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Dispersal Mutualism Incorporated into Large-Scale, Infrequent Disturbances.

Parker VT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Because of their influence on succession and other community interactions, large-scale, infrequent natural disturbances also should play a major role in mutualistic interactions.In post-fire stands, I show that seedlings emerging from rodent caches dominate sites experiencing higher fire intensity.Field experiments show that rodents (Perimyscus californicus, P. boylii) do cache Arctostaphylos fruit and bury most seed caches to a sufficient depth to survive a killing heat pulse that a fire might drive into the soil.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Because of their influence on succession and other community interactions, large-scale, infrequent natural disturbances also should play a major role in mutualistic interactions. Using field data and experiments, I test whether mutualisms have been incorporated into large-scale wildfire by whether the outcomes of a mutualism depend on disturbance. In this study a seed dispersal mutualism is shown to depend on infrequent, large-scale disturbances. A dominant shrubland plant (Arctostaphylos species) produces seeds that make up a persistent soil seed bank and requires fire to germinate. In post-fire stands, I show that seedlings emerging from rodent caches dominate sites experiencing higher fire intensity. Field experiments show that rodents (Perimyscus californicus, P. boylii) do cache Arctostaphylos fruit and bury most seed caches to a sufficient depth to survive a killing heat pulse that a fire might drive into the soil. While the rodent dispersal and caching behavior itself has not changed compared to other habitats, the environmental transformation caused by wildfire converts the caching burial of seed from a dispersal process to a plant fire adaptive trait, and provides the context for stimulating subsequent life history evolution in the plant host.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Number of fruit stored in caches.(A) The average number of fruit per cache was slightly over 4 fruit (4.1 + 0.32 fruit [mean and standard error]; dark line shows median). (B) The histogram illustrates the range and distribution of fruit number per cache. Arctostaphylos fruit range in seed number and viability, but average between 3 and 7 viable seed per fruit as a way of assessing potential cache size.
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pone.0132625.g003: Number of fruit stored in caches.(A) The average number of fruit per cache was slightly over 4 fruit (4.1 + 0.32 fruit [mean and standard error]; dark line shows median). (B) The histogram illustrates the range and distribution of fruit number per cache. Arctostaphylos fruit range in seed number and viability, but average between 3 and 7 viable seed per fruit as a way of assessing potential cache size.

Mentions: In the fruit provision experiment, fifty-one caches were found, but two were located in deep litter and they were omitted from calculations. Fruit were buried to an average of 4.4 + 0.35 cm (mean and S.E.) (Fig 2A). While most seed were near the surface, the depth range of burial was large and a few fruit were as deep as 10 cm (Fig 2B). The average cache for this experiment was a little over four fruit per cache (4.1 + 0.32 S.E.), which means an average of 12–30 viable seeds (Fig 3).


Dispersal Mutualism Incorporated into Large-Scale, Infrequent Disturbances.

Parker VT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Number of fruit stored in caches.(A) The average number of fruit per cache was slightly over 4 fruit (4.1 + 0.32 fruit [mean and standard error]; dark line shows median). (B) The histogram illustrates the range and distribution of fruit number per cache. Arctostaphylos fruit range in seed number and viability, but average between 3 and 7 viable seed per fruit as a way of assessing potential cache size.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4495039&req=5

pone.0132625.g003: Number of fruit stored in caches.(A) The average number of fruit per cache was slightly over 4 fruit (4.1 + 0.32 fruit [mean and standard error]; dark line shows median). (B) The histogram illustrates the range and distribution of fruit number per cache. Arctostaphylos fruit range in seed number and viability, but average between 3 and 7 viable seed per fruit as a way of assessing potential cache size.
Mentions: In the fruit provision experiment, fifty-one caches were found, but two were located in deep litter and they were omitted from calculations. Fruit were buried to an average of 4.4 + 0.35 cm (mean and S.E.) (Fig 2A). While most seed were near the surface, the depth range of burial was large and a few fruit were as deep as 10 cm (Fig 2B). The average cache for this experiment was a little over four fruit per cache (4.1 + 0.32 S.E.), which means an average of 12–30 viable seeds (Fig 3).

Bottom Line: Because of their influence on succession and other community interactions, large-scale, infrequent natural disturbances also should play a major role in mutualistic interactions.In post-fire stands, I show that seedlings emerging from rodent caches dominate sites experiencing higher fire intensity.Field experiments show that rodents (Perimyscus californicus, P. boylii) do cache Arctostaphylos fruit and bury most seed caches to a sufficient depth to survive a killing heat pulse that a fire might drive into the soil.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Because of their influence on succession and other community interactions, large-scale, infrequent natural disturbances also should play a major role in mutualistic interactions. Using field data and experiments, I test whether mutualisms have been incorporated into large-scale wildfire by whether the outcomes of a mutualism depend on disturbance. In this study a seed dispersal mutualism is shown to depend on infrequent, large-scale disturbances. A dominant shrubland plant (Arctostaphylos species) produces seeds that make up a persistent soil seed bank and requires fire to germinate. In post-fire stands, I show that seedlings emerging from rodent caches dominate sites experiencing higher fire intensity. Field experiments show that rodents (Perimyscus californicus, P. boylii) do cache Arctostaphylos fruit and bury most seed caches to a sufficient depth to survive a killing heat pulse that a fire might drive into the soil. While the rodent dispersal and caching behavior itself has not changed compared to other habitats, the environmental transformation caused by wildfire converts the caching burial of seed from a dispersal process to a plant fire adaptive trait, and provides the context for stimulating subsequent life history evolution in the plant host.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus