastal sage scrub sites for some species. Second, I used a fungicide addition and exotic grass thatch removal experiment in the field to tease apart the relative impact of fungi, thatch, and their interaction in an invaded grassland. Seed survival was lower in the winter (wet season) than in the summer (dry season), but fungicide improved winter survival. Seed survival varied between species but did not depend on thatch. Third, I manipulated water and fungicide in the laboratory to directly examine the relationship between water, fungi, and survival. Seed survival declined from dry to single watered to continuously watered treatments. Fungicide slightly improved seed survival when seeds were watered once but not continually. Together, these experiments demonstrate an important role of soil moisture, potentially mediated by fungal pathogens, in driving seed survival. PMID:22720037

  4. Expression of TaCYP78A3, a gene encoding cytochrome P450 CYP78A3 protein in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), affects seed size.

    PubMed

    Ma, Meng; Wang, Qian; Li, Zhanjie; Cheng, Huihui; Li, Zhaojie; Liu, Xiangli; Song, Weining; Appels, Rudi; Zhao, Huixian

    2015-07-01

    Several studies have described quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seed size in wheat, but the relevant genes and molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here we report the functional characterization of the wheat TaCYP78A3 gene and its effect on seed size. TaCYP78A3 encoded wheat cytochrome P450 CYP78A3, and was specifically expressed in wheat reproductive organs. TaCYP78A3 activity was positively correlated with the final seed size. Its silencing caused a reduction of cell number in the seed coat, resulting in an 11% decrease in wheat seed size, whereas TaCYP78A3 over-expression induced production of more cells in the seed coat, leading to an 11-48% increase in Arabidopsis seed size. In addition, the cell number in the final seed coat was determined by the TaCYP78A3 expression level, which affected the extent of integument cell proliferation in the developing ovule and seed. Unfortunately, TaCYP78A3 over-expression in Arabidopsis caused a reduced seed set due to an ovule developmental defect. Moreover, TaCYP78A3 over-expression affected embryo development by promoting embryo integument cell proliferation during seed development, which also ultimately affected the final seed size in Arabidopsis. In summary, our results indicated that TaCYP78A3 plays critical roles in influencing seed size by affecting the extent of integument cell proliferation. The present study provides direct evidence that TaCYP78A3 affects seed size in wheat, and contributes to an understanding of the cellular basis of the gene influencing seed development.

  5. Temperature and water stress during conditioning and incubation phase affecting Orobanche crenata seed germination and radicle growth.

    PubMed

    Moral, Juan; Lozano-Baena, María Dolores; Rubiales, Diego

    2015-01-01

    Orobanche crenata is a holoparasitic plant that is potentially devastating to crop yield of legume species. Soil temperature and humidity are known to affect seed germination, however, the extent of their influence on germination and radicle growth of those of O. crenata is largely unknown. In this work, we studied the effects of temperature, water potential (Ψt) and the type of water stress (matric or osmotic) on O. crenata seeds during conditioning and incubation periods. We found that seeds germinated between 5 and 30°C during both periods, with a maximum around 20°C. Germination increased with increasing Ψt from -1.2 to 0 MPa during conditioning and incubation periods. Likewise, seed germination increased logarithmically with length of conditioning period until 40 days. The impact of the type of water stress on seed germination was similar, although the radicle growth of seeds under osmotic stress was lower than under matric stress, what could explain the lowest infestation of Orobanche sp. in regions characterized by saline soil. The data in this study will be useful to forecast infection of host roots by O. crenata. PMID:26089829

  6. Temperature and water stress during conditioning and incubation phase affecting Orobanche crenata seed germination and radicle growth

    PubMed Central

    Moral, Juan; Lozano-Baena, María Dolores; Rubiales, Diego

    2015-01-01

    Orobanche crenata is a holoparasitic plant that is potentially devastating to crop yield of legume species. Soil temperature and humidity are known to affect seed germination, however, the extent of their influence on germination and radicle growth of those of O. crenata is largely unknown. In this work, we studied the effects of temperature, water potential (Ψt) and the type of water stress (matric or osmotic) on O. crenata seeds during conditioning and incubation periods. We found that seeds germinated between 5 and 30°C during both periods, with a maximum around 20°C. Germination increased with increasing Ψt from −1.2 to 0 MPa during conditioning and incubation periods. Likewise, seed germination increased logarithmically with length of conditioning period until 40 days. The impact of the type of water stress on seed germination was similar, although the radicle growth of seeds under osmotic stress was lower than under matric stress, what could explain the lowest infestation of Orobanche sp. in regions characterized by saline soil. The data in this study will be useful to forecast infection of host roots by O. crenata. PMID:26089829

  7. Natural variation in ARF18 gene simultaneously affects seed weight and silique length in polyploid rapeseed.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Hua, Wei; Hu, Zhiyong; Yang, Hongli; Zhang, Liang; Li, Rongjun; Deng, Linbin; Sun, Xingchao; Wang, Xinfa; Wang, Hanzhong

    2015-09-15

    Seed weight (SW), which is one of the three major factors influencing grain yield, has been widely accepted as a complex trait that is controlled by polygenes, particularly in polyploid crops. Brassica napus L., which is the second leading crop source for vegetable oil around the world, is a tetraploid (4×) species. In the present study, we identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome A9 of rapeseed in which the genes for SW and silique length (SL) were colocated. By fine mapping and association analysis, we uncovered a 165-bp deletion in the auxin-response factor 18 (ARF18) gene associated with increased SW and SL. ARF18 encodes an auxin-response factor and shows inhibitory activity on downstream auxin genes. This 55-aa deletion prevents ARF18 from forming homodimers, in turn resulting in the loss of binding activity. Furthermore, reciprocal crossing has shown that this QTL affects SW by maternal effects. Transcription analysis has shown that ARF18 regulates cell growth in the silique wall by acting via an auxin-response pathway. Together, our results suggest that ARF18 regulates silique wall development and determines SW via maternal regulation. In addition, our study reveals the first (to our knowledge) QTL in rapeseed and may provide insights into gene cloning involving polyploid crops.

  8. Natural variation in ARF18 gene simultaneously affects seed weight and silique length in polyploid rapeseed

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jing; Hua, Wei; Hu, Zhiyong; Yang, Hongli; Zhang, Liang; Li, Rongjun; Deng, Linbin; Sun, Xingchao; Wang, Xinfa; Wang, Hanzhong

    2015-01-01

    Seed weight (SW), which is one of the three major factors influencing grain yield, has been widely accepted as a complex trait that is controlled by polygenes, particularly in polyploid crops. Brassica napus L., which is the second leading crop source for vegetable oil around the world, is a tetraploid (4×) species. In the present study, we identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome A9 of rapeseed in which the genes for SW and silique length (SL) were colocated. By fine mapping and association analysis, we uncovered a 165-bp deletion in the auxin-response factor 18 (ARF18) gene associated with increased SW and SL. ARF18 encodes an auxin-response factor and shows inhibitory activity on downstream auxin genes. This 55-aa deletion prevents ARF18 from forming homodimers, in turn resulting in the loss of binding activity. Furthermore, reciprocal crossing has shown that this QTL affects SW by maternal effects. Transcription analysis has shown that ARF18 regulates cell growth in the silique wall by acting via an auxin-response pathway. Together, our results suggest that ARF18 regulates silique wall development and determines SW via maternal regulation. In addition, our study reveals the first (to our knowledge) QTL in rapeseed and may provide insights into gene cloning involving polyploid crops. PMID:26324896

  9. Natural variation in ARF18 gene simultaneously affects seed weight and silique length in polyploid rapeseed.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Hua, Wei; Hu, Zhiyong; Yang, Hongli; Zhang, Liang; Li, Rongjun; Deng, Linbin; Sun, Xingchao; Wang, Xinfa; Wang, Hanzhong

    2015-09-15

    Seed weight (SW), which is one of the three major factors influencing grain yield, has been widely accepted as a complex trait that is controlled by polygenes, particularly in polyploid crops. Brassica napus L., which is the second leading crop source for vegetable oil around the world, is a tetraploid (4×) species. In the present study, we identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome A9 of rapeseed in which the genes for SW and silique length (SL) were colocated. By fine mapping and association analysis, we uncovered a 165-bp deletion in the auxin-response factor 18 (ARF18) gene associated with increased SW and SL. ARF18 encodes an auxin-response factor and shows inhibitory activity on downstream auxin genes. This 55-aa deletion prevents ARF18 from forming homodimers, in turn resulting in the loss of binding activity. Furthermore, reciprocal crossing has shown that this QTL affects SW by maternal effects. Transcription analysis has shown that ARF18 regulates cell growth in the silique wall by acting via an auxin-response pathway. Together, our results suggest that ARF18 regulates silique wall development and determines SW via maternal regulation. In addition, our study reveals the first (to our knowledge) QTL in rapeseed and may provide insights into gene cloning involving polyploid crops. PMID:26324896

  10. Common gas phase molecules from fungi affect seed germination and plant health in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important ecophysiological roles in mediating inter-kingdom signaling with arthropods but less is known about their interactions with plants. In this study, Arabidopsis thaliana was used as a model in order to test the physiological effects of 23 common vapor-phase fungal VOCs that included alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and other chemical classes. After exposure to a shared atmosphere with the 23 individual VOCs for 72 hrs, seeds were assayed for rate of germination and seedling formation; vegetative plants were assayed for fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration. All but five of the VOCs tested (1-decene, 2-n-heptylfuran, nonanal, geosmin and -limonene) had a significant effect in inhibiting either germination, seedling formation or both. Seedling formation was entirely inhibited by exposure to 1-octen-3-one, 2-ethylhexanal, 3-methylbutanal, and butanal. As assayed by a combination of fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration, 2-ethylhexanal had a negative impact on two-week-old vegetative plants. Three other compounds (1-octen-3-ol, 2-ethylhexanal, and 2-heptylfuran) decreased fresh weight alone. Most of the VOCs tested did not change the fresh weight or chlorophyll concentration of vegetative plants. In summary, when tested as single compounds, fungal VOCs affected A. thaliana in positive, negative or neutral ways. PMID:25045602

  11. Does solar radiation affect the growth of tomato seeds relative to their environment?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holzer, Kristi

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment is to sequentially study and analyze the data collected from the germination and growth of irradiated Rutgers Supreme tomato seeds to adult producing plants. This experiment will not use irradiated seeds as a control as I plan to note growth in artificial verses natural environment as the basic experiment.

  12. Does solar radiation affect the growth of tomato seeds relative to their environment?

    SciTech Connect

    Holzer, K.

    1995-09-01

    The purpose of this experiment is to sequentially study and analyze the data collected from the germination and growth of irradiated Rutgers Supreme tomato seeds to adult producing plants. This experiment will not use irradiated seeds as a control as the authors plans to note growth in artificial verses natural environment as the basic experiment.

  13. Seed and seedling traits affecting critical life stage transitions and recruitment outcomes in dryland grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Seeding native plants is a key management practice to counter land degradation across the globe, yet the majority of seeding efforts fail, limiting the ability of this tool to accelerate ecosystem recovery. 2. Seedling recruitment requires transitions through several life stages, some of which ma...

  14. Differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species on seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera) in Southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2011-05-01

    Seed hoarding is an important behavioral adaptation to food shortages for many rodent species. Sympatric rodents may affect the natural regeneration of large-seeded trees differently as seed dispersers or seed predators. Using seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera), we investigated differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species in semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest of China. We found that all these six species ate seeds of C. oleifera, but only Edward's long-tailed rats ( Leopoldamys edwardsi) were predominantly scatter hoarders; chestnut rats ( Niviventer fulvescens) and white-bellied rats ( Niviventer confucianus) scatter hoarded and larder hoarded few seeds, but were seed predators; South China field mice ( Apodemus draco) exhibited little larder-hoarding behavior; and Chevrier's field mice ( A. chevrieri) as well as Himalayan rats ( Rattus nitidusa) did not hoard seeds at all. The rodents that engaged in scatter hoarding often formed single-seed caches and tended to cache seeds under grass or shrubs. Our findings indicate that sympatric rodents consuming seeds of the same species of plant can have different hoarding strategies, affecting seed dispersal and plant regeneration differently. We conclude by discussing the role of these species in hoarding seeds of C. oleifera and highlight the essential role of Edward's long-tailed rats as predominantly potential dispersers of this plant species.

  15. Maternal presence and rearing condition affect responses to a live predator in kangaroo rats (Dipodomys heermanni arenae).

    PubMed

    Yoerg, S I; Shier, D M

    1997-12-01

    Experiment 1 compared the responses of wild-caught adult and captive-born adult and juvenile kangaroo rats (Dipodomys heermanni arenae) to a live snake. Wild-caught adult rats were less active and monitored the snake more than during a control condition; captive-born juvenile rats did not behave differently during snake and control tests. Snake-naive adult rats behaved more like the wild-caught adult rats, but not on all measures. In Experiment 2, pups were tested at 25 and 50 days of age in 4 conditions: no-snake control, alone with the snake, with a sibling and the snake, and with the mother and the snake. Pups did not behave differently during control and snake tests, but during tests with the mother, pups faced the snake less and followed the mother. Younger pups were more often near the mother than a sibling and followed the mother more when the snake was present. Development of defensive behavior may depend on both predator experience and maternal influence.

  16. Seed dormancy and germination in Jeffersonia dubia (Berberidaceae) as affected by temperature and gibberellic acid.

    PubMed

    Rhie, Y H; Lee, S Y; Kim, K S

    2015-03-01

    The genus Jeffersonia, which contains only two species, has a trans-Atlantic disjunct distribution. The aims of this study were to determine the requirements for breaking dormancy and germination of J. dubia seeds and to compare its dormancy characteristics with those of the congener in eastern North America. Ripe seeds of J. dubia contain an underdeveloped embryo and were permeable to water. In nature, seeds were dispersed in May, while embryos began to grow in September, and were fully elongated by late November. Germination started in March of the next year, and seeds emerged as seedlings soon after germination. In laboratory experiments, incubation at high temperatures (25 °C, 25/15 °C) for at least 8 weeks was required to initiate embryo growth, while a transfer to moderate temperatures (20/10 °C, 15/6 °C) was needed for the completion of embryo growth. At least 8 weeks at 5 °C was effective in overcoming physiological dormancy and for germination in seeds after the embryos had fully elongated. Thus, both high and low temperatures were essential to break dormancy. Gibberellic acid (GA3 ) treatment could substitute for the high temperature requirement, but not for the low temperature requirement. Based on the dormancy-breaking requirements, it is confirmed that the seeds have deep simple morphophysiological dormancy. This dormancy type is similar to that of seeds of the eastern North American species J. diphylla. Although seeds require 10-11 months from seed dispersal to germination in nature, under controlled conditions they required only 3 months after treatment with 1000 mg·l(-1) GA3 , followed by incubation at 15/6 °C. This represents practical knowledge for propagation of these plants from seed.

  17. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Civitello, David J; Crumrine, Patrick W; Halstead, Neal T; Miller, Andrew D; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Stenoien, Carl; Johnson, Lucinda B; Beasley, Val R

    2015-03-10

    Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm experiment that manipulated predator (larval dragonflies and damselflies) density and diversity, non-intraguild (non-IG) predators that only consume free-living cercariae (parasitic trematodes) reduced metacercarial infections in tadpoles, whereas intraguild (IG) predators that consume both parasites and tadpole hosts did not. This likely occurred because IG predators reduced tadpole densities and anticercarial behaviors, increasing per capita exposure rates of the surviving tadpoles (i.e., via density- and trait-mediated effects) despite the consumption of parasites. A mathematical model demonstrated that non-IG predators reduce macroparasite infections, but IG predation weakens this "dilution effect" and can even amplify parasite burdens. Consistent with the experiment and model, a wetland survey revealed that the diversity of IG predators was unrelated to metacercarial burdens in amphibians, but the diversity of non-IG predators was negatively correlated with infections. These results are strikingly similar to generalities that have emerged from the predator diversity-pest biocontrol literature, suggesting that there may be general mechanisms for pest control and that biocontrol research might inform disease management and vice versa. In summary, we identified a general trait of predators--where they fall on an IG predation continuum--that predicts their ability to reduce infections and possibly pests in general. Consequently, managing assemblages of predators represents an underused tool for the management of human and wildlife diseases and pest populations.

  18. Power lines, roads, and avian nest survival: effects on predator identity and predation intensity

    PubMed Central

    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2014-01-01

    1 Anthropogenic alteration of landscapes can affect avian nest success by influencing the abundance, distribution, and behavior of predators. Understanding avian nest predation risk necessitates understanding how landscapes affect predator distribution and behavior. 2 From a sample of 463 nests of 17 songbird species, we evaluated how landscape features (distance to forest edge, unpaved roads, and power lines) influenced daily nest survival. We also used video cameras to identify nest predators at 137 nest predation events and evaluated how landscape features influenced predator identity. Finally, we determined the abundance and distribution of several of the principal predators using surveys and radiotelemetry. 3 Distance to power lines was the best predictor of predator identity: predation by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), corvids (Corvus sp. and Cyanocitta cristata), racers (Coluber constrictor), and coachwhips (Masticophis flagellum) increased with proximity to power lines, whereas predation by rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) and raptors decreased. In some cases, predator density may reliably indicate nest predation risk because racers, corvids, and cowbirds frequently used power line right-of-ways. 4 Of five bird species with enough nests to analyze individually, daily nest survival of only indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea) decreased with proximity to power lines, despite predation by most predators at our site being positively associated with power lines. For all nesting species combined, distance to unpaved road was the model that most influenced daily nest survival. This pattern is likely a consequence of rat snakes, the locally dominant nest predator (28% of predation events), rarely using power lines and associated areas. Instead, rat snakes were frequently associated with road edges, indicating that not all edges are functionally similar. 5 Our results suggest that interactions between predators and landscape features are likely to be specific to

  19. Pollination and seed dispersal are the most threatened processes of plant regeneration.

    PubMed

    Neuschulz, Eike Lena; Mueller, Thomas; Schleuning, Matthias; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Plant regeneration is essential for maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which are globally threatened by human disturbance. Here we present the first integrative meta-analysis on how forest disturbance affects multiple ecological processes of plant regeneration including pollination, seed dispersal, seed predation, recruitment and herbivory. We analysed 408 pairwise comparisons of these processes between near-natural and disturbed forests. Human impacts overall reduced plant regeneration. Importantly, only processes early in the regeneration cycle that often depend on plant-animal interactions, i.e. pollination and seed dispersal, were negatively affected. Later processes, i.e. seed predation, recruitment and herbivory, showed overall no significant response to human disturbance. Conserving pollination and seed dispersal, including the animals that provide these services to plants, should become a priority in forest conservation efforts globally. PMID:27435026

  20. Pollination and seed dispersal are the most threatened processes of plant regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Neuschulz, Eike Lena; Mueller, Thomas; Schleuning, Matthias; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Plant regeneration is essential for maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which are globally threatened by human disturbance. Here we present the first integrative meta-analysis on how forest disturbance affects multiple ecological processes of plant regeneration including pollination, seed dispersal, seed predation, recruitment and herbivory. We analysed 408 pairwise comparisons of these processes between near-natural and disturbed forests. Human impacts overall reduced plant regeneration. Importantly, only processes early in the regeneration cycle that often depend on plant-animal interactions, i.e. pollination and seed dispersal, were negatively affected. Later processes, i.e. seed predation, recruitment and herbivory, showed overall no significant response to human disturbance. Conserving pollination and seed dispersal, including the animals that provide these services to plants, should become a priority in forest conservation efforts globally. PMID:27435026

  1. Parasitoid wasps indirectly suppress seed production by stimulating consumption rates of their seed-feeding hosts.

    PubMed

    Xi, Xinqiang; Eisenhauer, Nico; Sun, Shucun

    2015-07-01

    In parasitoid-herbivore-plant food chains, parasitoids may be simultaneously linked with both herbivore hosts and plants, as occurs when herbivores attacked by parasitoids continue to consume plants although they are destined to die. This peculiar property may cause parasitoids to confer a differential trophic cascading effect on plants than that known for typical predators. We hypothesized that larval koinobiont parasitoids would confer an immediate negative effect on plant seed production by stimulating consumption of their seed-predator hosts. We tested this hypothesis in an alpine parasitic food chain of plant seeds, pre-dispersal seed predators (tephritid fly larvae) and koinobiont parasitoids using field observations, a field experiment and a microcosm study. We first compared observed seed production in (i) non-infected capitula, (ii) capitula infected only by seed predators (tephritid flies) and (iii) capitula infected by both seed predators and their parasitoids in five Asteraceae species. Consistent with our hypothesis, seed loss in the capitula with both seed predators and parasitoids was significantly greater than in the capitula infested only by seed predators. This effect was replicated in a controlled field experiment focusing on the most common parasitoid-seed predator-plant interaction chain in our system, in which confounding factors (e.g. density and phenology) were excluded. Here, we show that parasitoids indirectly decreased plant seed production by changing the behaviour of seed predators. In a microcosm study, we show that larval parasitoids significantly extended the growth period and increased the terminal size of their host tephritid maggots. Thus, parasitoids suppressed plant seed production by stimulating the growth and consumption of the fly maggots. In contrast to the typical predator-induced trophic cascade, we highlight the significance of parasitoids indirectly decreasing plant fitness by stimulating consumption by seed predators

  2. Parasitoid wasps indirectly suppress seed production by stimulating consumption rates of their seed-feeding hosts.

    PubMed

    Xi, Xinqiang; Eisenhauer, Nico; Sun, Shucun

    2015-07-01

    In parasitoid-herbivore-plant food chains, parasitoids may be simultaneously linked with both herbivore hosts and plants, as occurs when herbivores attacked by parasitoids continue to consume plants although they are destined to die. This peculiar property may cause parasitoids to confer a differential trophic cascading effect on plants than that known for typical predators. We hypothesized that larval koinobiont parasitoids would confer an immediate negative effect on plant seed production by stimulating consumption of their seed-predator hosts. We tested this hypothesis in an alpine parasitic food chain of plant seeds, pre-dispersal seed predators (tephritid fly larvae) and koinobiont parasitoids using field observations, a field experiment and a microcosm study. We first compared observed seed production in (i) non-infected capitula, (ii) capitula infected only by seed predators (tephritid flies) and (iii) capitula infected by both seed predators and their parasitoids in five Asteraceae species. Consistent with our hypothesis, seed loss in the capitula with both seed predators and parasitoids was significantly greater than in the capitula infested only by seed predators. This effect was replicated in a controlled field experiment focusing on the most common parasitoid-seed predator-plant interaction chain in our system, in which confounding factors (e.g. density and phenology) were excluded. Here, we show that parasitoids indirectly decreased plant seed production by changing the behaviour of seed predators. In a microcosm study, we show that larval parasitoids significantly extended the growth period and increased the terminal size of their host tephritid maggots. Thus, parasitoids suppressed plant seed production by stimulating the growth and consumption of the fly maggots. In contrast to the typical predator-induced trophic cascade, we highlight the significance of parasitoids indirectly decreasing plant fitness by stimulating consumption by seed predators

  3. Comparison of gamma and electron beam irradiation in reducing populations of E. coli artificially inoculated on Mung Bean, clover and Fenugreek Seeds, and affecting germination and growth of seeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sprouts have frequently been implicated in outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, mostly due to contaminated seeds. Intervention technologies to decontaminate seeds without affecting sprout yield are needed. In the present study, we compared gamma rays with electron beam in inactivating E. coli artifici...

