Post-dispersal seed predation in Pinus halepensis and consequences on seedling establishment after fire

Maria José Broncano, Anselm Rodrigo, Javier Retana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present study, we analyse the spatiotemporal patterns of seed predation and the consequences of this predation in the establishment of new Pinus halepensis individuals. Rodents were the main predators of P. halepensis seeds in burned areas, while predation by ants was considerably lower. Concerning spatiotemporal patterns of seed predation, the results obtained indicate that, although there were some small differences among distances or among seasons, removal of P. halepensis seeds was consistently very high in all situations, whether close to or far from the unburned margins, in pine or mixed forests, in different sites and in all sampling periods throughout the year. We analysed the role of seed predation on the modulation of post-fire regeneration of P. halepensis. Just after fire, no differences in seedling density were found between plots with or without rodent exclusion, probably owing to the high density of seeds on the ground and the low density of rodents affected by fire. One year after fire, when rodent populations had recovered in burned areas and seeds were much less abundant, the combination of addition of seeds and rodent exclusion led to an increase in pine seedling establishment. © IAWF 2008.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-414
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008

Keywords

  • Pine
  • Recruitment
  • Rodent exclusion
  • Seed predators

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