Journal of Tropical Ecology



Short Communication

Intraspecific variation in seed size affects scatterhoarding behaviour of an Australian tropical rain-forest rodent


Tad C. Theimer  a1 a2 c1
a1 Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
a2 Ecosystems Dynamics Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

Abstract

Vertebrate seed dispersers could impact the evolution of seed size or alter the pattern of seedling recruitment if they responded differently to seeds of varying size (Jordano 1995). For example, models of seed caching by birds and mammals predict that seeds of higher nutritive value should be placed farther from parent trees and in lower densities than lower quality seeds (Clarkson et al. 1986, Stapanian & Smith 1978, Tamura et al. 1999). Comparisons of seed removal rates among tropical tree species in South-East Asia (Blate et al. 1998) and Australia (Osunkoya 1994) failed to show a relationship between seed size and removal rate, although the probability that a seed was scatterhoarded by agoutis (Dasyprocta punctata) in a neotropical rain forest increased with interspecific seed size (Forget et al. 1998).

(Accepted December 22 2001)


Key Words: Beilschmiedia bancroftii; rodent; seed predation; seed size; Uromys caudimaculata.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence address: Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ USA 86001. Email: Tad.Theimer@nau.edu