  4. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; Civitello, David J.; Crumrine, Patrick W.; Halstead, Neal T.; Miller, Andrew D.; Schotthoefer, Anna M.; Stenoien, Carl; Johnson, Lucinda B.; Beasley, Val R.

    2015-01-01

    Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm experiment that manipulated predator (larval dragonflies and damselflies) density and diversity, non-intraguild (non-IG) predators that only consume free-living cercariae (parasitic trematodes) reduced metacercarial infections in tadpoles, whereas intraguild (IG) predators that consume both parasites and tadpole hosts did not. This likely occurred because IG predators reduced tadpole densities and anticercarial behaviors, increasing per capita exposure rates of the surviving tadpoles (i.e., via density- and trait-mediated effects) despite the consumption of parasites. A mathematical model demonstrated that non-IG predators reduce macroparasite infections, but IG predation weakens this “dilution effect” and can even amplify parasite burdens. Consistent with the experiment and model, a wetland survey revealed that the diversity of IG predators was unrelated to metacercarial burdens in amphibians, but the diversity of non-IG predators was negatively correlated with infections. These results are strikingly similar to generalities that have emerged from the predator diversity–pest biocontrol literature, suggesting that there may be general mechanisms for pest control and that biocontrol research might inform disease management and vice versa. In summary, we identified a general trait of predators—where they fall on an IG predation continuum—that predicts their ability to reduce infections and possibly pests in general. Consequently, managing assemblages of predators represents an underused tool for the management of human and wildlife diseases and pest populations. PMID:25713379

  5. A proteomic analysis of rice seed germination as affected by high temperature and ABA treatment.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shu-Jun; Xu, Heng-Heng; Wang, Wei-Qing; Li, Ni; Wang, Wei-Ping; Møller, Ian Max; Song, Song-Quan

    2015-05-01

    Seed germination is a critical phase in the plant life cycle, but the specific events associated with seed germination are still not fully understood. In this study, we used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry to investigate the changes in the proteome during imbibition of Oryza sativa seeds at optimal temperature with or without abscisic acid (ABA) and high temperature (germination thermoinhibition) to further identify and quantify key proteins required for seed germination. A total of 121 protein spots showed a significant change in abundance (1.5-fold increase/decrease) during germination under all conditions. Among these proteins, we found seven proteins specifically associated with seed germination including glycosyl hydrolases family 38 protein, granule-bound starch synthase 1, Os03g0842900 (putative steroleosin-B), N-carbamoylputrescine amidase, spermidine synthase 1, tubulin α-1 chain and glutelin type-A; and a total of 20 imbibition response proteins involved in energy metabolism, cell growth, cell defense and storage proteins. High temperature inhibited seed germination by decreasing the abundance of proteins involved in methionine metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis, energy metabolism, reserve degradation, protein folding and stress responses. ABA treatment inhibited germination and decreased the abundance of proteins associated with methionine metabolism, energy production and cell division. Our results show that changes in many biological processes including energy metabolism, protein synthesis and cell defense and rescue occurred as a result of all treatments, while enzymes involved in methionine metabolism and weakening of cell wall specifically accumulated when the seeds germinated at the optimal temperature.

  6. Effects of habitat and season on removal and hoarding of seeds of wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) by small rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji-Qi, Lu; Zhi-Bin, Zhang

    2004-12-01

    The wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is widely distributed in the Donglingshan Mountains of Mentougou District of Beijing, China, where its seeds may be an important food resource for rodents. Predation, removal and hoarding of seeds by rodents will inevitably affect the spatio-temporal pattern of seed fate of wild apricot in this area. By marking and releasing tagged seeds of wild apricot, we investigated seeds survival, scatter-hoarding, cache size and seedling establishment, and the preference of micro-habitats used by rodents to store seeds. The results showed that: (1) rodents in this area hoarded food intensively in autumn, as well as in spring and summer. (2) There were significant effects of habitat and season on removal rate of tagged seeds at releasing plots. In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, tagged seeds were removed most rapidly by rodents in autumn, at intermediate rates in spring and least rapidly in summer. (3) During three seasons, mean dispersal distance of scatter-hoarded seeds in Low shrub habitat was greater than that in High shrub. Most removed seeds were buried within 21.0 m of the releasing plots. (4) In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, rodents tended to carry seeds to US (Under shrub) and SE (Shrub edge) microhabitats for scatter-hoarding or predation. (5) Among the caches made by rodents, most caches contained only one seed, but up to three seeds were observed; caches of 2-3 seeds were common in autumn. (6) By comparing dental marks, we determined that large field mice (Apodemus peninsulae) and David's rock squirrels (Sciurotamias davidianus) contributed to removal and predation of released tagged seeds. However, only the large field mice exerted a pivotal and positive role on the burial of dispersed seeds. (7) Establishment of three seedlings originated from seeds buried by rodents was documented in High shrub habitat.

  7. Hydrodistillation time affects dill seed essential oil yield, composition, and bioactivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dill (Anethum graveolens L.) essential oil is widely used by the food and pharmaceutical industries. We hypothesized that the chemical constituents of dill seed essential oil are eluted at different times during the hydrodistillation process, resulting in oils with different composition and bioactiv...

  8. Seed Production Affects Maternal Growth and Senescence in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Philipp, Matthias Anton; Guthörl, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    Correlative control (influence of one organ over another organ) of seeds over maternal growth is one of the most obvious phenotypic expressions of the trade-off between growth and reproduction. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we characterize the physiological and molecular effects of correlative inhibition by seeds on Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) inflorescences, i.e. global proliferative arrest (GPA) during which all maternal growth ceases upon the production of a given number of seeds. We observed transcriptional responses to growth- and branching-inhibitory hormones, and low mitotic activity in meristems upon GPA, but found that meristems retain their identity and proliferative potential. In shoot tissues, we detected the induction of stress- and senescence-related gene expression upon fruit production and GPA, and a drop in chlorophyll levels, suggestive of altered source-sink relationships between vegetative shoot and reproductive tissues. Levels of shoot reactive oxygen species, however, strongly decreased upon GPA, a phenomenon that is associated with bud dormancy in some perennials. Indeed, gene expression changes in arrested apical inflorescences after fruit removal resembled changes observed in axillary buds following release from apical dominance. This suggests that GPA represents a form of bud dormancy, and that dominance is gradually transferred from growing inflorescences to maturing seeds, allowing offspring control over maternal resources, simultaneously restricting offspring number. This would provide a mechanistic explanation for the constraint between offspring quality and quantity. PMID:27009281

  9. Widespread seed limitation affects plant density but not population trajectory in the invasive plant Centaurea solstitialis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In some plant populations, the availability of seeds strongly regulates recruitment. However, a scarcity of germination microsites, granivory or density dependent mortality can reduce the number of plants that germinate or survive to flowering. The relative strength of these controls is unknown for ...

  10. Pasta Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waugh, Michael L.

    1986-01-01

    Presents a predator-prey simulation which involves students in collecting data, solving problems, and making predictions on the evolution of prey populations. Provides directives on how to perform the chi-square test and also includes an Applesoft BASK program that performs the calculations. (ML)

  11. Predator Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shutler, Paul M. E.; Fong, Ng Swee

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that…

  12. Regulation of forest defoliating insects through small mammal predation: reconsidering the mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Kollberg, Ida; Bylund, Helena; Huitu, Otso; Björkman, Christer

    2014-12-01

    Population densities of forest defoliating insects may be regulated by small mammal predation on the pupae. When outbreaks do occur, they often coincide with warm, dry weather and at barren forest sites. A proposed reason for this is that weather and habitat affect small mammal population density (numerical response) and hence pupal predation. We propose an alternative explanation: weather and habitat affect small mammal feeding behaviour (functional response) and hence the outbreak risks of forest pest insects. We report results from laboratory and field-enclosure experiments estimating rates of pupal predation by bank voles (Myodes glareolus) on an outbreak insect, the European pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer), at different temperatures (15 and 20 °C), in different microhabitats (sheltered and non-sheltered), and with or without access to alternative food (sunflower seeds). We found that the probability of a single pupa being eaten at 20 °C was lower than at 15 °C (0.49 and 0.72, respectively). Pupal predation was higher in the sheltered microhabitat than in the open one, and the behaviour of the voles differed between microhabitats. More pupae were eaten in situ in the sheltered microhabitat whereas in the open area more pupae were removed and eaten elsewhere. Access to alternative food did not affect pupal predation. The results suggest that predation rates on pine sawfly pupae by voles are influenced by temperature- and habitat-induced variation in the physiology and behaviour of the predator, and not necessarily solely through effects on predator densities as previously proposed.

  13. Soybean seed protein oil fatty acids sugars and minerals as affected by seeding rates and row spacing in the Midsouth USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Research on the effects of seeding rates (SDR) and row spacing (RS) on soybean seed composition is almost non-existent. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of SDR and RS on soybean seed protein, oil, fatty acids, sugars, and minerals using two soybean cultivars, P 93M90 (ear...

  14. Dense understory dwarf bamboo alters the retention of canopy tree seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Feng; Zhang, Tengda; Guo, Qinxue; Tao, Jianping

    2016-05-01

    Tree seed retention is thought to be an important factor in the process of forest community regeneration. Although dense understory dwarf bamboo has been considered to have serious negative effects on the regeneration of forest community species, little attention has been paid to the relationship between dwarf bamboo and seed retention. In a field experiment we manipulated the density of Fargesia decurvata, a common understory dwarf bamboo, to investigate the retention of seeds from five canopy tree species in an evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve, SW China. We found that the median survival time and retention ratio of seeds increased with the increase in bamboo density. Fauna discriminately altered seed retention in bamboo groves of different densities. Arthropods reduced seed survival the most, and seeds removed decreased with increasing bamboo density. Birds removed or ate more seeds in groves of medium bamboo density and consumed fewer seeds in dense or sparse bamboo habitats. Rodents removed a greater number of large and highly profitable seeds in dense bamboo groves but more small and thin-husked seeds in sparse bamboo groves. Seed characteristics, including seed size, seed mass and seed profitability, were important factors affecting seed retention. The results suggested that dense understory dwarf bamboo not only increased seeds concealment and reduced the probability and speed of seed removal but also influenced the trade-off between predation and risk of animal predatory strategies, thereby impacting the quantity and composition of surviving seeds. Our results also indicated that dense understory dwarf bamboo and various seed characteristics can provide good opportunities for seed storage and seed germination and has a potential positive effect on canopy tree regeneration.

  15. Good foragers can also be good at detecting predators.

    PubMed Central

    Cresswell, W; Quinn, J L; Whittingham, M J; Butler, S

    2003-01-01

    The degree to which foraging and vigilance are mutually exclusive is crucial to understanding the management of the predation and starvation risk trade-off in animals. We tested whether wild-caught captive chaffinches that feed at a higher rate do so at the expense of their speed in responding to a model sparrowhawk flying nearby, and whether consistently good foragers will therefore tend to respond more slowly on average. First, we confirmed that the time taken to respond to the approaching predator depended on the rate of scanning: as head-up rate increased so chaffinches responded more quickly. However, against predictions, as peck rate increased so head-up rate increased and mean length of head-up and head-down periods decreased. Head-up rate was probably dependent on peck rate because almost every time a seed was found, a bird raised its head to handle it. Therefore chaffinches with higher peck rates responded more quickly. Individual chaffinches showed consistent durations of both their head-down and head-up periods and, therefore, individuals that were good foragers were also good detectors of predators. In relation to the broad range of species that have a similar foraging mode to chaffinches, our results have two major implications for predation/starvation risk trade-offs: (i) feeding rate can determine vigilance scanning patterns; and (ii) the best foragers can also be the best at detecting predators. We discuss how our results can be explained in mechanistic terms relating to fundamental differences in how the probabilities of detecting food rather than a predator are affected by time. In addition, our results offer a plausible explanation for the widely observed effect that vigilance continues to decline with group size even when there is no further benefit to reducing vigilance. PMID:12803897

  16. Predation risk increases dispersal distance in prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otsuki, Hatsune; Yano, Shuichi

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the ecological factors that affect dispersal distances allows us to predict the consequences of dispersal. Although predator avoidance is an important cause of prey dispersal, its effects on dispersal distance have not been investigated. We used simple experimental setups to test dispersal distances of the ambulatory dispersing spider mite ( Tetranychus kanzawai) in the presence or absence of a predator ( Neoseiulus womersleyi). In the absence of predators, most spider mites settled in adjacent patches, whereas the majority of those dispersing in the presence of predators passed through adjacent patches and settled in distant ones. This is the first study to experimentally demonstrate that predators induce greater dispersal distance in prey.

  17. The emergence of defective predators who never hunt by themselves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xueting; Pan, Qiuhui; Kang, Yibin; He, Mingfeng

    2013-06-01

    We propose a lattice Monte Carlo model of two populations, predators and prey. We divide predators into cooperative predators and defective predators. Cooperative predators participate in hunting. On the other hand, defective predators only participate to dominate, i.e. take possession of, the food when a kill has already been made by a cooperative predator. Numerous factors have been taken into account in our research, such as individual mobility, predation and hunger time. The model we have constructed displays the features of the population that evolve through time and the spatial distribution of the population. We focus on the emergence of defective predators and how the parameters affect the system. The results indicate that prey can profit from the appearance of these defective predators in some specific situations. It has even been shown that the emergence of defective predators can sometimes save endangered systems.

  18. Polysaccharide from seeds of Plantago asiatica L. affects lipid metabolism and colon microbiota of mouse.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jie-Lun; Nie, Shao-Ping; Wu, Qi-Meng; Li, Chang; Fu, Zhi-Hong; Gong, Joshua; Cui, Steve W; Xie, Ming-Yong

    2014-01-01

    Polysaccharide from the seeds of Plantago asiatica L. was given via oral administration to mice (0.4 g/kg body weight, 30 days) to observe its effects on mouse nutrient metabolism and colon microbiota. It was found the polysaccharide intake could lower the apparent absorption of lipid. Total triglyceride, cholesterol, and atherogenic index in blood serum with total lipid and cholesterol levels in liver of polysaccharide group mice were all significantly lower than those of the control group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the effect of the polysaccharide intake on mouse colon bacterial communities was investigated. Mice from the polysaccharide group showed a higher colon bacterial diversity than the control group. Bacteroides sp., Eubacterium sp., butyrate-producing bacteria Butyrivibrio sp., and probiotics Bifidobacterium bifidum , Lactobacillus fermentum , and Lactobacillus reuteri in mouse colon were all increased after polysaccharide intake. These indicated that the intake of polysaccharide from P. asiatica L. could be beneficial for lipid metabolism and colon microbiota. PMID:24341731

  19. Duration of microbead seeding on endothelial cells significantly affects their response to magnetic excitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichenberg, Yaniv; Lanir, Yoram

    2012-04-01

    Our investigation of endothelial cell rheology using optical magnetic twisting cytometry revealed that with time following incubation of ferromagnetic beads on the cells, beads were sinking into the cells and an increasing number of beads demonstrated apparent absurd negative rheological properties. In parallel, the beads’ average rheological response changed considerably over time, both in magnitude and in distribution. It was hypothesized that the apparent negative rheological response was related to the above sinking process of seeded beads into the cells, resulting in an elevation of the beads’ rotation axis, thus causing a reversal of the beads’ lateral movement direction in response to twisting external magnetic excitation. The results suggest that microbead-based rheological characterization of cells should be interpreted with caution, while considering the time of data acquisition.

  20. Fruitful factors: what limits seed production of flowering plants in the alpine?

    PubMed

    Straka, Jason R; Starzomski, Brian M

    2015-05-01

    Predicting demographic consequences of climate change for plant communities requires understanding which factors influence seed set, and how climate change may alter those factors. To determine the effects of pollen availability, temperature, and pollinators on seed production in the alpine, we combined pollen-manipulation experiments with measurements of variation in temperature, and abundance and diversity of potential pollinators along a 400-m elevation gradient. We did this for seven dominant species of flowering plants in the Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. The number of viable seeds set by plants was influenced by pollen limitation (quantity of pollen received), mate limitation (quality of pollen), temperature, abundance of potential pollinators, seed predation, and combinations of these factors. Early flowering species (n = 3) had higher seed set at high elevation and late-flowering species (n = 4) had higher seed set at low elevation. Degree-days >15 °C were good predictors of seed set, particularly in bee-pollinated species, but had inconsistent effects among species. Seed production in one species, Arnica latifolia, was negatively affected by seed-predators (Tephritidae) at mid elevation, where there were fewer frost-hours during the flowering season. Anemone occidentalis, a fly-pollinated, self-compatible species had high seed set at all elevations, likely due to abundant potential pollinators. Simultaneously measuring multiple factors affecting reproductive success of flowering plants helped identify which factors were most important, providing focus for future studies. Our work suggests that responses of plant communities to climate change may be mediated by flowering time, pollination syndrome, and susceptibility to seed predators. PMID:25447635

  1. Fruitful factors: what limits seed production of flowering plants in the alpine?

    PubMed

    Straka, Jason R; Starzomski, Brian M

    2015-05-01

    Predicting demographic consequences of climate change for plant communities requires understanding which factors influence seed set, and how climate change may alter those factors. To determine the effects of pollen availability, temperature, and pollinators on seed production in the alpine, we combined pollen-manipulation experiments with measurements of variation in temperature, and abundance and diversity of potential pollinators along a 400-m elevation gradient. We did this for seven dominant species of flowering plants in the Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. The number of viable seeds set by plants was influenced by pollen limitation (quantity of pollen received), mate limitation (quality of pollen), temperature, abundance of potential pollinators, seed predation, and combinations of these factors. Early flowering species (n = 3) had higher seed set at high elevation and late-flowering species (n = 4) had higher seed set at low elevation. Degree-days >15 °C were good predictors of seed set, particularly in bee-pollinated species, but had inconsistent effects among species. Seed production in one species, Arnica latifolia, was negatively affected by seed-predators (Tephritidae) at mid elevation, where there were fewer frost-hours during the flowering season. Anemone occidentalis, a fly-pollinated, self-compatible species had high seed set at all elevations, likely due to abundant potential pollinators. Simultaneously measuring multiple factors affecting reproductive success of flowering plants helped identify which factors were most important, providing focus for future studies. Our work suggests that responses of plant communities to climate change may be mediated by flowering time, pollination syndrome, and susceptibility to seed predators.

  2. Predator-prey interactions mediated by prey personality and predator hunting mode.

    PubMed

    Belgrad, Benjamin A; Griffen, Blaine D

    2016-04-13

    Predator-prey interactions are important drivers in structuring ecological communities. However, despite widespread acknowledgement that individual behaviours and predator species regulate ecological processes, studies have yet to incorporate individual behavioural variations in a multipredator system. We quantified a prevalent predator avoidance behaviour to examine the simultaneous roles of prey personality and predator hunting mode in governing predator-prey interactions. Mud crabs, Panopeus herbstii, reduce their activity levels and increase their refuge use in the presence of predator cues. We measured mud crab mortality and consistent individual variations in the strength of this predator avoidance behaviour in the presence of predatory blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, and toadfish, Opsanus tau We found that prey personality and predator species significantly interacted to affect mortality with blue crabs primarily consuming bold mud crabs and toadfish preferentially selecting shy crabs. Additionally, the strength of the predator avoidance behaviour depended upon the predation risk from the predator species. Consequently, the personality composition of populations and predator hunting mode may be valuable predictors of both direct and indirect predator-prey interaction strength. These findings support theories postulating mechanisms for maintaining intraspecies diversity and have broad implications for community dynamics.

