Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Post-dispersal seed removal by rodents in Ranomafana rain forest, Madagascar

  • Onja H. Razafindratsima (a1)

Seed-consuming rodents are increasingly recognized for their roles in the maintenance of tree species diversity, by acting on crucial post seed-dispersal processes. Yet, studies examining the extent to which rodents may act as secondary seed dispersers and/or predators in Madagascar's forests are limited. Thread-marking seed experiments were run to address this, using the seeds of two native large-seeded, frugivore-dispersed tree species (Abrahamia thouvenotii and Cryptocarya crassifolia), in disturbed and less-disturbed habitats in the rain forests of Ranomafana National Park, during the dry season. Data show that post-dispersal handling of seeds by rodents (predation and removal) was significantly lower in disturbed than in less-disturbed habitats (1.31–3.78 times lower; n = 2200). Also, seeds were more likely to be predated or left on the forest ground after removal than being larder- or scatter-hoarded: 27–78% of the removed seeds were found on the ground, <12% found in burrows and there was no evidence of scatter-hoarding (n = 132). Based on pictures from camera traps, the native rodent species, Nesomys rufus, was potentially responsible for seed predation and/or removal in the less-disturbed habitat; but no indication of the rodent species active in the disturbed habitat was obtained. The lack of scatter-hoarding suggests a limited role of rodents in secondary seed dispersal in this system. These findings form a preliminary account of the potential roles of rodents in post seed-dispersal processes in Madagascar's forests, but this warrants further study.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

G. V. BLACKHAM & R. T. CORLETT 2015. Post-dispersal seed removal by ground-feeding rodents in tropical peatlands, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Scientific Reports 5:14152.

A. CARVAJAL & G. H. ADLER 2008. Seed dispersal and predation by Proechimys semispinosus and Sciurus granatensis in gaps and understorey in central Panama. Journal of Tropical Ecology 24:485492.

J. W. DITTEL , T. D. LAMBERT & G. H. ADLER 2015. Seed dispersal by rodents in a lowland forest in central Panama. Journal of Tropical Ecology 31:403412.

A. E. DUNHAM 2011. Soil disturbance by vertebrates alters seed predation, movement and germination in an African rain forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology 27:581589.

A. E. DUNHAM , E. M. ERHART & P. C. WRIGHT 2011. Global climate cycles and cyclones: consequences for rainfall patterns and lemur reproduction in southeastern Madagascar. Global Change Biology 17:219227.

P.-M. FORGET 1990. Seed-dispersal of Vouacapoua americana (Caesalpiniaceae) by caviomorph rodents in French Guiana. Journal of Tropical Ecology 6:459468.

P. FORGET & L. CUIJPERS 2008. Survival and scatterhoarding of frugivore-dispersed seeds as a function of forest disturbance. Biotropica 40:380385.

B. GERBER , S. M. KARPANTY , C. CRAWFORD , M. KOTSCHWAR & J. RANDRIANANTENAINA 2010. An assessment of carnivore relative abundance and density in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar using remotely-triggered camera traps. Oryx 44:219222.

J. T. LEHTONEN , O. MUSTONEN , H. RAMIARINJANAHARY , J. NIEMELÄ & H. RITA 2001. Habitat use by endemic and introduced rodents along a gradient of forest disturbance in Madagascar. Biodiversity and Conservation 10:11851202.

O. H. RAZAFINDRATSIMA & A. E. DUNHAM 2016. Co-fruiting plant species share similar fruit and seed traits while phylogenetic patterns vary through time. Journal of Ecology 104:1789.

O. H. RAZAFINDRATSIMA , T. A. JONES & A. E. DUNHAM 2014. Patterns of movement and seed dispersal by three lemur species. American Journal of Primatology 76:8496.

M. VALLEJO-MARÍN , C. A. DOMÍNGUEZ & R. DIRZO 2006. Simulated seed predation reveals a variety of germination responses of neotropical rain forest species. American Journal of Botany 93:369376.

D. G. WENNY 2000. Seed dispersal, seed predation, and seedling recruitment of a neotropical montane tree. Ecological Monographs 70:331351.

D. J. WILSON , E. F. WRIGHT , C. D. CANHAM & W. A. RUSCOE 2007. Neighbourhood analyses of tree seed predation by introduced rodents in a New Zealand temperate rainforest. Ecography 30:105119.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 28 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 254 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 24th April 2017 - 24th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.