Acorns of the species of the genus Quercus are highly appreciated by a diverse group of animals. It remains unclear whether the choice to move an acorn is related to the intrinsic characteristics of the fruit. In this work, we aimed to determine whether the size and quality of acorns (healthy or damaged) influenced their removal. We found that Q. affinis was the species with the largest acorns but the lowest removal rate, and Q. eduardii was the species with the smallest acorns but highest removal rates. Two groups of vertebrates carried out this removal, and this activity occurred at two clearly separate times. Jays Aphelocoma spp. carried out their activity during the day, and rodents Peromyscus spp. removed acorns at night. Size and quality only had a significant influence on the removal of Q. affinis. Our results suggest that absence of large animals could put the establishment of species with large acorns (such as Q. affinis) at risk.
Acorns, Dispersion, Oaks, Wildlife cameras, Zoochory
Reception date: 19 VII 19 | Acceptation date: 4 V 20 | Publication date: 20 V 20
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