  3. Predator-prey interactions mediated by prey personality and predator hunting mode.

    PubMed

    Belgrad, Benjamin A; Griffen, Blaine D

    2016-04-13

    Predator-prey interactions are important drivers in structuring ecological communities. However, despite widespread acknowledgement that individual behaviours and predator species regulate ecological processes, studies have yet to incorporate individual behavioural variations in a multipredator system. We quantified a prevalent predator avoidance behaviour to examine the simultaneous roles of prey personality and predator hunting mode in governing predator-prey interactions. Mud crabs, Panopeus herbstii, reduce their activity levels and increase their refuge use in the presence of predator cues. We measured mud crab mortality and consistent individual variations in the strength of this predator avoidance behaviour in the presence of predatory blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, and toadfish, Opsanus tau We found that prey personality and predator species significantly interacted to affect mortality with blue crabs primarily consuming bold mud crabs and toadfish preferentially selecting shy crabs. Additionally, the strength of the predator avoidance behaviour depended upon the predation risk from the predator species. Consequently, the personality composition of populations and predator hunting mode may be valuable predictors of both direct and indirect predator-prey interaction strength. These findings support theories postulating mechanisms for maintaining intraspecies diversity and have broad implications for community dynamics. PMID:27075257

  4. Predator arithmetic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shutler, Paul M. E.; Swee Fong, Ng

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that complex calculations such as long multiplication can be carried out more efficiently in base 5 than in base 10, and that base 5 is in fact close to being optimal in this regard. We also show that base 5 is small enough so that the intuitiveness of simple grouping and the efficiency of fully ciphered numerals can be combined effectively in a single notation, something which Hindu-Arabic numeration tries but fails to achieve. Furthermore, as a consequence of these notational advantages, we show that the basic operations of arithmetic, addition and subtraction, also borrowing and carrying (regrouping), are easier to teach and to learn in base 5 than in base 10. Finally we show that, even though a shift from base 10 to base 5 may not be a realistic possibility, there are many ways in which the teaching of elementary arithmetic could be improved significantly, along the lines of Predator arithmetic, and which could be implemented at little cost within our current Hindu-Arabic system.

  5. Germination Season and Watering Regime, but Not Seed Morph, Affect Life History Traits in a Cold Desert Diaspore-Heteromorphic Annual

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Juan J.; Tan, Dun Y.; Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C.

    2014-01-01

    Seed morph, abiotic conditions and time of germination can affect plant fitness, but few studies have tested their combined effects on plasticity of plant life history traits. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that seed morph, germination season and watering regime influence phenotypic expression of post-germination life history traits in the diaspore-heteromorphic cold desert winter annual/spring ephemeral Diptychocarpus strictus. The two seed morphs were sown in watered and non-watered plots in late summer, and plants derived from them were watered or not-watered throughout the study. Seed morph did not affect phenology, growth and morphology, survival, dry mass accumulation and allocation or silique and seed production. Seeds in watered plots germinated in autumn (AW) and spring (SW) but only in spring for non-watered plots (SNW). A high percentage of AW, SW and SNW plants survived and reproduced, but flowering date and flowering period of autumn- vs. spring-germinated plants differed. Dry mass also differed with germination season/watering regime (AW > SW > SNW). Number of siliques and seeds increased with plant size (AW > SW > SNW), whereas percent dry mass allocated to reproduction was higher in small plants: SNW > SW > AW. Thus, although seed morph did not affect the expression of life history traits, germination season and watering regime significantly affected phenology, plant size and accumulation and allocation of biomass to reproduction. Flexibility throughout the life cycle of D. strictus is an adaptation to the variation in timing and amount of rainfall in its cold desert habitat. PMID:25013967

  6. The Arabidopsis DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 gene affects ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 5 (ABI5) expression and genetically interacts with ABI3 during Arabidopsis seed development.

    PubMed

    Dekkers, Bas J W; He, Hanzi; Hanson, Johannes; Willems, Leo A J; Jamar, Diaan C L; Cueff, Gwendal; Rajjou, Loïc; Hilhorst, Henk W M; Bentsink, Leónie

    2016-02-01

    The seed expressed gene DELAY OF GERMINATION (DOG) 1 is absolutely required for the induction of dormancy. Next to a non-dormant phenotype, the dog1-1 mutant is also characterized by a reduced seed longevity suggesting that DOG1 may affect additional seed processes as well. This aspect however, has been hardly studied and is poorly understood. To uncover additional roles of DOG1 in seeds we performed a detailed analysis of the dog1 mutant using both transcriptomics and metabolomics to investigate the molecular consequences of a dysfunctional DOG1 gene. Further, we used a genetic approach taking advantage of the weak aba insensitive (abi) 3-1 allele as a sensitized genetic background in a cross with dog1-1. DOG1 affects the expression of hundreds of genes including LATE EMBRYOGENESIS ABUNDANT and HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN genes which are affected by DOG1 partly via control of ABI5 expression. Furthermore, the content of a subset of primary metabolites, which normally accumulate during seed maturation, was found to be affected in the dog1-1 mutant. Surprisingly, the abi3-1 dog1-1 double mutant produced green seeds which are highly ABA insensitive, phenocopying severe abi3 mutants, indicating that dog1-1 acts as an enhancer of the weak abi3-1 allele and thus revealing a genetic interaction between both genes. Analysis of the dog1 and dog1 abi3 mutants revealed additional seed phenotypes and therefore we hypothesize that DOG1 function is not limited to dormancy but that it is required for multiple aspects of seed maturation, in part by interfering with ABA signalling components. PMID:26729600

  7. The Arabidopsis DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 gene affects ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 5 (ABI5) expression and genetically interacts with ABI3 during Arabidopsis seed development.

    PubMed

    Dekkers, Bas J W; He, Hanzi; Hanson, Johannes; Willems, Leo A J; Jamar, Diaan C L; Cueff, Gwendal; Rajjou, Loïc; Hilhorst, Henk W M; Bentsink, Leónie

    2016-02-01

    The seed expressed gene DELAY OF GERMINATION (DOG) 1 is absolutely required for the induction of dormancy. Next to a non-dormant phenotype, the dog1-1 mutant is also characterized by a reduced seed longevity suggesting that DOG1 may affect additional seed processes as well. This aspect however, has been hardly studied and is poorly understood. To uncover additional roles of DOG1 in seeds we performed a detailed analysis of the dog1 mutant using both transcriptomics and metabolomics to investigate the molecular consequences of a dysfunctional DOG1 gene. Further, we used a genetic approach taking advantage of the weak aba insensitive (abi) 3-1 allele as a sensitized genetic background in a cross with dog1-1. DOG1 affects the expression of hundreds of genes including LATE EMBRYOGENESIS ABUNDANT and HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN genes which are affected by DOG1 partly via control of ABI5 expression. Furthermore, the content of a subset of primary metabolites, which normally accumulate during seed maturation, was found to be affected in the dog1-1 mutant. Surprisingly, the abi3-1 dog1-1 double mutant produced green seeds which are highly ABA insensitive, phenocopying severe abi3 mutants, indicating that dog1-1 acts as an enhancer of the weak abi3-1 allele and thus revealing a genetic interaction between both genes. Analysis of the dog1 and dog1 abi3 mutants revealed additional seed phenotypes and therefore we hypothesize that DOG1 function is not limited to dormancy but that it is required for multiple aspects of seed maturation, in part by interfering with ABA signalling components.

  8. Survival of weed seeds and animal parasites as affected by anaerobic digestion at meso- and thermophilic conditions.

    PubMed

    Johansen, Anders; Nielsen, Henrik B; Hansen, Christian M; Andreasen, Christian; Carlsgart, Josefine; Hauggard-Nielsen, Henrik; Roepstorff, Allan

    2013-04-01

    Anaerobic digestion of residual materials from animals and crops offers an opportunity to simultaneously produce bioenergy and plant fertilizers at single farms and in farm communities where input substrate materials and resulting digested residues are shared among member farms. A surplus benefit from this practice may be the suppressing of propagules from harmful biological pests like weeds and animal pathogens (e.g. parasites). In the present work, batch experiments were performed, where survival of seeds of seven species of weeds and non-embryonated eggs of the large roundworm of pigs, Ascaris suum, was assessed under conditions similar to biogas plants managed at meso- (37°C) and thermophilic (55°C) conditions. Cattle manure was used as digestion substrate and experimental units were sampled destructively over time. Regarding weed seeds, the effect of thermophilic conditions (55°C) was very clear as complete mortality, irrespective of weed species, was reached after less than 2 days. At mesophilic conditions, seeds of Avena fatua, Sinapsis arvensis, Solidago canadensis had completely lost germination ability, while Brassica napus, Fallopia convolvulus and Amzinckia micrantha still maintained low levels (~1%) of germination ability after 1 week. Chenopodium album was the only weed species which survived 1 week at substantial levels (7%) although after 11 d germination ability was totally lost. Similarly, at 55°C, no Ascaris eggs survived more than 3h of incubation. Incubation at 37°C did not affect egg survival during the first 48 h and it took up to 10 days before total elimination was reached. In general, anaerobic digestion in biogas plants seems an efficient way (thermophilic more efficient than mesophilic) to treat organic farm wastes in a way that suppresses animal parasites and weeds so that the digestates can be applied without risking spread of these pests. PMID:23266071

  9. Evolution: predator versus parasite.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-05-19

    Both predators and brood parasites can be major threats to the reproduction of many birds. A new study shows that some cuckoo chicks can help deter nest predators, potentially improving host reproductive success when predation risks are high. PMID:24845665

  10. Predators and Prey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramm, Kenneth R.

    1975-01-01

    Reviews basic concepts of predator-prey interaction, encourages the presentation of the predator's role and describes a model of predator behavior to be used in secondary school or college classes. (LS)

  11. A Fungal Endosymbiont Affects Host Plant Recruitment Through Seed- and Litter-mediated Mechanisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Many grass species are associated with maternally transmitted fungal endophytes. Increasing evidence shows that endophytes enhance host plant success under varied conditions, yet studies have rarely considered alternative mechanisms whereby these mutualistic symbionts may affect regeneration from...

  12. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials.

    PubMed

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads. PMID:25993642

  13. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials.

    PubMed

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads.

  14. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials

    PubMed Central

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads. PMID:25993642

  15. Increasing the stearate content in seed oil of Brassica juncea by heterologous expression of MlFatB affects lipid content and germination frequency of transgenic seeds.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Surajit; Sinha, Saheli; Das, Natasha; Maiti, Mrinal K

    2015-11-01

    Fatty acids from dietary lipids can impart both beneficial and harmful health effects. The compositional balance between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids plays a decisive role in maintaining the physiological harmony, proper growth and development in the human system. In case of Brassica juncea seed oil, the level of saturated fatty acid, especially desirable stearate is very much lower than the recommended value, along with a high content of nutritionally undesirable erucic acid. Therefore, in order to shift the carbon flux towards the production of stearate at the expense of erucate, the MlFatB gene encoding a FatB thioesterase from Madhuca longifolia (latifolia) was expressed heterologously in seed tissues of B. juncea. The functional MlFatB competed with the highly active endogenous BjFatA thioesterase, and the transgenic B. juncea lines showed noteworthy changes in their seed fatty acid profiles. The proportion of stearate increased up to 16-fold, constituting almost 31% of the total fatty acids along with the production of arachidic acid in significant amount (up to ∼11%). Moreover, the content of erucate was reduced up to 71% in the seed oils of transgenic lines. Although a nutritionally desirable fatty acid profile was achieved, the transgenic seeds exhibit reduction or abolition of seed germination in addition to a decrease in seed lipid content. The findings of the present study revealing the stearoyl-ACP thioesterase-mediated enhancement of the stearate content that is associated with reduced germination frequency of transgenic B. juncea seeds, may explain why no natural or induced stearate-rich Brassica has been found or developed. Furthermore, this study also suggests that the newly characterized MlFatB is a potential candidate gene for refined metabolic engineering strategy in B. juncea or other plant species for increasing stearate content in seed oil. PMID:26351151

  16. Increasing the stearate content in seed oil of Brassica juncea by heterologous expression of MlFatB affects lipid content and germination frequency of transgenic seeds.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Surajit; Sinha, Saheli; Das, Natasha; Maiti, Mrinal K

    2015-11-01

    Fatty acids from dietary lipids can impart both beneficial and harmful health effects. The compositional balance between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids plays a decisive role in maintaining the physiological harmony, proper growth and development in the human system. In case of Brassica juncea seed oil, the level of saturated fatty acid, especially desirable stearate is very much lower than the recommended value, along with a high content of nutritionally undesirable erucic acid. Therefore, in order to shift the carbon flux towards the production of stearate at the expense of erucate, the MlFatB gene encoding a FatB thioesterase from Madhuca longifolia (latifolia) was expressed heterologously in seed tissues of B. juncea. The functional MlFatB competed with the highly active endogenous BjFatA thioesterase, and the transgenic B. juncea lines showed noteworthy changes in their seed fatty acid profiles. The proportion of stearate increased up to 16-fold, constituting almost 31% of the total fatty acids along with the production of arachidic acid in significant amount (up to ∼11%). Moreover, the content of erucate was reduced up to 71% in the seed oils of transgenic lines. Although a nutritionally desirable fatty acid profile was achieved, the transgenic seeds exhibit reduction or abolition of seed germination in addition to a decrease in seed lipid content. The findings of the present study revealing the stearoyl-ACP thioesterase-mediated enhancement of the stearate content that is associated with reduced germination frequency of transgenic B. juncea seeds, may explain why no natural or induced stearate-rich Brassica has been found or developed. Furthermore, this study also suggests that the newly characterized MlFatB is a potential candidate gene for refined metabolic engineering strategy in B. juncea or other plant species for increasing stearate content in seed oil.

  17. Denaturation and Oxidative Stability of Hemp Seed (Cannabis sativa L.) Protein Isolate as Affected by Heat Treatment.

    PubMed

    Raikos, Vassilios; Duthie, Garry; Ranawana, Viren

    2015-09-01

    The present study investigated the impact of heat treatments on the denaturation and oxidative stability of hemp seed protein during simulated gastrointestinal digestion (GID). Heat-denatured hemp protein isolate (HPI) solutions were prepared by heating HPI (2 mg/ml, pH 6.8) to 40, 60, 80 and 100 °C for 10 min. Heat-induced denaturation of the protein isolates was monitored by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Heating HPI at temperatures above 80 °C significantly reduced solubility and led to the formation of large protein aggregates. The isolates were then subjected to in vitro GID and the oxidative stability of the generated peptides was investigated. Heating did not significantly affect the formation of oxidation products during GID. The results suggest that heat treatments should ideally remain below 80 °C if heat stability and solubility of HPI are to be preserved. PMID:26142888

  18. Denaturation and Oxidative Stability of Hemp Seed (Cannabis sativa L.) Protein Isolate as Affected by Heat Treatment.

    PubMed

    Raikos, Vassilios; Duthie, Garry; Ranawana, Viren

    2015-09-01

    The present study investigated the impact of heat treatments on the denaturation and oxidative stability of hemp seed protein during simulated gastrointestinal digestion (GID). Heat-denatured hemp protein isolate (HPI) solutions were prepared by heating HPI (2 mg/ml, pH 6.8) to 40, 60, 80 and 100 °C for 10 min. Heat-induced denaturation of the protein isolates was monitored by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Heating HPI at temperatures above 80 °C significantly reduced solubility and led to the formation of large protein aggregates. The isolates were then subjected to in vitro GID and the oxidative stability of the generated peptides was investigated. Heating did not significantly affect the formation of oxidation products during GID. The results suggest that heat treatments should ideally remain below 80 °C if heat stability and solubility of HPI are to be preserved.

  19. Identification and characterization of large DNA deletions affecting oil quality traits in soybean seeds through transcriptome sequencing analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying variation in seed composition and contents among different genotypes is important for soybean oil quality improvement. We designed a bioinformatics approach to compare seed transcriptomes of 9 soybean genotypes varying in oil composition ...

  20. The transcriptomes of dormant leafy spurge seeds under alternating temperature are differentially affected by a germination-enhancing pretreatment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed dormancy is an important stage in the life cycle of many non-domesticated plants, often characterized by the temporary failure to germinate under conditions that normally favor the process. Pre-treating dormant imbibed seeds at a constant temperate accelerated germination of leafy spurge seeds ...

  1. Intraguild interactions among three spider mite predators: predation preference and effects on juvenile development and oviposition.

    PubMed

    Rahmani, Hasan; Daneshmandi, Aliakbar; Walzer, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    A first step to evaluate potential negative effects of intraguild predation (IGP) when using multiple predators against a pest species is the determination of the predation behavior of the predators and the nutritional value of intraguild (IG) prey in terms of development and oviposition. Here, we investigated the predation preference of the female predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus, Typhlodromus bagdasarjani and Phytoseius plumifer, when having choice between larvae of the two other predatory mite species (IG prey) with and without extraguild prey, the spider mite Tetranychus urticae (EG prey). Additionally, we evaluated the juvenile development and oviposition of the three predator species when provided with larvae from each other species. Irrespective of EG prey, IG prey species affected neither the first attack nor attack times of the three female IG predator species. The IG predation rates of the predator females, however, were influenced by prey species in the absence of EG prey. Neoseiulus californicus females killed more P. plumifer than T. bagdasarjani larvae, whereas T. bagdasarjani and P. plumifer females killed more N. californicus than P. plumifer and T. bagdasarjani larvae, respectively. All IG predator species consumed significantly more EG than IG prey. IG prey species did not influence juvenile and adult survival probabilities of the IG predators. We conclude that IGP is a weak force among the three predators and the potential consequences of IGP should not result in the elimination of one by another tested predatory mite species at least in the presence of spider mites.

  2. Intraguild interactions among three spider mite predators: predation preference and effects on juvenile development and oviposition.

    PubMed

    Rahmani, Hasan; Daneshmandi, Aliakbar; Walzer, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    A first step to evaluate potential negative effects of intraguild predation (IGP) when using multiple predators against a pest species is the determination of the predation behavior of the predators and the nutritional value of intraguild (IG) prey in terms of development and oviposition. Here, we investigated the predation preference of the female predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus, Typhlodromus bagdasarjani and Phytoseius plumifer, when having choice between larvae of the two other predatory mite species (IG prey) with and without extraguild prey, the spider mite Tetranychus urticae (EG prey). Additionally, we evaluated the juvenile development and oviposition of the three predator species when provided with larvae from each other species. Irrespective of EG prey, IG prey species affected neither the first attack nor attack times of the three female IG predator species. The IG predation rates of the predator females, however, were influenced by prey species in the absence of EG prey. Neoseiulus californicus females killed more P. plumifer than T. bagdasarjani larvae, whereas T. bagdasarjani and P. plumifer females killed more N. californicus than P. plumifer and T. bagdasarjani larvae, respectively. All IG predator species consumed significantly more EG than IG prey. IG prey species did not influence juvenile and adult survival probabilities of the IG predators. We conclude that IGP is a weak force among the three predators and the potential consequences of IGP should not result in the elimination of one by another tested predatory mite species at least in the presence of spider mites. PMID:26462926

  3. Predator behaviour and predation risk in the heterogeneous Arctic environment.

    PubMed

    Lecomte, Nicolas; Careau, Vincent; Gauthier, Gilles; Giroux, Jean-François

    2008-05-01

    1. Habitat heterogeneity and predator behaviour can strongly affect predator-prey interactions but these factors are rarely considered simultaneously, especially when systems encompass multiple predators and prey. 2. In the Arctic, greater snow geese Anser caerulescens atlanticus L. nest in two structurally different habitats: wetlands that form intricate networks of water channels, and mesic tundra where such obstacles are absent. In this heterogeneous environment, goose eggs are exposed to two types of predators: the arctic fox Vulpes lagopus L. and a diversity of avian predators. We hypothesized that, contrary to birds, the hunting ability of foxes would be impaired by the structurally complex wetland habitat, resulting in a lower predation risk for goose eggs. 3. In addition, lemmings, the main prey of foxes, show strong population cycles. We thus further examined how their fluctuations influenced the interaction between habitat heterogeneity and fox predation on goose eggs. 4. An experimental approach with artificial nests suggested that foxes were faster than avian predators to find unattended goose nests in mesic tundra whereas the reverse was true in wetlands. Foxes spent 3.5 times more time between consecutive attacks on real goose nests in wetlands than in mesic tundra. Their attacks on goose nests were also half as successful in wetlands than in mesic tundra whereas no difference was found for avian predators. 5. Nesting success in wetlands (65%) was higher than in mesic tundra (56%) but the difference between habitats increased during lemming crashes (15%) compared to other phases of the cycle (5%). Nests located at the edge of wetland patches were also less successful than central ones, suggesting a gradient in accessibility of goose nests in wetlands for foxes. 6. Our study shows that the structural complexity of wetlands decreases predation risk from foxes but not avian predators in arctic-nesting birds. Our results also demonstrate that cyclic

  4. Predator behaviour and predation risk in the heterogeneous Arctic environment.

    PubMed

    Lecomte, Nicolas; Careau, Vincent; Gauthier, Gilles; Giroux, Jean-François

    2008-05-01

    1. Habitat heterogeneity and predator behaviour can strongly affect predator-prey interactions but these factors are rarely considered simultaneously, especially when systems encompass multiple predators and prey. 2. In the Arctic, greater snow geese Anser caerulescens atlanticus L. nest in two structurally different habitats: wetlands that form intricate networks of water channels, and mesic tundra where such obstacles are absent. In this heterogeneous environment, goose eggs are exposed to two types of predators: the arctic fox Vulpes lagopus L. and a diversity of avian predators. We hypothesized that, contrary to birds, the hunting ability of foxes would be impaired by the structurally complex wetland habitat, resulting in a lower predation risk for goose eggs. 3. In addition, lemmings, the main prey of foxes, show strong population cycles. We thus further examined how their fluctuations influenced the interaction between habitat heterogeneity and fox predation on goose eggs. 4. An experimental approach with artificial nests suggested that foxes were faster than avian predators to find unattended goose nests in mesic tundra whereas the reverse was true in wetlands. Foxes spent 3.5 times more time between consecutive attacks on real goose nests in wetlands than in mesic tundra. Their attacks on goose nests were also half as successful in wetlands than in mesic tundra whereas no difference was found for avian predators. 5. Nesting success in wetlands (65%) was higher than in mesic tundra (56%) but the difference between habitats increased during lemming crashes (15%) compared to other phases of the cycle (5%). Nests located at the edge of wetland patches were also less successful than central ones, suggesting a gradient in accessibility of goose nests in wetlands for foxes. 6. Our study shows that the structural complexity of wetlands decreases predation risk from foxes but not avian predators in arctic-nesting birds. Our results also demonstrate that cyclic

