UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Linking animal behaviour and tree recruitment: Caching decisions by a scatter-hoarder corvid determine seed fate in a Mediterranean agroforestry system

Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Leverkus, Alexandro B; Albaladejo-Robles, Gonzalo; Martínez-Baroja, Loreto; Pérez-Camacho, Lorenzo; Villar-Salvador, Pedro; Rebollo, Salvador; ... Castro, Jorge; + view all (2022) Linking animal behaviour and tree recruitment: Caching decisions by a scatter-hoarder corvid determine seed fate in a Mediterranean agroforestry system. Journal of Ecology 10.1111/1365-2745.14004. (In press). Green open access

[thumbnail of Linking animal behaviour and tree recruitment.pdf]
Preview
Text
Linking animal behaviour and tree recruitment.pdf - Published Version

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract

1. Seed dispersal by scatter-hoarder corvids is key for the establishment of important tree species from the Holarctic region such as the walnut (Juglans regia). However, the factors that drive animal decisions to cache seeds in specific locations and the consequences of these decisions on seed fate are poorly understood. / 2. We experimentally created four distinct, replicated habitat types in a Mediterranean agricultural landscape where the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica) is a common scatter hoarder: soft bare soil; compacted bare soil; compacted soil with a dense herbaceous cover; and soft linear bare soil made up of the irrigation furrows that separated the rest of the treatments. We also experimentally placed visual landmarks (stones, sticks and bunches of dry plants) to test if magpies use them to place seed caches. Walnut dispersal from feeders to the habitats was monitored by radiotracking and camera traps. / 3. A sowing experiment simulating natural caches tested the effect of caching type on seed germination and seedling emergence. Seed mass was controlled for the dispersal and sowing experiments. / 4. Magpies selected the two habitats with soft soil, and avoided the one with compacted soil, to cache nuts. Seed mass did not affect dispersal distance, germination or emergence; however, heavier seeds were cached more often under litter and in the habitat with herbaceous cover, whereas lighter seeds were more often buried in the soft bare soil habitat. Seed burial under soil or litter determined seed fate, as there was virtually no emergence from unburied nuts. There was no evidence of any effect of the visual landmarks. / 5. Synthesis. The consequences of seed caching for seedling early establishment are driven by a fine decision-making process of the disperser. Magpies seemed to ponder the characteristics of the habitat and the seed itself to determine where and how to cache each nut. By doing so, magpies reinforced the quality of seed dispersal effectiveness, as they cached walnuts in locations that enhanced both seed survival and seedling emergence.

Type: Article
Title: Linking animal behaviour and tree recruitment: Caching decisions by a scatter-hoarder corvid determine seed fate in a Mediterranean agroforestry system
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.14004
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.14004
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: cache, camera trap, Eurasian magpie (Pica pica), radiotracking, seed dispersal, seedling emergence, walnut (Juglans regia)
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10159046
Downloads since deposit
16Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item