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Seed Predation and Dispersal of Glabrous Filbert (Corylus Heterophylla) and Pilose Filbert (Corylus Mandshurica) by Small Mammals in a Temperate Forest, Northeast China

Xianfeng Yi and Zhibin Zhang
Plant Ecology
Vol. 196, No. 1 (May, 2008), pp. 135-142
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40305480
Page Count: 8
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Seed Predation and Dispersal of Glabrous Filbert (Corylus Heterophylla) and Pilose Filbert (Corylus Mandshurica) by Small Mammals in a Temperate Forest, Northeast China
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Abstract

We investigated the seed dispersal of glabrous filbert (Corylus heterophylla) and pilose filbert (Corylus mandshurica), two large-seeded shrub species in a temperate forest, northeast China, September 2006. Small mammals such as Apodemus speciosus, Clethrlonomys rufocanus, and Eutamias sibiricus, were regarded as the main dispersal agents. More seeds were harvested by small mammals in pilose filbert (98%) than in glabrous filbert (87.5%) till our last survey. Seed removal rates differed between the two species. Fewer seeds of glabrous filbert (17.5%) were eaten in situ than pilose filbert (57.5%). More seeds of glabrous filbert were removed (70%), stay intact after removal (25.5%), eaten after removal (16%) than pilose filbert. However, more seeds were cached after removal in pilose filbert than in glabrous filbert (10.5 and 4%, respectively). Fewer tagged seeds of pilose filberts (14%) were missed than glabrous filberts (24.5%). About 8 and 12 primary caches were found in glabrous filbert and pilose filbert seeds respectively, indicating scatter hoarding. All of the removed seeds were distributed within 10 m of seed stations for both filberts. The average dispersal distances for glabrous filbert did not differ from pilose filbert. Only a small proportion of the caches remained till our last survey (2 and 1%, respectively). Based on the results, we found a difference in dispersal patterns of glabrous filbert and pilose filbert seeds. Evidences showed that glabrous filberts might be a less preferred seed species for small seed-eating mammals compared with pilose filbert, probably due to its harder and thicker husk and low seed profitability.

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