  5. Perturbing the metabolic dynamics of myo-inositol in developing Brassica napus seeds through in vivo methylation impacts its utilization as phytate precursor and affects downstream metabolic pathways

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background myo-Inositol (Ins) metabolism during early stages of seed development plays an important role in determining the distributional relationships of some seed storage components such as the antinutritional factors, sucrose galactosides (also known as raffinose oligosaccharides) and phytic acid (PhA) (myo-inositol 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakisphosphate). The former is a group of oligosaccharides, which plays a role in desiccation at seed maturation. They are not easily digested by monogastric animals, hence their flatulence-causing properties. Phytic acid is highly negatively charged, which chelates positive ions of essential minerals and decreases their bioavailability. It is also a major cause of phosphate-related water pollution. Our aim was to investigate the influence of competitive diversion of Ins as common substrate on the biosynthesis of phytate and sucrose galactosides. Results We have studied the initial metabolic patterns of Ins in developing seeds of Brassica napus and determined that early stages of seed development are marked by rapid deployment of Ins into a variety of pathways, dominated by interconversion of polar (Ins phosphates) and non-polar (phospholipids) species. In a time course experiment at early stages of seed development, we show Ins to be a highly significant constituent of the endosperm and seed coat, but with no phytate biosynthesis occurring in either tissue. Phytate accumulation appears to be confined mainly within the embryo throughout seed development and maturation. In our approach, the gene for myo-inositol methyltransferase (IMT), isolated from Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (ice plant), was transferred to B. napus under the control of the seed-specific promoters, napin and phaseolin. Introduction of this new metabolic step during seed development prompted Ins conversion to the corresponding monomethyl ether, ononitol, and affected phytate accumulation. We were able to produce homozygous transgenic lines with 19% - 35% average

  6. Does the passage of seeds through frugivore gut affect their storage: A case study on the endangered plant Euryodendron excelsum

    PubMed Central

    Shikang, Shen; Fuqin, Wu; Yuehua, Wang

    2015-01-01

    Plant-frugivore mutualism serves an important function in multiple ecological processes. Although previous studies have highlighted the effect of frugivore gut passage on fresh seed germinability, no study has investigated the effect on seed storage after frugivore gut passage. We used the endangered plant, Euryodendron excelsum, to determine the combined effects of frugivore gut passage and storage conditions on the germination percentage and rate of seeds. In particular, three treatments that included storage periods, storage methods, and seed types were designed in the experiment. We hypothesized that seeds that passed through the gut will exhibit enhanced germination capacity and rate during storage. Results showed that the final germination percentage decreased in seeds that passed through the gut, whereas the germination rate increased during seed storage. Germination decreased in most types of seeds under both dry and wet storage after 6 months compared with storage after 1 and 3 months. The results suggest that after frugivore gut passage, E. excelsum seeds cannot form persistent soil seed bank in the field, and were not suitable for species germplasm storage. These finding underscore that seeds that passed through frugivore gut have long-term impact on their viability and germination performance. PMID:26109456

  7. Does the passage of seeds through frugivore gut affect their storage: A case study on the endangered plant Euryodendron excelsum.

    PubMed

    Shikang, Shen; Fuqin, Wu; Yuehua, Wang

    2015-06-25

    Plant-frugivore mutualism serves an important function in multiple ecological processes. Although previous studies have highlighted the effect of frugivore gut passage on fresh seed germinability, no study has investigated the effect on seed storage after frugivore gut passage. We used the endangered plant, Euryodendron excelsum, to determine the combined effects of frugivore gut passage and storage conditions on the germination percentage and rate of seeds. In particular, three treatments that included storage periods, storage methods, and seed types were designed in the experiment. We hypothesized that seeds that passed through the gut will exhibit enhanced germination capacity and rate during storage. Results showed that the final germination percentage decreased in seeds that passed through the gut, whereas the germination rate increased during seed storage. Germination decreased in most types of seeds under both dry and wet storage after 6 months compared with storage after 1 and 3 months. The results suggest that after frugivore gut passage, E. excelsum seeds cannot form persistent soil seed bank in the field, and were not suitable for species germplasm storage. These finding underscore that seeds that passed through frugivore gut have long-term impact on their viability and germination performance.

  8. Why are predator urines aversive to prey?

    PubMed

    Nolte, D L; Mason, J R; Epple, G; Aronov, E; Campbell, D L

    1994-07-01

    Predator odors often repel prey species. In the present experiments, we investigated whether changes in the diet of a predator, the coyote (Canis latrans) would affect the repellency of its urine. Furthermore, because predator odors have a high sulfur content, reflecting large amounts of meat in the diet, we investigated the contribution of sulfurous odors to repellency. Our results were consistent with the hypothesis that diet composition and sulfurous metabolites of meat digestion are important for the repellency of predator odors to potential prey.

  9. Predator population depending on lemming cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anashkina, Ekaterina I.; Chichigina, Olga A.; Valenti, Davide; Kargovsky, Aleksey V.; Spagnolo, Bernardo

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, a Langevin equation for predator population with multiplicative correlated noise is analyzed. The noise source, which is a nonnegative random pulse noise with regulated periodicity, corresponds to the prey population cycling. The increase of periodicity of noise affects the average predator density at the stationary state.

  10. Dietary strawberry seed oil affects metabolite formation in the distal intestine and ameliorates lipid metabolism in rats fed an obesogenic diet

    PubMed Central

    Jurgoński, Adam; Fotschki, Bartosz; Juśkiewicz, Jerzy

    2015-01-01

    Objective To answer the question whether dietary strawberry seed oil rich in α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid (29.3 and 47.2% of total fatty acids, respectively) can beneficially affect disorders induced by the consumption of an obesogenic diet. Design Thirty-two male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups of eight animals each and fed with a basal or obesogenic (high in fat and low in fiber) diet that contained either strawberry seed oil or an edible rapeseed oil. A two-way analysis of variance was then applied to assess the effects of diet and oil and the interaction between them. Results After 8 weeks of feeding, the obesogenic diet increased the body weight and the liver mass and fat content, whereas decreased the cecal acetate and butyrate concentration. This diet also altered the plasma lipid profile and decreased the liver sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c) content. However, the lowest liver SREBP-1c content was observed in rats fed an obesogenic diet containing strawberry seed oil. Moreover, dietary strawberry seed oil decreased the cecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) regardless of the diet type, whereas the cecal β-glucuronidase activity was considerably increased only in rats fed an obesogenic diet containing strawberry seed oil. Dietary strawberry seed oil also lowered the liver fat content, the plasma triglyceride level and the atherogenic index of plasma. Conclusions Strawberry seed oil has a potent lipid-lowering activity but can unfavorably affect microbial metabolism in the distal intestine. The observed effects are partly due to the synergistic action of the oil and the obesogenic diet. PMID:25636326

  11. Epigenetic Mutation of RAV6 Affects Leaf Angle and Seed Size in Rice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiangqian; Sun, Jing; Cao, Xiaofeng; Song, Xianwei

    2015-11-01

    Heritable epigenetic variants of genes, termed epialleles, can broaden genetic and phenotypic diversity in eukaryotes. Epialleles may also provide a new source of beneficial traits for crop breeding, but very few epialleles related to agricultural traits have been identified in crops. Here, we identified Epi-rav6, a gain-of-function epiallele of rice (Oryza sativa) RELATED TO ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE3 (ABI3)/VIVIPAROUS1 (VP1) 6 (RAV6), which encodes a B3 DNA-binding domain-containing protein. The Epi-rav6 plants show larger lamina inclination and smaller grain size; these agronomically important phenotypes are inherited in a semidominant manner. We did not find nucleotide sequence variation of RAV6. Instead, we found hypomethylation in the promoter region of RAV6, which caused ectopic expression of RAV6 in Epi-rav6 plants. Bisulfite analysis revealed that cytosine methylation of four CG and two CNG loci within a continuous 96-bp region plays essential roles in regulating RAV6 expression; this region contains a conserved miniature inverted repeat transposable element transposon insertion in cultivated rice genomes. Overexpression of RAV6 in the wild type phenocopied the Epi-rav6 phenotype. The brassinosteroid (BR) receptor BR INSENSITIVE1 and BR biosynthetic genes EBISU DWARF, DWARF11, and BR-DEFICIENT DWARF1 were ectopically expressed in Epi-rav6 plants. Also, treatment with a BR biosynthesis inhibitor restored the leaf angle defects of Epi-rav6 plants. This indicates that RAV6 affects rice leaf angle by modulating BR homeostasis and demonstrates an essential regulatory role of epigenetic modification on a key gene controlling important agricultural traits. Thus, our work identifies a unique rice epiallele, which may represent a common phenomenon in complex crop genomes. PMID:26351308

  12. Epigenetic Mutation of RAV6 Affects Leaf Angle and Seed Size in Rice1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiangqian; Sun, Jing; Cao, Xiaofeng; Song, Xianwei

    2015-01-01

    Heritable epigenetic variants of genes, termed epialleles, can broaden genetic and phenotypic diversity in eukaryotes. Epialleles may also provide a new source of beneficial traits for crop breeding, but very few epialleles related to agricultural traits have been identified in crops. Here, we identified Epi-rav6, a gain-of-function epiallele of rice (Oryza sativa) RELATED TO ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE3 (ABI3)/VIVIPAROUS1 (VP1) 6 (RAV6), which encodes a B3 DNA-binding domain-containing protein. The Epi-rav6 plants show larger lamina inclination and smaller grain size; these agronomically important phenotypes are inherited in a semidominant manner. We did not find nucleotide sequence variation of RAV6. Instead, we found hypomethylation in the promoter region of RAV6, which caused ectopic expression of RAV6 in Epi-rav6 plants. Bisulfite analysis revealed that cytosine methylation of four CG and two CNG loci within a continuous 96-bp region plays essential roles in regulating RAV6 expression; this region contains a conserved miniature inverted repeat transposable element transposon insertion in cultivated rice genomes. Overexpression of RAV6 in the wild type phenocopied the Epi-rav6 phenotype. The brassinosteroid (BR) receptor BR INSENSITIVE1 and BR biosynthetic genes EBISU DWARF, DWARF11, and BR-DEFICIENT DWARF1 were ectopically expressed in Epi-rav6 plants. Also, treatment with a BR biosynthesis inhibitor restored the leaf angle defects of Epi-rav6 plants. This indicates that RAV6 affects rice leaf angle by modulating BR homeostasis and demonstrates an essential regulatory role of epigenetic modification on a key gene controlling important agricultural traits. Thus, our work identifies a unique rice epiallele, which may represent a common phenomenon in complex crop genomes. PMID:26351308

  13. Imbalance of predator and prey armament: geographic clines in phenotypic interface and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Toju, Hirokazu; Sota, Teiji

    2006-01-01

    The escalation of defensive/offensive arms is ubiquitous in prey-predator evolutionary interactions. However, there may be a geographically varying imbalance in the armaments of participating species that affects the outcome of local interactions. In a system involving the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) and its obligate seed predator, the camellia weevil (Curculio camelliae), we investigated the geographic variation in physical defensive/offensive traits and that in natural selection on the plant's defense among 17 populations over a 700-km-wide area in Japan. The sizes of the plant defensive apparatus (pericarp thickness) and the weevil offensive apparatus (rostrum length) clearly correlated with each other across populations. Nevertheless, the balance in armaments between the two species was geographically structured. In the populations for which the balance was relatively advantageous for the plant's defense, natural selection on the trait was stronger because in the other populations, most plant individuals were too vulnerable to resist the attacks of the weevil, and their seeds were infested independent of pericarp thickness. We also found that the imbalance between the defensive/offensive armaments and the intensity of natural selection showed clear latitudinal clines. Overall, our results suggest that the imbalance of armament between sympatric prey and predator could determine the strength of local selection and that climatic conditions could affect the local and overall trajectory of coevolutionary arms races. PMID:16475103

  14. Steady shear flow behavior of sage seed gum affected by various salts and sugars: Time-independent properties.

    PubMed

    Yousefi, Ali R; Eivazlou, Razieh; Razavi, Seyed M A

    2016-10-01

    The rheological properties of food hydrocolloids are remarkably influenced by the quality of solvent/cosolutes in a food system. In this work, the steady shear flow behavior of sage seed gum (SSG, 0.5% w/w) at the presence of different levels of salts (KCl & MgCl2, 0-100mM) and sugars (sucrose, lactose & glucose, 0-6% w/w) was studied. It was found that the rheological properties of SSG were affected by the type of sugars and salts and their concentrations as well. Synergistic interaction was observed between SSG and sugars which enhanced the viscosity of gum solutions, while salts addition diminished the viscosity. SSG solutions exhibited a shear thinning behavior at all conditions tested. Various time-independent rheological models were used to fit the shear stress-shear rate data, although the Herschel-Bulkley (R(2)=0.994-0.999) and Sisko (R(2)=0.995-0.999) models showed the best results to describe the flow behavior of SSG. In the presence of salts, the yield stress (τ0), consistency coefficient (k), and flow behavior index (n) values decreased. The k and τ0 values enhanced and the n value lowered in the presence of sugars. Divalent cations of Mg(2+) and sucrose roughly showed more effect on rheological parameters than others.

  15. Prey perception of predation risk: volatile chemical cues mediate non-consumptive effects of a predator on a herbivorous insect.

    PubMed

    Hermann, Sara L; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2014-11-01

    Predators can affect prey in two ways-by reducing their density (consumptive effects) or by changing their behavior, physiology or other phenotypic traits (non-consumptive effects). Understanding the cues and sensory modalities prey use to detect predators is critical for predicting the strength of non-consumptive effects and the outcome of predator-prey encounters. While predator-associated cues have been well studied in aquatic systems, less is known about how terrestrial prey, particularly insect larvae, detect their predators. We evaluated how Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, larvae perceive predation risk by isolating cues from its stink bug predator, the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris. When exposed to male "risk" predators that were surgically manipulated so they could hunt but not kill, beetles reduced feeding 29% compared to controls. Exposure to risk females caused an intermediate response. Beetles ate 24% less on leaves pre-exposed to predators compared to leaves never exposed to predators, indicating that tactile and visual cues are not required for the prey's response. Volatile odor cues from predators reduced beetle feeding by 10% overall, although male predators caused a stronger reduction than females. Finally, visual cues from the predator had a weak effect on beetle feeding. Because multiple cues appear to be involved in prey perception of risk, and because male and female predators have differential effects, beetle larvae likely experience tremendous variation in the information about risk from their local environment. PMID:25234373

  16. Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) affects vegetation more than seed banks in mixed-grass prairies of the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.; Haines, Dustin F.; Larson, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    Exotic plants have the ability to modify soil seed banks in habitats they invade, but little is known about the legacy of invasion on seed banks once an exotic plant has successfully been controlled. Natural areas previously invaded by leafy spurge in the northern Great Plains typically have one of two fates following its removal: a return of native plants, or a secondary invasion of other exotic plants. It is unknown, however, if this difference in plant communities following leafy spurge control is due to seed bank differences. To answer this question, we monitored seed banks and standing vegetation for 2 yr in mixed-grass prairies that were previously invaded by leafy spurge but controlled within 5 yr of our study. We found that native plant seed banks were largely intact in areas previously invaded by leafy spurge, regardless of the current living plant community, and leafy spurge invasion history had a larger impact on cover and diversity of the vegetation than on the seed banks. Differences in plant communities following leafy spurge control do not appear to be related to the seed banks, and soil conditions may be more important in determining trajectories of these postinvasion communities.

  17. Risk of predation and weather events affect nest site selection by sympatric Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) loons in Arctic habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haynes, Trevor B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.

    2014-01-01

    Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (G. adamsii) loons nest sympatrically in Arctic regions. These related species likely face similar constraints and requirements for nesting success; therefore, use of similar habitats and direct competition for nesting habitat is likely. Both of these loon species must select a breeding lake that provides suitable habitat for nesting and raising chicks; however, characteristics of nest site selection by either species on interior Arctic lakes remains poorly understood. Here, logistic regression was used to compare structural and habitat characteristics of all loon nest locations with random points from lakes on the interior Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska. Results suggest that both loon species select nest sites to avoid predation and exposure to waves and shifting ice. Loon nest sites were more likely to be on islands and peninsulas (odds ratio = 16.13, 95% CI = 4.64–56.16) than mainland shoreline, which may help loons avoid terrestrial predators. Further, nest sites had a higher degree of visibility (mean degrees of visibility to 100 and 200 m) of approaching predators than random points (odds ratio = 2.57, 95% CI = 1.22–5.39). Nests were sheltered from exposure, having lower odds of being exposed to prevailing winds (odds ratio = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.13–0.92) and lower odds of having high fetch values (odds ratio = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.22–0.96). Differences between Pacific and Yellow-billed loon nesting sites were subtle, suggesting that both species have similar general nest site requirements. However, Yellow-billed Loons nested at slightly higher elevations and were more likely to nest on peninsulas than Pacific Loons. Pacific Loons constructed built up nests from mud and vegetation, potentially in response to limited access to suitable shoreline due to other territorial loons. Results suggest that land managers wishing to protect habitats for these species should focus on lakes with islands as well as shorelines

  18. Predation at the Shore.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Helen M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hildreth, David P.; Couch, Emma

    2003-01-01

    Describes 10 predator/prey relationships that occur on the coast. Predators are compared to criminals and prey to their victims along with details of crime scenes. Accurately describes the habits and habitats of the criminals and presents games and activities that feature the relationships between predators and their prey. (Author/SOE)

  19. Two-spotted spider mite reared on resistant eggplant affects consumption rate and life table parameters of its predator, Typhlodromus bagdasarjani (Acari: Phytoseiidae).

    PubMed

    Khanamani, Mostafa; Fathipour, Yaghoub; Hajiqanbar, Hamidreza; Sedaratian, Amin

    2014-06-01

    The study of interactions between host plant cultivars and biological control agents is important in integrated pest management programs. In this study, the life table parameters and predation rate of Typhlodromus bagdasarjani Wainstein & Arutunjan were determined on two-spotted spider mites reared on a susceptible (Isfahan) or a resistant (Neishabour) eggplant cultivar. All experiments were carried out under laboratory conditions, at 25 ± 1 °C, 60 ± 5 % RH and a photoperiod of 16:8 (L:D) h. A significant difference was observed between mean developmental time of immature stages of T. bagdasarjani on the two eggplant cultivars: 6.6 versus 7.5 days, on the susceptible and resistant cultivar, respectively. Net reproductive rate (R 0) of T. bagdasarjani did not differ between the cultivars. Doubling time on the susceptible and resistant cultivars was 3.48 versus 5.72 days, mean generation time (T) was 10.13 versus 16.08 days, respectively. Total fecundity was higher on susceptible than on resistant eggplants, the intrinsic rate of population increase (r) was 0.188 versus 0.119 day(-1), respectively. Daily and total prey consumption of various life stages of T. bagdasarjani on two-spotted spider mite reared on susceptible versus resistant eggplant differed; total consumption was higher on spider mites reared on the resistant cultivar. However, the lower intrinsic rate of increase and higher mortality of the predator on the resistant eggplant (Neishabour) revealed that more attention should be devoted to integrated control of spider mites using resistant cultivars and phytoseiid mites.

  20. A quantitative approach to identifying predators from nest remains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.M.; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Manly, B.F.

    2004-01-01

    Nesting success of Dusky Canada Geese (Branta canadensis occidentalis) has declined greatly since a major earthquake affected southern Alaska in 1964. To identify nest predators, we collected predation data at goose nests and photographs of predators at natural nests containing artificial eggs in 1997-2000. To document feeding behavior by nest predators, we compiled the evidence from destroyed nests with known predators on our study site and from previous studies. We constructed a profile for each predator group and compared the evidence from 895 nests with unknown predators to our predator profiles using mixture-model analysis. This analysis indicated that 72% of destroyed nests were depredated by Bald Eagles and 13% by brown bears, and also yielded the probability that each nest was correctly assigned to a predator group based on model fit. Model testing using simulations indicated that the proportion estimated for eagle predation was unbiased and the proportion for bear predation was slightly overestimated. This approach may have application whenever there are adequate data on nests destroyed by known predators and predators exhibit different feeding behavior at nests.

  1. Intense or Spatially Heterogeneous Predation Can Select against Prey Dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Barraquand, Frederic; Murrell, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Dispersal theory generally predicts kin competition, inbreeding, and temporal variation in habitat quality should select for dispersal, whereas spatial variation in habitat quality should select against dispersal. The effect of predation on the evolution of dispersal is currently not well-known: because predation can be variable in both space and time, it is not clear whether or when predation will promote dispersal within prey. Moreover, the evolution of prey dispersal affects strongly the encounter rate of predator and prey individuals, which greatly determines the ecological dynamics, and in turn changes the selection pressures for prey dispersal, in an eco-evolutionary feedback loop. When taken all together the effect of predation on prey dispersal is rather difficult to predict. We analyze a spatially explicit, individual-based predator-prey model and its mathematical approximation to investigate the evolution of prey dispersal. Competition and predation depend on local, rather than landscape-scale densities, and the spatial pattern of predation corresponds well to that of predators using restricted home ranges (e.g. central-place foragers). Analyses show the balance between the level of competition and predation pressure an individual is expected to experience determines whether prey should disperse or stay close to their parents and siblings, and more predation selects for less prey dispersal. Predators with smaller home ranges also select for less prey dispersal; more prey dispersal is favoured if predators have large home ranges, are very mobile, and/or are evenly distributed across the landscape. PMID:22247764

  2. Sexual dimorphism of staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) affects pollinator behavior and seed set.

