Comparison of Food Resource Removal by Animals in Forest, Old-Field, and Ecotone Habitats
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v83, n1 (March, 1983), 31-34
This study was conducted at the Miami University Ecology Research Center from mid-July through late September, 1980. A 1-ha plot of forest, an adjacent 1-ha second-year old-field, an ecotone interface, and a nearby wooded fence-row ecotone served as the study site. Ten fleshy fruits of each species, red mulberry (Morus rubra), blackberry (Rubus frondosus), and wild black cherry (Prunus serotina) were situated on 0.5-m-high log feeding sites (3/habitat). Each trial lasted for 5 days and was replicated. Sites were observed each morning and the number of remaining fruits recorded. Visual observation for avian consumers and live-trapping for small mammal consumers were conducted to estimate their role in resource removal. Morus trials showed no significant differences (p > 0.05) in fruit removal rates from each site; Rubus removal from the woods ecotone was significantly less (p ^ 0.05) than from the fence-row ecotone or the forest on day 1; Prunus removal from the old-field was significantly less (p ^ 0.05) than from the fence-row ecotone or the forest on day 1. Small mammals (Peromyscus spp.) appeared to play a major role in fruit removal. Removal rate differences appeared to be a function of habitat structure.
Author Institution: Department of Zoology, Miami University
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