RODRIGUEZ CABAL mariano Alberto
Seed predation of non-native species along a precipitation gradient
CHIUFFO, MARIANA C.; MOYANO, JAIME; RODRIGUEZ-CABAL, MARIANO A.; NUÑEZ, MARTÍN A.
Año: 2018 vol. 219 p. 1307 - 1314
Generalist seed predators are an important factor shaping non-native species invasion. Their effect is highly influenced by abiotic conditions, yet how the importance of this biotic filter changes in a gradient of abiotic conditions is still poorly understood. In this study, we assessed seed predation of non-native conifer species along a precipitation gradient in north-western Argentinean Patagonia. We performed a seed removal experiment over a 15-day period during the fall in sites where annual precipitation ranges from 600 to 1600 mm and vegetation ranges from steppe to forest. We used the three most common forestry species in the study area, including two species known to invade areas adjacent to plantations and one native species. Seed predation was higher in sites with higher precipitation, but no significant differences in seed predation were found among species. Small mammals were the dominant group predating seeds on this gradient. These findings highlight the importance of abiotic conditions mediating plant-granivore interactions, and the influence that abiotic conditions may have on biotic resistance to invasion. Mariano A. Rodriguez-Cabal and Mart ́ın A. Nun ̃ez contributed equally to this work.