    PubMed

    Davis, Sandra L; Dudle, Dana A; Nawrocki, Jenna R; Freestone, Leah M; Konieczny, Peter; Tobin, Michael B; Britton, Michael M

    2014-01-01

    The sequential separation of male and female function in flowers of dichogamous species allows for the evolution of differing morphologies that maximize fitness through seed siring and seed set. We examined staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of protandrous Saponaria officinalis for dimorphism in floral traits and their effects on pollinator attraction and seed set. Pistillate-phase flowers have larger petals, greater mass, and are pinker in color, but due to a shape change, pistillate-phase flowers have smaller corolla diameters than staminate-phase flowers. There was no difference in nectar volume or sugar content one day after anthesis, and minimal evidence for UV nectar guide patterns in staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers. When presented with choice arrays, pollinators discriminated against pistillate-phase flowers based on their pink color. Finally, in an experimental garden, in 2012 there was a negative correlation between seed set of an open-pollinated, emasculated flower and pinkness (as measured by reflectance spectrometry) of a pistillate-phase flower on the same plant in plots covered with shade cloth. In 2013, clones of genotypes chosen from the 2012 plants that produced pinker flowers had lower seed set than those from genotypes with paler flowers. Lower seed set of pink genotypes was found in open-pollinated and hand-pollinated flowers, indicating the lower seed set might be due to other differences between pink and pale genotypes in addition to pollinator discrimination against pink flowers. In conclusion, staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of S. officinalis are dimorphic in shape and color. Pollinators discriminate among flowers based on these differences, and individuals whose pistillate-phase flowers are most different in color from their staminate-phase flowers make fewer seeds. We suggest morphological studies of the two sex phases in dichogamous, hermaphroditic species can contribute to understanding the evolution of sexual

  3. Sexual Dimorphism of Staminate- and Pistillate-Phase Flowers of Saponaria officinalis (Bouncing Bet) Affects Pollinator Behavior and Seed Set

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Sandra L.; Dudle, Dana A.; Nawrocki, Jenna R.; Freestone, Leah M.; Konieczny, Peter; Tobin, Michael B.; Britton, Michael M.

    2014-01-01

    The sequential separation of male and female function in flowers of dichogamous species allows for the evolution of differing morphologies that maximize fitness through seed siring and seed set. We examined staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of protandrous Saponaria officinalis for dimorphism in floral traits and their effects on pollinator attraction and seed set. Pistillate-phase flowers have larger petals, greater mass, and are pinker in color, but due to a shape change, pistillate-phase flowers have smaller corolla diameters than staminate-phase flowers. There was no difference in nectar volume or sugar content one day after anthesis, and minimal evidence for UV nectar guide patterns in staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers. When presented with choice arrays, pollinators discriminated against pistillate-phase flowers based on their pink color. Finally, in an experimental garden, in 2012 there was a negative correlation between seed set of an open-pollinated, emasculated flower and pinkness (as measured by reflectance spectrometry) of a pistillate-phase flower on the same plant in plots covered with shade cloth. In 2013, clones of genotypes chosen from the 2012 plants that produced pinker flowers had lower seed set than those from genotypes with paler flowers. Lower seed set of pink genotypes was found in open-pollinated and hand-pollinated flowers, indicating the lower seed set might be due to other differences between pink and pale genotypes in addition to pollinator discrimination against pink flowers. In conclusion, staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of S. officinalis are dimorphic in shape and color. Pollinators discriminate among flowers based on these differences, and individuals whose pistillate-phase flowers are most different in color from their staminate-phase flowers make fewer seeds. We suggest morphological studies of the two sex phases in dichogamous, hermaphroditic species can contribute to understanding the evolution of sexual

  4. Modeling of extraction process of crude polysaccharides from Basil seeds (Ocimum basilicum l.) as affected by process variables.

    PubMed

    Salehi, Fakhreddin; Kashaninejad, Mahdi; Tadayyon, Ali; Arabameri, Fatemeh

    2015-08-01

    Basil seed (Ocimum basilicum L.) has practical amounts of gum with good functional properties. In this work, extraction of gum from Basil seed was studied. Effect of pH, temperature and water/seed ratio on the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters; entropy, enthalpy and free energy of extraction were investigated. The maximum gum yield was 17.95 % at 50 °C for pH=7 and water/seed ratio 30:1. In this study, the experimental data were fitted to a mathematical model of mass transfer and equations constants were obtained. The kinetic of Basil seed gum extraction was found to be a first order mass transfer model. Statistical results indicated that the model used in this study will be able to predict the gum extraction from Basil seed adequately. It also found that ΔH and ΔS were positive and ΔG was negative indicating that the extraction process was spontaneous, irreversible and endothermic. The ΔH, ΔS and ΔG values were 0.26-7.87 kJ/mol, 8.12-33.2 J/mol K and 1.62-4.42 kJ/mol, respectively.

  5. Modeling of extraction process of crude polysaccharides from Basil seeds (Ocimum basilicum l.) as affected by process variables.

    PubMed

    Salehi, Fakhreddin; Kashaninejad, Mahdi; Tadayyon, Ali; Arabameri, Fatemeh

    2015-08-01

    Basil seed (Ocimum basilicum L.) has practical amounts of gum with good functional properties. In this work, extraction of gum from Basil seed was studied. Effect of pH, temperature and water/seed ratio on the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters; entropy, enthalpy and free energy of extraction were investigated. The maximum gum yield was 17.95 % at 50 °C for pH=7 and water/seed ratio 30:1. In this study, the experimental data were fitted to a mathematical model of mass transfer and equations constants were obtained. The kinetic of Basil seed gum extraction was found to be a first order mass transfer model. Statistical results indicated that the model used in this study will be able to predict the gum extraction from Basil seed adequately. It also found that ΔH and ΔS were positive and ΔG was negative indicating that the extraction process was spontaneous, irreversible and endothermic. The ΔH, ΔS and ΔG values were 0.26-7.87 kJ/mol, 8.12-33.2 J/mol K and 1.62-4.42 kJ/mol, respectively. PMID:26243945

  6. The Functional Response of a Generalist Predator

    PubMed Central

    Smout, Sophie; Asseburg, Christian; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Fernández, Carmen; Redpath, Stephen; Harwood, John

    2010-01-01

    Background Predators can have profound impacts on the dynamics of their prey that depend on how predator consumption is affected by prey density (the predator's functional response). Consumption by a generalist predator is expected to depend on the densities of all its major prey species (its multispecies functional response, or MSFR), but most studies of generalists have focussed on their functional response to only one prey species. Methodology and principal findings Using Bayesian methods, we fit an MSFR to field data from an avian predator (the hen harrier Circus cyaneus) feeding on three different prey species. We use a simple graphical approach to show that ignoring the effects of alternative prey can give a misleading impression of the predator's effect on the prey of interest. For example, in our system, a “predator pit” for one prey species only occurs when the availability of other prey species is low. Conclusions and significance The Bayesian approach is effective in fitting the MSFR model to field data. It allows flexibility in modelling over-dispersion, incorporates additional biological information into the parameter priors, and generates estimates of uncertainty in the model's predictions. These features of robustness and data efficiency make our approach ideal for the study of long-lived predators, for which data may be sparse and management/conservation priorities pressing. PMID:20523722

  7. Magnitude and Timing of Leaf Damage Affect Seed Production in a Natural Population of Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Akiyama, Reiko; Ågren, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Background The effect of herbivory on plant fitness varies widely. Understanding the causes of this variation is of considerable interest because of its implications for plant population dynamics and trait evolution. We experimentally defoliated the annual herb Arabidopsis thaliana in a natural population in Sweden to test the hypotheses that (a) plant fitness decreases with increasing damage, (b) tolerance to defoliation is lower before flowering than during flowering, and (c) defoliation before flowering reduces number of seeds more strongly than defoliation during flowering, but the opposite is true for effects on seed size. Methodology/Principal Findings In a first experiment, between 0 and 75% of the leaf area was removed in May from plants that flowered or were about to start flowering. In a second experiment, 0, 25%, or 50% of the leaf area was removed from plants on one of two occasions, in mid April when plants were either in the vegetative rosette or bolting stage, or in mid May when plants were flowering. In the first experiment, seed production was negatively related to leaf area removed, and at the highest damage level, also mean seed size was reduced. In the second experiment, removal of 50% of the leaf area reduced seed production by 60% among plants defoliated early in the season at the vegetative rosettes, and by 22% among plants defoliated early in the season at the bolting stage, but did not reduce seed output of plants defoliated one month later. No seasonal shift in the effect of defoliation on seed size was detected. Conclusions/Significance The results show that leaf damage may reduce the fitness of A. thaliana, and suggest that in this population leaf herbivores feeding on plants before flowering should exert stronger selection on defence traits than those feeding on plants during flowering, given similar damage levels. PMID:22276140

  8. Nutritional composition, antinutritional factors, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of guava seeds (Psidium Myrtaceae) as affected by roasting processes.

    PubMed

    El Anany, Ayman Mohammed

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the influences of roasting process on the nutritional composition and nutritive value, antinutritional factors, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of guava seeds. Roasting process caused significant (P ≤ 0.05) decreases in moisture content, crude protein, crude fiber, ash and mineral contents, isoleucine, arginine, glutamic and total aromatic and sulfur amino acids, antinutritional factors (tannins and phytic acid) and flavonoids, while oil content increased. Subjecting guava seeds to 150 °C for 10, 15 and 20 min increased the total essential amino acids from 35.19 g/100 g protein in the raw sample to 36.96, 37.30 and 37.47 g/100 g protein in roasted samples, respectively. Protein efficiency ratio (PER) of guava seeds roasted at 150 °C for 10, 15 and 20 min were about 1.08, 1.14 and 1.18 times as high as that in unroasted seeds. Lysine was the first limiting amino acid, while leucine was the second limiting amino acid in raw and roasted guava seeds. Total phenolic contents was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased by roasting at 150 °C for 10 min. However, roasting at 150 °C for 15 and 20 min caused significant decrease in the phenolic content of guava seeds. Guava seeds subjected to roasting process showed higher DPPH radical scavenging and reducing power activities. PMID:25829598

  9. Nutritional composition, antinutritional factors, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of guava seeds (Psidium Myrtaceae) as affected by roasting processes.

    PubMed

    El Anany, Ayman Mohammed

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the influences of roasting process on the nutritional composition and nutritive value, antinutritional factors, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of guava seeds. Roasting process caused significant (P ≤ 0.05) decreases in moisture content, crude protein, crude fiber, ash and mineral contents, isoleucine, arginine, glutamic and total aromatic and sulfur amino acids, antinutritional factors (tannins and phytic acid) and flavonoids, while oil content increased. Subjecting guava seeds to 150 °C for 10, 15 and 20 min increased the total essential amino acids from 35.19 g/100 g protein in the raw sample to 36.96, 37.30 and 37.47 g/100 g protein in roasted samples, respectively. Protein efficiency ratio (PER) of guava seeds roasted at 150 °C for 10, 15 and 20 min were about 1.08, 1.14 and 1.18 times as high as that in unroasted seeds. Lysine was the first limiting amino acid, while leucine was the second limiting amino acid in raw and roasted guava seeds. Total phenolic contents was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased by roasting at 150 °C for 10 min. However, roasting at 150 °C for 15 and 20 min caused significant decrease in the phenolic content of guava seeds. Guava seeds subjected to roasting process showed higher DPPH radical scavenging and reducing power activities.

  10. Seed output and the seed bank in Vallisneria americana (Hydrocharitaceae).

    PubMed

    Lokker, C; Lovett-Doust, L; Lovett-Doust, J

    1997-10-01

    Seed banks and sexual reproduction are known to be significant in colonization and re-establishment of some aquatic macrophyte communities. For highly clonal aquatic macrophytes, however, there is a lack of information on seed production and seed fate as compared with annual sexual species. The seed bank for three populations of Vallisneria americana in the Huron-Erie corridor of the Great Lakes was sampled and quantified in the spring of 1994, and related to seed production in the previous season at these sites. Seed deposition rates during 1994 were also assessed. Sites varied in the proportion of plants flowering and in their tertiary sex ratios, but did not differ in seed numbers produced per unit area. The size of the seed bank was not significantly related to the previous season's seed output, and estimates of seed deposition in the following year tended to be approximately tenfold greater than seed densities found in the seed bank. The stages between seed production and subsequent seed germination are generally very dynamic, with dispersal, mortality, and predation as likely regulating factors. The potential for seedling establishment in V. americana needs to be assessed more fully before the role of seeds in population processes can be determined. PMID:21708549

  11. Intraguild predation reduces redundancy of predator species in multiple predator assemblage.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-07-01

    1. Interference between predator species frequently decreases predation rates, lowering the risk of predation for shared prey. However, such interference can also occur between conspecific predators. 2. Therefore, to understand the importance of predator biodiversity and the degree that predator species can be considered functionally interchangeable, we determined the degree of additivity and redundancy of predators in multiple- and single-species combinations. 3. We show that interference between two invasive species of predatory crabs, Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus, reduced the risk of predation for shared amphipod prey, and had redundant per capita effects in most multiple- and single-species predator combinations. 4. However, when predator combinations with the potential for intraguild predation were examined, predator interference increased and predator redundancy decreased. 5. Our study indicates that trophic structure is important in determining how the effects of predator species combine and demonstrates the utility of determining the redundancy, as well as the additivity, of multiple predator species.

  12. Intraguild predation reduces redundancy of predator species in multiple predator assemblage.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-07-01

    1. Interference between predator species frequently decreases predation rates, lowering the risk of predation for shared prey. However, such interference can also occur between conspecific predators. 2. Therefore, to understand the importance of predator biodiversity and the degree that predator species can be considered functionally interchangeable, we determined the degree of additivity and redundancy of predators in multiple- and single-species combinations. 3. We show that interference between two invasive species of predatory crabs, Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus, reduced the risk of predation for shared amphipod prey, and had redundant per capita effects in most multiple- and single-species predator combinations. 4. However, when predator combinations with the potential for intraguild predation were examined, predator interference increased and predator redundancy decreased. 5. Our study indicates that trophic structure is important in determining how the effects of predator species combine and demonstrates the utility of determining the redundancy, as well as the additivity, of multiple predator species. PMID:17009759

  13. The plastid outer envelope protein OEP16 affects metabolic fluxes during ABA-controlled seed development and germination

    PubMed Central

    Pudelski, Birgit; Schock, Annette; Hoth, Stefan; Radchuk, Ruslana; Weber, Hans; Hofmann, Jörg; Sonnewald, Uwe; Soll, Jürgen; Philippar, Katrin

    2012-01-01

    Previously, the OEP16.1 channel pore in the outer envelope membrane of mature pea (Pisum sativum) chloroplasts in vitro has been characterized to be selective for amino acids. Isolation of OEP16.2, a second OEP16 isoform from pea, in the current study allowed membrane localization and gene expression of OEP16 to be followed throughout seed development and germination of Arabidopsis thaliana and P. sativum. Thereby it can be shown on the transcript and protein level that the isoforms OEP16.1 and OEP16.2 in both plant species are alternating: whereas OEP16.1 is prominent in early embryo development and first leaves of the growing plantlet, OEP16.2 dominates in late seed development stages, which are associated with dormancy and desiccation, as well as early germination events. Further, OEP16.2 expression in seeds is under control of the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA), leading to an ABA-hypersensitive phenotype of germinating oep16 knockout mutants. In consequence, the loss of OEP16 causes metabolic imbalance, in particular that of amino acids during seed development and early germination. It is thus concluded that in vivo OEP16 most probably functions in shuttling amino acids across the outer envelope of seed plastids. PMID:22155670

  14. The earliest seeds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gillespie, W.H.; Rothwell, G.W.; Scheckler, S.E.

    1981-01-01

    Lagenostomalean-type seeds in bifurcating cupule systems have been discovered in the late Devonian Hampshire Formation of Randolph County, West Virginia, USA (Fig. 1). The associated megaflora, plants from coal balls, and vertebrate and invertebrate faunas demonstrate that the material is Famennian; the microflora indicates a more specific Fa2c age. Consequently, these seeds predate Archaeosperma arnoldii1 from the Fa2d of northeastern Pennsylvania, the oldest previously reported seed. By applying precision fracture, transfer, de??gagement, and thin-section techniques to selected cupules from the more than 100 specimens on hand, we have determined the three-dimensional morphology and histology of the seeds (Fig. 2a-h, k) and cupule systems. A comparison with known late Devonian to early Carboniferous seeds reveals that ours are more primitively organized than all except Genomosperma2,3. ?? 1981 Nature Publishing Group.

  15. Do predators influence the behaviour of bats?

    PubMed

    Lima, Steven L; O'Keefe, Joy M

    2013-08-01

    Many aspects of animal behaviour are affected by real-time changes in the risk of predation. This conclusion holds for virtually all taxa and ecological systems studied, but does it hold for bats? Bats are poorly represented in the literature on anti-predator behaviour, which may reflect a lack of nocturnal predators specialized on bats. If bats actually experience a world with minimal anti-predator concerns, then they will provide a unique contrast within the realm of vertebrate ecology. Alternatively, such predator-driven behaviour in bats may not yet be fully understood, given the difficulties in working with these highly mobile and nocturnal animals. We provide a wide-ranging exploration of these issues in bat behaviour. We first cover the basic predator-prey information available on bats, both on potential predators and the ways in which bats might perceive predators and respond to attacks. We then cover work relevant to key aspects of bat behaviour, such as choice of daytime roosts, the nature of sleep and torpor, evening roost departures, moonlight avoidance, landscape-related movement patterns, and habitat selection. Overall, the evidence in favour of a strong influence of predators on bat behaviour is equivocal, with the picture clouded by contradictory results and a lack of information on potential predators and the perception of risk by bats. It seems clear that day-active bats run a considerable risk of being killed by diurnal raptors, which are able to capture bats with relative ease. Thus, bats taking advantage of a pulse of insects just prior to sunset are likely taking risks to gain much-needed energy. Further, the choice of daytime roosts by bats is probably strongly influenced by roost safety. Few studies, however, have directly addressed either of these topics. As a group, insectivorous temperate-zone bats show no clear tendency to avoid apparently risky situations, such as activity on moonlit nights. However, some observations are consistent

  16. Performance, carcass characteristics and chemical composition of beef affected by lupine seed, rapeseed meal and soybean meal.

    PubMed

    Sami, A S; Schuster, M; Schwarz, F J

    2010-08-01

    To test the effects of different protein sources and levels on performance, carcass characteristics and beef chemical composition, concentrates with three protein sources [Lupine seed (L), Rapeseed meal (R) and Soybean meal (S)] and two protein levels ['normal protein' (NP) or 'high protein' (HP)] were fed to 36 Simmental calves. Calves initially weighed 276 +/- 3.9 kg and averaged 6 months of age and were randomly allocated to the six treatments. Maize silage was offered ad libitum and supplemented with increasing amounts of concentrates (wheat, maize grain, protein sources, vitamin-mineral mix). Normal protein and HP diets were formulated to contain 12.4% and 14.0% crude protein (CP) dry matter (DM) respectively. At the end of the fattening period of 278 days, the final live weight averaged 683 +/- 14.7 kg. Neither level of protein nor its interaction with protein sources had any effects on most of the traits studied. Feeding the R diet significantly increased final weight, average daily gain (ADG), DM intake and CP intake in relation to the L diet; no differences were observed between the L and S diets for these measures. No differences were observed between the R and S groups in final weight or ADG, but the calves fed the R diet consumed more DM and CP than the calves fed the S diet. Bulls fed R diet had higher carcass weight and dressing percentage than the L groups, and no significant differences were detected between the S and L groups. Chemical composition of the Musculus longissimus dorsi was not significantly affected by source of protein. Also, the major saturated fatty acid (SFA) (C16:0 and C18:0) did not significantly differ among the three treatments. Samples from R group had significantly higher proportions of C16:1 t9, C18:1 c11, C18:2 c9 t11, C18:3 c9, 12, 15 and SigmaC18:1 t fatty acids in relation to L and S groups. Although polyunsaturated fatty acid/SFA ratio was similar for the three dietary groups, n-6/n-3 ratio and Sigman-3 fatty acids

  17. Performance, carcass characteristics and chemical composition of beef affected by lupine seed, rapeseed meal and soybean meal.

    PubMed

    Sami, A S; Schuster, M; Schwarz, F J

    2010-08-01

    To test the effects of different protein sources and levels on performance, carcass characteristics and beef chemical composition, concentrates with three protein sources [Lupine seed (L), Rapeseed meal (R) and Soybean meal (S)] and two protein levels ['normal protein' (NP) or 'high protein' (HP)] were fed to 36 Simmental calves. Calves initially weighed 276 +/- 3.9 kg and averaged 6 months of age and were randomly allocated to the six treatments. Maize silage was offered ad libitum and supplemented with increasing amounts of concentrates (wheat, maize grain, protein sources, vitamin-mineral mix). Normal protein and HP diets were formulated to contain 12.4% and 14.0% crude protein (CP) dry matter (DM) respectively. At the end of the fattening period of 278 days, the final live weight averaged 683 +/- 14.7 kg. Neither level of protein nor its interaction with protein sources had any effects on most of the traits studied. Feeding the R diet significantly increased final weight, average daily gain (ADG), DM intake and CP intake in relation to the L diet; no differences were observed between the L and S diets for these measures. No differences were observed between the R and S groups in final weight or ADG, but the calves fed the R diet consumed more DM and CP than the calves fed the S diet. Bulls fed R diet had higher carcass weight and dressing percentage than the L groups, and no significant differences were detected between the S and L groups. Chemical composition of the Musculus longissimus dorsi was not significantly affected by source of protein. Also, the major saturated fatty acid (SFA) (C16:0 and C18:0) did not significantly differ among the three treatments. Samples from R group had significantly higher proportions of C16:1 t9, C18:1 c11, C18:2 c9 t11, C18:3 c9, 12, 15 and SigmaC18:1 t fatty acids in relation to L and S groups. Although polyunsaturated fatty acid/SFA ratio was similar for the three dietary groups, n-6/n-3 ratio and Sigman-3 fatty acids

  18. Dry matter, lipids, and proteins of canola seeds as affected by germination and seedling growth under illuminated and dark environments.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haiyan; Vasanthan, Thava; Wettasinghe, Mahinda

    2004-12-29

    The effect of germination and growth under illuminated and dark environments on canola seed reserves was investigated. Depletion of proteins and lipids in whole seedlings and their top (leaf/cotyledons) and bottom parts (stem/roots/seed coat) was independent of light, whereas the protein solubility increased at a faster rate under an illuminated environment than in the dark. A rapid increase in free fatty acids but a net decrease of dry matter content in seedlings grown in the dark environment was observed. The dry matter content of seedlings grown in the illuminated environment increased due to photosynthetic biomass accumulation.

