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Carapa.org - Dispersal

Seed dispersal by Rodents in America

First studies on seed dispersal and seedling ecology of a Carapa species (C. surinamensis) were carried out in French Guiana (Forget 1996, Forget 1997). Later on, Patrick A. Jansen (now CTFS staff) started a Ph Dissertation thesis aiming at studying the interaction between nut-bearing trees and scatterhoarding rodents.

At Nouragues research station, an undisturbed tropical rainforest site in French Guiana, South America, Patrick Jansen studied how large cavi-like rodents - in particular the Red acouchy (Myoprocta exilis) (photo below by P.-M. Forget) - disperse and predate upon the seeds of the canopy tree Carapa surinamensis (formely procera).  He used novel video surveillance (Jansen et al. 2004) and thread-marking techniques (Forget 1990) to follow the fate of individual seeds throughout the dispersal process, from seed shedding until either death or establishment of a seedling. Within these seed fate experiments, he varied seed size and seed abundance to determine how these plants traits affect scatterhoarding and to test hypotheses on the evolution of large-seediness and mast seeding. The main findings of Patrick A. Jansen (see references below) were :

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References

Forget, P.-M. 1996. Removal of seeds of Carapa procera (Meliaceae) by rodents and their fate in Rainforest in French Guiana. Journal of Tropical Ecology 12: 751-761. pdf

Forget, P.-M. 1997a. Effect of microhabitat on seed fate and seedling performance in two rodent-dispersed tree species in rainforest in French Guiana. Journal of Ecology 85:693-703. pdf

Forget, P.-M. & P.A. Jansen (2007). Hunting increases dispersal limitation in the tree Carapa procera, a non-timber forest product. Conservation Biology 21: 106-113

Jansen, P.A., F. Bongers & P.J. van der Meer (2007) Is farther seed dispersal better? Spatial patterns of offspring mortality in three rainforest tree species with different dispersal abilities. Ecography 31 (1) 43-52. Abstract

Jansen, P.A., F. Bongers & H.H.T. Prins (2006) Tropical rodents change rapidly germinating seeds into long-term food supplies. Oikos 113: 449-458. Abstract

Jansen, P.A., F. Bongers & L. Hemerik (2004) Seed mass and mast seeding enhance dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents in a Neotropical rainforest tree. Ecological Monographs 74:569-589. Abstract

Jansen, P.A. & J. den Ouden (2004) Observing seed removal: remote video monitoring seed selection, predation and dispersal. In: Forget et al. (Eds). Seed fate: predation and secondary dispersal. CABI publishing, Wallingford. Abstract. pdf

Jansen, P.A., M. Bartholomeus, F. Bongers, J.A. Elzinga, J. Den Ouden & S.E. Van Wieren (2002) The role of seed size in dispersal by a scatterhoarding rodent. Pp. 209-225 in: Levey et al. (Eds). Seed Dispersal and Frugivory: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. CAB International, Wallingford. pdf

Jansen, P.A. & P.-M. Forget (2001) Scatterhoarding rodents and tree regeneration in French Guiana. Pp. 275-288 in: Bongers et al. (Eds). Nouragues: Dynamics and plant-animal interactions in a Neotropical rainforest. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. pdf

Jansen, P.A., M. Bartholomeus, F. Bongers, J.A. Elzinga, J. Den Ouden & S.E. Van Wieren (2002). The role of seed size in dispersal by a scatterhoarding rodent. Pp. 209-225 in: D. Levey, W.R. Silva & M. Galetti (Eds). Seed Dispersal and Frugivory: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. CABI publishing, Wallingford.

Jansen, P.A., F. Bongers & H.H.T. Prins (2006) Tropical rodents change rapidly germinating seeds into long-term food supplies. Oikos 113: 449-458.

Jansen, P.A., F. Bongers & P.J. Van der Meer (2008) Is farther seed dispersal better? Spatial patterns of offspring mortality in three rainforest tree species with different dispersal abilities. Ecography 31: 43-52.

 

Websites

Jansen's personal webpage at STRI (Panama)

Thèse de Doctorat "Scatterhoarding and tree regeneration"

Agouti enterprise


Patrick A. Jansen in the field at Manaus, Brazil. (c) P.A. Jansen.