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Title: The effect of burial depth on removal of seeds of Phytolacca americana.

Abstract

Abstract - Although burial is known to have important effects on seed predation in a variety of habitats, the role of burial depth in affecting the removal of seeds in early successional systems is poorly known. Phytolacca American (pokeweed) is a model species to examine the role of burial depth in affecting seed removal because it is common in early-successional habitats, studies suggest that seed removal is indicative of seed predation, and seed predation is related to the recruitment of mature plants. To determine how burial depth affects P. americana seed removal, 20 seeds of P. americana were buried at depths of 0, 1, or 3 cm in early-successional habitats at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina for over 6 weeks. The frequency with which seeds were encountered (as measured by the removal of at least one seed) and the proportion of seeds removed was significantly greater when seeds were on the soil surface (0 cm depth) compared to seeds that were buried 1 cm or 3 cm; there was no difference in encounter or removal between seeds at 1 cm or 3 cm. Our findings suggest that burial may have important consequences for P. americana population dynamics, becausemore » seed survival depends upon whether or not the seed is buried, and relatively shallow burial can yield large increases in seed survival. Because seed limitation is known to be an important determinant of plant community composition in early successional systems, our work suggests that burial may play an unappreciated role in the dynamics of these communities by reducing predator-mediated seed limitation.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, New Ellenton, SC
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
903444
Report Number(s):
na
07-02-P; TRN: US201103%%62
DOE Contract Number:
AI09-00SR22188
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Southeastern Naturalist.; Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; COMMUNITIES; POPULATION DYNAMICS; REMOVAL; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; SEEDS; SOILS; SOUTH CAROLINA; Seed predation; burial depth; Phytolacca americana, pokeweed

Citation Formats

Orrock, John, L.: Damschen, Ellen, I.. The effect of burial depth on removal of seeds of Phytolacca americana.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1656/1528-7092(2007)6[151:TEOBDO]2.0.CO;2.
Orrock, John, L.: Damschen, Ellen, I.. The effect of burial depth on removal of seeds of Phytolacca americana.. United States. doi:10.1656/1528-7092(2007)6[151:TEOBDO]2.0.CO;2.
Orrock, John, L.: Damschen, Ellen, I.. Sun . "The effect of burial depth on removal of seeds of Phytolacca americana.". United States. doi:10.1656/1528-7092(2007)6[151:TEOBDO]2.0.CO;2.
@article{osti_903444,
title = {The effect of burial depth on removal of seeds of Phytolacca americana.},
author = {Orrock, John, L.: Damschen, Ellen, I.},
abstractNote = {Abstract - Although burial is known to have important effects on seed predation in a variety of habitats, the role of burial depth in affecting the removal of seeds in early successional systems is poorly known. Phytolacca American (pokeweed) is a model species to examine the role of burial depth in affecting seed removal because it is common in early-successional habitats, studies suggest that seed removal is indicative of seed predation, and seed predation is related to the recruitment of mature plants. To determine how burial depth affects P. americana seed removal, 20 seeds of P. americana were buried at depths of 0, 1, or 3 cm in early-successional habitats at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina for over 6 weeks. The frequency with which seeds were encountered (as measured by the removal of at least one seed) and the proportion of seeds removed was significantly greater when seeds were on the soil surface (0 cm depth) compared to seeds that were buried 1 cm or 3 cm; there was no difference in encounter or removal between seeds at 1 cm or 3 cm. Our findings suggest that burial may have important consequences for P. americana population dynamics, because seed survival depends upon whether or not the seed is buried, and relatively shallow burial can yield large increases in seed survival. Because seed limitation is known to be an important determinant of plant community composition in early successional systems, our work suggests that burial may play an unappreciated role in the dynamics of these communities by reducing predator-mediated seed limitation.},
doi = {10.1656/1528-7092(2007)6[151:TEOBDO]2.0.CO;2},
journal = {Southeastern Naturalist.},
number = 1,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}