  19. Inoculation Preparation Affects Survival of Salmonella enterica on Whole Black Peppercorns and Cumin Seeds Stored at Low Water Activity.

    PubMed

    Bowman, Lauren S; Waterman, Kim M; Williams, Robert C; Ponder, Monica A

    2015-07-01

    Salmonellosis has been increasingly associated with contaminated spices. Identifying inoculation and stabilization methods for Salmonella on whole spices is important for development of validated inactivation processes. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of inoculation preparation on the recoverability of Salmonella enterica from dried whole peppercorns and cumin seeds. Whole black peppercorns and cumin seeds were inoculated with S. enterica using one dry transfer method and various wet inoculation methods: immersion of spice seeds in tryptic soy broth (TSB) plus Salmonella for 24 h (likely leading to inclusion of Salmonella in native microbiota biofilms formed around the seeds), application of cells grown in TSB, and/or application of cells scraped from tryptic soy agar (TSA). Postinoculation seeds were dried to a water activity of 0.3 within 24 h and held for 28 days. Seeds were sampled after drying (time 0) and periodically during the 28 days of storage. Salmonella cells were enumerated by serial dilution and plated onto xylose lysine Tergitol (XLT4) agar and TSA. Recovery of Salmonella was high after 28 days of storage but was dependent on inoculation method, with 4.05 to 6.22 and 3.75 to 8.38 log CFU/g recovered from peppercorns and cumin seeds, respectively, on XLT4 agar. The changes in surviving Salmonella (log CFU per gram) from initial inoculation levels after 28 days were significantly smaller for the biofilm inclusion method (+0.142pepper, +0.186cumin) than for the other inoculation methods (-0.425pepper, -2.029cumin for cells grown on TSA; -0.641pepper, -0.718cumin for dry transfer; -1.998pepper for cells grown in TSB). In most cases, trends for reductions of total aerobic bacteria were similar to those of Salmonella. The inoculation method influenced the recoverability of Salmonella from whole peppercorns and cumin seeds after drying. The most stable inoculum strategies were dry transfer, 24-h incubation of Salmonella and spices in

  20. Inoculation Preparation Affects Survival of Salmonella enterica on Whole Black Peppercorns and Cumin Seeds Stored at Low Water Activity.

    PubMed

    Bowman, Lauren S; Waterman, Kim M; Williams, Robert C; Ponder, Monica A

    2015-07-01

    Salmonellosis has been increasingly associated with contaminated spices. Identifying inoculation and stabilization methods for Salmonella on whole spices is important for development of validated inactivation processes. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of inoculation preparation on the recoverability of Salmonella enterica from dried whole peppercorns and cumin seeds. Whole black peppercorns and cumin seeds were inoculated with S. enterica using one dry transfer method and various wet inoculation methods: immersion of spice seeds in tryptic soy broth (TSB) plus Salmonella for 24 h (likely leading to inclusion of Salmonella in native microbiota biofilms formed around the seeds), application of cells grown in TSB, and/or application of cells scraped from tryptic soy agar (TSA). Postinoculation seeds were dried to a water activity of 0.3 within 24 h and held for 28 days. Seeds were sampled after drying (time 0) and periodically during the 28 days of storage. Salmonella cells were enumerated by serial dilution and plated onto xylose lysine Tergitol (XLT4) agar and TSA. Recovery of Salmonella was high after 28 days of storage but was dependent on inoculation method, with 4.05 to 6.22 and 3.75 to 8.38 log CFU/g recovered from peppercorns and cumin seeds, respectively, on XLT4 agar. The changes in surviving Salmonella (log CFU per gram) from initial inoculation levels after 28 days were significantly smaller for the biofilm inclusion method (+0.142pepper, +0.186cumin) than for the other inoculation methods (-0.425pepper, -2.029cumin for cells grown on TSA; -0.641pepper, -0.718cumin for dry transfer; -1.998pepper for cells grown in TSB). In most cases, trends for reductions of total aerobic bacteria were similar to those of Salmonella. The inoculation method influenced the recoverability of Salmonella from whole peppercorns and cumin seeds after drying. The most stable inoculum strategies were dry transfer, 24-h incubation of Salmonella and spices in

  1. Predation risk shapes thermal physiology of a predaceous damselfly.

    PubMed

    Culler, Lauren E; McPeek, Mark A; Ayres, Matthew P

    2014-11-01

    Predation risk has strong effects on organismal physiology that can cascade to impact ecosystem structure and function. Physiological processes in general are sensitive to temperature. Thus, the temperature at which predators and prey interact may shape physiological response to predation risk. We measured and evaluated how temperature and predation risk affected growth rates of predaceous damselfly nymphs (Enallagma vesperum, Odonata: Coenagrionidae). First, we conducted growth trials at five temperatures crossed with two levels of predation risk (fish predator present versus absent) and measured growth rates, consumption rates, assimilation efficiencies, and production efficiencies of 107 individual damselflies. Second, we used a model to evaluate if and how component physiological responses to predation risk affected growth rates across temperatures. In the absence of mortality threat, growth rates of damselflies increased with warming until about 23.5 °C and then began to decline, a typical unimodal response to changes in temperature. Under predation risk, growth rates were lower and the shape of the thermal response was less apparent. Higher metabolic and survival costs induced by predation risk were only partially offset by changes in consumption rates and assimilation efficiencies and the magnitude of non-consumptive effects varied as a function of temperature. Furthermore, we documented that thermal physiology was mediated by predation risk, a known driver of organismal physiology that occurs in the context of species interactions. A general understanding of climatic impacts on ectothermic populations requires consideration of the community context of thermal physiology, including non-consumptive effects of predators.

  2. Proteomic analysis of anti-nutritional factors (ANF’s) in soybean seeds as affected by environmental and genetic factors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genotype (G), environment (E), and the relationship between G and E on soybean seed anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) were examined under three different agro-climatic conditions. The field trials were conducted at Maryland, South Carolina, and South Dakota using nine region specific genotypes. At...

  3. Effects of seed abundance on seed scatter-hoarding of Edward's rat (Leopoldamys edwardsi Muridae) at the individual level.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongmao; Cheng, Jinrui; Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Zhibin

    2008-11-01

    Mast seeding is a common phenomenon, and has important effects on seed dispersal and hoarding by animals. At population level, the predator satiation hypothesis proposes that the satiating effect of a large amount of seeds on a relatively small number of predators benefits seed survival in mast-seeding years. However, the effect of mast seeding on the scatter-hoarding of rodents at the individual level is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of seed abundance (by simulating mast seeding and non-mast seeding) on the removal, consumption and scatter-hoarding of seeds of Camellia oleifera (Theaceae) by Edward's rat Leopoldamys edwardsi (Muridae) in seminatural enclosures in southwest China. We wanted to test the masting-enhanced hoarding hypothesis, which suggests that rodents tend to scatter-hoard more seeds in mast-seeding years in order to occupy more food resources. Our results indicate that L. edwardsi tended to disperse and scatter-hoard more seeds of C. oleifera per night with increasing seed abundance, and to eat less seeds per night when there was a high level of seed abundance in the enclosure experiments. These results support the masting-enhanced hoarding hypothesis. This capacity of rodents may be an evolutionary adaptation to the mast-seeding phenomenon. Our results suggest that mast seeding benefits forest regeneration not only through the predator satiation effect at the population level, but also through increased hoarding by animals at the individual level.

  4. Development and Seed Number in Indeterminate Soybean as Affected by Timing and Duration of Exposure to Long Photoperiods after Flowering

    PubMed Central

    Kantolic, Adriana G.; Slafer, Gustavo A.

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Long photoperiods from flowering to maturity have been found to delay reproductive development in soybean (Glycine max) and to increase the number of seeds per unit land area. This study was aimed to evaluate whether sensitivity to photoperiod after flowering (a) is quantitatively related to the length of exposure to long days and (b) persists throughout the whole pod-setting period. It was also evaluated whether seed number was related to changes in the duration of post-flowering phenophases. Methods Two field experiments were conducted with an indeterminate cultivar of soybean of maturity group V. In expt 1, photoperiods 2 h longer than natural daylength were applied during different numbers of days from the beginning pod stage (R3) onwards, while in expt 2 these photoperiod extensions were imposed during 9 consecutive days starting at different times between R3 and R6 (full seed) stages. Key Results There was a quantitative response of development to the number of cycles with a long photoperiod. The exposure to long photoperiods from R3 to R5 (beginning of seed growth) increased the duration of R3–R6 regardless of the timing of exposure. The stages of development comprised in the R3–R6 phase were delayed by current as well as by previous exposure to long days. A positive relationship was found between seed number and the duration of R3–R6, irrespective of the timing and length of exposure to the long photoperiod. Conclusions Sensitivity to photoperiod remained high during the reproductive period and was highly and positively coupled with the processes of generation of yield. PMID:17452381

  5. Vertebrate seed dispersers maintain the composition of tropical forest seedbanks

    PubMed Central

    Wandrag, E. M.; Dunham, A. E.; Miller, R. H.; Rogers, H. S.

    2015-01-01

    The accumulation of seeds in the soil (the seedbank) can set the template for the early regeneration of habitats following disturbance. Seed dispersal is an important factor determining the pattern of seed rain, which affects the interactions those seeds experience. For this reason, seed dispersal should play an important role in structuring forest seedbanks, yet we know little about how that happens. Using the functional extirpation of frugivorous vertebrates from the island of Guam, together with two nearby islands (Saipan and Rota) that each support relatively intact disperser assemblages, we aimed to identify the role of vertebrate dispersers in structuring forest seedbanks. We sampled the seedbank on Guam where dispersers are absent, and compared this with the seedbank on Saipan and Rota where they are present. Almost twice as many species found in the seedbank on Guam, when compared with Saipan and Rota, had a conspecific adult within 2 m. This indicates a strong role of vertebrate dispersal in determining the identity of seeds in the seedbank. In addition, on Guam, a greater proportion of samples contained no seeds and overall species richness was lower than on Saipan. Differences in seed abundance and richness between Guam and Rota were less clear, as seedbanks on Rota also contained fewer species than Saipan, possibly due to increased post-dispersal seed predation. Our findings suggest that vertebrate seed dispersers can have a strong influence on the species composition of seedbanks. Regardless of post-dispersal processes, without dispersal, seedbanks no longer serve to increase the species pool of recruits during regeneration. PMID:26578741

  6. Vertebrate seed dispersers maintain the composition of tropical forest seedbanks.

    PubMed

    Wandrag, E M; Dunham, A E; Miller, R H; Rogers, H S

    2015-11-16

    The accumulation of seeds in the soil (the seedbank) can set the template for the early regeneration of habitats following disturbance. Seed dispersal is an important factor determining the pattern of seed rain, which affects the interactions those seeds experience. For this reason, seed dispersal should play an important role in structuring forest seedbanks, yet we know little about how that happens. Using the functional extirpation of frugivorous vertebrates from the island of Guam, together with two nearby islands (Saipan and Rota) that each support relatively intact disperser assemblages, we aimed to identify the role of vertebrate dispersers in structuring forest seedbanks. We sampled the seedbank on Guam where dispersers are absent, and compared this with the seedbank on Saipan and Rota where they are present. Almost twice as many species found in the seedbank on Guam, when compared with Saipan and Rota, had a conspecific adult within 2 m. This indicates a strong role of vertebrate dispersal in determining the identity of seeds in the seedbank. In addition, on Guam, a greater proportion of samples contained no seeds and overall species richness was lower than on Saipan. Differences in seed abundance and richness between Guam and Rota were less clear, as seedbanks on Rota also contained fewer species than Saipan, possibly due to increased post-dispersal seed predation. Our findings suggest that vertebrate seed dispersers can have a strong influence on the species composition of seedbanks. Regardless of post-dispersal processes, without dispersal, seedbanks no longer serve to increase the species pool of recruits during regeneration.

  7. Limited spatial response to direct predation risk by African herbivores following predator reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Davies, Andrew B; Tambling, Craig J; Kerley, Graham I H; Asner, Gregory P

    2016-08-01

    Predators affect ecosystems not only through direct mortality of prey, but also through risk effects on prey behavior, which can exert strong influences on ecosystem function and prey fitness. However, how functionally different prey species respond to predation risk and how prey strategies vary across ecosystems and in response to predator reintroduction are poorly understood. We investigated the spatial distributions of six African herbivores varying in foraging strategy and body size in response to environmental factors and direct predation risk by recently reintroduced lions in the thicket biome of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, using camera trap surveys, GPS telemetry, kill site locations and Light Detection and Ranging. Spatial distributions of all species, apart from buffalo, were driven primarily by environmental factors, with limited responses to direct predation risk. Responses to predation risk were instead indirect, with species distributions driven by environmental factors, and diel patterns being particularly pronounced. Grazers were more responsive to the measured variables than browsers, with more observations in open areas. Terrain ruggedness was a stronger predictor of browser distributions than was vegetation density. Buffalo was the only species to respond to predator encounter risk, avoiding areas with higher lion utilization. Buffalo therefore behaved in similar ways to when lions were absent from the study area. Our results suggest that direct predation risk effects are relatively weak when predator densities are low and the time since reintroduction is short and emphasize the need for robust, long-term monitoring of predator reintroductions to place such events in the broader context of predation risk effects. PMID:27547350

  8. How membranes organize during seed germination: three patterns of dynamic lipid remodelling define chilling resistance and affect plastid biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiaomei; Li, Aihua; Li, Weiqi

    2015-07-01

    Imbibitional chilling injury during germination causes agricultural losses, but this can be overcome by osmopriming. It remains unknown how membranes reorganize during germination. Herein, we comparatively profiled changes of membrane lipids during imbibition under normal and chilling temperatures in chilling-tolerant and -sensitive soybean seeds. We found three patterns of dynamic lipid remodelling during the three phases of germination. Pattern 1 involved a gradual increase in plastidic lipids during phases I and II, with an abrupt increase during phase III. This abrupt increase was associated with initiation of photosynthesis. Pattern 3 involved phosphatidic acid (PA) first decreasing, then increasing, and finally decreasing to a low level. Patterns 1 and 3 were interrupted in chilling-sensitive seeds under low temperature, which lead a block in plastid biogenesis and accumulation of harmful PA, respectively. However, they were rescued and returned to their status under normal temperature after polyethylene glycol osmopriming. We specifically inhibited phospholipase D (PLD)-mediated PA formation in chilling-sensitive seeds of soybean, cucumber, and pea, and found their germination under low temperature was significantly improved. These results indicate that membranes undergo specific and functional reorganization of lipid composition during germination and demonstrate that PLD-mediated PA causes imibibitional chilling injury.

  9. Mouse Prion Protein Polymorphism Phe-108/Val-189 Affects the Kinetics of Fibril Formation and the Response to Seeding

    PubMed Central

    Cortez, Leonardo M.; Kumar, Jitendra; Renault, Ludovic; Young, Howard S.; Sim, Valerie L.

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with the polymerization of the cellular form of prion protein (PrPC) into an amyloidogenic β-sheet infectious form (PrPSc). The sequence of host PrP is the major determinant of host prion disease susceptibility. In mice, the presence of allele a (Prnpa, encoding the polymorphism Leu-108/Thr-189) or b (Prnpb, Phe-108/Val-189) is associated with short or long incubation times, respectively, following infection with PrPSc. The molecular bases linking PrP sequence, infection susceptibility, and convertibility of PrPC into PrPSc remain unclear. Here we show that recombinant PrPa and PrPb aggregate and respond to seeding differently in vitro. Our kinetic studies reveal differences during the nucleation phase of the aggregation process, where PrPb exhibits a longer lag phase that cannot be completely eliminated by seeding the reaction with preformed fibrils. Additionally, PrPb is more prone to propagate features of the seeds, as demonstrated by conformational stability and electron microscopy studies of the formed fibrils. We propose a model of polymerization to explain how the polymorphisms at positions 108 and 189 produce the phenotypes seen in vivo. This model also provides insight into phenomena such as species barrier and prion strain generation, two phenomena also influenced by the primary structure of PrP. PMID:23283973

  10. How membranes organize during seed germination: three patterns of dynamic lipid remodelling define chilling resistance and affect plastid biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiamei; Li, Aihua; Li, Weiqi

    2016-01-01

    Imbibitional chilling injury during germination causes agricultural losses but this can be overcome by osmopriming. It remains unknown how membranes reorganize during germination. Herein, we comparatively profiled changes of membrane lipids during imbibition under normal and chilling temperatures in chilling-tolerant and -sensitive soybean seeds. We found three patterns of dynamic lipid remodelling during the three phases of germination. Pattern 1 involved a gradual increase in plastidic lipids during phases I and II, with an abrupt increase during phase III. This abrupt increase was associated with initiation of photosynthesis. Pattern 3 involved phosphatidic acid (PA) first decreasing, then increasing, and finally decreasing to a low level. Pattern 1 and 3 were interrupted in chilling-sensitive seeds under low temperature, which lead a block in plastid biogenesis and accumulation of harmful PA respectively. However, they were rescued and returned to their status under a normal temperature after polyethylene glycol (PEG) osmopriming. We specifically inhibited phospholipase D (PLD)-mediated PA formation in chilling-sensitive seeds of soybean, cucumber, and pea and found their germination under low temperature was significantly improved. These results indicate that membranes undergo specific and functional reorganization of lipid composition during germination and demonstrate that PLD-mediated PA causes imibibitional chilling injury. PMID:25474382

  11. Frequency-dependent selection by predators.

    PubMed

    Allen, J A

    1988-07-01

    Sometimes predators tend to concentrate on common varieties of prey and overlook rare ones. Within prey species, this could result in the fitness of each variety being inversely related to its frequency in the population. Such frequency-dependent or 'apostatic' selection by predators hunting by sight could maintain polymorphism for colour pattern, and much of the supporting evidence for this idea has come from work on birds and artificial prey. These and other studies have shown that the strength of the observed selection is affected by prey density, palatability, coloration and conspicuousness. When the prey density is very high, selection becomes 'anti-apostatic': predators preferentially remove rare prey. There is still much to be learned about frequency-dependent selection by predators on artificial prey: work on natural polymorphic prey has hardly begun. PMID:2905488

  12. Interactions of bullfrog tadpole predators and an insecticide: Predation release and facilitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2003-01-01

    The effect of a contaminant on a community may not be easily predicted, given that complex changes in food resources and predator-prey dynamics may result. The objectives of our study were to determine the interactive effects of the insecticide carbaryl and predators on body size, development, survival, and activity of tadpoles of the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). We conducted the study in cattle tank mesocosm ponds exposed to 0, 3.5, or 7.0 mg/l carbaryl, and no predators or two red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), or crayfish (Orconectes sp.). Carbaryl negatively affected predator survival by eliminating crayfish from all ponds, and by eliminating bluegill sunfish from ponds exposed to the highest concentration of carbaryl; carbaryl exposure did not effect survival of red-spotted newts. Because crayfish were eliminated by carbaryl, bullfrogs were released from predation and survival was near that of predator controls at low concentrations of carbaryl exposure. High concentrations of carbaryl reduced tadpole survival regardless of whether predators survived carbaryl exposure or not. Presence of crayfish and newts reduced tadpole survival, while bluegill sunfish appeared to facilitate bullfrog tadpole survival. Presence of carbaryl stimulated bullfrog tadpole mass and development. Our study demonstrates that the presence of a contaminant stress can alter community regulation by releasing prey from predators that are vulnerable to contaminants in some exposure scenarios.

  13. A predator-prey model with diseases in both prey and predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xubin; Pan, Qiuhui; He, Mingfeng; Kang, Yibin

    2013-12-01

    In this paper, we present and analyze a predator-prey model, in which both predator and prey can be infected. Each of the predator and prey is divided into two categories, susceptible and infected. The epidemics cannot be transmitted between prey and predator by predation. The predation ability of susceptible predators is stronger than infected ones. Likewise, it is more difficult to catch a susceptible prey than an infected one. And the diseases cannot be hereditary in both of the predator and prey populations. Based on the assumptions above, we find that there are six equilibrium points in this model. Using the base reproduction number, we discuss the stability of the equilibrium points qualitatively. Then both of the local and global stabilities of the equilibrium points are analyzed quantitatively by mathematical methods. We provide numerical results to discuss some interesting biological cases that our model exhibits. Lastly, we discuss how the infectious rates affect the stability, and how the other parameters work in the five possible cases within this model.

  14. Soil seed banks and their germination responses to cadmium and salinity stresses in coastal wetlands affected by reclamation and urbanization based on indoor and outdoor experiments.

    PubMed

    Bai, Junhong; Huang, Laibin; Gao, Zhaoqin; Lu, Qiongqiong; Wang, Junjing; Zhao, Qingqing

    2014-09-15

    Indoor and outdoor seedling emergence experiments were conducted to thoroughly investigate germination patterns as affected by reclamation and urbanization, the ecological characteristics of soil seed banks, and their relationships with environmental factors in both urbanized and reclaimed regions of the Pearl River Delta in coastal wetlands. The germination rate of the soil seed bank was higher in the indoor experiment compared with that in the outdoor experiment, whereas the number and destiny of the germinated seedlings were greater in the outdoor experiment. The species diversity and number, as well as the richness and evenness indices, were higher in the urbanized region compared with the reclaimed region. However, the dominance and Sørensen similarity indices were greater in the reclaimed region compared with those indices in the urbanized region. Higher salinity and Cadmium (Cd) levels could inhibit seed germination; however, their suitable ranges (i.e. [0-2,000 mg kg(-1)] for salinity and [0-4.0 mg kg(-1)] for available Cd) can activate seedling emergence, and more seedlings germinated under the intersectional levels at 0.34 mg kg(-1) available Cd and 778.6 mg kg(-1) salinity. Seawater intrusion caused by the sea level rise will possibly result in the salt-tolerant community in this area due to increasing salinity.

  15. Efficiency of pollination and satiation of predators determine reproductive output in Iberian Juniperus thurifera woodlands.

    PubMed

    Mezquida, E T; Rodríguez-García, E; Olano, J M

    2016-01-01

    Fruit production in animal-dispersed plants has a strong influence on fitness because large crops increase the number of seeds dispersed by frugivores. Large crops are costly, and environmental control of plant resources is likely play a role in shaping temporal and spatial variations in seed production, particularly in fluctuating environments such as the Mediterranean. The number of fruits that start to develop and the proportion of viable seeds produced are also linked to the number of flowers formed and the efficiency of pollination in wind-pollinated plants. Finally, large fruit displays also attract seed predators, having a negative effect on seed output. We assessed the relative impact of environmental conditions on fruit production, and their combined effect on seed production, abortion and seed loss through three predispersal predators in Juniperus thurifera L., sampling 14 populations across the Iberian Peninsula. Wetter than average conditions during flowering and early fruit development led to larger crop sizes; this effect was amplified at tree level, with the most productive trees during more favourable years yielding fruits with more viable seeds and less empty and aborted seeds. In addition, large crops satiated the less mobile seed predator. The other two predispersal predators responded to plant traits, the presence of other seed predators and environmental conditions, but did not show a satiation response to the current-year crop. Our large-scale study on a dioecious, wind-pollinated Mediterranean juniper indicates that pollination efficiency and satiation of seed predators, mediated by environmental conditions, are important determinants of reproductive output in this juniper species.

  16. Decontamination method using heat and relative humidity for radish seeds achieves a 7-log reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 without affecting product quality.

    PubMed

    Kim, Y B; Kim, H W; Song, M K; Rhee, M S

    2015-05-18

    We developed a novel decontamination method to inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 on radish seeds without adversely affecting seed germination or product quality. The use of heat (55, 60, and 65 °C) combined with relative humidity (RH; 25, 45, 65, 85, and 100%) for 24h was evaluated for effective microbial reduction and preservation of seed germination rates. A significant two-way interaction of heat and RH was observed for both microbial reduction and germination rate (P<0.0001). Increases in heat and RH were associated with corresponding reductions in E. coli O157:H7 and in germination rate (P<0.05). The order of lethality for the different treatments was generally as follows: no treatment <55 °C/25-65% RH ≒60 °C/25-45% RH ≒65 °C/25% RH <55 °C/85% RH =60 °C/65% RH <55 °C/100% RH =60 °C/85-100% RH =65 °C/45-100% RH. The most effective condition, 65 °C/45% RH, completely inactivated E. coli O157:H7 on the seeds (7.0 log CFU/g reduction) and had no significant effect on the germination rate (85.4%; P>0.05) or product quality. The method uses only heat and relative humidity without chemicals, and is thus applicable as a general decontamination procedure in spout producing plants where the use of growth chambers is the norm. PMID:25732001

  17. Factors affecting stress tolerance in recalcitrant embryonic axes from seeds of four Quercus (Fagaceae) species native to the USA or China

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Ke; Hill, Lisa M.; Li, De-Zhu; Walters, Christina

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Quercus species are often considered ‘foundation’ components of several temperate and/or subtropical forest ecosystems. However, the populations of some species are declining and there is considerable urgency to develop ex situ conservation strategies. In this study, the storage physiology of seeds within Quercus was explored in order to determine factors that affect survival during cryopreservation and to provide a quantitative assessment of seed recalcitrance to support future studies of this complex trait. Methods Water relations and survival of excised axes in response to water loss and cryo-exposure were compared for four Quercus species from subtropical China (Q. franchetii, Q. schottkyana) and temperate USA (Q. gambelii, Q. rubra). Key Results Seed tissues initially had high water contents and water potentials. Desiccation tolerance of the embryonic axis was not correlated with the post-shedding rainfall patterns where the samples originated. Instead, higher desiccation tolerance was observed in samples growing in areas with colder winters. Survival following cryo-exposure correlated with desiccation tolerance. Among species, plumule tissues were more sensitive than radicles to excision, desiccation and cryo-exposure, and this led to a higher proportion of abnormally developing embryos during recovery following stress. Conclusions Quercus species adapted to arid and semi-humid climates still produce recalcitrant seeds. The ability to avoid freezing rather than drought may be a more important selection factor to increase desiccation tolerance. Cryopreservation of recalcitrant germplasm from temperate species is currently feasible, whilst additional protective treatments are needed for ex situ conservation of Quercus from tropical and subtropical areas. PMID:25326139

  18. Decontamination method using heat and relative humidity for radish seeds achieves a 7-log reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 without affecting product quality.

    PubMed

    Kim, Y B; Kim, H W; Song, M K; Rhee, M S

    2015-05-18

    We developed a novel decontamination method to inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 on radish seeds without adversely affecting seed germination or product quality. The use of heat (55, 60, and 65 °C) combined with relative humidity (RH; 25, 45, 65, 85, and 100%) for 24h was evaluated for effective microbial reduction and preservation of seed germination rates. A significant two-way interaction of heat and RH was observed for both microbial reduction and germination rate (P<0.0001). Increases in heat and RH were associated with corresponding reductions in E. coli O157:H7 and in germination rate (P<0.05). The order of lethality for the different treatments was generally as follows: no treatment <55 °C/25-65% RH ≒60 °C/25-45% RH ≒65 °C/25% RH <55 °C/85% RH =60 °C/65% RH <55 °C/100% RH =60 °C/85-100% RH =65 °C/45-100% RH. The most effective condition, 65 °C/45% RH, completely inactivated E. coli O157:H7 on the seeds (7.0 log CFU/g reduction) and had no significant effect on the germination rate (85.4%; P>0.05) or product quality. The method uses only heat and relative humidity without chemicals, and is thus applicable as a general decontamination procedure in spout producing plants where the use of growth chambers is the norm.

  19. Annual variation in seedfall, postdispersal predation, and recruitment of a neotropical tree

    SciTech Connect

    Schupp, E.W. )

    1990-04-01

    Knowledge of the dynamics of seed production and seedling recruitment of individual tree species is crucial for a complete understanding of tropical forest dynamics, yet multiyear studies on the seed and young seedling stages of tropical trees are virtually nonexistent. In a 4-yr study of the understory tree Faramea occidentalis on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, the author quantified natural levels of viable seedfall, seedling emergence, and seedling establishment, and experimentally estimated postdispersal seed predation. The levels of viable seedfall, seed predation, seedling emergence, early seedling survival, and seedling recruitment all differed significantly among years. The proportion of fallen seeds destroyed by predators before germination was not related to the quantity of F. occidentalis seedfall. Within a year, however, F. occidentalis seed predation appeared to be influenced by community-wide seedfall, with high predation rates during times of low seed abundance and very low predation during the late dry season peak in seedfall by the community. Most of the annual variation in recruitment can be explained by the combination of seedfall and seed predation; in 3 of the 4 yr seedling emergence could be predicted from a knowledge of viable seedfall and the probability of a seed surviving until the peak of germination. The 4th yr, however, demonstrated that environmental conditions provide a sporadic, though important, limitation to recruitment. In comparison to many tree species, early seedling survival was relatively high, as was the ratio of seedlings recruited per seed falling. The highly successful recruitment of F. occidentalis is associated with a high population density of both saplings and adults in the study area.

  20. The African yam bean seed lectin affects the development of the cowpea weevil but does not affect the development of larvae of the legume pod borer.

    PubMed

    Machuka, J S; Okeola, O G; Chrispeels, M J; Jackai, L E

    2000-03-01

    Artificial feeding assays were used to study the effect of purified galactose-specific lectins from African yam beans (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) on development of larvae of the cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus (Coleoptera : Bruchidae) and the legume pod-borer, Maruca vitrata (Lepidoptera : Pyrialidae). Inhibition of development of C. maculatus was observed when larvae were fed on artificial cowpea seeds containing 0.2%, 2.0% and 5.0% (wt/wt) of dietary lectin. Larval mortality was between 30% and 88%, while delays in total developmental time ranged between 7 and 13 days. The lectin had no effect on development of larvae of M. vitrala, when tested through topical artificial diet incorporation assays, except at the extremely high dose of 35% dietary level.

  1. Demographic parameters of the insecticide-exposed predator Podisus nigrispinus: implications for IPM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The predator Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) shows potential for Integrated Pest Management programs of defoliating caterpillars in agricultural and forestry systems. Insecticides can indirectly affect caterpillar predators through consumption of contaminated prey. We examin...

  2. Antioxidant activities of lead (Leucaena leucocephala) seed as affected by extraction solvent, prior dechlorophyllisation and drying methods.

    PubMed

    Benjakul, Soottawat; Kittiphattanabawon, Phanat; Sumpavapol, Punnanee; Maqsood, Sajid

    2014-11-01

    Extracts of brown lead (Leucaena leucocephala) seed prepared using different extraction solvents were determined for antioxidative activities using different assays. The highest yield (3.4-4.0%) was obtained when water was used as an extraction solvent, compared with all ethanolic extracts used (1.2-2.0 %) (P < 0.05). Much lower chlorophyll content was found in the water extract. When hot water was used, the resulting extract contained lower total phenolic and mimosine contents (P < 0.05). In general, 60-80 % ethanolic extracts had higher 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging activities, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and metal chelating activity than water extracts (P < 0.05). When brown lead seed was dechlorophyllised prior to extraction, the water extract had slightly increased yield with lower chlorophyll content. Nevertheless, prior chlorophyll removal resulted in the increase in antioxidative activities but lower total phenolic and mimosine contents (P < 0.05). Generally, phenolic compounds and mimosine were more released when water was used as the extraction solvent, while the lower amount of chlorophyll was extracted. Oven-drying exhibited the negative effect on antioxidative activities and mimosine content. The higher antioxidative activities with concomitant higher total phenolic and mimosine contents were found in water extract dried by freeze drying. Thus, extraction solvent, dechlorophyllisation and drying methods directly influenced the yield and antioxidative activity of lead seed extract. PMID:26396295

  3. Optimal control of native predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Julien; O'Connell, Allan F.; Kendall, William L.; Runge, Michael C.; Simons, Theodore R.; Waldstein, Arielle H.; Schulte, Shiloh A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Smith, Graham W.; Pinion, Timothy; Rikard, Michael; Zipkin, Elise F.

    2010-01-01

    We apply decision theory in a structured decision-making framework to evaluate how control of raccoons (Procyon lotor), a native predator, can promote the conservation of a declining population of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our management objective was to maintain Oystercatcher productivity above a level deemed necessary for population recovery while minimizing raccoon removal. We evaluated several scenarios including no raccoon removal, and applied an adaptive optimization algorithm to account for parameter uncertainty. We show how adaptive optimization can be used to account for uncertainties about how raccoon control may affect Oystercatcher productivity. Adaptive management can reduce this type of uncertainty and is particularly well suited for addressing controversial management issues such as native predator control. The case study also offers several insights that may be relevant to the optimal control of other native predators. First, we found that stage-specific removal policies (e.g., yearling versus adult raccoon removals) were most efficient if the reproductive values among stage classes were very different. Second, we found that the optimal control of raccoons would result in higher Oystercatcher productivity than the minimum levels recommended for this species. Third, we found that removing more raccoons initially minimized the total number of removals necessary to meet long term management objectives. Finally, if for logistical reasons managers cannot sustain a removal program by removing a minimum number of raccoons annually, managers may run the risk of creating an ecological trap for Oystercatchers.

  4. Context-dependent seed dispersal by a scatter-hoarding corvid.

    PubMed

    Pesendorfer, Mario B; Sillett, T Scott; Morrison, Scott A; Kamil, Alan C

    2016-05-01

    Corvids (crows, jays, magpies and nutcrackers) are important dispersers of large-seeded plants. Studies on captive or supplemented birds suggest that they flexibly adjust their scatter-hoarding behaviour to the context of social dynamics and relative seed availability. Because many corvid-dispersed trees show high annual variation in seed production, context-dependent foraging can have strong effects on natural corvid scatter-hoarding behaviour. We investigated how seed availability and social dynamics affected scatter-hoarding in the island scrub jays (Aphelocoma insularis). We quantified rates of scatter-hoarding behaviour and territorial defence of 26 colour-marked birds over a three-year period with variable acorn crops. We tested whether caching parameters were correlated with variation in annual seed production of oaks as predicted by the predator dispersal hypothesis, which states that caching rates and distances should vary with seed abundance in ways that benefit tree fitness. We also tested whether antagonistic interactions with conspecifics would affect scatter-hoarding adversely, as found in experimental studies. Caching behaviour varied with acorn availability. Caching distances correlated positively with annual acorn crop size, increasing by as much as 40% between years. Caching rates declined over time in years with small acorn crops, but increased when crops were large. Acorn foraging and caching rates were also negatively correlated with rates of territorial aggression. Overall foraging rates, however, were not associated with aggression, suggesting that reduced dispersal rates were not simply due to time constraints. Our field results support laboratory findings that caching rates and distances by scatter-hoarding corvids are context-dependent. Furthermore, our results are consistent with predictions of the predator dispersal hypothesis and suggest that large seed crops and social interactions among scatter-hoarders affect dispersal benefits for

  5. Context-dependent seed dispersal by a scatter-hoarding corvid.

    PubMed

    Pesendorfer, Mario B; Sillett, T Scott; Morrison, Scott A; Kamil, Alan C

    2016-05-01

    Corvids (crows, jays, magpies and nutcrackers) are important dispersers of large-seeded plants. Studies on captive or supplemented birds suggest that they flexibly adjust their scatter-hoarding behaviour to the context of social dynamics and relative seed availability. Because many corvid-dispersed trees show high annual variation in seed production, context-dependent foraging can have strong effects on natural corvid scatter-hoarding behaviour. We investigated how seed availability and social dynamics affected scatter-hoarding in the island scrub jays (Aphelocoma insularis). We quantified rates of scatter-hoarding behaviour and territorial defence of 26 colour-marked birds over a three-year period with variable acorn crops. We tested whether caching parameters were correlated with variation in annual seed production of oaks as predicted by the predator dispersal hypothesis, which states that caching rates and distances should vary with seed abundance in ways that benefit tree fitness. We also tested whether antagonistic interactions with conspecifics would affect scatter-hoarding adversely, as found in experimental studies. Caching behaviour varied with acorn availability. Caching distances correlated positively with annual acorn crop size, increasing by as much as 40% between years. Caching rates declined over time in years with small acorn crops, but increased when crops were large. Acorn foraging and caching rates were also negatively correlated with rates of territorial aggression. Overall foraging rates, however, were not associated with aggression, suggesting that reduced dispersal rates were not simply due to time constraints. Our field results support laboratory findings that caching rates and distances by scatter-hoarding corvids are context-dependent. Furthermore, our results are consistent with predictions of the predator dispersal hypothesis and suggest that large seed crops and social interactions among scatter-hoarders affect dispersal benefits for

  6. The Predator-Prey Relationship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Charles W.

    1977-01-01

    Many children develop a mistaken attitude about the predator-prey relationship in the ecosystem. Fairy tales portray the predator as evil or worthless. This article attempts to clarify the role of the predator by giving numerous examples of the value of predators. (MA)

  7. Biogeographic variation in behavioral and morphological responses to predation risk.

    PubMed

    Large, Scott I; Smee, Delbert L

    2013-04-01

    The expression of prey antipredator defenses is often related to ambient consumer pressure, and prey express greater defenses under intense consumer pressure. Predation is generally greater at lower latitudes, and antipredator defenses often display a biogeographic pattern. Predation pressure may also vary significantly between habitats within latitudes, making biogeographic patterns difficult to distinguish. Furthermore, invasive predators may also influence the expression of prey defenses in ecological time. The purpose of this study was to determine how these factors influence the strength of antipredator responses. To assess patterns in prey antipredator defenses based upon geographic range (north vs. south), habitat type (wave-protected vs. wave-exposed shores), and invasive predators, we examined how native rock (Cancer irroratus) and invasive green (Carcinus maenas) crab predators influence the behavioral and morphological defenses of dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) prey from habitats that differ in wave exposure across an ~230 km range within the Gulf of Maine. The expression of behavioral and morphological antipredatory responses varied according to wave exposure, geographic location, and predator species. Dogwhelks from areas with an established history with green crabs exhibited the largest behavioral and morphological antipredator responses to green crabs. Dogwhelk behavioral responses to rock crabs did not vary between habitats or geographic regions, although morphological responses were greater further south where predation pressure was greatest. These findings suggest that dogwhelk responses to invasive and native predators vary according to geographic location and habitat, and are strongly affected by ambient predation pressure due to the invasion history of an exotic predator.

  8. Biogeographic variation in behavioral and morphological responses to predation risk.

    PubMed

    Large, Scott I; Smee, Delbert L

    2013-04-01

    The expression of prey antipredator defenses is often related to ambient consumer pressure, and prey express greater defenses under intense consumer pressure. Predation is generally greater at lower latitudes, and antipredator defenses often display a biogeographic pattern. Predation pressure may also vary significantly between habitats within latitudes, making biogeographic patterns difficult to distinguish. Furthermore, invasive predators may also influence the expression of prey defenses in ecological time. The purpose of this study was to determine how these factors influence the strength of antipredator responses. To assess patterns in prey antipredator defenses based upon geographic range (north vs. south), habitat type (wave-protected vs. wave-exposed shores), and invasive predators, we examined how native rock (Cancer irroratus) and invasive green (Carcinus maenas) crab predators influence the behavioral and morphological defenses of dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) prey from habitats that differ in wave exposure across an ~230 km range within the Gulf of Maine. The expression of behavioral and morphological antipredatory responses varied according to wave exposure, geographic location, and predator species. Dogwhelks from areas with an established history with green crabs exhibited the largest behavioral and morphological antipredator responses to green crabs. Dogwhelk behavioral responses to rock crabs did not vary between habitats or geographic regions, although morphological responses were greater further south where predation pressure was greatest. These findings suggest that dogwhelk responses to invasive and native predators vary according to geographic location and habitat, and are strongly affected by ambient predation pressure due to the invasion history of an exotic predator. PMID:23001623

  9. Molecular insights into how a deficiency of amylose affects carbon allocation – carbohydrate and oil analyses and gene expression profiling in the seeds of a rice waxy mutant

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Understanding carbon partitioning in cereal seeds is of critical importance to develop cereal crops with enhanced starch yields for food security and for producing specified end-products high in amylose, β-glucan, or fructan, such as functional foods or oils for biofuel applications. Waxy mutants of cereals have a high content of amylopectin and have been well characterized. However, the allocation of carbon to other components, such as β-glucan and oils, and the regulation of the altered carbon distribution to amylopectin in a waxy mutant are poorly understood. In this study, we used a rice mutant, GM077, with a low content of amylose to gain molecular insight into how a deficiency of amylose affects carbon allocation to other end products and to amylopectin. We used carbohydrate analysis, subtractive cDNA libraries, and qPCR to identify candidate genes potentially responsible for the changes in carbon allocation in GM077 seeds. Results Carbohydrate analysis indicated that the content of amylose in GM077 seeds was significantly reduced, while that of amylopectin significantly rose as compared to the wild type BP034. The content of glucose, sucrose, total starch, cell-wall polysaccharides and oil were only slightly affected in the mutant as compared to the wild type. Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) experiments generated 116 unigenes in the mutant on the wild-type background. Among the 116 unigenes, three, AGP, ISA1 and SUSIBA2-like, were found to be directly involved in amylopectin synthesis, indicating their possible roles in redirecting carbon flux from amylose to amylopectin. A bioinformatics analysis of the putative SUSIBA2-like binding elements in the promoter regions of the upregulated genes indicated that the SUSIBA2-like transcription factor may be instrumental in promoting the carbon reallocation from amylose to amylopectin. Conclusion Analyses of carbohydrate and oil fractions and gene expression profiling on a global scale in the

  10. Biological and chemical evaluation of chick pea seed proteins as affected by germination, extraction and alpha-amylase treatment.

    PubMed

    Mansour, E H

    1996-06-01

    The effects of germination, extraction (double extraction with 70% ethanol and water at isoelectric point) and alpha-amylase treatments of chick pea seed flours on crude protein, total carbohydrate, protein efficiency ratio (PER), biological value (BV), true digestibility (TD), net protein utilization (NPU), essential amino acid composition, in-vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) and actual amino acid indices (essential amino acid index or amino acid score) were evaluated. Crude protein content was increased (8-149%), while total carbohydrate was decreased (11-62%) by germination, extraction and alpha-amylase treatments. Alpha-amylase treatment was more efficient in reducing total carbohydrate and increasing the protein content than that of extraction treatment. The protein quality of chick pea flours as measured by PER, BV, TD, NPU, IVPD and corrected amino acid indices (actual amino acid indices x IVPD) was significantly improved by these treatments. The protein quality of germinated-alpha-amylase treatment was comparable with casein, while germinated-alpha-amylase treaded seeds appeared nutritionally superior to casein. The results indicate that the germinated-alpha-amylase and germinated-alpha-amylase-extracted treatments could be used successfully as a source of concentrated high quality protein for baby food production. The corrected amino acid indices gave better prediction of PER, BV, TD and NPU (r = 93 to 97) than actual amino acid indices (r = 45 to 71). PER was highly correlated with corrected amino acid score (r = 0.93). The PER could be predicted from the following simple regression equation: PER = -1.827 + 0.0561 x corrected amino acid score.

  11. Management of Protected Areas and Its Effect on an Ecosystem Function: Removal of Prosopis flexuosa Seeds by Mammals in Argentinian Drylands

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Valeria E.; Miguel, Florencia; Cona, Mónica I.

    2016-01-01

    The ecological function of animal seed dispersal depends on species interactions and can be affected by drivers such as the management interventions applied to protected areas. This study was conducted in two protected areas in the Monte Desert: a fenced reserve with grazing exclusion and absence of large native mammals (the Man and Biosphere Ñacuñán Reserve; FR) and an unfenced reserve with low densities of large native and domestic animals (Ischigualasto Park; UFR). The study focuses on Prosopis flexuosa seed removal by different functional mammal groups: “seed predators”, “scatter-hoarders”, and “opportunistic frugivores”. Under both interventions, the relative contribution to seed removal by different functional mammal groups was assessed, as well as how these groups respond to habitat heterogeneity (i.e. vegetation structure) at different spatial scales. Camera traps were used to identify mammal species removing P. flexuosa seeds and to quantify seed removal; remote sensing data helped analyze habitat heterogeneity. In the FR, the major fruit removers were a seed predator (Graomys griseoflavus) and a scatter-hoarder (Microcavia asutralis). In the UFR, the main seed removers were the opportunistic frugivores (Lycalopex griseus and Dolichotis patagonum), who removed more seeds than the seed predator in the FR. The FR shows higher habitat homogeneity than the UFR, and functional groups respond differently to habitat heterogeneity at different spatial scales. In the FR, because large herbivores are locally extinct (e.g. Lama guanicoe) and domestic herbivores are excluded, important functions of large herbivores are missing, such as the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity, which provides habitats for medium-sized opportunistic frugivores with consequent improvement of quality and quantity of seed dispersal services. In the UFR, with low densities of large herbivores, probably one important ecosystem function this group performs is to increase

  12. Winter predation of diapausing cocoons of slug caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae).

    PubMed

    Murphy, Shannon M; Lill, John T

    2010-12-01

    Predators exert strong top-down pressure on herbivorous insects, but research on how predators affect herbivore fitness often focuses on the more active juvenile and adult life stages while ignoring the pupal or cocoon life stage. Few studies have investigated predation of lepidopteran pupae or cocoons and even fewer have investigated species that are not forest pests. Here we present a study on overwinter survival for two moth species in the family Limacodidae, a group of polyphagous species found in deciduous forests. We placed cocoons of the saddleback caterpillar, Acharia stimulea (Clemens), and the spiny oak-slug caterpillar, Euclea delphinii (Boisduval), in the field under saplings of six different tree species and monitored predation and survival. This is the first study to examine predation rate among different host plants within a site. We found that cocoon predation was fairly high and differed significantly between limacodid species (29% for A. stimulea vs. 22% for E. delphinii). Predation rate did not differ among the six host plant species that we tested and also did not vary annually. Through phenotypic selection analyses, we found that cocoon mass affected both the likelihood of predation and overwinter survival; larger cocoons were less likely to be depredated and more likely to successfully emerge the following year. Overall our results indicate that cocoon predation is an important source of mortality for these two limacodid species and that there may be positive selection for greater cocoon mass for both limacodid species.

  13. Innate defensive behaviour and panic-like reactions evoked by rodents during aggressive encounters with Brazilian constrictor snakes in a complex labyrinth: behavioural validation of a new model to study affective and agonistic reactions in a prey versus predator paradigm.

    PubMed

    Guimarães-Costa, Raquel; Guimarães-Costa, Maria Beatriz; Pippa-Gadioli, Leonardo; Weltson, Alfredo; Ubiali, Walter Adriano; Paschoalin-Maurin, Tatiana; Felippotti, Tatiana Tocchini; Elias-Filho, Daoud Hibrahim; Laure, Carlos Júlio; Coimbra, Norberto Cysne

    2007-09-15

    Defensive behaviour has been extensively studied, and non-invasive methodologies may be interesting approaches to analyzing the limbic system function as a whole. Using experimental models of animals in the state of anxiety has been fundamental in the search for new anxiolytic and antipanic compounds. The aim of this present work is to examine a new model for the study of affective behaviour, using a complex labyrinth consisting of an arena and galleries forming a maze. Furthermore, it aims to compare the defensive behaviour of Wistar rats, Mongolian gerbils and golden hamsters in a complex labyrinth, as well as the defensive behaviour of Meriones unguiculatus in aggressive encounters with either Epicrates cenchria assisi or Boa constrictor amarali in this same model. Among species presently studied, the Mongolian gerbils showed better performance in the exploration of both arena and galleries of the labyrinth, also demonstrating less latency in finding exits of the galleries. This increases the possibility of survival, as well as optimizes the events of encounter with the predator. The duration of alertness and freezing increased during confrontation with living Epicrates, as well as the duration of exploratory behaviour in the labyrinth. There was an increase in the number of freezing and alertness behaviours, as well as in duration of alertness during confrontations involving E.c. assisi, compared with behavioural reactions elicited by jirds in presence of B.c. amarali. Interestingly, the aggressive behaviour of Mongolian gerbils was more prominent against B.c. amarali compared with the other Boidae snake. E.c. assisi elicited more offensive attacks and exhibited a greater time period of body movement than B.c. amarali, which spent more time in the arena and in defensive immobility than the E.c. assisi. Considering that jirds evoked more fear-like reaction in contact with E.c. assisi, a fixed E.c. assisi kept in a hermetically closed acrylic box was used as

  14. Seed feeding beetles (Bruchidae, Curculionidae, Brentidae) from legumes (Dalea ornata, Astragalus filipes) and other forbs needed for restoring rangelands of the Intermountain West

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Larval seed beetles are common seed predators that feed within individual seeds, and legume plants are especially plagued by seed beetles. This can be problematic for seed growers who raise seeds of North American legumes native to the Intermountain Region of the western U.S. for use in the reveget...

  15. Predator cannibalism can intensify negative impacts on heterospecific prey.

    PubMed

    Takatsu, Kunio; Kishida, Osamu

    2015-07-01

    Although natural populations consist of individuals with different traits, and the degree of phenotypic variation varies among populations, the impact of phenotypic variation on ecological interactions has received little attention, because traditional approaches to community ecology assume homogeneity of individuals within a population. Stage structure, which is a common way of generating size and developmental variation within predator populations, can drive cannibalistic interactions, which can affect the strength of predatory effects on the predator's heterospecific prey. Studies have shown that predator cannibalism weakens predatory effects on heterospecific prey by reducing the size of the predator population and by inducing less feeding activity of noncannibal predators. We predict, however, that predator cannibalism, by promoting rapid growth of the cannibals, can also intensify predation pressure on heterospecific prey, because large predators have large resource requirements and may utilize a wider variety of prey species. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment in which we created carnivorous salamander (Hynobius retardatus) populations with different stage structures by manipulating the salamander's hatch timing (i.e., populations with large or small variation in the timing of hatching), and explored the resultant impacts on the abundance, behavior, morphology, and life history of the salamander's large heterospecific prey, Rana pirica frog tadpoles. Cannibalism was rare in salamander populations having small hatch-timing variation, but was frequent in those having large hatch-timing variation. Thus, giant salamander cannibals occurred only in the latter. We clearly showed that salamander giants exerted strong predation pressure on frog tadpoles, which induced large behavioral and morphological defenses in the tadpoles and caused them to metamorphose late at large size. Hence, predator cannibalism arising from large variation in the timing

  16. Habitat selection and consumption across a landscape of multiple predators

    PubMed Central

    Wesner, Jeff S; Meyers, Peter; Billman, Eric J; Belk, Mark C

    2015-01-01

    Predator community composition can alter habitat quality for prey by changing the strength and direction of consumptive effects. Whether predator community composition also alters prey density via nonconsumptive effects during habitat selection is not well known, but is important for understanding how changes to predator communities will alter prey populations. We tested the hypothesis that predator community composition (presence of caged trout, caged dragonflies, or caged trout + dragonflies) alters colonization of aquatic mesocosms by ovipositing aquatic insects. In a previous experiment in this system, we found a spatial contagion effect, in which insects avoided pools with predators, but only when predator-free pools were isolated (∼5 m away from predator pools). Here, we removed the isolated predator-free pools, allowing us to test whether insects would make fine-scale (∼1 m) oviposition decisions in the absence of preferred isolated pools. We also estimated consumptive effects by allowing predators to feed on colonists for 5 days following colonization. All insects collected after 21 days were dipterans, dominated by Chironomidae. Total colonization, measured as the number of developing larvae after 21 days, was not affected by either predator presence or composition. Consumption was significant in the trout only treatment, reducing larval insect density by 46 ± 37% (mean ± SE). No other predator treatment significantly reduced prey density, although the proportion of chironomid larvae in protective cases increased in response to direct predation from dragonflies, indicating an antipredatory behavioral response. Taken together, these results reveal that predator community composition altered larval survival and behavior, but colonizing females either did not or could not assess these risks across small scales during oviposition. PMID:25628869

  17. Intraguild relationships between sympatric predators exposed to lethal control: predator manipulation experiments

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    populations of native prey fauna at lower trophic levels are unlikely to be negatively affected by contemporary dingo control practices through the release of mesopredators. We conclude that contemporary lethal control practices used on some top-predator populations do not produce the conditions required to generate positive responses from mesopredators. Functional relationships between sympatric terrestrial predators may not be altered by exposure to spatially and temporally sporadic application of non-selective lethal control. PMID:23842144

  18. Reproductive success of individuals with different fruit production patterns. What does it mean for the predator satiation hypothesis?

    PubMed

    Zywiec, Magdalena; Holeksa, Jan; Ledwoń, Mateusz; Seget, Piotr

    2013-06-01

    The predator satiation hypothesis states that synchronous periodic production of seeds is an adaptive strategy evolved to reduce the pressure of seed predators. The seed production pattern is crucial to the predator satiation hypothesis, but there are few studies documenting the success of individuals that are in synchrony and out of synchrony with the whole population. This study is based on long-term data on seed production of Sorbus aucuparia and specialised pre-dispersal seed predation by Argyresthia conjugella, in a subalpine spruce forest in the Western Carpathians (Poland). At the population level, we tested whether functional and numerical responses of predators to the variation of fruit production operate. At the individual level, we tested whether individuals with higher interannual variability in their own seed crops and higher synchrony with the population have higher percentages of uninfested fruits. The intensity of pre-dispersal seed predation was high (average 70 %; range 19-100 %). There were both functional and numerical responses of predators to the variation of fruit production at the population level. We found that individuals that were expected to be preferred under seed predator pressure had higher reproductive success. With increasing synchrony of fruit production between individual trees and the population, the percentage of infested fruits decreased. There was also a negative relationship between the interannual variation in individual fruit production and the percentage of infested fruits. These results confirm selection for individuals with a masting strategy. However, the population does not seem well adapted to strong seed predation pressure and we suggest that this may be a result of prolonged diapause of A. conjugella.

  19. The effect of hydroperiod and predation on the diversity of temporary pond zooplankton communities

    PubMed Central

    Zokan, Marcus; Drake, John M

    2015-01-01

    In temporary pond ecosystems, it is hypothesized that the two dominant structuring forces on zooplankton communities are predation and demographic constraints due to wetland drying. Both of these forces are deterministic processes that act most strongly at opposing ends of a hydroperiod gradient. Our objective was to test how these two processes affect α- and β-diversity of zooplankton communities derived from a diverse temporary pond system. We hypothesized that decreased hydroperiod length and the presence of salamander larvae as predators would decrease β-diversity and that intermediate hydroperiod communities would have the greatest species richness. Our 1-year mesocosm experiment (n = 36) consisted of two predation treatments (present/absent) and three hydroperiod treatments (short/medium/long) fully crossed, seeded from the resting egg bank of multiple temporary ponds. In total, we collected 37 species of microcrustacean zooplankton from our mesocosms. A reduction in hydroperiod length resulted in lower α-diversity, with short-hydroperiod treatments affected most strongly. Endpoint community dissimilarity (β-diversity) was greatest in the medium-hydroperiod treatment with regard to species presence/absence, but was greatest in the long-hydroperiod treatment when abundances were included. Predation by salamander larvae led to reduced β-diversity with respect to species presence/absence, but not among abundant species, and had no effect on α-diversity. Our results suggest that environmental changes that reduce hydroperiod length would result in reduced α-diversity; however, intermediate hydroperiod length appear to enhance β-diversity within a group of wetlands. PMID:26357537

  20. Predator interference and stability of predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Přibylová, Lenka; Berec, Luděk

    2015-08-01

    Predator interference, that is, a decline in the per predator consumption rate as predator density increases, is generally thought to promote predator-prey stability. Indeed, this has been demonstrated in many theoretical studies on predator-prey dynamics. In virtually all of these studies, the stabilization role is demonstrated as a weakening of the paradox of enrichment. With predator interference, stable limit cycles that appear as a result of environmental enrichment occur for higher values of the environmental carrying capacity of prey, and even a complete absence of the limit cycles can happen. Here we study predator-prey dynamics using the Rosenzweig-MacArthur-like model in which the Holling type II functional response has been replaced by a predator-dependent family which generalizes many of the commonly used descriptions of predator interference. By means of a bifurcation analysis we show that sufficiently strong predator interference may bring about another stabilizing mechanism. In particular, hysteresis combined with (dis)appearance of stable limit cycles imply abrupt increases in both the prey and predator densities and enhanced persistence and resilience of the predator-prey system. We encourage refitting the previously collected data on predator consumption rates as well as for conducting further predation experiments to see what functional response from the explored family is the most appropriate.

  1. Unrefined and refined black raspberry seed oils significantly lower triglycerides and moderately affect cholesterol metabolism in male Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Ash, Mark M; Wolford, Kate A; Carden, Trevor J; Hwang, Keum Taek; Carr, Timothy P

    2011-09-01

    Unrefined and refined black raspberry seed oils (RSOs) were examined for their lipid-modulating effects in male Syrian hamsters fed high-cholesterol (0.12% g/g), high-fat (9% g/g) diets. Hamsters fed the refined and the unrefined RSO diets had equivalently lower plasma total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in comparison with the atherogenic coconut oil diet. The unrefined RSO treatment group did not differ in liver total and esterified cholesterol from the coconut oil-fed control animals, but the refined RSO resulted in significantly elevated liver total and esterified cholesterol concentrations. The unrefined RSO diets significantly lowered plasma triglycerides (46%; P=.0126) in comparison with the coconut oil diet, whereas the refined RSO only tended to lower plasma triglyceride (29%; P=.1630). Liver triglyceride concentrations were lower in the unrefined (46%; P=.0002) and refined (36%; P=.0005) RSO-fed animals than the coconut oil group, with the unrefined RSO diet eliciting a lower concentration than the soybean oil diet. Both RSOs demonstrated a null or moderate effect on cholesterol metabolism despite enrichment in linoleic acid, significantly lowering HDL cholesterol but not non-HDL cholesterol. Dramatically, both RSOs significantly reduced hypertriglyceridemia, most likely due to enrichment in α-linolenic acid. As a terrestrial source of α-linolenic acid, black RSOs, both refined and unrefined, provide a promising alternative to fish oil supplementation in management of hypertriglyceridemia, as demonstrated in hamsters fed high levels of dietary triglyceride and cholesterol.

  2. The trypsin inhibitor from Entada acaciifolia seeds affects negatively the development of Mediterranean flour moth, Anagasta kuehniella.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Caio Fernando Ramalho; Marangoni, Sergio; Macedo, Maria Lígia Rodrigues

    2014-01-01

    The Mediterranean flour moth (Anagasta kuehniella) is a pest insect that attacks stored foods. The difficulty in controlling this kind of pest promotes the development of alternatives for pest control, among them the use of proteins with insecticide effect. In this work, we evaluated the role of a trypsin inhibitor purified from Entada acaciifolia seeds (EATI) on the A. kuehniella development. Different concentrations of inhibitor were added to a diet to determine its effects on insect performance. At 0.4%, the EATI decreases the larval weight and survival rates by 54.6% and 15%, respectively; in addition to the extension of the life cycle of insect. The biochemical analysis showed that the inhibitor is refractory to the digestion by midgut proteases, and led to a reduction of 32% in general proteolytic activity. A detailed analysis of the enzymatic activity revealed a decrease of 50% in trypsin activity as the chymotrypsin activity increased by 12%; possibly to compensate the commitment of the digestive process. The trypsins from the EATI-fed group stayed sensitive to the inhibition by EATI, and based on kinetic assays no new trypsin enzymes were produced as adaptation attempt. The insecticides effects observed for the EATI against this pest encourage a more in depth study of its possible long-term use as a biotechnological tool.

  3. Pollen density on the stigma affects endogenous gibberellin metabolism, seed and fruit set, and fruit quality in Pyrus pyrifolia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Caixi; Tateishi, Naoya; Tanabe, Kenji

    2010-01-01

    To clarify the relationship between pollen density and gametophytic competition in Pyrus pyrifolia, gametophytic performance, gibberellin metabolism, fruit set, and fruit quality were investigated by modifying P. pyrifolia pollen grain number and density with Lycopodium spores. Higher levels of pollen density improved seed viability, fruit set, and fruit quality. Treatments with the highest pollen density showed a significantly increased fruit growth rate and larger fruit at harvest. High pollen density increased germination rate and gave a faster pollen tube growth, both in vivo and in vitro. Endogenous gibberellin (GA) concentrations increased in pollen tubes soon after germination and the concentration of two growth-active GAs, GA3, and GA4, was positively correlated to final fruit size, cell numbers in the mesocarp, and pollen tube growth rate. These two GAs appear to be biosynthesized de novo in pollen tube and are the main pollen-derived bioactive GAs found after pollen germination. GA1 levels in the pollen tube appear to be related to a pollen–style interaction that occurred after the pollen grains landed on the stigma. PMID:20713466

  4. Nonconsumptive Predator-Prey Interactions: Sensitivity of the Detritivore Sinella curviseta (Collembola: Entomobryidae) to Cues of Predation Risk From the Spider Pardosa milvina (Araneae: Lycosidae).

    PubMed

    Sitvarin, Michael I; Romanchek, Christian; Rypstra, Ann L

    2015-04-01

    Predators can affect prey indirectly when prey respond to cues indicating a risk of predation by altering activity levels. Changes in prey behavior may cascade through the food web to influence ecosystem function. The response of the collembolan Sinella curviseta Brook (Collembola: Entomobryidae) to cues indicating predation risk (necromones and cues from the wolf spider Pardosa milvina (Hentz) (Araneae: Lycosidae)) was tested. Additionally, necromones and predator cues were paired in a conditioning experiment to determine whether the collembolan could form learned associations. Although collembolans did not alter activity levels in response to predator cues, numerous aspects of behavior differed in the presence of necromones. There was no detectable conditioned response to predator cues after pairing with necromones. These results provide insight into how collembolans perceive and respond to predation threats that vary in information content. Previously detected indirect impacts of predator cues on ecosystem function are likely due to changes in prey other than activity level. PMID:26313189

  5. Nonconsumptive Predator-Prey Interactions: Sensitivity of the Detritivore Sinella curviseta (Collembola: Entomobryidae) to Cues of Predation Risk From the Spider Pardosa milvina (Araneae: Lycosidae).

    PubMed

    Sitvarin, Michael I; Romanchek, Christian; Rypstra, Ann L

    2015-04-01

    Predators can affect prey indirectly when prey respond to cues indicating a risk of predation by altering activity levels. Changes in prey behavior may cascade through the food web to influence ecosystem function. The response of the collembolan Sinella curviseta Brook (Collembola: Entomobryidae) to cues indicating predation risk (necromones and cues from the wolf spider Pardosa milvina (Hentz) (Araneae: Lycosidae)) was tested. Additionally, necromones and predator cues were paired in a conditioning experiment to determine whether the collembolan could form learned associations. Although collembolans did not alter activity levels in response to predator cues, numerous aspects of behavior differed in the presence of necromones. There was no detectable conditioned response to predator cues after pairing with necromones. These results provide insight into how collembolans perceive and respond to predation threats that vary in information content. Previously detected indirect impacts of predator cues on ecosystem function are likely due to changes in prey other than activity level.

  6. Burial of Zostera marina seeds in sediment inhabited by three polychaetes: Laboratory and field studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delefosse, M.; Kristensen, E.

    2012-07-01

    The large number of seeds produced by eelgrass, Zostera marina, provides this plant with a potential to disperse widely and colonise new areas. After dispersal, seeds must be buried into sediment for assuring long-term survival, successful germination and safe seedling development. Seeds may be buried passively by sedimentation or actively through sediment reworking by benthic fauna. We evaluated the effect of three polychaetes on the burial rate and depth of eelgrass seeds. Burial was first measured in controlled laboratory experiments using different densities of Nereis (Hediste) diversicolor (400-3200 ind m- 2), Arenicola marina (20-80 ind m-